Natural exfoliating is another option to scrub dead skin cells and improve your skin’s complexion. In this reading session, learn what exfoliating means, tips, and other information to help you feel confident in doing natural exfoliation at home.
The human skin is an intricate organ with several layers. The outermost layer of skin is known as the epidermis, which is what we can see. The epidermis’ top layer is the stratum corneum, which comprises 10 to 30 layers of dead skin cells.
These cells continuously slip off and are replaced by new ones every 28 days in younger individuals. As people age, this process gets slower, taking approximately 45 days for a cycle.
Exfoliation involves stripping away the top layers of skin cells before they naturally shed off. Some find their skin dull or dry, so by performing a scrub, they improve their complexion. There are a few exfoliating techniques you can use on your own at home, while others require the help of a dermatologist or qualified beautician.
An exfoliating regimen can improve the appearance of your skin by removing old cells and encouraging new cell growth. Exfoliation may benefit many common skin issues, such as keratosis pilaris, uneven texture, acne, wrinkles, and psoriasis scales.
However, it is possible to over-exfoliate or carry out the process incorrectly, thus leading to redness, flaking, or skin irritation. Therefore it is essential to always adhere to any instructions given on product labels and seek assistance from a dermatologist when necessary.
The benefits of exfoliating properly
Mechanical vs. Chemical Exfoliation
There are two main categories when it comes to exfoliation:
Mechanical exfoliation involves granular substances or devices such as brushes and gloves to buff away dead cells. Some scrubs may be suitable but too abrasive for others. Professional treatments like microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are also considered mechanical exfoliation.
Chemical exfoliants rely on alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) in cleansers, toners, serums, or peels to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin by speeding up cell turnover and breaking down the cellular glue (desmosomes) that holds them together.
Natural exfoliating relies on gentle ingredients such as oatmeal, turmeric, honey, and yogurt to provide a mild scrubbing action to buff away dull surface cells without harsh chemicals.
Take into account any skin sensitivities before deciding to avoid irritation after use.
Choose the correct type of exfoliation for your skin type; to minimize irritation and obtain the best results.
BHAs are a better option than other chemical or physical exfoliants as they tend to be less irritating. If you have eczema and rosacea, consult a healthcare professional before using any new products.
Exfoliating techniques and products are left to personal preference as most people experience no adverse effects.
AHAs like glycolic acid penetrate beneath the surface layer, helping moisturizer to hydrate new skin cells more deeply.
May use potent chemical and physical exfoliators such as motorized brushes, and store-bought or DIY scrubs to help remove excess sebum and oils.
Different sections may contain varying levels of dryness and oiliness. It's best to treat each area individually, alternating products as needed.
For example, oily areas can be exfoliated with a chemical exfoliator or scrub one day, while dry segments can use low-level AHAs the next.
Use products containing retinoids, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.
When exfoliating sensitive areas, being cautious is crucial; use gentle circular motions and rinse with lukewarm water - always soften the skin in the shower first before applying any products gently.
For chemical exfoliators, use a cotton pad or washcloth to apply.
Remember that over-exfoliating can lead to dryness, redness, and itchiness.
Mix one tablespoon of finely ground oats with one tablespoon of your favorite natural oil or honey (the oats need something smooth to bind to); use circular motions to apply, and wait five minutes before rinsing it with water.
Use organic oats not treated with pesticides or chemicals when making your scrub. Oatmeal is ideal for those with dry or sensitive skin as it is gentle and non-irritating for most.
To exfoliate with honey, apply a dime-sized amount to your face with your fingers using circular motions, then rinse with water. Use it on its own or mix it into DIY facial scrubs; adding a bit of baking soda will add slightly more abrasion. For best results, opt for raw organic honey.
To use papaya as an exfoliant at home, mash fresh papaya into a smooth paste and apply it to the face with your fingers using circular motions or with a brush using short strokes; let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with water.
An ideal method for those with combination or oily skin as the papain in papaya can cleanse pores while preventing acne formation or infection - use young fruit (green papayas) if possible for maximum potency.
To use yogurt as an exfoliant, apply one tablespoon to your face with your fingers in a circular motion or with a brush using short strokes. After leaving the yogurt on for 20 minutes, rinse with water.
The potential benefits of topical fermented dairy products are still ongoing. Research suggests that probiotics found in yogurt can interact with the skin barrier to fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Blend one teaspoon of ground turmeric with yogurt, natural oil, or water to form a paste; apply using circular motions (or a brush for added abrasion) and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
It is suitable for all skin types, but especially for sensitive skin - look for Kasturi turmeric (Curcuma aromatica) in Indian grocery stores; the variety won't leave any stains.
To use sugar as an exfoliant, mix one tablespoon of raw sugar with one tablespoon of natural oil (olive, coconut, jojoba, or almond) to form a thick paste; adjust the amounts as needed to achieve this consistency.
Apply the paste to your skin with your fingers; let sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off with water. Sugar scrubs are especially beneficial for those with dry skin.
Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of cane sugar to create a mildly abrasive paste. Apply gently to the face or body with your fingers, circular motions, or a brush using short strokes.
Wait between two and five minutes before rinsing it with water. Perform a patch test on a small portion of your face; those with sensitive skin or abrasions may experience burning or irritation; thus, restrict it to body use only.
Make a gentle scrub; combine a one-quarter teaspoon of used coffee grounds with one tablespoon of your favorite natural oil (such as coconut oil.)
Apply the thick paste to the face with your fingers, and let it rest for five minutes before rinsing it with water.
Use coffee grounds in masks; for a tingly, exfoliated effect without abrasiveness.
Natural exfoliating is a great way to get skin glowing without using harsh chemicals. And sometimes may suit the wallet because these are popular ingredients in households. From oatmeal, turmeric, and ground coffee to honey, yogurt, and fruits, options are available for all skin types.
Natural exfoliation also provides therapeutic benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Always select organic ingredients to ensure the best possible results.
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