Benefits of skin exfoliation
We all have skin goals which involve radiant, glowing skin! How does skin exfoliation play a role?
Desquamation is the term for the natural skin turnover process that occurs in our skins. It happens every second of the day, without us even noticing.
New skin cells are created in the deepest layer of the epidermis. This layer is also called the basal layer.
Skin cells begin their life as a single layer of thick, column-shaped cells. These cells are responsible for creating every cell of your skin.
The cells in this layer divide. Half of them stay behind and the other cells begin their migration to the skin's surface.
In the upper layer the skin cells begin to make keratin. These are the tough, fibrous proteins that make up the main structure of the skin. (keratin is also the main component of your hair and nails)
The skin cells continue to push upward and eventually begin to flatten out.
They also take on a grainy appearance.
When the skin cells reach their final destination, in the uppermost layer of the skin they are essentially dead. They are very flat and tightly packed. These flat, dead cells continuously fall away as newer cells push their way to the surface. In this way, your skin is constantly renewing itself.
You might be surprised to know that most of the dust in your home is actually made up of dead skin cells!
The entire desquamation process, from cell birth to sloughing away, takes approximately 14 to 28 days.
As we age, our natural skin desquamation process slows down. Sometimes dead skin cells don’t fully shed, and this can create an appearance of rough, dry skin, enlarged pores and a dull complexion.
The build up of dead skin cells can prevent potent serums and moisturisers from penetrating the skin effectively, and makeup application can appear uneven.
Skins that battle with blackheads, acne and general pore clogging will almost always have excess dead skin cells. This is a key culprit when it comes to acne.
No matter your age, a regular exfoliation routine can safely and effectively restore your skins healthy, vibrant glow.
One can really improve the tone, texture and overall function of the skin by ‘helping this natural process along’.
Skins with sun damage, pigmentation, and scarring will greatly benefit from exfoliation, and in fact, all anti-ageing treatment protocols involve some kind of skin resurfacing.
What’s important to remember is that as we age our skin thins. Another key benefit of exfoliating is that it also helps stimulate collagen synthesis which thickens the skin, and keeps it looking plump, tight, and young. It helps new healthy skin cells to be produced. We all need that!
There are so many different ways to exfoliate our skins - it’s hard to know where to begin!
Exfoliation can be achieved mechanically or chemically, with or without the use of tools, and/or leave-on products.
It’s essential to use an exfoliator that is suited to your skin. Your oil levels and amount of sensitivity will usually determine this. Remember that we always want to maintain the ideal balance of water and oil in the skin so that the skin barrier continues to function optimally.
Goodleaf’s Renew Revitilizing Exfoliator is a perfect example of a gentle, yet effective mechanical exfoliator. It contains natural granular exfoliators - baobab husk and jojoba beads. They smooth the skins surface, whilst the shea butter and hemp keep the skin hydrated. The use of natural African botanicals such as green rooibos, provide a cell-stabilising anti-oxidant protective property to the product. I would apply this twice a week, after cleansing, with circular movements over the entire face, neck and décolleté.
One could almost leave this on like a mask after working it into the skin. Although Goodleaf has an excellent face mask to follow this!
Remember that your lips, body, and feet also need regular exfoliation using appropriate products and tools.
A tip - always follow the instructions and don’t over-exfoliate. This will cause irritation and sensitivity, and possibly dehydration. We just want to help our natural desquamation process along.