Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin's surface. Regeneration of skin is a naturally occurring process in which new skin layers are grown to replace the top layers. These top layers, while they do break down on their own, often leave particles, traces of skin and dead skin cells clinging to the surface. Exfoliating is crucial to removing these unwanted traces for the overall health and appearance of the skin. |
Exfoliating can be done on any skin surface, be it legs, arms, body or face. For many beauty applications, such as waxing away leg hair, exfoliation is needed to make sure the surface is clean and smooth before starting.
There are a couple different methods of exfoliating. The most common are chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation.
Using chemicals such as the fruity acids known as alpha hydroxy acids, basically unglues any dead skin that remains on the surface. These types of ingredients are commonly found in skin cleansing lotions, exfoliating creams and face masks. They dissolve any flakes of cells, allowing them to be washed away and leaving only the fresh new skin behind.
The other popular and age old remedy for skin exfoliation is scrubbing away the dead skin. While popular and modern methods such as microderm abrasion are quite effective, they work just as well as older methods like loofahs, brushes and sponges.
Physical exfoliation works quite like sanding down a rough piece of wood, in that a coarse material is used to remove unwanted roughness and splinters until only the smooth surface is left. That's why many coarse, granular ingredients like sugar work so well as exfoliants.
Regardless of which method you choose to exfoliate with, the important thing is to make sure you do it at least once a week. Leaving fresh skin on the surface will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as keeping the pores from being clogged and causing breakouts. Exfoliate the face and body so you'll always being showing your fresh and young skin.
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