Will exfoliation help the health of my skin?
The fast answer is yes – exfoliation will help the health of your skin!
Skin exfoliation improves the quality and tone of skin by assisting in the removal of dead skin cells from the surface (the human skin produces about one million skin cells per minute, which equates to over five billion skin cells per day). As our skin cells renew, old surface cells harden and lose moisture, and eventually detach from skin to allow for new cells to come through (this process is called desquamation).
Desquamation also eliminates damaged and contaminated cells that carry pollutants and micro-organisms from the environment. These dead skin cells don’t always effectively fall from our skin, meaning they can dry and dull the skin’s surface, and causes clogging and congestion. Through professional and at-home exfoliation, these dulling skin cells are effectively removed, and newer cells are revealed for a fresher, healthier appearance.
Acneic skin produces five times more dead skin cells than other skin conditions, meaning proper exfoliation can have great benefits for acneic skin. Hydroxy acids, in general, will be effective, as they help the dead cells detach, preventing dead skin cells from clogging the follicle and contributing to acne. (Avoid physical exfoliants / scrubs, which can worsen inflammation.)
When we are young, our cells renew roughly every 12 – 19 days. But as we get older, this process slows down, as the “glue” that holds cells together becomes denser. The natural sloughing of older cells from the skin becomes more difficult, causing a build up that results in dull, thick skin with less tone. On average, cell renewal takes from 28 – 35 days in mid-life, and up to 90 days in maturity.
Exfoliation is especially effective on prematurely-aging and mature skin, as it stimulates cell renewal faster than the body can on its own.
Hyperpigmentation is an increase in colour caused by either an increase in melanin, an increase in melanocytes, or is from substance that adds colour by forming deposits in skin. Exfoliation helps shed these pigmented cells more quickly, and will also help remove the dead skin cells so ingredients can more effectively penetrate hyperpigmentation at its source.
Dry, dehydrated skin
A lack of moisture in skin leads to gaps in the cellular barrier. Leaving skin feeling tight and stretched, many tend to over moisturise which sticks the older skin cells down, leading to a dull, uneven skin tone. Through exfoliation, dying skin cells are effectively removed, and moisturising and hydrating ingredients can penetrate deeper into skin to help ease dry and dehydrated skin conditions.