What is exfoliation:
Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest outermost skin cells which are dead and in the process of flaking off. Exfoliation removes these cells evenly to allow for the newer skin cells to be revealed. While the skin naturally sheds skin cells, it can do so unevenly causing different problems for the skin and overall lack of luster and radiance. These dead skin cells can also interfere with the absorption of your facial treatments.
The skin cells that you see on the very surface were born approximately 30 days ago in the deeper dermal layer. They have been growing and working their way through the layers of the skin and becoming more keratin rich, thereby becoming more protective. The skin is continually shedding these cells …
Three types of exfoliation: mechanical, chemical and functional (don’t let those words scare you)
Chemical exfoliation involves apha or beta hydroxy acids, salicylic or glycolic acids which break down the keratin and thereby remove the top layer of skin cells. These treatments should ideally be carried out by a professional. Even then we recommend that you proceed with extreme caution as these acids may cause burns and extreme stripping of the skin.
Involves either a naturally-occuring mild acid or enzyme which loosens the substance binding the cells together. This allows them them to be gently removed. Examples of natural functional exfoliants include lactic acid (from dairy sources), and fruit enzymes from pineapples and papayas. Organic Apoteke products use functional exfoliants only as this is the safest method of exfoliation.
Exfoliating Techniques and Products:
Exfoliating treatments come in a variety of strengths and range from over the counter products to professional services.
Some off the shelf products that might exfoliate are: cleansers, masks, scrubs, peels. Professional treatments include facials, peels and microdermabrasion.
To scrub or not to scrub:
We are focusing mainly on facial skin and the question of whether to “scrub” is essential, because while the right type of exfoliation can benefit the health and beauty of your skin, the wrong product or technique can cause damage it and have unintended results. At Organic Apoteke we do not recommend any mechanical or chamical forms of exfoliation on the face unless performed by a professional (even then we suggest you proceed with caution).
Scrubbing the skin can cause minute tears, not visible to the eye which can do two things, cause dehydration and expose the skin to bacterial infection.