Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. It is a process that even the Ancient Egyptians practiced. Micro dermabrasion and chemical peels use expensive technology to exfoliate. A more gentle form of exfoliating can be done at home.
Our outer layer of skin is like a protective barrier for the body. Anatomically, our skin is actually the largest organ of the body. This barrier, known as the epidermis, meets with all the harsh elements that we come in contact with daily. Dead skin cells, exposed to these harsh elements make our skin dry and dull. Exfoliating regularly removes these dead outer skin cells to reveal softer, more radiant skin.
The Natural Skin Renewal Process
A further look at our skin’s natural renewal process will help us understand how, when and why to exfoliate. The skin is composed of three layer; the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer. The epidermis is that outer layer that we need to exfoliate, or slough off the dull, dead skin cells from. The subcutaneous layer is simply a layer of protective fat that functions as the body’s shock absorber and is of no concern for the exfoliating process. It is the middle layer, the dermis that works to renew the skin.
Between every 14 to 30 days new skin cells made in the second layer or dermis rise to the top and become coated with keratin, a substance that will cause the skin cells to become thicker and dryer. The dermis is rich in oil, collagen and elastin fibers which helps keep skin firm, supple and moist. Regularly exfoliating speeds up this process for maintaining skin with a renewed glow.
Consider the Entire Body
While many women only regularly exfoliate with facials, a full body exfoliating routine can help in keeping soft, glowing skin all over. This is especially welcomed in the summer when we bare more skin with shorts, backless dresses and swimsuits. Consider a full body exfoliating about once a week, maybe less for very dry skin.
The three steps in good skin care are cleansed, exfoliate and moisturize. After cleansing with a cleanser to match skin type (oily, dry or combination) it’s time to exfoliate, beginning with the feet. For really rough feet, consider a foot soak first with a milk-based foot soak. Use a pumice stone on tough, dead skin.
After taking care of the feet, the next step is brushing off the entire body with a body brush or loofah. Next, use a good exfoliating cream and a wash cloth or body brush in the shower. Exfoliating creams are gritty or grainy like a sugar scrub or a cream with ground fruit seeds. Taking care not to scrub areas with sensitive skin too hard, use a circular motion to scrub the entire body, starting with the soles of the feet and working upward. Use a body brush with a long handle to scrub the back. Rinse with clear, lukewarm water and follow with a shot of cold water. Once out of the shower, gently pat dry with a nice soft towel. Follow up with good moisturizers-one for the face, and another for the entire body.
Now that the skin is properly exfoliated moisturizers can work at an optimal level. Make up will glide on easier and look better as well.
About the Author: Suzzy Boleche is a blogger and beauty enthusiast with Flawless Beauty and Skin. She has a passion for health, fashion, and reading. She also enjoys spending time with her family.