What exactly is exfoliate?Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin through either chemical or mechanical methods.
The act of exfoliating dates back to ancient Egypt where sour milk, which contains lactic acid, was used as a chemical exfoliant. Also, popular abrasives and other minerals such as alabaster particles, sand and aloe vera plant were used by ancient Egyptians to produce exfoliation scrubs.
This process can be influenced by the environment, hormones (estrogens, androgens, and epidermal growth factor), and vitamin deficiencies (A and D). With the impact of all these factors on the desquamation process, the importance of skin exfoliation is clear. By eliminating the build up of dead and deranged skin cells (stratum corneum), regeneration of new skin cells is stimulated, resulting in an improved appearance, tone, and feel of the skin. (http://hbmag.com/exfoliation/)
How often should you exfoliate?
- LESS: older skin may tends to be more delicate and requires less exfoliating.
- MORE: Oily skin could benefit from exfoliating more often than their dry-skinned sisters.
- MORE: Warm weather increases perspiration and oil production, leading to speedier accumulation of dead cells
- MORE: Oily skin makes it hard for complexion-dimming dead cells to make their exit. "Starting in your 30s, your skin can look dull and ashen because skin cells renew themselves more slowly than they did when you were younger," says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
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