It comes back every year… spring cleaning! We put away our warm clothes, dust the rooms and open the windows, but let’s not forget our skin. Who says thorough cleaning says exfoliation. Go away, dead skin cells! Just like a to do cleaning list around the house, here is a list of what you need to know about exfoliation.
E : Exfoliate
To exfoliate allows to get rid of cellular debris and impurities that clog the pores as well as helping oxygenation of the skin. Unlike the popular myth, no, exfoliation does not dry the skin. On the contrary, it makes it even more receptive to hydrating skin cares that will penetrate in depth instead of staying on the surface of a layer of dead skin cells.
X : X times / week
Exfoliating our body once a week is a good habit to take. For our face, we can exfoliate 1 to 2 times for oily skin, but limit ourselves to once a week, or even every 15 days, for dry and sensitive skin. Above all, we listen to our skin and adjust the frequency if necessary!
F : Fragile
Let’s not forget that freshly exfoliated skin will be more reactive to the sun, so we must apply sun protection (even on cloudy days) and avoid sun exposure. An AHA night cream can be considered to gently exfoliate and regenerate our skin away from the sun.
O : Options
Enzymes, AHA, grains, exfoliating glove, diamond tip, microcrystals… Tons of options are available on the market for an exfoliation adapted to everyone’s unique skin. There are 3 main categories: mechanical, physical and chemical. In a mechanical exfoliation, a tool or a device is used to scrub the skin and dislodge impurities. Very popular, the exfoliating glove used in the shower is a great option at home for the entire body. At the salon, microdermabrasion exfoliates deeply by removing the superficial layer of the epidermis while creating suction to stimulate cell regeneration. This treatment is also excellent for skins showing signs of sun damage (wrinkles and spots). The physical exfoliation, on the other hand, is done by massaging the skin with a care product containing abrasive particles such as grains or microcrystals to remove dead cells. Chemical exfoliation is the only method where we do not have to do any particular movement. It is the result of the application of an enzymes or fruit acids skin care which has the effect of dissolving the intercellular cement (the “glue” that holds skin debris together) and thereby eliminating dead skin cells. Among others, AHA is found in several night creams for a gentle face exfoliation.
L : Luminous
Exfoliation promotes a luminous and even skin tone. On top of that, it also makes our tan last longer! We might think it reduces the intensity of our summer golden glow, but the opposite happens, because we remove dry and dull dead cells that tarnish our skin and prevent our tan to shine bright.
I : Impurities
By exfoliating our skin, we get rid of impurities and help it fight acne, pores being no longer clogged by sebum and skin debris. Breathing better, it is less prone to acne, pimples and blackheads. Finally a remedy that works!
A : Ameliorate
Exfoliating leads to refined skin texture and improved skin relief. The skin is smoother, softer and fresh like a baby’s. It is also less prone to ingrown hair if we exfoliate prior to hair removal, as they do not have to pierce through a layer of dead cells when they grow back.
T : Technique
Always exfoliate a clean skin before applying skin care products. You should proceed with small and gentle circular movements without too much pressure that could irritate or rub excessively the skin. If you have any doubt, do not hesitate to ask your aesthetician for advice!
I : Importance
Why is exfoliation so important? Because an exfoliated skin absorbs moisturizers and skin care better. We get better results and do not “waste” our favourite products on a layer of dead skin! On top of that, we help more mature skin by promoting regeneration and slowing down the signs of aging.
O : Origin
In ancient Egypt, we used abrasive tape and fine sand to exfoliate. History tells how Cleopatra used to bath in sour milk and how, during Middle Ages, aged wine was used for its exfoliating properties. Fortunately, the technique and the tools have evolved since then and are now adapted to the needs and skin type of each and every one and, most importantly, accessible to all of us.
N : New
Exfoliation acts as a deep cleaning. Exfoliating stimulates microcirculation and encourages cellular renewal to prevent skin texture from thickening. Although the body “exfoliate itself” when the epidermis regenerates every 28 days or so, the result is not always optimal. Sometimes, older cells have difficulty detaching and accumulate, causing the skin to look dull. A little help is not too much to ask. In short, exfoliating is like a big well-deserved spring cleaning for radiant, fresh and new skin!