The Benefits of Exfoliation and How Often to Do It
Exfoliating is one of those things that skincare experts and beauty professionals will always tell you to do if you want to have smooth and soft skin - but how can you achieve the best results every time, and is there such a thing as too much exfoliation?
In this article we look at exfoliating in all its glory, considering the difference between facial and body exfoliation and sharing both the benefits and things to consider and avoid.
What is Exfoliating?
Exfoliating refers to the art of removing the oldest dead and dull skin cells from the surface of the skin, exposing the fresh and new skin beneath. By removing this top dead layer, exfoliating provides us with a brighter and smoother complexion, promoting a youthful and healthy glow.
It is important to recognise that exfoliation is different depending on which part of the body you are working on, with the more sensitive skin of your face requiring a different approach and less abrasive products.
How to Exfoliate Your Face and Body
The differences between exfoliating your face and body lie not only in the products themselves but in the techniques that you employ in order to achieve your results.
Exfoliating your face should be done with a softer product that has been designed for use on the face, making sure to avoid any ingredients which could clog the pores or produce irritation in the more sensitive facial skin. You should seek to exfoliate your face once a week when in a hot shower or bath, once the steam has had time to open the pores and unclog congested skin. Exfoliator should be applied in small circular movements before rinsing thoroughly.
Exfoliating the body should be done more regularly, up to twice a week - using a more abrasive product depending on the sensitivity of your skin. The beads in a body exfoliator tend to be bigger to really work away the top layer of skin and expose the fresh skin beneath. The exfoliating scrub should be applied over clean and damp skin, concentrating on dry patches to work away the top layer - being rinsing thoroughly.
Benefits of Exfoliating
By lifting the old dead skin cells from the skin, exfoliating allows you to expose the fresh and youthful skin beneath. The following are the most common benefits:
This is perhaps the most popular benefit, as exfoliating uncovers that healthy glow we get when our skin is healthy and fresh. This is a benefit most often targeted at facial exfoliation and is the primary reason why so many top level exfoliation treatments now exist in the beauty industry - including chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
Improve Skin Texture
When it comes to exfoliating your body, improving the skin texture means your skin appears and feels much softer and smoother.
Support the Skin in Absorbing Product
When you remove the top layer of dead cells, you give the skin a better chance of absorbing those moisturisers and serums that you invest in to support and give your body the boost of hydration and nourishment it needs. Thus, exfoliation gives you better value on all those skincare products.
Smooth the Complexion
If you are a fan of makeup and fake tan, exfoliation provides you with a smoother complexion to work as your base layer - elevating the finish and ensuring that your skin looks even and healthy. Products such as our organic makeup removal pads can be used to gently exfoliate the skin and remove even waterproof makeup.
How often to Exfoliate
This depends on whether you are exfoliating your face or body - with the former requiring treatment once a week (with the occasional professional exfoliation treatment at a beauty clinic if you are happy to invest) while bodily exfoliation can be done twice a week.
The amount of exfoliation you do can also depend on the surface and condition of your skin, with sensitive skin requiring not only a gentler product but also a softer approach. If your skin is irritated from a condition, sun burn or a reaction to another product, avoid exfoliation until the irritation is gone.
Over-exfoliation is absolutely something to avoid, as excessive exfoliation can lead the skin to produce new cells at a rapid rate - damaging the skin’s barrier and leaving you more exposed to reactions, irritation, tightness, and acne. If your skin starts to feel tight or sensitive after a few too many exfoliation sessions, step away from the exfoliator and give your skin some time to recover.