Exfoliation is a skin care therapy in which the outer layers of dead skin cells are gently sloughed off with the use of an abrasive tool or product, such as a loofah sponge or brush, or a skin cleanser containing sea salt or ground nut shells. Any area of the skin can be exfoliated, but it is important to exfoliate your face using products intended for your skin type.
Why Should I Exfoliate?
Exfoliation speeds up the skin’s natural process of shedding dead skin cells and prevents pimples and black heads by keeping pores clear of impurities. If pores and sebaceous glands are blocked by dead skin cells, buildup of debris can cause blemishes to develop.
Types of Exfoliators
There are three ways to exfoliate: 1. Using a tool that scrubs, like a loofah or washcloth, 2. Using a product that contains abrasive particles, like a walnut facial scrub, or 3. Using a product that contains gentle exfoliating acids, like alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy, or salicylic acids. The first two options require rubbing action on the skin, the third does not. Instead, the product removes the outer layers of skin by reacting chemically with dead skin cells.
How to Exfoliate
Exfoliating can be a great home care tool for maintaining the results you see from spa treatments. For instance, if you exfoliate regularly after a waxing session, you will be less likely to experience ingrown hairs and blackheads on the waxed area. You can also schedule spa appointments for professional exfoliation sessions, which are often more intensive than at home treatments. Some of these include microdermabrasion and chemical exfoliation. Check with your esthetician if you feel either of these treatments might be right for you.