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Skin Exfoliation For Healthier Skin

Updated on September 26, 2011

Skin Exfoliation

With humidity levels at a low the winter months are typically when most of us suffer from dry skin. This is when we begin applying more lip balms, lotions, creams and salves to keep the skin feeling and looking healthy. These are excellent practices along with drinking plenty of water, however one really important skin care practice you could be doing this winter to help contribute to healthier skin is exfoliation.

What is dry skin, and what cause it? Ways you can tell if you are suffering from dry skin other than the constant itching are increased visibility in the fine lines of the skin, cracked skin and dry flakes. This occurs when the levels of Sebum in your skin are low. The Sebum is an oily substance that is secreted by the glands in your skin that helps prevent it from drying out. There are many things that can cause these levels of Sebum to drop causing dry skin. Some of these variables would include climate change, genetics, poor diet, and exposure to sun, wind, chemicals as well as cosmetics and harsh soaps.

What is Skin Exfoliation?

Skin exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin which is called the epidermis. This allows new skin cells to develop from the lower layer of the skin, the dermis. Skin exfoliation has been recorded in history since ancient Egyptian times, which is also the native home of the loofah gourd. The Loofah is a popular sponge in the skin care industry that surprisingly does not come from the ocean but from a gourd. This type of sponge is great for body exfoliation and not recommended for sensitive areas such as the face.

There are three different types of skin exfoliation; manual, chemical and enzyme exfoliation.

Manual exfoliation is manually scrubbing off dead skin cells, by using sponges, creams, lotions, scrubs and cleansers.

Chemical exfoliation which is most often used for treating age spots, acne, sun damage and wrinkles, is an application using chemicals such as Alpha hydroxy acids and Beta hydroxy acids

Enzyme exfoliation is for those with very sensitive skin. These products dissolve dead skin cells by using powders, pads, mask, and cleansers that have proteolytic enzymes in them.

How often should I exfoliate? It is important not to over exfoliate. Too much could lead your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to skin damages.

For face exfoliation it is recommended to only exfoliate twice a week and less than that if you have sensitive skin. Also keep in mind that the skin on your face is more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body and should use gentler products with less abrasiveness. For body exfoliation you can get away with doing it 2-3 times a week; if you have sensitive skin you might prefer to exfoliate less.

There are so many different types of exfoliation products on the market today. Loofa sponges, felted soap bars and mild soaps such as goat’s milk soaps with natural ingredients like oatmeal, ground almond and cinnamon are great natural alternative that will help exfoliate the skin.


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Its important for us all to remember that exfoliation is critical to healthy skin. It need not be harsh, but it needs to be done. Thanks for sharing a great hub.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      onceuponatime66, I have heard that many of those creams will have that effect and of course having cystic acne does not help. I do not know a whole lot about apricot oil and would love to research it. Have you ever tried calendula infused oils, or calendula lotion,salves and soaps. Calendula has amazing skin care benefits. I have had people share testimonies with me by just switching to an unscented goat's milk soap, no prescribed creams,oils or anything fancy just plain old natural soap. Any how I do hope that you find that happy medium and let me know if you have any questions.

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 7 years ago from USA IL

      Great hub, on ex foliating, I am seeing a dermatology Dr and the cream dries out my over sebum and now I am peeling, but I have cystic acne. Then Now I need to get it to stop so I have "apricot oil." I cannot win, I am either too oily or too dry. I wish there was a happy medium.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Katie, thanks so much for sharing. Oatmeal lavender is and excellent soap bar. I think though you would notice that all of them are great for dry skin. They all still have the natural glycerin which occurs during the soap making process, that promotes moisture. This ingredient is often taken out of commercial bought soaps to sell to cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies to make really expensive moisturizers.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I got so excited when I saw the wash clothes and soap in one. I tend to have dry skin so I'm thinking the oatmeal lavendar will be good for this! Is that right?

      Now that's what I'm talking about! I love these sponges, YOURS the healthy natural ones! Your soap is a pleasure and delight with all it's healthy goodness pampering the skin and making it amazing. I'm going to get my order in now! Thanks again for the great information on Skin Exfoliation for healthy skin, without this I just might not look years younger. Whew! Love purensimple :) Katie

      P.S. This is so good I just gotta tweet and face about it!