What Is Exfoliation and Why Your Skin Needs It

Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and can make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliating your skin—whether physically with scrubs or chemically using acids or enzymes—helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin-renewal process, improving the tone and texture of your skin. Here are some of the reasons why you need to exfoliate your skin regularly

The 5 Key Benefits of Exfoliation

  1. It fades age spots by removing dead skin cells containing the pigment.
  2. It unclogs pores and allows the release of natural skin oils.
  3. It minimizes pore size and superficial scars.
  4. It makes fine lines and wrinkles look less visible because the newly exposed layer of skin reflects light better.
  5. It allows better absorption of moisturizers, antioxidants and collagen-boosting serums by removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells. This also holds true for acne medications and other types of skin treatments for which penetration is important. This is another reason why regular exfoliation should be part of a basic skin care regimen.

What Type of Exfoliant Should You Use?

There are two ways to exfoliate your skin: chemical exfoliation, which uses acids or enzymes to remove dead skin cells, and physical exfoliation, which utilizes a hard substance to manually remove the dead skin cells—think microdermabrasion. As a general rule of thumb, acne-prone and highly sensitive skin responds very well to chemical exfoliants as they are less likely to cause irritation. But one can certainly use both a physical and chemical exfoliant in conjunction with one another and benefit greatly from both, but it would be absolutely recommended not to use both on the same day to avoid over exfoliation.

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