There are some basic considerations we all need to remember when it comes to ensuring healthy skin. Rinse and cleansing, as two of the most basic steps in a routine, are vital despite their simplicity. They help to clear away various kinds of grime from our skin and uncover the healthy skin below. Cleaning the skin effectively ensures that it both looks and feels healthier overall while minimizing the chance for issues. Exfoliation helps to do much of the same but goes a bit deeper than simple surface cleaning is capable of doing all on its own. It actually helps support your skin’s natural healing and cleaning processes that are meant to keep your skin healthy and intact regardless of any damage it takes. The complex supports systems within your skin were taking decent care of it long before skincare was invented, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve upon them. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at exfoliation and why it is essential for great skin.
Understanding Your Skin
To understand exfoliation’s place in skincare, you have to have a clearer understanding of how your skin is structured and what exactly exfoliation is simulating. Human skin is composed of multiple layers. Each of these layers has particular roles ranging from providing structure to housing glands to offering protection. The outermost layers are the ones tasked with the latter duty. That’s why the absolute outermost layer of your skin is actually composed of dead skin cells. They form a layer of skin that will be otherwise unfazed by any damage they take as the cells are no longer alive. We shed these outermost layers at a fairly consistent rate every day and replace them to ensure that barrier remains intact. Unfortunately, they don’t always detach as effectively as we might like or as well as nature thinks they do. This can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells that dull our skin. Exfoliation is the solution to this problem.
Built up layers of dead skin can result in around two scenarios depending on the location of the buildup and the amount of friction the skin experiences. Most of us are familiar with getting calluses on our feet, for instance, from childhood or another time we opted to forego shoes for a while. The calluses themselves are build-ups of dead skin cells caused by our skin responding to wear and tear on that area of skin by building up a barrier. When this happens anywhere else on our skin, it results in a dulling of our skin that takes away our natural glow. Dead skin cells simply aren’t the best at letting go of one another and exfoliating helps to bypasses this problem in nature. It loosens them or breaks them away from the rest while thinning those outermost layers. You maintain protection for your skin while keeping it healthy looking. The best part is that you’re able to clean your skin more effectively when exfoliating properly.
Exfoliating products can be broadly broken down into physical and chemical exfoliating agents. Physical exfoliating agents are the rough materials you typically find in scrubs. The rely on rough edges at a microscopic level to perform the exfoliating. These products physically wear away at dead skin cells and grime. Unfortunately, this has the potential to damage more sensitive skin and as a result, physical exfoliating products are best used on the body rather than the face. Your face will typically benefit the most from chemical exfoliating agents thanks to the even coverage they provide as well as the relative ease of finding products of the right potency for your skin. The most common chemical exfoliating agents are acids at skin friendly concentration levels. They dissolve the problems away for you. Regardless of the kind of exfoliating product you’re using, you should only be exfoliating once or twice a week to avoid harming your skin.
Exfoliation is an important part of skincare because it supports your skin’s natural regenerative and cleaning processes by fixing some unexpected problems with the processes. Working on these issues is necessary to maintain smooth, clear skin as it prevents your skin from getting too dull. It also happens to be a good safeguard against your pores getting overly clogged by dirt and grime as well by helping strip away potential problems. Just try to remember not to over-exfoliate or you’ll end up causing more problems than you’ll solve.