Regular exfoliation in your skin care routine is a step you don’t want to pass up. If your skin is dry, dull, rough, uneven or greasy, it indicates that your skin is not getting the optimal care it needs.
Your skin naturally sheds dead cells on a 30-day cycle, slowing down as we age, but it doesn't always do the job right. Dead cells are left behind in dry, rough or flaky patches that will clog your pores contributing to the likelihood of other unpleasant skin conditions. No thanks!
This is where exfoliation comes in to save the day. Exfoliation means using a product or tool to remove the layer of dead cells and other debris from the surface of your skin.
We have put together six reasons exfoliation should be in your skin care routine
1. Prevents Clogged Pores
Dead skin cells that do not shed naturally can become trapped in your pores causing them to clog. Clogged pores are a cause of blackheads, whiteheads, acne and congested skin.
Regular exfoliation prevents the buildup of dead skin cells and is a proactive way to treat clogged pores to avoid the negative impact they have on your skin.
2. Allows Skincare Products To Penetrate Better
Exfoliating opens your skin to better harness the effects of the products you apply. If dead skin cells are left to accumulate, they act as a barrier on the surface of the skin that won’t allow the products to reach the new healthy skin. Any product you use when your pores are clogged will not penetrate your skin and do its job.
Exfoliating removes these unwanted elements and leaves your skin fresh and your pores open.
3. Enhances Your Skin's Hydration
If your skin is not properly taken care of, you may notice a scaly and rough appearance. Using an exfoliator removes this blotchy, dull, rough and undesirable skin to expose the fresh skin underneath. This new skin is thirsty and will drink up the hydration from the moisturizers and serums you use.
We don’t want to waste products on dead skin cells that cannot reap the benefits of the products we use. Consistent exfoliation solves this problem.
4. Evens Your Skin Tone
Hyperpigmentation is a skin concern that occurs when there is an excessive production of melanin that makes some areas of the skin darker than others. Melanin is a natural skin pigment that determines your skin color and your bodies natural defense for harmful UV rays. Overexposure to sun increases the amount of melanin your skin produces, which is why skin colour changes.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of the warm sun on our skin but unfortunately, overexposure causes skin damage that accumulates over the years and presents itself as areas of hyperpigmentation (aka age spots) as our skin ages. Therefore, it is more commonly found on areas of the body that have endured the most sun exposure.
Uneven pigmentation is one of the major changes associated with aging and it can either be escalated or stagnated depending on how we care for our skin throughout life. We highly recommend prevention through consistent sun protection. Though despite our best efforts some things are inevitable, and we must move to treatment.
Regular exfoliation helps break up the pigmented cells allowing them to fade faster leaving behind a more consistent, even tone.
5. Makes Your Skin Glow
Exfoliation removes the old, dull skin cells exposing the fresh new glowing cells underneath. It also stimulates blood flow to the area causing an immediate glow from the goodies that blood brings. The circulatory system plays a very important role in skin health. Blood transports the oxygen, nutrients, minerals and hormones needed to help those new skin cells thrive. Increasing circulation also aids in the release of toxins from your body.
Regular exfoliation promotes healthy, vibrant skin. It helps you glow from head to toe.
6. Firms Up Your Skin
Loose, tired skin can be firmed up with a result-driven and consistent skincare regime that includes exfoliation. With age we produce less collagen which contributes to dry skin, sagging skin, hyperpigmentation and the formation of wrinkles. Consistent exfoliation aids in the production of collagen, the protein your body produces to give your skin structure and improve skin elasticity & hydration.
Regular exfoliation is attributed to reducing the appearance of cellulite by helping to break down fat deposits and toxins under the skin. This allows the blood circulation to increase around the affected area and helps it smooth out.
Regular exfoliation helps to firm loose skin, smoothen fine lines, fade age spots and release toxins leaving you with fresh, firm and radiant skin.
Use Gentle Physical Exfoliants
There are 2 types of exfoliants you will find on the market, chemical and physical.
Chemical exfoliants use acids or enzymes to break the bonds between the cells to dissolve and loosen so the layer of dead cells can be washed off. These chemical exfoliants can be naturally sourced but it does not mean they are gentle on your skin.
Naturally sourced chemical exfoliants are BHAs (beta hydroxy acids, salicylate, sodium salicylate, willow extract) and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid). Though these chemicals are naturally occurring they are problematic because they cause the skin to have increased UV sensitivity that can last up to 24hrs. This leaves your skin vulnerable to sun damage and all its negative effects like premature aging & hyperpigmentation. It is vital that you use proper sun protection after using any product that contains these acids.
Overuse of these chemicals also cause skin irritation due to over-exfoliation (explained below). These chemicals are found in many skincare products so you could be using them more than you know. They are found in cleansers, moisturizers, serums, toners, etc. which we use in combination in our daily skin care routines. If you are not aware of their presence you could be damaging your skin rather than helping it. Reading the ingredient labels and understanding what is in everything you use and how they can be safely used/combined is as important as it is complicated for the average person.
We like to keep it simple and just skip over all that complication because who has time for that? We recommend the use of nature’s gentle physical exfoliants.
Physical exfoliating products are tools, such as a dry brush with natural fibres, or skin care products containing small particles that act as a gentle scrub, like jojoba beads. There is absolutely no reason to use synthetics when nature always provides us with what we need, so no plastic microbeads.
Using gentle ingredients doesn’t interrupt your skin’s natural balance and protects your barrier.
Products like our Petal Purity Exfoliating Facial Cleanser or Sweet Orange Exfoliating Gel Facial Cleanser can be used daily as a combined cleanser and gentle physical exfoliant. Depending on your skin you may need to use it less to start. They both use nonabrasive biodegradable jojoba beads to gently exfoliate skin.
They both use nonabrasive biodegradable jojoba beads to gently exfoliate skin. They can be applied daily to wet skin with a small circular motion using gentle pressure and then rinsed with warm water. It should be followed up with your daily skin care routine. We highly recommend this include something hydrating like a natural serum, hydration booster or facial cream followed by a top layer of sun protection like our Reflector SPF 30 Facial Sun Protection.
More intense exfoliants like our Ancient Mud facial mask should be used once a week. Ancient Mud uses a combination of Dead Sea mud and Canadian glacial clay to make a revitalizing weekly treatment. Other than providing intense exfoliation, it deep cleans pores, nourishes with minerals and maintains hydration keeping skin clean, balanced, smooth, plump and radiant!
This is a facial mask that you apply to moistened face, allow to dry and remove with warm water. It should be followed with your daily skin care routine, but it should not be combined with another exfoliant. If using a daily exfoliant, skip it on your deep exfoliation day. But otherwise, follow-up with your daily skin care routine. Again, we highly recommend this include something hydrating like a natural serum, hydration booster or facial cream followed by a top layer of sun protection like our Reflector SPF 30 Facial Sun Protection.
For your body you can use a tool like our Dry Body Brush. We wrote a blog all about dry brushing so refer to it for more information on this skin care tool. Go to blog.
We also have a Coffee Scrub bar soap. A soap and a body scrub all in one. One side is made with coffee grounds to exfoliate and soften skin, the other side is smooth vanilla bar soap. Follow up with a body lotion to give that new skin the hydration it's thirsty for.
Natural gentle exfoliants are generally safe for use. The flipside of exfoliating in your routine may occur where the product you're using isn't good for your skin type. You shouldn't experience redness, burning, pain, breakouts, itchiness, tightness or peeling.
If this should occur, depending on severity you should either discontinue using the product or scale back on its usage until your skin builds up a tolerance.
This happens when you remove more than the unwanted dead skin cells and prematurely remove healthy skin cells. This causes damage, which may or may not be visible at the time, that can cause your skin to age prematurely. It weakens the skin’s protective barrier causing sensitive, inflamed or irritated skin that is more susceptible to sun damage, dryness and infection.
Always carefully read a product’s instructions and never use it more than recommended.
Make sure you are using a small non-abrasive exfoliant. If any exfoliant is used too much or is too large, sharp or jagged (crushed nutshell, volcanic rock) it can cause microscopic tears in your skin. Micro-tears weaken your skin protective barrier and therefore allow unwanted elements to penetrate past the barrier. This can cause a whole lot of bad reactions, like acne, wrinkles or an infection, depending on what penetrates. It could be just a mild irritant, or it could be a staph infection.
Remember that you are only aiding a process that your skin does naturally, so you do not have ever be rough. Use gentle exfoliants and gentle pressure to exfoliate with care.
Before using a product to exfoliate, ensure it agrees with your skin's needs. Check the ingredients and be certain you don't react to any before applying them to your skin. If unsure, patch test by putting a small amount of the product on a small area that is easily hidden. For your face, underneath the jaw, behind the ears or along your hairline are good examples.
Be sure to use sun protection and a hat that covers your face if you will be outdoors within a day of exfoliating because your fresh glowing skin will be more susceptible to burns and sun damage. Remember that UV rays effect skin even on cloudy days. Try exfoliating in the evening and avoid those UV rays entirely while the skin is most sensitive.
How often you exfoliate will depend on how your skin reacts. Daily exfoliation with a gentle exfoliant is fine if your skin does not show any signs of irritation. A little redness immediately after exfoliating is normal because of the increased blood flow but if the redness persists or your skin feels itchy, burning, irritated or tight, avoid exfoliating daily until your skin builds up a tolerance. Start with once a week and work your way up.