Exfoliation of the skin has become a part of the routine in our everyday life. Read the article below to know more about it.
Skin is the largest and most complex organ in our body. It is made up of 10 to 30 layers of dead skin cells. These cells naturally shed off and are replaced with new ones within 28 to 45 days. But these cells are cleared away by exfoliation to improve the appearance of the skin.
Exfoliation is the process by which dead cells formed over the superficial layers of the skin are removed either manually or chemically, paving the way for the formation of new cells. Types of exfoliation are manual and chemical exfoliation.
Gentle, fine-grain scrubs are used on the delicate skin of the face and neck and are safe to use regularly.
Rough, coarse-grain scrubs are targeted toward large patches of skin.
These rough scrubs can sometimes cause damage to the skin if it is used harshly.
Alpha hydroxy acid is water-soluble and is derived from fruits with high sugar content. It removes dead skin and promotes new cell growth.
Beta hydroxy acid is oil-soluble, and it penetrates the skin effectively. Besides removing the dead cells, they also remove oil and dirt below the surface of the skin.
Exfoliation is done professionally by dermatologists and estheticians. Some procedures done by professionals are as follows.
Microdermabrasion- A handheld device is used to eliminate the dead cells, and a mild sunburn is felt after the procedure.
Chemical Peels- Chemical solutions are used to peel dead cells. It works by lowering the pH of the skin, thereby dissolving and digesting the dead cells in the superficial and deep layers of the skin.
The benefits of exfoliation are as follows,
Cleans and purifies the clogged pores.
It gives an instant glow to the skin by sloughing away dead cells and allowing penetration of skincare products.
Prevents bacterial accumulation in the pores of the skin.
Provides an even skin tone.
Improves the texture of the skin.
It helps regulate the oil and sebum production of the skin, thus contributing to acne control.
First of all, consider the skin products already in use.
Identify your skin type and select the appropriate exfoliation method that suits your skin.
For normal skin, choose an exfoliant that is comfortable.
For oily skin, a strong chemical exfoliant or scrub is recommended.
For dry skin, a washcloth and chemical exfoliants can be used.
Be gentle to your skin.
Apply moisturizer followed by exfoliation.
Plan the right schedule for exfoliation.
Exfoliation of the Face-
Pick a chemical exfoliant with acid.
Apply it to the face by making circular motions with fingers.
Massage it for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Rinse off with cool water and pat your face dry.
Use a moisturizer after exfoliation.
Repeat the same twice or thrice a week.
Exfoliation of the Body-
Use an exfoliating body wash to shower daily.
Use sugar or salt scrub twice a week.
Make short and light strokes by using a sponge or brush.
Then use moisturizer after exfoliation.
It is usually recommended to exfoliate twice or thrice a week. Once a week is definitely not enough. However, the person's skin type determines how many times to exfoliate.
Sensitive Skin- A person with sensitive skin that is prone to redness and irritation can carry out exfoliation once a week.
Normal Skin- Once or twice a week is enough.
Dry Skin- Once or twice a week is necessary to remove the dead cells built on the surface of the skin.
Oily Skin- It has more sebum production. So twice or thrice a week is required to control and reduce the blackheads and pimples.
Combination Skin- It is characterized by a combination of dry and oily skin. So twice or thrice a week is essential, and the dry part of the skin has to be more concentrated.
The time at which exfoliation is to be done purely depends on the individual.
Exfoliating in the Morning-
Exfoliating in the morning reduces the oiliness throughout the day.
Breaking down the dead cells in the morning enhances the look after applying toners and moisturizers.
Exfoliation stimulates the blood flow to the skin, thereby making the complexion appear brighter.
Exfoliating at Night-
Exfoliating at night helps to remove makeup, sunscreen, or other impurities due to environmental stressors.
It makes nighttime products work better by allowing their penetration into the skin.
They increase the efficiency of skin cell turnover.
Night-time exfoliation is better for sensitive skin.
No, too much exfoliation is not necessary. It can lead to-
Formation of dry, flaky patches on the skin.
Redness and irritation of the skin.
Cracks on the skin lead to loss of hydration and inflammation.
Injury can occur if every form of treatment is added.
Breaks off the natural oils of the skin.
Consider your skin type and choose the method and duration of exfoliating your skin.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid using chemical peel-off masks. It is because the acidic content in the exfoliating solution may lead to irritation and redness of the skin.
Do not panic if there is mild irritation after the application of chemical exfoliants. They are normal. But if they persist, it is better to consult the dermatologist and then use it.
Apply sunscreen after exfoliation in the morning. This is because, after exfoliation, the skin becomes thinner and is more vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays.
To minimize inflammation after exfoliation, it is better to use anti-inflammatory products after exfoliation.
Do not exfoliate your face too often.
People are more conscious of skincare, but failing to exfoliate your skin before any product use is an utter failure. Thus exfoliation of the skin is one of the essential skincare routines to be followed to maintain a delicate balance of the skin but never overdo it; instead, do it until it is enough for your skin.
Last reviewed at:
16 Sep 2022 - 5 min read
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