Exfoliation is a process which can help support the skin health, if performed correctly. Exfoliation is the process of removing the dead skin cells from the skins surface, and results in a smoother surface texture which results in a more glowing and radiant complexion.
Exfoliation is a foundational step in every skin care routine, regardless of skin type or concern. When skin is not exfoliated at all or properly it results in redness, uneven skin tone, dull complexion, fine lines, and enlarged, clogged pores. It’s also one of the more instantly gratifying steps in a daily routine as the results can be instant in some cases, a real dopamine hit for the self-care and skin fanatics.
Finding the right exfoliation product can be an overwhelming challenge because many ingredients are too harsh on the skin, resulting in a less than ideal experience.
Here is our guide to the different forms of skin exfoliation to help you decide the best products for your skin.
Physical Exfoliation- probably the most commonly known and instantly gratifying exfoliation technique is the process of using a textured ingredient most commonly referred to as a scrub or device like a cleansing brush to slough away the dead skin cells through manipulation. This is how most start their exfoliation journey and its easy to go overboard, quickly resulting in a compromised skin barrier. It also does not encourage our skin cell cycle to speed up so it doesn’t have a long-term benefit to our skin health. If you do enjoy physical exfoliation then choose your texture wisely, be sure to use a smooth more rounded textured ingredient to ensure the skin is buffed and polished and maintains its barrier function and all-round skin health rather than something sharp or gritty in texture that scrubs and strips the skin which could leave it compromised and sensitive.
Pumice and Rice Powder are the gentle physical exfoliation ingredients round in Pore Refining Treatment these small rounded particles offer a range of sizes for an effective but gentle exfoliating experience.
Chemical Exfoliation- is the process where hydroxy acids are used to speed up the removal of our dead skin cells there are three main hydroxy acids which work in different ways and are more effective for different skin types because of how they act. Its also important to understand that these acids can increase our skin cell cycle so have long-term benefit to skin health and antiaging effects.
Alpha & Poly Hydroxy Acids- these are probably the most common acids and are water soluble and can appear in daily facial washes such as Facial Wash Facial Wash Oily Problem Resurfacing Serum to aid the removal of your dead skin cells gently on a daily basis. They work by dissolving the connective glue known as desmosomes which are holding our skin cells together, much like the grout on a brick wall. By dissolving the connective glue, dead skin cells can be readily removed without undue trauma or compromise to the skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acids- this version of acid is more oil soluble so are better suited to breakout prone, congested and acne skins. The specific acid is known as Salicylic Acid, think of this as an acid with a built-in satellite navigation system directing it to your areas of dead skin and sebum (skins natural oil) and helping to dissolve those to leave a clear complexion. It also has an anti-inflammatory benefit so can help with the inflammation and stress around breakouts. You can find this ingredient in Blemish Control Bar, Acne Gel Advanced Treatment & Intense Clarity Retinol 0.5%
Enzyme Exfoliation- Enzymes are proteins which dislodge dead skin cells like little Pac-man chewing over the surface of the skin. They can be another instantly gratifying form of exfoliation but gentler to the skin that the manipulation of physical exfoliators. They tent to be in more of a mask or serum texture which can be left on the skin to activate and are then removed and are usually derived from fruited such as papaya. Papain is the active proteolytic enzyme in papaya and is found in Revitalizing Mask and also Micro Peel at-home Kit