In the minute it will take you to read this sentence, you will have lost about 30,000 dead skin cells.
Yep. You don’t notice or feel it, but your body is constantly eliminating dead skin cells to replace them with new ones. Ever notice your skin peeling on your palms, the bottoms of your feet, or your face? That’s what’s happening.
Though your body gets rid of dead skin cells naturally, they can still stick around for too long and cause breakouts and a dull, lackluster complexion.
This is where exfoliation comes in. This article will explain everything you need to know about exfoliation:
- Why you should exfoliate
- When and how to exfoliate
- Which natural products to use for the best results
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is a step in a healthy skincare regimen that removes dead skin cells. Exfoliation reveals the newer skin cells underneath the surface, leaving your skin feeling softer and more vibrant.
Natural exfoliant ingredients
Exfoliants are often referred to as scrubs because they are made with a course ingredient, like salt or sugar, to literally scrub the skin.
You should use scrubs with natural exfoliants and added moisturizers to replenish the skin while removing dead skin cells. Look for these ingredients to get the most benefits:
Himalayan salt is high in magnesium, which reduces skin inflammation (from acne or eczema) and detoxes the skin. The salt granules are large and tough enough to remove dead skin and soften hard skin.
Sugar is smaller and gentler than Himalayan salt. It's a natural humectant, so it retains moisture and keeps the skin hydrated. Sugar is ideal for delicate and sensitive skin, especially because it melts away upon contact with water.
Oatmeal is a gentle exfoliant that also cleanses and soothes the skin.
Honey is often used to bind exfoliants together to form a scrub. It also reduces inflammation which can help with acne and eczema.
Essential oils are critical because they replenish the skin with the vitamins and minerals it needs to be healthy and problem-free. For your face, look for lighter oils that are less likely to clog your pores and cause breakouts, i.e., lavender, tea tree, and chamomile.
Benefits of exfoliating
Exfoliating reduces and/or eliminates many common skin problems. It also improves the overall appearance of the skin even if you don’t have any skin challenges.
- It unclogs the pores, preventing oil and dirt from building up and causing whiteheads and blackheads.
- It prevents and reduces acne.
- It helps your other skincare products to work better because your pores are clearer.
- It reduces hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and rough spots over time.
- It stimulates blood and oxygen to the skin for better skin cell health.
- It increases cell turnover so the skin is always glowing.
- It stimulates collagen synthesis which reduces wrinkles and keeps the skin looking young.
Exfoliating face masks
You can also exfoliate with a face mask if that fits better into your regimen. Clay masks are good for detoxifying the skin and removing dead skin cells as you remove the mask. You get the same benefits as you do from a scrub with a little more down time as you let the mask sit and harden.
If you have sensitive skin you can use a bar soap for less abrasive exfoliation. Soaps made with oatmeal or coffee are gentle enough to use everyday without triggering skin sensitivities.
How often to exfoliate
In general, people with a normal skin type should exfoliate their faces and bodies every other day.
If you have sensitive skin you should exfoliate maybe once or twice a week with a gentler exfoliant.
Remember, the face is much different from the body in terms of skin thickness. Your body can take exfoliating more often and more vigorously than your face. Be careful not to scrub your face too hard. Exfoliate less often if you notice any irritations on your face.
Of course, Herb N Eden has a line of face and body scrubs, masks, and other exfoliating products made with only the natural ingredients for your best skin.