All About Exfoliation Guide.
Welcome to our guide on all things exfoliation!
If you're on a website about skin care, the chances are good you've heard of exfoliation. You might periodically exfoliate, or even incorporate it is as a part of a regular routine.
But have you ever considered why exfoliation is "good" or looked into how to do it properly? Well, we have, and better yet -- we're sharing!
We'll start at the very beginning in this guide, but if you already know what exfoliation is and how it works, head straight to our overview of available tools & major ingredients or our guide on technique.
In the beginning, there was...
To start firmly at the beginning, let's look at the most basic question: what is exfoliation? The life cycle of a human skin cell is about 30 days in the average adult, meaning new skin cells are created, move upwards through the dermis and die about once a month.
The dead cells on the surface continually slough off, but sometimes this natural process needs a little help. Exfoliation is the process of removing the buildup of such cells through chemical or physical means.
Okay... But Why Would I Want To?
Remember how we just said that cell turnover occurs about once every 30 days? Well, we lied! This is (roughly) true for adults in their 20s and 30s, but is far faster in children and slows down dramatically as we age.
At the younger end of the scale, when skin is turning over more quickly, and sebaceous glands (i.e. the bits of your skin that produce oil) are at their most active, dead skin cells can get trapped against living skin by this oil. The combination of oil and dead skin from you, and bacteria and oxygen from the air create the perfect sort of sludge to clog pores and create acne. Regular exfoliation can remove this buildup, leading to clearer skin.
Skin at the older end of the scale shouldn't feel left out though. This slower growth and replacement cycle actually leads to a greater amount of dead cells building up on the skin's surface. the addition of significant amounts of oil however, this buildup is less likely to coalesce into acne, and more likely to simply sit on top of the skin, which tends to have a dulling and aging effect on skin's appearance. Removing this layer makes skin appear more luminous and smoother, gives one less layer for other treatments to sink through, and has a softening effect.