Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Case For Exfoliation

As I am sure you know by now, my skin is very important to me. Its also rather temperamental! I have extremely dry skin which tends to flake and gets worse depending on the weather. I don't just mean a change in season... I mean if its 75 degrees today and then tomorrow its 52 degrees my skin will instantly be a flaky, dry mess! Living in Michigan I have plenty of sucky skin days. I have always used an exfoliant for my face, but just began daily full body exfoliation within the last six months. Here's my case for exfoliation for any skin type.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Skin cells regenerate every day in the lower layer of the skin (dermis). In order for the young skin cells to show there brilliance the old skin cells that make our skin rough, dry and dull need to be removed. For dry skin types, dead skin cells accumulate and make the skin look and feel even more dry. They also prevent moisture from penetrating the pores. For oily skin types, dead skin cells get trapped in the oil naturally produced by your skin and clog the pores. This causes the skin to not only appear dull but also results in breakouts. Exfoliation becomes more important as we age because the natural process of cell turnover slows down.

There are two types of exfoliation: Mechanical and Chemical. Mechanical exfoliation uses various abrasives to physically remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface. Daily mechanical exfoliation should be limited to gentle exfoliants like finely ground fruit seeds, fine sugar/salt, etc. A more abrasive exfoliant like medium to coarse salt/sugar, jojoba beads and whole fruit seeds (like grape and strawberry seeds) can be used 1-2 times per week to really refresh the skin.

Chemical exfoliation employs alphahydroxy acids (AHA's), betahydroxy acids (BHA's)and enzymes to loosen the "glue" that holds dead skin cells together and sloughs them away. Citrus fruits such as lemons, tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges and lime contain natural chemicals (AHA's and BHA's, etc) that exfoliate without the need for rubbing or scrubbing. Chemical exfoliation should be used sparingly and in safe concentrations. Even natural chemicals can be way too strong for use on the skin (especially sensitive skin).

Most natural exfoliants are also rich in vitamins and minerals which is great for healthy skin. Any exfoliating treatment should be followed by a good moisturizer. After proper exfoliation, the skin can more easily absorb a moisturizer because it has been wiped clean of debris and the pores are open.

The second step in the Envie Body Care Systeme is our Silkening Body Polish which is a combination of exfoliants and a moisturizer. Our body polish is suitable for daily use as it contains a fine mechanical exfoliant (crushed walnut shells) and a gentle chemical exfoliant (Bamboo extract). The body polish is followed by our Luxury Shower Gel which is infused with Jojoba Oil and our Conditioning Body Butter Creme with Shea butter, Cocoa Butter, Marajuca, Avocado, Pumpkin Seed and Jojoba Oils.

Exfoliation is key for healthy, glowing, radiant skin... and what's more glam than that?!

Learn more about Envie and buy our products HERE


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