The skin naturally renews itself by shedding cells that die in the epidermis, the outermost layer.
But, as we already know, as we age, our body begins to lose capacity and one of them is cellular renewal. From a certain age, it begins to be unable to eliminate all the dead cells, which could cause hydration problems, which will inevitably make our skin look more fatigued and therefore more aged.
Thus, by means of exfoliation, we oxygenate the epidermis by removing and cleansing the epidermis, the layer where these debris remain.
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is used to remove dead skin cells, which enhances cell renewal for better looking skin. This is a manual process with which we will achieve a smoother appearance and prepare the skin so that the treatments with active ingredients applied later will have a more positive effect.
By exfoliating we eliminate all the cells, cleanse the skin of impurities and stimulate blood circulation, with all the consequences that this brings.
Normally, when we talk about exfoliation we refer to the face, but it is also advisable to apply a body scrub to remove those impurities that remain in the most superficial layer of the skin.
Types of exfoliation
Depending on the depth required, we can choose between three types of peel.
- Chemical exfoliation. To carry out this exfoliation, chemical products are used, which act by breaking down dead skin cells. Exfoliation occurs when the product is applied to the face or body. Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are used.
- Mechanical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation uses products that remove dead skin cells by gently rubbing the skin as it is used on the outermost layer. This type of exfoliation can be performed at home.
Chemical peeling is also a type of mechanical exfoliation that allows less superficial areas to be reached.
How to use a scrub step by step
Exfoliation should be part of your daily facial care routine. However, when we have been exposed to external agents such as sun exposure, it is also advisable to carry it out on the body.
When using a facial scrub, we must keep in mind that facial skin is sensitive, so we cannot apply a high intensity.
Before doing anything, the face must be cleansed and left damp. The product should be spread with soft, circular movements. After the procedure, remove with water and never use a towel or paper without having cleaned the face.
This protocol is interesting to perform once a week or extend the repetition if the skin is more sensitive.
On the body, the areas most in need of exfoliation are the arms, elbows, feet and legs. The scrub is applied and spread in circular motions. They do not need to be as soft as on the face.
Exfoliating products for the face are not necessarily suitable for the body, it depends on the concentration. Get informed beforehand. Circular movements also activate circulation.
It is best to avoid the most sensitive areas of the body, such as the décolleté. The exfoliating product is simply removed with water.
It is not necessary to use the exfoliator every day, but it is necessary to use it several times a week, although it will depend on the daily activity of each person and their skin type.
When should the scrub be applied?
There is no time of day when it is better to use the scrub. It doesn’t matter if it is in the morning or in the evening, but it is best to do it when you usually carry out your skin hygiene routine.
What is clear is that the best time to apply the scrub is after showering, with the skin clean and still damp. Once or twice a week, as we have already mentioned, it will depend on each skin. A dry skin has enough with one exfoliation per week, while a skin with an oily tendency can withstand two per week.
Never apply more exfoliant than necessary. Failure to do so may result in skin damage.
How long to leave the scrub on the face?
In principle, 2 to 3 minutes is enough time for the scrub to act on the skin while you make circular movements. The product should then be removed with water.
When using chemical exfoliants, these may require more time, although this is an indication that will be warned on the product label. It will probably depend on the type of acids and actives used as ingredients.
It is really important to learn to know your skin and to know when a product is causing damage or improvement. At the first evidence of irritation or redness, you should stop and adopt a new strategy, perhaps use a different scrub or use it less frequently.