Exfoliating: Ditching dead skin cells

Everyone has heard the skin care mantra ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’. But did you know that the real way to a flawless complexion is through exfoliation?

Cleansing obviously takes the surface dirt from our skin, and should ideally be done twice daily. But after this, most people need an extra bit of help to remove the dead skin cells that build up on the surface.

The skin produces a phenomenal 5 billion cells per day and is constantly renewing itself. The cells nearest the surface are the oldest, where they lose moisture and harden, ready to fall off and be replaced. But these cells don’t always readily shed by themselves, particularly as we get older and the renewal process slows down.
When left to their own devices, these surface cells can contribute to a dull or flaky complexion as well as blockages such as spots. This is where exfoliation comes in.

Some exfoliants are physical, meaning they use friction to shed cells. These are often a cream or liquid-based solution containing granules which, when mixed with water and massaged gently over the skin, work to dislodge surface debris. Chemical exfoliants dissolve the ‘glue’ which keeps surface debris attached. Examples of chemical exfoliants include hydroxy acids and retinol, and are most often used in a salon under the guidance of a beauty therapist.

A skin care expert can help to tailor an exfoliant to your skin care regime. There are exfoliants especially for dry skin, oily skin, combination skin and mature or prematurely ageing skin. Some products are designed to be used sparingly, others can be used daily. It is all in the science behind the products.

In choosing an exfoliant for yourself, be careful. There are many different products on the shelves, and it is all too easy to choose one that is too harsh for your skin. Delicate or sensitive skin, for example, may not react favourably to exfoliants. If you have ever exfoliated and ended up with a bright red face, something is not right! Seeking professional guidance should put you on the right path.

Why not find out more about Dermalogica exfoliants and exfoliation for yourself? Seek out expert advice at Exfoliation Advice

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