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Exfoliation is something often overlooked. But, exfoliating the skin is one of the most important steps to prevent premature aging.
Exfoliation is a little like flossing; it’s a step in our skin care routine that we often either overlook completely or simply don’t do often enough. But in actual fact, exfoliating the skin is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent premature aging, acne, and dull, lifeless skin.
What does exfoliation do exactly?
Exfoliation removes the dead cells from the outer layer of your skin to reveal the newer layer of skin beneath. Removing these dead cells opens up the pores to absorb the nutrients that you apply through your lotions, gels, and serums and gives your skin that natural glow. Exfoliation is especially important as you age because after age 30 cell regeneration slows down.
How often should you exfoliate?
If you have dry or sensitive skin exfoliate two to four times per week depending on how your skin handles it. If you experience any irritation, switch to a different brand and make sure the exfoliant is gentle, with natural ingredients.
For someone who has more oily skin, you will probably need to use a gentle exfoliant on a daily basis to keep bacteria at bay.
What kind of exfoliating product should you use?
There are many ways to exfoliate. Check out these various products to decide which one might work for you:
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Scrubs contain granules such as sea salt, sugar, ground almonds, walnuts, or seeds that scrape off the dead cells from the skin’s upper layers. However, many scrubs like these can damage your skin by causing tiny scrapes or cuts.
Enzyme skin peels.
Skin-peels are similar to mask products. They work by dissolving and breaking down dead skin cells. Skin peels use biological action rather than physical abrasion.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA).
These exfoliants come from natural sources such as sugarcane, milk, apples, and grapes. They work by burning off dead skin cells. Each source has a different molecule size, and this governs how far the acid penetrates or whether it simply exfoliates the surface of the skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) (Salicylic).
Also known as chemical peels, beta hydroxyl acids love oil and are great if you ever experience breakouts. These products exfoliate the lining of the pores, helping to eliminate those persistent blackheads.
Use a loofah, body brush, or exfoliating glove.
This is perhaps the most inexpensive way to exfoliate your skin but not recommended for the face. Use a loofah or body brush to brush your skin before you shower, then apply an exfoliating product onto the glove to remove dead skin cells. You could exfoliate using just the loofah or glove and a natural bodywash, but these results will not be optimal.