Exfoliation is most often achieved through either mechanical or chemical means. Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin’s outermost surface. Exfoliation is an important part of facials and body treatments. Exfoliating the skin cosmetically is the act of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of the epidermis. This is important for keeping the skin young looking and healthy. This is achieved through chemical peels, dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. There are two type of exfoliation. Mechanical Exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliants include micro-bead facial scrubs, crushed almond shells, sugar or salt crystals, pumice, and abrasive cloths such as loofahs. The dead skin cells are physically rubbed off with an abrasive.
Chemical Exfoliation. Enzymes, alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) or betahydroxy acids (BHAS) loosen the glue-like substance that holds the cells together, allowing them to slough away. Facial peels are a form of chemical exfoliation. Natural facial exfoliation products may contain mild clays, soothing colloidal oatmeal, soft fruit seeds & powders, herbs and other non-abrasive ingredients. A natural exfoliating facial masque can be quite soothing for tender skin. Chemical exfoliants include scrubs containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid which may be applied in high concentrations by a dermatologist. Exfoliating exposes the supple layer of smooth skin and promotes new cell regeneration.
When choosing a cleanser or scrub, take care not to over work/scrub your face. Do not use around the delicate eye area. A good multi-tasking exfoliating product for the rest of the body is a sugar scrub, which can also be used for shaving your legs. Sugar Scrubs will not burn if you have any little nicks or cuts, as a salt scrub would. A natural scrub with an oil base not only exfoliates, but also conditions and moisturizes the skin, which eliminates the need to apply moisturizer afterwards. When choosing a natural sugar scrub, look for healthy ingredients including organic sugar, cold pressed oils and essential oils. Men have hair all over, and hair traps oil, dirt and grime. For men, there are three major areas in need of regular exfoliation: face, back and chest.