Daily Exfoliation for a Healthier Complexion
One of the best things you can do for your skin is exfoliate it. Daily, gently exfoliation to be precise. It doesn’t matter if you have normal, oily, dry or sensitive skin, exfoliation can bring new life to your skin.
When you exfoliate, you remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Removing these dead skin cells helps to speed up the skin cell renewal process. As we age, cell regeneration slows down. Which means, the process of shedding dead skin and generating new ones is slower.
What does that mean for our skin? The buildup of the dead skin makes you skin appear dull. It also can clog your pores which results in an excess of oil production. This leads to blemishes and possibly acne. When you deeply clean your pores with exfoliation, they will appear smaller. As an added bonus, removing those dead skin cells will allow your skin care products to penetrate the skin more easily and your makeup will go on more smoothly.
Most conventional exfoliants contain harmful chemicals and plastic beads to give you that grainy scrub feel. The US has finally banned the use of plastic beads in exfoliators, but they don’t have to be taken off the shelves until 2018. Luckily, there are some fantastic natural exfoliators on the market today. Look for exfoliators that use plant and fruit enzymes to do the enzyme exfoliation and plant-based mechanical exfoliators like apricot seeds, walnut seeds or jojoba beads.
Morning is the best time to gently exfoliate so the skin can regenerate and repair itself during the day and will in turn repair itself overnight. If you are using a gently exfoliator daily, you can do a deeper exfoliation once or twice a week depending on your skin care needs.
I have tried many, many exfoliants, but for daily exfoliation, I always come back to the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. This cleanser uses French pink clay, organic aloe leaf juice and sunflower seed oil. It also uses fruit enzymes and apricot seed powder to give you that grainy feel. It is gentle enough to use every morning and it makes my skin feel super clean without feeling dry or tight.
For a deeper exfoliation, my favorites are…
Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator – the ingredient list for this exfoliant sounds more like a delicious tea or flower arrangement. It uses finely ground walnut shells for the mechanical exfoliation and fruit and herbs for the enzymatic exfoliation to remove dead skin and buildup. This product has a light herbal scent and you use it straight from the jar, no mixing required. You can leave it on for 10 minutes up to an hour. You only need a small amount and it will make your skin soft and glowing. This is a fantastic exfoliating mask and is gentle enough to use once or twice a week. I am currently out of this one and need to reorder.
Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask – this is a stronger exfoliating mask. It smells good enough to eat due to the addition of raw cacao and manuka honey. It contains 3 types of purifying clay, activated bamboo charcoal and walnut-shell powder for the mechanical exfoliation. When you apply this mask, as you notice it drying on your face, it is best to spray it with water or hydrating mist to keep it from completely drying out. Sometimes when I remove it, my skin has a little redness and tingling, but that quickly goes away and my skin feels smooth and hydrated. As a bonus, it comes with its own ceramic mixing bowl. My kids love using this mask because it smeels so delicious. It also works well mixed with honey.
Verdura Natural Alternatives Bamboo Diva Face Polish – this exfoliant is good to use several times a week. It is a milder exfoliator, but I feel it is a little too strong to use everyday. It is made with bamboo, watermelon and banana extracts for a great enzymatic and mechanical exfoliation. It has oats to help heal and nourish the skin. I mix this scrub with water and leave it on for about 10 minutes in the shower. I gently scrub it into my skin prior to rinsing to get the micro abrasion feel. It leaves my skin feeling clean and very soft without feeling dried out. My teenage daughter loves using this face polish!
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial Mask this exfoliant has natural alpha and beta hydroxy acids along with cellulose beads for the dual action (enzyme and mechanical) exfoliation. This product goes on straight from the jar and will definitely make your skin tingle and even burn a little. It is the most expensive of all of the ones I use. I got it for my birthday, so I don’t know if I would buy it for myself. I still have half a jar left. It makes my skin red for about 20 minutes afterward, but also incredibly soft. I can only use this a few times a month because occasionally my skin rebels and gets a little too sensitive. If you don’t have sensitive skin, you would probably love this product.
Odacité Jojoba Beads Exfoliant – I bought an Odacité discovery kit and this product was included. I will definitely repurchase this in a full size. It uses Jojoba beads which are made from Jojoba wax, so they are smooth, but tough enough to remove dead skin and build up. I love using this one when my face is feeling particularly dry, but I still need to exfoliate. It makes my skin feel really moisturized, but still clean.
Whichever product you chose, know that exfoliants don’t have to be harsh to be effective and a regular routine will leave your skin brighter and your skin tone smoother and more even.