by Zuki Ngai
What is exfoliating?
Firstly, exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin; this is commonly achieved by using a chemical, granular substance or an exfoliation tool.
Why should I exfoliate?
Our skin naturally sheds dead skin cells around every 30 days; when these skin cells don’t shed completely it can cause dry, flaky patches and clogged pores. Clogged pores can also lead to acne and breakouts. Exfoliation can prevent this from happening and thus help you achieve smoother and healthier looking skin.
What are the benefits of exfoliating?
The appearance of your skin can be improved in many ways through one simple step – exfoliating!
1. Brighter complexion
The American Academy of Dermatology demonstrated that exfoliating can improve the effectiveness of topical skincare products by enhancing absorption, as well as leaving the skin looking brighter by increasing blood circulation.
2. Fewer breakouts
Exfoliation can help cleanse the skin and unclog pores by removing dead skin cells, which in turn results in fewer breakouts.
3. Increase collagen production
Collagen is vital protein for achieving vibrant and glowing skin, as well as promoting skin elasticity and minimising the appearance of fine lines. Long-term exfoliation can increase collagen production.
Methods of exfoliation
There are many types of exfoliation, the most common are mechanical and chemical.
Mechanical exfoliation methods commonly include brushes, scrubs or cleansing cloths. Abrasive materials for manual exfoliation include cleansing scrubs, exfoliating mitts, dry brushes, loofahs, pumice stones and microneedling/micro derma rollers.
The advantage of manual exfoliation is that they are easy to access. You can perform manual exfoliation at home and see immediate results! However, one disadvantage of manual exfoliation is that if performed incorrectly, your skin can become irritated and lead to transepidermal water loss. To avoid irritation and lock in moisture, follow up with a humectant oil or serum.
Chemical exfoliation methods include products that contain alpha hydroxyl acids (e.g. glycolic acid), beta hydroxyl acids (e.g. salicylic acid), retinols or topical enzymes for cleaning the pores. It may be best to consult a dermatologist to determine the product and frequency of use before trying chemical exfoliation as some chemical exfoliation options can be harsh or drying.
The advantage of chemical exfoliation is that it can offer more dramatic results when enhancing the skin’s appearance than manual exfoliation. The disadvantage, however, is like physical exfoliation, it can cause irritation if done incorrectly. If you are unsure about how to use a chemical product it may be best to seek advice from a dermatologist.
The most important tip to bear in mind when choosing an exfoliating product is to choose base on your skin type. Choosing the correct exfoliating technique for your skin type will minimise the risk of irritation and help you achieve the best result.
Other things to bear in mind when selecting a product include:
1. Check what body part the product is meant for
You should never use a scrub meant for the body as an exfoliator on your face. Body scrubs tend to be harsher and may damage and tear delicate facial tissue and sensitive areas on the face, e.g. the under-eye area.
2. Use one product at a time
Although marketing makes it extremely tempting to purchase a full set of products, you should never use more than one exfoliating product at a time. Using multiple exfoliating products on the same areas of the skin can damage the skin and cause unwanted side effects.
3. Switch out products
As your skin concerns may change, you may find that you need to cycle through different products to meet the new skincare needs. For example, if your skin is becoming oily you may want to use a product containing charcoal.
Kokoa’s Organic Coffee & Brown Sugar Facial Exfoliator
- Coffee Grounds: Not only a great exfoliant but also a natural skin brightener and slows down the process of photo-ageing.
- Organic Brown Sugar: Contains glycolic acid an alpha-hydroxyl acid which effectively removes the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion, revealing brighter, fresher skin.
- Organic Wild Raspberries: A natural source of salicylic acid which breaks down the type of skin debris that clogs pores and causes acne.
- Organic Safflower Oil: Deeply moisturising & is 78% linoleic acid, which helps fight acne and balance oily skin.
- Lemon Essential Oil: Helps brighten skin by getting rid of blemishes, fading acne scars, fighting acne and balancing the skin's natural pH.
- Willow Bark Extract: A natural source of salicylic acid, which dissolves debris that clogs pores, causes whiteheads, blackheads and acne.
Like what you’ve read? Perhaps you’re a natural/vegan beauty lover?
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