What does an exfoliant do?
An exfoliant removes the outer layers of damaged, dead skin, revealing smooth, refined and brighter skin. Our skin is pre-programmed to continuously shed and renew itself - we shed over 30,000 dead skin cells a minute! This natural process slows down, either from getting older, skin damage, or as a result of stress, dehydration or even from make-up. Exfoliation keeps the accelerator on our skin’s renewal process allowing us to live in our healthiest skin.
The main exfoliating categories are:
- Physical: The skin is exfoliated by means of manual friction. Think of your granular scrubs, facial brushes and mitts.
- Chemical: Actives such as Hydroxy Acids, Enzymes and Retinol (Vitamin A) exfoliate by digesting and/or loosening dead skin. They are more powerful than physical exfoliants as they can work below the skin’s surface, yet, they are less stimulating to our skin’s barrier because there’s no friction involved.
- Acid-free smoothing agents: These are state-of-the-art ingredients that promote natural exfoliation without any friction or irritation. Some examples of these ingredients include Yeast, Glucosamine and Prickly Pear Extract.
Adding exfoliation to your current skincare line-up
Exfoliation comes after cleansing. It can be something you do daily or weekly, depending on the type of exfoliant you use. If you’re time poor or wanting to keep your skincare simple, there are exfoliants that can be conveniently mixed in with your cleanser. There are exfoliants that can be used as masks, some as facial wipes, or even leave-on exfoliants in the form of a serum. Exfoliation ensures any other products applied to the skin will absorb much more effectively, giving better results and boosting hydration.
Finding the right exfoliant for you
Different skins are suited to different types of exfoliants. For example, the more sensitive a skin is, the gentler the exfoliant should be. A sensitive skin should avoid too much friction, preferring something that ‘micro-foliates’ such as Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which is a mild blend of physical and chemical agents, and gently polishes and brightens the skin.
Hydroxy Acids such as Lactic Acid are ideal for evening skin tone, hydrating and softening lines and wrinkles. As the skin ages, its renewal process dramatically slows down, meaning we should aim for more exfoliation the older we are. Dermalogica’s Rapid Reveal Peel contains a high concertation of Lactic Acid, plus brightening pumpkin enzyme. It’s only a once a week commitment, yet delivers close to treatment room results.
A physical exfoliant is great for removing build-up and oil on the skin. Scrubs can also help to revitalise a dull, mature skin. Dermalogica’s MultiVitamin Thermafoliant not only combines the powers of chemical and physical exfoliation, but it’s packed with age-fighting vitamins. It also heats up as you use it to further rejuvenate the skin. To understand which is exfoliant is right for you, let us know and we will be happy to help.
Once you start exfoliating, you’ll never want to stop! Reap the transformational skin benefits of exfoliation, remembering to stick to the rules and don’t overdo it.