What Is Exfoliation? May 4, 2022 16:43

What Is Exfoliation?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary

Exfoliate: to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin, in order to improve its appearance 

Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells to make room for new cells every 30 to 45 days. As you get older it takes longer for skin to shed and for new skin to emerge. But your skin does not shed all its dead skin, some of it stays attached and that leads to dry, flaky patches. This is where Exfoliating comes in.                By exfoliating your skin, you slough away dry and dead skin cells making way for new skin. Your skin becomes soft, smooth, vibrant, and healthy.

The process of exfoliation and removing dead skin from your body can be accomplished in several different ways.  Some of the more popular ways are, using chemicals, like Beta Hydroxy Acid, (BHA), Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), and enzymes, to help dissolve surface skin cells. There is also a large selection of exfoliation pads, normally made from sisal, nylon, or other mildly coarse material. A more natural way is to use scrubs made from ingredients like finely ground oatmeal, finely ground coffee, salt, or sugar combined with a plant-based carrier oil.

I prefer using sugar combined with good plant-based carrier oils. Sugar is a natural humectant which means it draws moisture to your skin. Your skin loves moisture. Sugar is gentle on the skin and when mixed with a carrier oil the application is easy on the skin while at the same time doing its job and removing dead skin. Sugar scrubs dissolve easily when rinsing, but the natural oils in them leave your skin ultra-smooth. There is a wide selection of carrier oils that are vitamin and nutrient-rich and fantastic on the skin. Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Just to name a few. Some oils are heavier than others, some offer different benefits.

Before starting an exfoliating routine, know your skin type. Do you have oily skin or dry skin, Is your skin sensitive to a certain carrier or essential oils. Look at the ingredients on the products, and make sure that the product you are going to use is good for your skin. If unsure do a patch test on your skin. Just be sure the product you choose has no man-made chemicals in them like parabens and fragrance oils. These chemicals can be irritating to your skin and cause problems. I know starting a skincare regimen can be intimidating, but the benefits of having healthy, beautiful skin, make it worth the effort. The main thing is you have to be consistent and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Using a sugar scrub to exfoliate is simple. It can be done in the shower, bath, or sink. If used in the shower or bath be careful as the floor of the shower, the tub can become slippery.  Sugar scrubs can be used from head to toe. You can and should exfoliate your entire body as your skin covers your entire body and therefore dead skin needs to be removed. Apply warm water to areas of the body to be exfoliated. Remove a small portion of the scrub and apply, gently scrubbing in circular motions, and then rinse. That's it. If using on calloused areas such as elbows and feet you can apply extra amounts of scrub and be a little more aggressive with the scrubbing. Sugar scrubs are gentle and can be used every day, but I would recommend using them every other or every three days, so you don’t irritate the new skin. On stubborn calloused areas, using a coarse salt scrub can be used instead of sugar and you can use it every day until the callouses are gone.

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