Understanding Our Skin
Our skin has 3 layers the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis layer. The outer layer, epidermis is the top layer of skin which is also the thinnest layer, and this is the layer that has the dead skin cells which need exfoliation. The deeper layers of skin do not need exfoliation as they do not die ad build up like the top layers.
Our skin is always producing more skin cells and works on a 28-day cycle, on average. This can vary for each individual and the older you get the longer the process of your skin renewal. Other factors such as hormones, nutrition, sun exposure, illness, and stress can affect your skin renewal process.
The dead skin cells will start to pile up on your skin, eventually shedding over time and unevenly. This can leave the skin looking dry, uneven, dull, lack lustre and can even make up look older than we are.
What will exfoliation do?
Some people do not see exfoliation as an important part of their skin care routine however, it is just as important as removing makeup and moisturising! Exfoliating the skin will trigger cell renewal and reduce the layers of skin for a healthier complexion. A regular exfoliation will help your skin to look glowing and fresh. Who doesn’t want that?
Benefits of exfoliation
- Brighten the skin. Removing the dead skin will instantly make your skin look brighter and more youthful. Skin will look refreshed and skin cells are newer!
- Improve Texture & Skin Tone. Removing the dead skin cells will help reduce any build up of texture in certain areas and any flaky, dry skin we might have. This will instantly make our skin look smoother and we will have a more even complexion.
- Reduce acne and Minimising pores. Dead skin cells can block pores with dead skin and excess oils which will lead to clogged pores and potential acne. If we leave the dead skin, our pores will expand to accommodate the excess oils and dead skin leading to enlarged pores. The more often we renew our skin cells the less likely we are to have breakouts. (of course, we can’t escape every breakout.)
- Makeup applies smoother. Having a more even complexion and less texture it will make any makeup we apply over the top look better and smoother for a flawless finish! If we leave the dead skin it can look patchy and uneven which isn’t ideal! If we apply makeup over the top of dead skin cells, then we are just layering product which can lead to magnifying wrinkles and fine lines which none of us want!
- Skincare is more effective. We spend a lot of money on skincare and we want it to work as best it can and to achieve maximum results. By removing the dead skin, it will allow any product applied after to sink in better and allow it to work to its full potential rather than it having to battle through those dead skin cells, excess oils and clogged pores. This will help to increase hydration in the skin as well!
Products to use
There are many different products to use and different types of exfoliation so it is important that you find the best one for you and your skin. Find a product that works best for you and is formulated to your skin type (this will make a big difference as harsher scrubs can be great for oily skin however, may cause a rash and irritation on sensitive skins).
Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub. Great for oily skin! A skin-polishing scrub with natural Corn Cob Meal that leaves skin with a smooth, healthy complexion. This is the product to go for when you think of that classic ‘scrub’.
Dermalogica AGE Smart Multivitamin Thermafoliant. A great one for ageing skin. A powerful thermal skin polisher that combines physical and chemical exfoliants to refine skin texture and enhance penetration of age-fighting actives into skin while advanced technology ingredients condition and treat the skin.
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel– A rinse-off exfoliating cream, rich in fruit enzymes, that smoothes, conditions, and repairs.
Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel– dramatically reverses environmental ageing caused by sun, smog and stress.
Leave on for up to 10 minutes. Rinse with a warm wash cloth and pat dry.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – A unique Rice-based enzyme powder microfoliates dulling debris and instantly leaves skin noticeably smoother and brighter. Gentle enough for daily use.
Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer – A precise dose of leave-on exfoliating treatment ideal for use between professional treatments. Hydroxy acids and enzymes smooth skin without causing redness and help reduce the signs of premature aging. A brightening complex helps to even skin tone.
Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub– This all-in-one facial scrub gently sloughs-off and polishes away dead skin cells, leaving the skin smooth and soft.
Developed to provide deep pore cleansing and daily exfoliation in one compact formula. L-Mandelic acid is rather unique amongst AHA’s in that it is slightly lipid soluble and can therefore penetrate the pores and deep clean.
The products are designed to ‘scrub’ so don’t feel like you must put lots of effort in and ‘scrub’ your face until it is red and sore!
There also other types of deeper exfoliation that can be done by professionals in salons.
Don’t forget to run your exfoliator over your lips! They are skin and need some love too!
How often should we be exfoliating?
There is no 1 right answer for this. You will need to find out what works for your skin and what provides your skin with the most benefits. Once you have used it you will need to figure out how many times a week you should be using it, that could be just once a week or every other day. It depends on your skin!
Over exfoliation can do more damage than good therefore, it is important to find the balance that works for your skin.
Don’t forget your body! – Body exfoliation is just as important as the face. All of our skin renews therefore, this skin should also be exfoliated regularly.It will again help our skin to look more uniform and healthy. If you use a fake tan or like a sun tan then it will also help the tan look more even.
An ideal pre-tan scrub – Xen Tan Fresh Prep Scrub
Top Tip! If we want to protect our skin and the renewal process then use an SPF to protect the skin from harmful sun damage and use products which will help keep the natural barrier over the skin. If we lose our natural barrier and have lots of sun damage and pollution on the skin then this will slow down the skin renewal process.