One of the processes that helps maintain healthy skin is the skins ability to constantly shed cells and replace them with fresh new ones. There are lots of different factors that can affect the rate at which the skin replenishes itself, such as environment, pollution, general health and age. Most skincare experts agree that for moisturisers and treatments to be effective, regular and gentle exfoliation is a key part of a skincare routine. There are different ways to encourage the natural cell turnover of the skin, to keep it looking bright and fresh and to combat the effects of pollution and other external aggressors.
Chemical exfoliation – Chemical exfoliants work by including ingredients that help to dissolve the protein binders in the skin and allowing fresh new skin cells to come to the surface. Chemical exfoliation can sound like a harsh method, but the reality is that aside from professional chemical peels, a lot of products that are designed for home use can be gentle and effective. There are different kinds of chemical exfoliants on the market and products can include one or a mix of several different kinds.
Different kinds of Chemical exfoliants:
AHA’s - The term AHA’s stands for alpha hydroxy acids, these include glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic and citric acids. AHA’s can perform several functions for the skin, they can hydrate, brighten and even skin tone. AHA’s can come from natural sources such as sugarcane, fruits and even milk. BHA’s - Are Beta hydroxy acids and the most commonly used ingredient in cosmetics is Salicylic acid (derived from natural willow bark), which helps to exfoliate deep in to the pore, making it a useful ingredient for acne.
Physical exfoliation – Physical exfoliants work by mechanically removing the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Grainy scrubs fall in to this category, such as scrubs with jojoba beads, bamboo buds or other more abrasive natural ingredients such as salt or sugar. If you use a hot cloth to remove your cleanser as part of your skincare routine, then the cloth is also helping to remove dead skin cells on a daily basis.
How often should you exfoliate?
Most skin types only need to use an exfoliating product once or twice a week. Very sensitive skins such as those with rosacea, eczema or dermatitis may need to avoid exfoliation altogether, depending on the condition of the skin. At Flower and Spice we formulated the Instant Glow Calming exfoliator with lavender and fennel to provide an effective weekly treatment. It provides the dual benefits of physical and chemical exfoliation. AHA’s in the form of fruit acids work in harmony with bamboo buds to gently buff and reveal brighter skin, bamboo is natural and bio-degradable so the product is kind to the environment too. We also included lavender and fennel which provide a beautiful sensory experience.
Exfoliation doesn’t have to be complicated, understanding the options available to you will mean that next time you are shopping for skincare you will be armed with the knowledge to make the best choices for your skin.
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