Exfoliation is the process of scrubbing and shedding dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. Our skin is continually renewing itself, and as we shed dead skin cells, new ones emerge. To help our skin along in this natural process, exfoliating 2-3 times in a week is recommended.

If your skin feels textured, rough, or dull, these are signs that dead skin has accumulated and exfoliation can help clear the skin’s surface.  The other obvious signs for a need to exfloliate are if your skin is visibly flaky or peeling, as will happen with conditions such as sunburn, eczema , or psoriasis.  The time to avoid exfoliation however, is when the skin’s surface is broken and/or infected, which is the case for cystic acne, open wounds, etc.

Many times people will purchase a face scrub and use it day and night every day, which means they are exfoliating 14 times a week. In this scenario, you are scrubbing and aggravating live skin cells, not the dead ones you actually want to shed.  If you have acne or other infections, exfoliation will further irritate those areas.

Exfoliation is not just for the face, but is equally beneficial to all parts of the body. There are many ways to exfoliate the body, with dry skin brushing, loofahs and washcloths, textured ingredients in soaps, sugar scrubs and bath salts, and pumice stones for calluses.  The skin on our face is usually the most sensitive compared to the rest of the body, and thus, it is unsuitable to use the same tougher scrubbing methods used elsewhere.

Oh So Orange Cleansing Grains by Blendily | Photo: Ivy Chuang

Oh So Orange Cleansing Grains by Blendily | Photo: Ivy Chuang

When choosing an exfoliant for the face, gentler is generally the better route to take.  The exfoliant should have texture, but not grit.  We all have different skin sensitivity levels, and sometimes those levels will vary in different parts of the body as well.  Choosing the right products and application methods may take some time of trial and error.

Exfoliate - 10 seconds per face area

Exfoliate – 10 seconds per face area | Photo: Ivy Chuang

When exfoliating the face, 1 minute will suffice, or about 10 seconds each on forehead, cheeks, nose, mouth, and chin.  This will be enough to loosen the very top layer of dead skin cells.

Developing a regular skincare routine that includes exfoliation will give skin cells a boost. Just like regular exercise, it’s best to be consistent, you’ll see better results if you exfoliate regularly and not too vigorously.

Here are Blendily’s Exfoliants:

 

Further Reading:

Why is Exfoliation Important? | About.com 

Methods of Exfoliation | The International Dermal Institute