The old adage, “Beauty is only skin deep” is absolutely true. Your skin is the first thing that people see when they look at you. For this is the outermost layer of your skin where beauty truly begins.
I’ve always considered it one of nature’s great ironies that the place where beauty lives is not alive at all. Biologically speaking, the cells of your stratum corneum, the outermost layer of your skin, are quite dead. Unlike the living cells of your body, the cells of your dead surface skin have no nuclei at all. This means they can neither grow or reproduce—two of the basic criteria for life as we know it.
Ever wonder why a baby’s skin is so soft? It’s because babies naturally replace their skin cells every few days. As you grow older, however, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin renewal process, improving the tone and texture of your skin.
The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows other health-promoting agents such as moisturizers, antioxidants, and Collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively.
How to Pick a Good Exfoliating Scrub
In general, choosing the right exfoliating scrub from all the commercial products on the market today depends a great deal upon the thickness and sensitivity of your skin. It’s important to remember that all kinds of particles can be used for exfoliation, and mainstream products encompass a wide and varied selection. With that being said, it is extremely important to acknowledge particles that are perfectly round in shape. Some examples include, Amber Crystals and Conundrum/Ruby Crystals, to name a few. This lessens the likelihood of tears happening in the skin. It’s also important to realize that certain ingredients, although natural, may not be appropriate for your skin type. Some natural products, such as crushed nutshells, sea shells, pumice, ground fruit pits and seeds, have uneven edges and irregular shapes that can damage sensitive skin. The best exfoliating scrub is the one that effectively removes your dead surface skin cells but, at the same time, is gentle to the rest of your skin.
There’s no doubt in my mind that regular exfoliation is absolutely essential to maintaining smooth skin and keeping wrinkles at bay.