Everything Experts Want You to Know About Exfoliation

Soft, supple, glowing skin? Leave it to the AHAs and BHA!

To begin with, exfoliation can simply be described as the process of getting rid of dead skin cells through the application of a granular substance, or the utilization of an exfoliating tool. 

Were you aware that our skin naturally sheds immense amounts of dead skin every day?Hell yeah! However, unfortunately so, this shedding process often slows down as we age, and practically comes to a halt due to years of sun damage, dry skin, oily skin, menopause, and various other concerns. Consequently, this causes a build-up of dead skin, on and below the surface of the skin, as well as inside the pore lining, resulting in dull, dry or flaky skin, clogged and enlarged pores, white bumps, magnified fine lines, rough texture, loss of firmness, and uneven skin tone! 

This is where EXFOLIATION COMES TO THE RESCUE. Add a gentle leave-on exfoliant to your skincare routine and everything will start falling into place, generating a balance and aiding your skin to behave like it did when you were younger. Despite not being immediately apparent to the naked eye, trust me, your skin will start showing the desired results soon.

But while vouching for exfoliation, let's get something clear - exfoliation isn't synonymous for tugging, tearing the skin with rough scrubs. Skincare expert, Paula Begoun claims, "People often tend to mistake the same with applying harsh, rough scrubs and cleansing brushes to their skin. This ends up doing more damage than any good." Even the best of the best scrubs and cleansing brushes, ones which are gentle and don’t necessarily tear at the skin, can clean only the very surface of the skin, unable to access the layers beneath. Another thing we must get out of the way - “Cleansing isn’t the same as exfoliating,” states Paula. Healthy skin-cell turnover takes place in the deeper layers of skin, beyond solely the surface. Thereby, healthy skincare requires one to reach those lower layers of the skin, which scrubs and cleansing brushes aren’t often able to achieve.

So how does one reach the deeper layers of the skin without causing irritation or tearing at the surface? This is exactly where you turn to well-formulated AHAs/Alpha hydroxy acids (primarily glycolic acid and lactic acid) and BHA/Beta hydroxy acid (only salicylic acid) leave-on exfoliants. Besides gently exfoliating the skin, they also maximise hydration, as well as reinforce, strengthen, and soften the skin. Without question, almost everyone can benefit from the daily use of a well-formulated leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant. A gentle leave-on exfoliant helps the turnover (shedding) of dead layers of skin, when it can’t do it naturally on its own any longer. This completely non-abrasive way to exfoliate the skin not only provides the above-mentioned benefits, but also improves signs of ageing, uneven skin tone, dullness, unwanted breakouts, dramatically reduces clogged pores and pore size, and also fades red and brown post-acne marks.

Also, don’t let the ‘acid’ in the name of these exfoliating ingredients scare you, especially taking into note that the surface of our skin is naturally acidic!