Exfoliation should be part of everyone’s skin care routine. It is essential in maintaining healthy skin. Many people are unsure how they should exfoliate or what product is best. So, I am going to go through some of the different ways you can exfoliate.
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation simply means the removal of dead skin cells.
Why do I need to exfoliate?
On average, skin cells reproduce every month. Old cells die and new ones form. For a healthy glowing complexion, you should exfoliate regularly to loosen and remove the old dead skin cells. Exfoliation will remove flaky skin, unclog pores, prevent breakouts and leave you with a much brighter skin! Whereas, a lack of exfoliation will lead to dry, dehydrated, sensitive and dull skin.
How do I exfoliate?
There are two different types of exfoliation: physical or chemical. Both are effective but suited to different skin types.
Physical exfoliation means to physically scrub dead cells from the surface of your skin. A physical exfoliant is usually in the form of a scrub and can feel gritty or rough on your skin. They are perfect for removing dead skin cells, getting rid of flaky skin and for smoothing the surface of the skin. However, overuse of scrubs can cause redness, dehydration and sensitivities. They can irritate the top layer of skin so use with caution.
One physical exfoliant I’d recommend is the AlumierMD Lotus Scrub. This is a gentle scrub with a jelly like consistency, suited to all skin types. Massage around the skin for 60 seconds and rinse off. Use twice a week.
Chemical exfoliation means to exfoliate with the use of acids or enzymes, for example, AHA’s or BHA’s. The chemicals break the bonds between skin cells so that old cells fall off and fresh, new cells form. They can go below the surface layer of the skin and remove impurities at a deeper level than a physical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants also, have the ability to create changes to your skin on a cellular level.
While the term ‘chemical’ sometimes turns people off, I feel that these are often better options for sensitive skin as there’s no scrubbing involved. Often, they can be much less abrasive and irritating than a physical scrub. Most chemical exfoliants don’t involve rubbing or friction. Lots of these are actually natural chemicals derived from fruit or milk.
A chemical exfoliant can be in the form of a cleanser, serum, toner, moisturiser or peel treatment. For example, a glycolic acid cleanser or a lactic acid serum. However, different chemical acids suit different skins. So, it is very important to choose the correct one for your skin type. Overuse or using the wrong acid for your skin can cause irritations and sensitivity. Do seek advice before starting any chemical exfoliants.
One I love is the AlumierMD AHA Renewal Serum. This contains Lactic acid and is suited to most skin types. Lactic Acid gives a nice gentle exfoliation. It smoothes the surface of the skin, hydrates, brightens and exfoliates. This exfoliant is in the form of a leave-on serum. Apply every second night after cleansing the skin.