Choosing the best method of exfoliating can be a minefield, there are so many different variations of products and treatments available to use but do we really know the difference between them all?

I wanted to give you an example of the typical description you see when you research exfoliation.

Exfoliation involves the removal of the oldest dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface. Exfoliation is involved in the process of all facials, during microdermabrasion or chemical peels at medical spas. Exfoliation can be achieved through mechanical or chemical means.

But are these methods safe? Or even beneficial for our skin?

There seems to be a wide misconception about the true value of exfoliating. The one thing we tend to hear the most is the surface is composed of dead skin cells that makes our skin look dull, lifeless and can block the follicles. In actuality these so called ‘dead’ skin cells are mature well functioning cells of the skin. This explains why people get so confused because the first information you see when researching is “dead skins cells” so you would automatically assume these need removing.

How can we achieve the best and safest exfoliation?

Dr Des Fernandes founder of environ quotes “I believe we should avoid the harsh scrubbing exfoliants that seem to be found in most skin care ranges. They destroy too much of the top layer and may even expose the 3rd layer. Remember that the top layer is only 2 hundredths of a millimetre thick so it is easily removed. A simple scratch on the skin surface may remove almost all the top layer. It is bewildering to think of how fragile this layer is and yet the health of our skin is totally dependent on it”

You will often hear exfoliation will help to achieve a radiant glowing appearance, but if you do not have excessively thickened skin and then exfoliate with a granular scrub 2-3 times a week you are essentially removing some important mature functional cells, which will then leave your skin exposed to environmental toxins.

If you are unsure on what is best for your skin, the best thing to do is speak to a facial specialist who will guide and advise you on the best exfoliator for your skin type, if any. Stay away from harsh granular scrubs as these will only damage the top layers of your skin and opt for an exfoliator with lactic acid – a powerful promoter of the natural hydrating factors in the skin.

Kirsty Winzar

About Kirsty Winzar

Senior Therapist

June 8, 2016 Kirsty Winzar