Regular exfoliation is essential for healthy skin – but with so many different types of exfoliators to choose from, you would be forgiven for feeling like a deer in the headlights. Worry not. If you’re wondering how to exfoliate skin, when to exfoliate, and why to exfoliate, consider this your introduction.
What does exfoliating do to your face?
Whilst cleansing is incredibly important for healthy skin, your average cleanser isn’t going to remove the layer of lifeless skin cells that build up over time. Exfoliation removes this outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing the fresh new skin beneath. Exfoliators should never feel like sandpaper, so choose a natural face exfoliator with a creamy formulation and clean ingredients that won’t strip the skin.
The benefits of exfoliating
The benefits of exfoliating are many. Exfoliation keeps your complexion looking brighter, healthier, and improves its appearance overall. But how does it work? Skin is constantly renewing itself – but all that dead skin must go somewhere. Without exfoliation, dead cells remain on the surface of your skin, leaving your complexion looking dull, lacklustre, and rough. Given enough time, these dead skin cells will start clogging pores, leading to blemishes and breakouts. Regular exfoliation ensures that lifeless skin cells are washed away, leaving the younger, smoother skin beneath. Without this layer of dead cells to contend with, your serums and moisturisers can penetrate your skin more effectively, too.
What exfoliating mistakes should we avoid?
The wrong formulation
Synthetic exfoliators can be extremely harsh on skin. Many such formulations contain powerful chemical ingredients that remove lifeless skin – and disrupting the skin barrier in the process. When applied, these types of exfoliators can cause micro-tears: small tears on the surface of the skin that act as breeding grounds for bacteria, leading to inflammation and blemishes. So what’s the alternative? All skin types benefit from a natural face exfoliator, enriched with clean, gentle ingredients.
Scan the shelves at your local pharmacy or supermarket and you’ll find a disturbing common ingredient: microbeads. These are not only terrible for your skin, but terrible for the environment, too (in fact, microbeads are now banned in the UK). When washed away, microplastics wind up in waterways and oceans. On the way there, they absorb all sorts of toxins and chemicals that cause real and serious harm to the marine animals who inevitably ingest them.
Suffice to say that while we ponder how to exfoliate skin, we should also spare a thought for how our exfoliator can affect the planet. Microplastics are bad news, so it pays to check the ingredients labels on your skincare products. A natural face exfoliator like Reincarnation Facial Polish & Exfoliator contains no microbeads, microplastics, or toxic ingredients.