Published on October 4th, 2016 | by Rima J Pundir
Exfoliation: Know where to stop!
A freshly scrubbed look is great, raw skin is not! Exfoliation is a beauty tool best tempered with caution…
It is good to follow a dedicated beauty regime of which exfoliation is an important part. “Young skin renews every 28 days, which is a regular skin metabolism rate. While renewing, the old and thick layer of skin sheds off letting the new skin come up on the surface. When you get close to 30, the renewal process takes longer. Slowly, the 28-day cycle is replaced by a 40-day one. The effects are easily seen on the skin too. Dullness, dehydration, pigmentation, fine lines are prominent signs of early ageing and environmental factors like stress levels, pollution, irregular eating and sleeping hours only add to it all…” says Dr. Meha Mhatre, Tressez.
Scrub it up
Exfoliation is important for your skin – it helps boost the skin’s mechanism of ‘off with the old and in with the new’. Scrubbing only your face won’t do the job, investing in a good body scrub is helpful too. Also, always remember to moisturise after scrubbing to keep your skin hydrated. Exfoliation falls under many kinds – pick what you need according to your skin type and remember to follow pack directions.
- Instead of soaping the skin directly, use a loofah every day with a mild body wash (or soap) for gentle exfoliation. This will improve the blood circulation and keep the skin fresh throughout the day.
- For young skin, natural exfoliation is the best. Fruits like papaya, strawberries, mango and pineapple contain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that gently exfoliate without any harm. Easy and economical to use; just grate the fruits, apply it on your face and neck evenly. Leave for 10 -15 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this twice a week for skin that’s fresh and renewed.
- Abrasive exfoliation – the bottled scrubs – use micro abrasive materials that ‘sandpaper’ the dead skin cells away – good for normal skin. However, if you are looking to treat skin imperfections then you need to move beyond the surface.
- Mechanical exfoliation or microdermabrasion, more commonly known as skin polishing removes thicker layers of the dead skin thus treating open pores and dull skin. Oily, pigmented and even patchy skin responds well to it – home packs are available too from brands such as Ponds, Phytomer and Mary Kay.
- Chemical exfoliation, commonly known as ‘peels’ are great salon options – various acids such as glycolic, lactic or retinoic are used to chemically slough off dead skin cells. Effective on acne-prone or scarred skin – the uneven layers are slowly burnt away in multiple sittings. Best done in a salon.
Too much is too much!
Excess of anything is bad. No matter how important and mild the product is for your skin, overindulgence is not a good habit. Many of us buy face scrubs falling prey to the tempting promises made by TVCs. In reality, over use of face scrubs can actually harm skin in the long run. Abraded skin can have tiny microscopic cuts which instead of giving you smooth skin, can cause fine lines and early ageing. Always follow pack directions and keep scrubbing to once or twice a week only unless mentioned otherwise.