Exfoliation—What Do the Experts Say?
You’ve probably heard celebrities, beauty specialists, and, maybe, even your next-door neighbor extolling the many benefits of exfoliation. But is it actually worth adding another step to your daily skin care routine? In this case, the answer is a resounding yes!
Exfoliation, when undertaken with care, offers a whole list of perks like softer, sunnier and even younger looking skin.
Keeping Up Appearances
One of the number one reasons people exfoliate is because of the healthy glow or brightness they find it gives their skin. How does that work? Simple! The process of exfoliation removes the top, dead layer of skin, which can have a lackluster appearance, contribute to clogged pores, and block the absorption of beneficial products, like oils, serums, and moisturizers.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that ridding your skin of those dull, dead cells “can improve the effectiveness of topical skin treatments, which can penetrate deeper once the topmost layer of skin is removed.”
This can be done just on the face (which is fairly common) or over the entire body, using a method such as dry brushing. When you exfoliate from your toes right on up to your nose, that healthy glow is also enhanced by a bit of added (skin) plumpness.
If you’ve ever gotten a massage, you’ve probably noticed a similar effect. Stimulation of the body’s tissue increases blood circulation, which can give the skin a younger, tighter look in the short-term. According to Cleveland Clinic, exfoliating “also stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward.”
Dealing with Damage
Exfoliation can be particularly helpful for those whose skin reveals signs of premature aging due to factors like overexposure to the sun. It can also sometimes help with non-inflammatory acne (we’re talking about those pesky blackheads) or troublesome, oily skin.
But before you go crazy with a brand-new body scrubber, if you’re dealing with complex skin issues, it’s always a good idea to consult your dermatologist about the best approach. That said, helping your skin slough off unneeded cells and making way for beneficial skin products can offer results.
The Long Game
Your skin may feel delightful for a period of time after you exfoliate, but what about in the long-term? Can exfoliating truly make your skin look and feel healthier? According to the ADD, “Long-term benefits of exfoliation can include increased collagen production, resulting in younger-looking skin.”
One of the reasons skin begins to lose its youthful appearance is because our bodies produce less collagen as we age. An essential protein comprised of amino acids, collagen exists throughout the body in bone, blood vessels, tendons, and skin. It’s critical to the generation of new cells and to the process of healing.
However, collagen production slows down as time marches on, leaving many people looking for ways to boost its presence. Preserving the collagen you have by wearing sunscreen is a smart move. And other factors, like eating a healthy diet, can also play a role.
But there is something more you can do—exfoliate! By removing dead cells and prompting the body to create more, you are also jump-starting collagen production. Plus massage, such as the facial massage you give yourself when exfoliating, has also been shown to encourage creation of collagen.
As you can see, even though exfoliation is a very simple wellness practice, it can offer big rewards. So if you’re looking for a way to remind your skin that it’s time to shine, give it a try.