Exfoliating Your Skin: What Are The Benefits?

Exfoliation is an important part of your skincare routine. Both your face and body benefit from regular exfoliation, and there are many beauty products on the market that do the job well. Adding an exfoliator to your skincare routine can improve the look and feel of your skin in several ways. Read on to discover the main benefits of exfoliating.

What Is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the removal of dead cells from the surface of the skin. Our skin generally renews itself around every 30 days. A build-up of dead skin cells can result in rough, uneven, or dull skin.

Two Forms of Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation means physically removing the skin cells. This can be done with a device such as a microfibre cloth, or a product such as a scrub or at-home microdermabrasion system. Most exfoliating products contain tiny granules or beads that gently slough away the skin.

Chemical exfoliation works by dissolving dead skin cells with special ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). Chemical exfoliators can be found in cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums, peels, and special treatment pads.

The Benefits of Exfoliation

To brighten your complexion: As we get older, our skin cell turnover begins to slow down, and dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin. This build-up causes the skin to appear dull and uneven. Using an exfoliator will help remove these dead cells and brighten the complexion. You’ll find exfoliators aimed at most skin types. Sensitive skins should opt for a gentle scrub, such as Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel with Rose Petals, which helps to soften and smooth the skin without feeling harsh.

To help clear the skin of impurities: Dead skin cells block pores and trap sebum, contributing to spots such as whiteheads, blackheads, and red blemishes. Using a chemical exfoliator, such as Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, removes dead cells and promotes skin cell renewal with glycolic acid, a well-known AHA. The product also contains salicylic acid, a BHA, which helps to clear up blemishes. Unlike AHAs, BHAs can exfoliate inside the pore.

To help promote a youthful appearance: As exfoliation promotes skin cell renewal, it helps to reveal a healthier and glowing complexion. Skin looks softer, smoother, and more even. A great scrub for mature skin types is Guinot Biological Peeling Radiance Gel, which contains natural and organic fruit acids to dissolve dead skin cells.

To help remove dry, rough skin: Adding an exfoliator to your skincare routine will help manage dry or rough skin. A hydrating exfoliator, L’Occitane Angelica Exfoliating Gel is tailored towards dry skin types and is formulated with angelica oil to hydrate parched skin. For dry skin on the body, use exfoliators designed specifically for use on the body, as these are generally thicker and more abrasive. (Body scrubs should never be used on the face.)

To allow your serum and moisturiser to work better: Because regular exfoliation clears away pore-clogging dead cells, your skin treatments can penetrate better. It’s important to follow your exfoliator with a serum and/or moisturiser, as these products will hydrate and nourish the newly uncovered skin. If you use a chemical exfoliator, make sure you follow up with an SPF in the morning, as AHAs can increase sensitivity to the sun.