Exfoliation is one of the keys to smooth, glowing skin. This step follows cleansing and always precedes the use of a serum and moisturizer. Exfoliating regularly removes surface dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and promotes circulation within the skin and benefits all areas of the body; from your face to your feet. Regular exfoliation 2-3 times a week allows for better absorption of creams and treatment serums into the skin. This process is necessary for all skin types and conditions (dry, oily, sensitive, dehydrated, acneic, and mature/aging) to address the particular needs of the skin. Exfoliating during the winter months is especially important as our skin is more dry and can appear flaky. Look for an exfoliant that contains hydrating properties such as coconut oil or shea butter to moisturize the skin while you exfoliate.
There are many different types of exfoliants:
- Mechanical: scrubs (non-hazardous micro-beads and small grains) that physically lift and break down surface dead skin cells through manual manipulation (jojoba beads, guarana seeds). Best for: thick, oily skin. Keep an eye out for products containing plastic beads. These are now banned in Canada for their harmful environmental impact.
- Soft Peel: non-abrasive gel/cream that attaches and gently lifts dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Best for: all skin types.
- Enzymatic: enzymes that work to break down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together (Pumpkin, pineapple, papaya). Best for: sensitive, dehydrated skin.
- Acid Peels: concentrated acid extracts that penetrate deeper into the skin and remain active after initial application to aid in cell regeneration and speed up cellular turnover (AHAs, BHAs, Glycolic, Lactic). Best for: all skin types dependent upon the acid, particularly mature/aging.