After receiving so many questions from my clients about how to exfoliate, what products to use, how often to exfoliate and so on, I decided to expand on this topic a little bit as well and share some tips and techniques.
So if you’re interested in learning more exfoliation and why you should include it in your skincare routine, please keep reading. ✨
What Is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing buildup or dead skin cells off the surface. Your skin is made up of many different layers.
The outermost layer is called the stratum corneum is mainly composed of dead skin cells that have traveled up from the base layers.
The stratum corneum is thinner than a sheet of paper, but it plays one of the most important roles as it gives our skin natural protection from the environment, pollution and even UV rays.
Why You Should Exfoliate
As we age, our skin cycle slows down and so the stratum corneum becomes thicker, causing an excess of dead skin to accumulate.
Once the skin cells reach the stratum corneum, they don't shed away as quickly as they used to leaving our skin looking dull, dehydrated and unhealthy. This buildup of dead skin cells can make fine lines and wrinkles appear more prominent.
Too much of this buildup can trap oil and bacteria inside the pores, leading to breakouts and congestion, creating an effective barrier that will prevent anything, including your expensive skincare products, from reaching the deeper layers.
Exfoliating With AHAs
My favorite way to exfoliate is with alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs. AHAs are considered to be chemical exfoliants because they work by dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together.
AHAs are one of the most studied ingredients in skincare and they come in many different forms. Because our skin is naturally acidic, acid-based products can help to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
One reason that AHAs work so well is because they're able to penetrate further into the skin and get inside of the pores.
Pores are like tiny little wells that are lined with the same stratum corneum layer inside. Essentially AHAs can exfoliate and clean out the inside of your pores and keep them clear and free of debris.
Exfoliating With A Scrub
I want to quickly mention another popular method of exfoliation and that is using a scrub.
Scrubs are considered mechanical exfoliants because they work by physically buffing away dead skin cells using tiny sand-like particles. The drawback with scrubs is that they only work on a surface level. A scrub will have zero effect on clogged pores or collagen production, but they will simply help to expedite skin shedding.
So if you have a lot of buildup, I recommend using a scrub a prepping step for your acid-based products, as it will not be able to treat the skin and address the same concerns as an AHA product.
How To Exfoliate
Check out the video to learn how to exfoliate your skin learn everything you need to know about exfoliation for a glowy skincare regimen.