What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin’s outermost surface (epidermis). It leaves the skin feeling smoother and looking fresher. And also makes it easier for your skin to absorb the benefits of other quality treatments such as facial serums.
Your skin is constantly generating new skin cells at the lower skin layer (dermis) and sending them to the surface (epidermis). As the cells rise to the surface, they gradually die and become filled with keratin. Although keratinised skin cells are essential for the protection of our skin, they do need to fall off/be removed from the skin in order to make way for younger cells.
However as we get older, the speed of cell turnover decreases, dead skin cells begin to form uneven bundles on the skin’s surface giving it a dry, rough and dull appearance. Exfoliation removes those cells that are clinging onto the skin, revealing fresher, younger-looking skin cells below. This shedding of the outer layer of dead skin cells, unclogs pores, keeps skin clean, and helps reduce acne breakouts.
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How often should you exfoliate?
You should exfoliate once or twice a week. Although people with dry or sensitive skin should exfoliate a little less often.
Always exfoliate after cleansing the skin. It is important not to over-exfoliate your skin as it will irritate your skin and encourage your skin to become dry (and dry skin can lead to wrinkles), thinner, easily sensitive, highly irritant, and more prone to sun damage.
Exfoliation should not be seen as a female-only activity. It is also very important for men, especially facial exfoliation, as it exposes the hair follicles, allowing for a better shave. However, the face is a very sensitive area of the body and it is important to moisturise the skin properly after exfoliation as exfoliation can cause the skin to dry out and produce wrinkles.
What should you exfoliate?
Basically you should exfoliate wherever you have skin i.e. your whole body. Of course there will be different exfoliating product for different areas of the skin. This is because some area may be more sensitive than others.
A proper foot-care regime is a must – your feet carry you everywhere you go and they withstand a beating everyday (especially if you wear high heels).
To have soft, smooth feet follow this regime: Before heading to bed, soak your feet for 20minutes to allow the skin to soften, pat your feet dry and then apply a foot scrub or rub, massaging it in the skin in a circular motion, paying special attention to the extra-rough spots on the heels and big toes. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Apply a foot mask and cover with treatment socks and head to bed, allowing your feet to soak up all the nourishment from the foot mask. In the morning thoroughly wash your feet, pat dry and apply a thick moisturising butter cream.
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Exfoliate your skin to achieve healthy, radiant skin.
I recommend following the regime described below once or twice a week:
Brush dry skin with a body brush before getting into the shower or bath. Get into the shower or bath and wet your entire body. Apply your exfoliating scrub to a loofah or gloves and scrub your body, using gentle circular motions. Thoroughly rinse your body and pat dry with a warm towel. Apply a body butter to continue to nourish and moisturise your skin throughout the dry.
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After a facial exfoliation, fine lines should be less visible and your complexion will glow. Here are a few easy steps to help you gently exfoliate this sensitive area:
Gently brush your dry face with a facial brush, then dampen with warm water and exfoliate with a facial scrub product (I recommend my very mild Poppy Seed Facial Cleanser about which I have received some very positive feedback). Thoroughly rinse your face and pat dry with a towel. Moisturise your skin with a good quality facial cream.
Yes...... for healthy kissable lips you’ll need to exfoliate. Exfoliated lips are less prone to chapping, wrinkles around the lip area should be less noticeable, and (for the ladies) lipstick will stay on better.
The skin on your lips is sensitive so it would not be wise to use an exfoliator designed for the body. Also, don’t forget the you will not be able to avoid tasting the exfoliator and many good-quality body scrubs contain essential oils which should not be taken internally. So choose a lip scrub, usually made from sugar, as salt can irritate any chapped areas.
To exfoliate your lips, remove any lipstick, balm or gloss you may have applied earlier. Then, while standing over a sink, take a little of the lip scrub on your finger and start lightly scrub all lip surfaces and corners. Rinse off with water, pat dry and apply a good quality lip butter.
You’ll be delighted to know that, shortly, I shall be introducing lip scrubs into the Simply Skin Lip Product range..... watch this space!
The exfoliation treatment for your hands is similar to that of your feet but as the skin on your feet tends to be tougher and harder than that on your hands, the exfoliator used on your hands should be a bit gentler.
The regime I would recommend is as follows: Before heading to bed, on clean hands, rub a hand scrub onto your skin using a motion similar to how you would wash with soap. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a towel. Apply a hand mask and cover with treatment gloves and head to bed, allowing your hands to soak up all the nourishment from the hand mask. In the morning thoroughly wash your hands, pat dry and apply a quality hand cream.
It may seem that, in order to properly exfoliate our bodies, we need to devote quite a lot of time to an exfoliation regime. But, don’t forget, you only need to exfoliate once or twice a week. So why not save it until after the working week and give your body a treat..... it’ll thank you for it.