The Art of Exfoliation

Ever looked in the mirror and all you see is a dull, flaky, spotty skin? After years of using expensive creams and beauty care products? Maybe that’s how your skin is meant to be. Maybe not. The human body is designed as a self-sustaining wonderful machine that takes good care of itself. But there are situations when we have to give it a little push! Like cutting nails – to grow new nails, shaving body hair – to grow a new one, and then, exfoliating – to grow new skin!

Exfoliating is an art, as old as creation. Do you know animals too exfoliate? Snakes? Shedding of old layers of skin to come out fresh and awesome. Every month naturally, the body destroys old and flaky skin in a process called Keratinization, and a new layer comes up to the surface. But as we grow older, this process slows down and is no longer effective on its own, hence the need for artificial exfoliation. When we provide an artificial process of exfoliation through the use of salts, crushed nuts, olive oil, honey and pumice etc. is a means of accelerating the natural process. Therefore, one may summarize exfoliation as softening and removing dead skin from the epidermis through artificial means. After use of exfoliation, the skin will appear soft, smooth, radiant and healthier.

No matter the type of skin you have; dry, oily, tender – it is encouraged to exfoliate your skin regularly. But there is no specific time rule for this. Everyone has a unique body, and you’ve got to listen to your own to find the perfect cycle for taking care. But rule of thumb is that if it burns, feel reddish or cause discomfort, slow it down; if it appears not to be working as fast as expected, increase the frequency!

Do you know that exfoliating regularly stimulates the production of fibrous proteins such as collagen? It also helps in fighting darkspots, itchy skins, eczema, acne and open up the skin pores by removing the dead skin cells that accumulate on the outermost layer of the epidermis and trap oils inside the pores. But too much of exfoliation can disturb the skin’s auto-heal process, leaving it susceptible to further irritation, redness, and dryness. Eew! Exactly what we are trying to fight! For people who react to some type of oils, or those with much natural spots or larger facial pores, exfoliation is an awesome method to keep facial skin, the palms, feet and chest smooth and clean.

There are many types of exfoliators available and your dermatologist will best advice you based on your skin type. The most important though is to get the unique cycle for your skin. Moisturizing is as important as exfoliating and should come immediately after. When you exfoliate, your new skin is soft and extra sensitive, hence you need to protect it with an awesome moisturizer and sunscreen. Always wear sunscreen in daytime as sun damage too can become pronounced after exfoliating!