Maintain Healthy, Radiant Skin…Exfoliate!

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Exfoliation is Key!

…a blog post by Sacred Waters’ Licensed Esthetician Kacie Jump

I can’t tell you how excited as I am writing this blog! This month I will be discussing exfoliation, what it is, and the key role it plays in maintaining healthy, radiant and strong skin. I learned recently from many of my clients that many people have been told to exfoliate on very rare occasions, if at all, and that they were also told that exfoliation is not good for you!

This could not be further from the truth! You may be surprised to learn that the average person is supposed to exfoliate anywhere from 2 to 3 times per week. This goes for both women and men of all skin types starting as early as 20 years old.

Knowing the wonderful benefits of exfoliation, it came quite a shock to me that nearly 85% of my clients do not exfoliate. This is due to what they have been told about exfoliation, skin care myths or that they are not aware what it means to exfoliate ones skin. Before we get into what exfoliation is, we need to know a little bit about how the skin works.

The skin contains 3 main layers, with layers within those layers. The deepest level of the skin is the subcutaneous layer, which contains adipose tissue, or fat, that helps to provide shape and to cushion our bodies, as well as aiding in temperature regulation. The next layer, the middle layer, is called the dermal layer. Within the dermal layer there are the papillary and reticular layers. Within the Dermis, a deeper layer of skin, is where you find sweat glands, oil glands, hair follicles, blood vessels, connective tissues, etc. It is in these layers where collagen and elastin are produced. Connecting the dermis, the middle layer, to the topmost layer of the skin is the epidermal-dermal junction. This brings us to the topmost layer of the skin, the Epidermis.

There are 5 layers within the epidermal layer of the skin, and these layers are the bottom layer to the top: (1) Stratum Germinativum; (2) Stratum Spinosum; (3) Stratum Granulosum; (4) Stratum Lucidum; and (5) Stratum Corneum. Within these layers we understand the benefit that comes from exfoliating. Our skin is a cell making factory and everyday our skin make new skin cells. As our skin makes new skin cells, beginning in the Stratum Germinativum, they travel up to the topmost layer, the Stratum Corneum, where they are hardened, dry, and dead becoming what are termed “corneocytes” or shedding off the skin. This process from the creation of the skin cells within the germinativum to shedding off at the corneum is known as “desquamation” which happens every 28 days or once a month.

Exfoliation is a process of forced desquamation where an exfoliation agent is used, for example a facial scrub, enzyme, chemical peel, or the use of a modality like a microdermabrasion machine, helping to turn over the skin cells faster than they would naturally. When we help to desquamate dead skin cells through exfoliation we keep the dead skin cells from creating texture on the skin’s surface and trapping sebum (oil) underneath the skin that can lead to acne breakouts. Another added benefit is that post-exfoliation your skin feels smooth (I like to refer to this feeling as “baby soft”), allowing your products to penetrate the skin easier and deeper so they can do their job in helping your skin more efficiently and the added bonus of helping your makeup go on smoothly.

Another thing that I love about exfoliation is that through this process you are helping to repair your skin. As skin cells reach the surface they are bringing along with them key players that can rejuvenate and repair the skin’s natural barrier function. The more we exfoliate the skin, the tougher and stronger our skin becomes as we train that barrier. When your skin has a strong and healthy barrier function it is able to better penetrate products and retain moisture and water within the skin.  This aids in protecting your skin from the effects of the sun, environmental pollutants and other factors that can lead to premature aging.

In conclusion, exfoliation should be a part of everyone’s skin care routine as it does so much to benefit the skin both inside and out. In addition to the internal benefits of contributing to strengthening and repairing the skin, it also leaves your skin looking radiant, soft, smooth, and dewy.

To learn more about Naturopathica’s exfoliating products and what type of exfoliation is best for your skin care goals, stop by Sacred Waters or make a complimentary consultation appointment anytime.

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