Most dermatologists and beauty websites will often suggest exfoliating as often as 2-3 times a week for a healthy and flawless skin. But what is exfoliation and why is it one of the most suggested beauty regimes of all time?
Often called microderm for short, microdermabrasion is a procedure to help exfoliate or temporarily remove a few of the top layers of the skin called the stratum corneum. Exfoliating simply means to rub the body with a granular substance, in circular motion to get rid of dead skin cells, In order to improve the appearance of the skin.
Credit is given to the ancient Egyptians for the practice of exfoliation. In the Middle Ages, wine was used as a chemical exfoliant, with tartaric acid as the active agent. In Asia, the practice of exfoliation started hundreds of years ago. The etymology of the word “exfoliate” comes from the Latin exfoliare (to strip off leaves). Wikipedia
Exfoliation can be achieved either by mechanical or chemical methods.
This simply means scrubbing the skin with the help of an abrasive. Mechanical exfoliants include microfiber cloths, adhesive exfoliation sheets, micro-bead facial scrubs, crepe paper, crushed apricot kernel or almond shells, sugar or salt crystals, pumice, and abrasive materials such as sponges, loofahs, brushes, and simply fingernails.
Chemical Exfoliation on the other hand, is the process of using scrubs that contain chemicals like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid, which can be administered by a dermatologist or found in some over the counter products. Some chemical exfoliantors also contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs, which helps loosen the substance that holds the cells together.
Disadvantages of over- exfoliating.
Exfoliating is suggested to be done at most three times a week for better results. But we have some people who insist on doing it every other day. What these people know is that, over- exfoliating can cause the following damages to the skin.
- It will lead to continuous redness of the skin.
- Over exfoliation will leave the skin looking dry and irritated.
- It will cause the skin to frost, which will in turn leave the skin with an unflattering color.
Advantages of regular exfoliation.
- Regular exfoliation helps control blemishes and acne.
- It improves blood circulation.
- It leaves the skin looking, radiant and healthy.
- Safe and effective way of getting rid of dead skin cells.
- Exfoliating helps shrink pores.