Humans lose between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells everyhour. During a 24-hour period, a person loses almost a million skin cells. The human body is made up of roughly 10 trillion cells in total, 1.6 trillion of which are skin cells.
What Is Skin Exfoliation? Exfoliation is defined as the removal of surface dry skin cells.
How Do I Know If I Need To Exfoliate? A simple test you can do at home to see if you have surface dry skin cells on your skin is to take a piece of clear tape and apply it to the forehead. Rub it gently and remove. Look at the tape, and if there are little pieces of flaky skin, then you need to exfoliate!
Why Is Exfoliation So Important? Exfoliation is considered one of the most important techniques that you can perform on your skin to resolve certain skin problems as well as to achieve healthy and glowing skin.
What Skin Care Problems Does Exfoliation Help to Improve?
FOR BLEMISHED SKIN. Exfoliation should be the main focus of a home care program. So often, we are told to dry out the skin with harsh acne products. Although this will destroy acne-causing bacteria, it tends to dry out the skin, and this usually results in not only the irritated skin but also in future breakouts. Why? Because as you over-dry the skin, you create surface dry skin cell buildup. This then acts as a barrier to trap oil in the skin, thereby starting a cycle of new breakouts.
FOR POST-BREAKOUT RED/DARK MARKS. Often, the real concern is not so much the actual blemishes, but rather the red, dark marks that remain on the skin long after the breakout has healed. The key to fading those post-breakout marks is to increase your exfoliation. The more you remove the surface damaged cells, the more you are ridding the skin of the dark marks and encouraging the formation of new healthy (non-scarred) skin cells. The result is more even-toned skin with less scarring.
FOR CLOGGED PORES. Clogged pores aren’t infected blemishes, but rather blackheads, small whiteheads, and little-clogged bumps on the skin, often on the forehead. The same rules apply as with blemished skins. The more you remove surface dry skin cells (usually caused by using harsh, drying products), the less oil will stay trapped and congested in the pores.
FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION. These are the brown spots that come from age, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and genetics. These spots tend to become more apparent and darker as the skin ages. Exfoliation is beneficial for breaking up the pigmented cells to allow them to fade. Combined with a skin lightening agent, such as Vitamin C (found in our multivitamin treatment) exfoliation will help accelerate the fading process.
FOR DRY SKIN. Especially in the winter, exfoliation is very important. So often when the skin is dry, we tend to load up on heavier creams to compensate for the dryness. But dry skin means you have dry skin cell buildup. And the more you layer on the heavier creams, the more you are trying to re-hydrate dry skin cells, which makes no sense! Instead, increase your exfoliation to remove the dry skin cells, and then moisturize the new skin cells, resulting in a moister skin.
FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE SMOOTHER SKIN. One way to instantly smooth the skin is to exfoliate! When you rid the skin of the surface dry skin cells, you create a smoother appearance.
FOR THOSE CONCERNED ABOUT WRINKLES. The skin’s natural exfoliation process slows as the skin ages, resulting in an accumulation of dry skin cells. As you increase your exfoliation, you are tricking the skin into acting young again.
How Often Should I Exfoliate? There are two types of exfoliants. First, a “chemical” or “acid” exfoliant does the work for you. You apply it, leave it on the skin, and it works to dissolve the dry skin cells.
How Does A Person Know If They Are Getting Too Much Exfoliation? If you use a facial scrub and your skin turns bright red and feels irritated afterward, it probably means that the grains used in the scrub are too large. I suggest avoiding natural scrubs, such as those with apricot pits or walnut husks. These grains have sharp edges that can feel like rubbing glass on the skin. If you are using chemical exfoliants and your skin starts to dry out, you may be removing too much of the skin’s protective barrier, allowing much-needed moisture to escape. Cut back and the skin’s barrier should naturally repair itself.
The Bottom Line. The goal with your skin is to exfoliate as much as possible, with minimal irritation. The skin likes little boosts but not on an everyday basis.