If you're not already exfoliating regularly, you're missing out on a host of skincare benefits. It's hard to believe that a step that takes less than a minute offers so many good things.
One of the greatest things you can do for your skin is quick, easy, effective exfoliation. There's lots of reasons why you should add this beneficial step to your skincare routine and few reasons why you shouldn't.
First, take a quick look at the different ways you can integrate exfoliation into your skincare routine. You can choose from:
- Chemical exfoliants (AHAs, such as glycolic acid; BHAs, such as salicylic acid; enzymes)
- Physical exfoliants (brushes, cloths, scrubs)
Chemical exfoliants require minimal effort but offer maximum benefit. Once applied and remaining on the skin, acids and enzymes gently loosen the 'glue' that holds dead skin cells together. Chemical exfoliants also offer several other benefits, but more about that later.
If you're wondering what a chemical exfoliant looks like, we've handpicked some of our favourites:
Physical exfoliants are the kind most people think of first. They work by combining tiny particles with the mechanical action of your hands to gently buff away dead skin.
Scrubs are very effective at quickly smoothing your skin. Getting rid of those old, dead skin cells also helps your subsequent skincare products to penetrate more effectively.
We recommend the following physical exfoliants:
- Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub
- Alpha-H Chamois Facial Cleansing Cloth
- Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing System
Now, on to the benefits of integrating exfoliation into your skincare regimen. Depending on the type you use, exfoliation works on many different levels to provide numerous benefits, including the following:
- Helps increase skin cell turnover (which naturally declines with age)
- Improves skin's texture and appearance
- Helps lighten hyperpigmentation
- Helps moisturisers and serums to absorb deeply
- Helps fight signs of premature ageing
Let's take a deeper look at each of these benefits.
1. Exfoliation helps increase skin cell turnover.
Healthy skin completely renews itself every 25 to 30 days, but this period gradually increases with age. When your skin-cell turnover rate slows, your complexion appears dull, sallow, and aged.
Exfoliation speeds up the turnover rate to reveal newer, fresher, and healthier skin that's radiant instead of dull.
2. Exfoliation improves skin's texture and appearance.
Have you ever suffered from a sunburn that later left you with a blotchy tan and perhaps peeling skin? This is a vivid example of uneven texture and tone.
Without exfoliation, the same effect is at play on your complexion, just on a lesser scale. Exfoliation helps smooth different areas of skin for a more even look and feel.
3. Exfoliation helps lighten hyperpigmentation.
Whether you're addressing age spots or a generally uneven skin tone, exfoliation is your go-to treatment. Exfoliation naturally increases your skin cell turnover rate, which helps to shed areas of darkened skin more quickly, resulting in visibly brightened skin.
4. Exfoliation helps moisturisers and serums to absorb deeply.
If you want to get the most effective results from your coveted moisturiser or serum, then exfoliation is an absolute must. Without exfoliation, the active ingredients in these products have to penetrate through an increased thickness of dead skin cells before they reach the cells they can affect.
5. Exfoliation helps to fight signs of premature ageing.
This is where those chemical exfoliants really set themselves apart. In fact, all types of exfoliants help to reduce signs of premature ageing by:
- Increasing the turnover rate of skin cells
- Fading and blending areas of uneven skin tone
- Smoothing skin's texture
However, only chemical exfoliant are also able to stimulate your skin's manufacture of important skin proteins such as collagen. These proteins help to support skin, and a lack of them allows fine lines and wrinkles to form.
To add an anti-ageing benefit to your exfoliation routine, we recommend choosing an exfoliant containing both salicylic and glycolic acid. These products are two of our favourites:
- PRIORI Advanced AHA Perfection Facial Gel can be applied as a serum after cleansing.
- Alpha-H Age Delay Anti Wrinkle Night Treatment combines two steps: exfoliation and moisturisation.
If these recommendations don't fit into your current routine, head over to our exfoliant shop to browse through our handpicked range of sought-after chemical and physical exfoliants.