Exfoliation, the word comes from the Latin word ‘exfoliat' — which means ‘stripped of leaves.’ In the modern world of skincare though, exfoliation means to strip away layers of dead cells from the skin. This may be done by mechanical scrubbing or by chemicals that strip the dead layers. And what’s left at the end is a new, healthy layer of skin that makes you look radiant. Here we talk to you about the concept of exfoliation and its benefits for healthy skin.
For healthy skin, of course! The topmost layer of our skin sheds dead cells periodically (every 28 days). Now these cells don’t always get washed away in our daily baths. And over time, they accumulate to form thick layers that make our skin dull, patchy or dry. This accumulation also gives rise to other serious problems like:
- Premature signs of aging
- Blocked pores
Hence, it is best to remove these dead skin cells from the surface of the skin by exfoliating.
Types of Exfoliation
There are 2 main techniques to exfoliate for healthy skin:
In this technique, you exfoliate by rubbing or scrubbing your skin with a product. The product used may have scrubbing agents like sugar, oats, plastic microbeads etc. Or you can use tools like a loofah or body brush. Even a simple muslin cloth is a good, gentle tool to exfoliate, as it can be rubbed all over the face and body to shed dead skin cells.
Tools and Products Used:
- Brown sugar
- Microbeads (plastic, jojoba, etc)
- Coffee grounds
- Dry brushes
- Exfoliating mitts
- Pumice stones
- Exerting too much pressure while mechanical scrubbing may irritate the skin
- Over-scrubbing can open pores, and leave them susceptible to pollution, bacteria, etc
- Some scrubbing agents like plastic microbeads are not environmentally friendly
In this technique, we use chemical ingredients that dissolve and wash away the dead layer of the skin without physically scrubbing it. Chemical exfoliation is said to be more potent than mechanical as it gives your skin a more dramatic makeover. Some of the most common ingredients found in chemical exfoliants are retinol, hydroxy acids, enzymes, etc. They help peel away the dead skin surface so that the underlying new one can be revealed. Some of these also help with fine lines, wrinkles, open pores, scars, and hyperpigmentation.
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): They include lactic acid, tartaric acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, etc. Found commonly in milk, grapes, sugarcane, apples and many other fruits.
- Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs): They are widely used to treat acne because they dry out oils and dead skin cells from your pores. They also work on sun damage. Eg. Salicylic acid. Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs)
- Slow working. But regular use shows better results.
- Some AHAs may sting on application and even cause sun sensitivity. Not always compatible with sensitive skin.
Exfoliation Benefits for Healthy Skin
Exfoliation, despite all the minor drawbacks listed above, is known for a long list of benefits. If you want clean, clear skin, then exfoliation should be an unavoidable part of your routine. Here are its benefits for healthy skin:
Exfoliation unclogs blocked pores. Be it mechanical or chemical, an exfoliant goes deep into your pores and comes out pulling all the dirt, oils, and bacteria. This ensures you get clean and healthy skin.
Cleans the Surface
Exfoliation also cleans the surface of your skin. Sometimes more thoroughly than a facial cleanser.
It strips off all dead skin cells, debris, dry skin, etc, leaving the surface fresh and new.
When your pores have been cleaned thoroughly, and excess oils have been stripped off, you are bound to have fewer acne breakouts. Good exfoliation also prevents blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes as it keeps your skin healthy and clean.
Even Skin Tone
Exfoliation scrubs away dead skin cells and dry layers, revealing the healthy skin underneath which is smooth and even-toned. Also, many chemical exfoliants like AHAs work on hyperpigmentation. Acne scars can also sometimes be cleared with regular exfoliation.
Exfoliation, especially the mechanical kind, helps boost blood circulation under the skin. Facials and massages that you give your skin while scrubbing end up stimulating it. This nourishes your skin.
Better Absorption of other Products
Since an exfoliant cleans your skin and clears your pores, it makes it ready to absorb the next skincare products. The fact is, dead skin cells become an almost impervious layer on the skin, preventing the absorption of products. Exfoliation gets rid of these stubborn layers. So your serums, creams, moisturizers, etc get absorbed quickly and deeply.
Higher Cell Turnover
Exfoliation also increases cell turnover, i.e. production of fresh healthy cells to replace the old ones. With age as well as due to the presence of dead cell layers, the rate of cell turnover may go down. That is why mature skin types are always recommended to exfoliate regularly. This helps with signs of aging.
How to Exfoliate for Healthy Skin?
- Clean your face of all makeup residue with a gentle cleanser
- Wash your face and make sure it is completely clean and bare
- Prefer a splash of warm water to open the pores
- Dab your skin with a hand towel but don’t dry it completely
- While your skin is still damp, take a pea-sized amount (or as needed) of the exfoliant
- Dot it on your cheeks, chin, and forehead
- Spread it over your face with gentle, circular motions
- If the label of the exfoliant suggests, you may also rub it over your eyelids, eyebrows, and
- If it has scrubbing agents, then you will feel the roughness and need to use massaging motions to scrub
- If it is a purely chemical exfoliant then just rub it gently for close to a minute
- Rinse off with warm water, followed by a splash of cold to close your pores
Post Exfoliation Routine:
- Moisturizer: If you have very dry skin then apply a rich moisturizer to compensate for the loss of oils
- Serum (if you are using one)
Best Exfoliants to get the Most Benefits for Healthy Skin
Now that you have seen how important exfoliation is for the skin, let’s see some of the best exfoliants out there. We have tried to bring you only the natural and cruelty-free exfoliants that are good for your skin, which cut down on side effects, and which also reduce strain on the environment.
Savarnas Mantra® Natural Fruit Exfoliant
For a radiant and youthful appearance, we have formulated this Natural Fruit Exfoliant that is cruelty-free, hormone-free, and deep-cleanses your skin with its scrubbing jojoba beads. It not only exfoliates dead skin cells but also effectively leaves your skin healthy and moisturized.
Bonus: A beautiful strawberry scent!
- Strawberry oil
- Amino acids
- Jojoba seed beads
Savarnas Mantra® Natural Honey Exfoliant
This natural product from our range of amazing exfoliants has been enriched with vitamins and minerals. The honey extracts are very gentle and hydrating, exfoliating dead skin cell layers and enhancing the aesthetics of your skin. This exfoliant is non-irritating and safe for even delicate skin types.
Bonus: A heavenly honey-vanilla scent
- Amber granules for scrubbing
- Magnesium Glucomate (mineral) to help boost the immune system
Savarnas Mantra® Natural Polisher Exfoliant
This special exfoliant from our range is perfect for exfoliation as well as skin tightening. It gives your skin a polished appearance, and a natural glow. We have added aluminum oxide crystals to exfoliate well, and enhanced it with hyaluronic acid to moisturize your skin. Red Tea extracts and seaweed extracts nourish the skin with antioxidants, helping you with antiaging.
- Aluminum Oxide crystals
- Red Tea Extract
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Seaweed Extract
So what are you waiting for? Check out our range of natural exfoliants now and pick one to nourish your delicate skin. We at Savarnas Mantra are always eager to see happy people and healthy skins!