Exfoliate To Gift Yourself Healthy Radiant Skin

True beauty blossoms with internal health and external care. Most women blessed with good skin and smooth gorgeous complexions, are those who have pampered their skin over the years with utmost care and devotion. Natural methods like exfoliation, included as part of your beauty regimen, sure works wonders to achieve that envious looking softer and radiant skin bringing out the beauty within you. Now what is exfoliation all about?  Have you ever wondered how to exfoliate your face and how often you should do it?  Read on for more details and tips for exfoliating your face.



How to Exfoliate Your Skin (Image: 123RF.com)


what is exfoliation?The word ‘exfoliate’ derived from the Latin word ‘exfoliare’ means to strip off leaves. The ancient Egyptians practiced the technique of exfoliation. This process was also in practice during the middle ages, where wine was used as a chemical exfoliant with tartaric acid being the active agent.


A process followed in most of the spas as part of a beauty regimen is exfoliation, which is nothing but removal of the oldest dead skin on the outermost layers revealing the younger and fresher skin beneath. This process enables an even skin tone besides getting rid of the oil-clogged pores keeping skin clean, with marked reduction in acne breakout thus promoting a radiantly smooth and soft skin. However most women exfoliate their faces ignoring the rest of the body, which is as important to keep your skin glowing from head to toe.


Exfoliation for Healthy Skin

Skin exfoliation improves the quality and tone of skin by facilitating removal of dead skin cells from the surface. Did you know that the human skin produces about a million cells every minute that amounts to above five billion cells each day? With the renewal of new skin cells, the cells beneath become hard and dry due to loss of moisture. These ultimately separate naturally, giving way to the new cells to resurface. This progression and recurrence of the new skin cells is what is known as desquamation


Desquamation also eliminates damaged and contaminated cells that carry pollutants and microorganisms. Nevertheless, occasionally the worn out skin cells do not disintegrate, instead tend to remain on the surface making the skin lacklustre. However, through exfoliation method done either at a professional salon or at home, these dead skin cells may be expelled imparting a fresh healthy glow due to the exposure of the regenerated new cells.


Exfoliation Methods

With usage of coarse scrubs, the process of mechanical or physical exfoliation may be carried out. Nevertheless chemical exfoliation is done by usage of certain types of exclusive acids that requires no scrubbing as they have the ability to dissipate the worn out cells beneath the surface.


Physical/Mechanical scrubs

This procedure is done physically by scrubbing the skin with use of coarse stuff such as brushes, loofahs, sponge, pumice, salt crystals, sugar, and apricot seeds including facial scrubs that consist of micro beads


Chemical scrubs

Chemical treatment involves the use of chemicals like malic acid, citric acid, fruit enzymes, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Occasionally they are performed with the products available at the market containing certain chemicals such as Alpha and beta hydroxyl acids (AHA/BHA). For people suffering from acne certain enzymes are used to strip off the dead skin cells.


Chemical peels/microdermabrasion

For effective exfoliation of skin, light chemical peels and microdermabrasion procedures are performed at professional salons and parlours to eliminate the dead cells and to bring the hidden radiance from the new cells instantaneously.  Besides these procedures help deal with other skin problems too such as acne and discoloration of skin.  It is however extremely important to recognize the initial symptom of skin inflammation, which can cause the skin to turn dry very badly inclusive of redness. This may signify that a change in frequency is required for exfoliation.


Exfoliation Tools

There are different tools, which you can use for the exfoliation process.


Exfoliation toolsLoofah is one of the most popular choices when it comes to exfoliation.  A kind of gourd that has been used for centuries, one of the main drawbacks of using this is that it accumulates mildew and bacteria when exposed to humidity for a prolonged period.  However, you can easily prevent this by rinsing the gourd in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda


Pumice Stone

This granulated stone is the ideal beauty tool for dry feet. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, with handles for easy use.


Other Tools

Other tools you can use to obtain smooth skin include Body lotion natural bristle brush exfoliating cleansers, toothbrushes, gloves, brushes, bath sponges or simple washcloths available at home would meet your requirements. For scalp exfoliation nothing to beat your natural tools – fingers.


Exfoliation Products

Select exfoliating cleansers that contain grainy elements such as walnuts, seeds, ground almonds, sea salt or sugar. If your skin becomes excessively dry or irritated after exfoliation, do not scrub so hard. Cut back on the frequency of exfoliation and find out if you are allergic to any of the products that you had applied.


Exfoliation Techniques: How to Exfoliate your Skin?

To exfoliate skin the timing of the process is very essential.  According to skin experts, the first thing in the morning when you wake up there is an accumulation of dead cells.  Hence, it is ideal for scrubbing and exfoliation since the skin undergoes a repairing process while you are asleep.



You should start scrubbing before getting in the shower. It might be ideal to start the process of light scrubbing by means of a loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves beginning from the soles of the feet working upwards towards the head. This will help remove the loose skin and prepare skin for the exfoliating process.



Once done hydrate skin by getting into the shower.  Use warm water to dampen your skin.  Avoid using hot water, as it tends to damage healthy skin cells besides making the skin excessively dry causing irritation.



Use a pumice stone on your feet to eliminate rough spots and calluses. In case of roughness, soak them in a basin of warm water mixed with a cup of milk for half an hour before getting into the shower



Apply your scrub or cleanser and work towards a circular motion, which besides creating foam will enable the exfoliation soaps to absorb their elements to penetrate deeply into the skin. Scrub gently as vigorous scrubbing will expose the lower layers of the skin to a lot of muck with increased chances of developing acne and blackheads.



After scrubbing is complete, clean skin thoroughly and apply a moisturizer.


The frequency of scrubbing largely depends on your skin type. You should not overdo the exfoliation as this can damage your skin further.


Exfoliation for Different Skin Types

As the skin ages, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down. The result is a dull, dark complexion.  Appropriate exfoliation is essential to maintain a healthy radiance.  However, not all forms of exfoliation are the same, as different skin types require personalized method of exfoliation.


Exfoliation for Sensitive Skin

For sensitive skin, a washcloth and creamy cleanser may be all that has needed to eliminate dead cells gently on skin two or three times a week. After the use of a washcloth, generously apply on a thick coat of moisturizer to ease and moisten the exfoliated new skin. People with sensitive skin should nevertheless, avoid microdermabrasion and scrubs, as they tend to cause extreme irritation. Before using a clay based mask or an exfoliating glycolic do a patch test to test for any allergic reactions.


Exfoliation for Normal Skin

If you are one of the few lucky ones whose skin is belong to the normal type, you can accept a vast number of different exfoliation techniques and deeper pressure.  Apply an alpha-hydroxy-acid cleanser on a regular basis as the cleanser helps loosen and remove dead skin cells. Hydrate skin and enable absorption by using a face-massaging device immediately. The massager will facilitate the products go deeply in to the skin making the texture even giving you a rosy glow by stimulating blood flow to your face.


To achieve best results, add a retinoic acid prescription cream to your nightly routine to help speed cell turnover and increase collagen. It works great for improving tone and texture and aids reduction of wrinkles


Exfoliation for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

Exfoliation for Acne Prone SkinExfoliation works wonders at unblocking clogged pores, making it a must for blemish prone skin.  However, taking a sandpaper approach can make it worse .Hence; using a beneficial jojoba beads scrub, will smoothen skin and control oil production. Remember that large granules can tear acne-prone skin with increased chances of developing infection. To dampen skin apply a thin, even layer, and start massaging in circular movements without putting too much  pressure, then rinse and pat dry. Do not exfoliate more than once a week; experts say scrubbing too often can make sebaceous glands overactive, making breakouts worse. (read how to get rid of acne naturally with home remedies?)


Exfoliation for Dry, dehydrated skin

Lack of moisture in the skin leads to gaps in the cellular barrier leaving skin feeling tight and stretched. Many tend to use moisturiser excessively which sticks the dead skin cells underneath resulting in a dull, dark and rough skin tone. Through the process of exfoliation, old worn out skin cells may be eliminated effectively and moisturising and hydrating ingredients can penetrate deeper into skin to help ease dry and dehydrated skin conditions.


Exfoliation for Combination Skin

The T-zone area tends to be oilier than the rest of the face or the body for some individuals. In that case, you may need to use different recipes for varying parts of the face. The T zone needs exfoliation more than other parts of the body. This indicates that if the exfoliation process is once or twice a week, then the T zone needs the process at least thrice a week to remove grease.


Exfoliation for Hyperpigmented Skin


Hyperpigmentation is an increase in colour either due to increased melanin/ melanocytes, or due to a substance that adds colour by forming build-up in skin.  Exfoliation helps get rid of these pigmented cells much more rapidly removing the dead skin cells so ingredients can more effectively penetrate hyperpigmentation at its source. Read about some home remedies for hyperpigmentation)


Exfoliation for Aging skin

When we are young, our cells renew roughly every 12 – 19 days. However, as we get older, this process slows down, as the “glue” that holds cells together becomes thicker and it becomes hard to remove the old dead cells causing accumulation that lead to dull, thick skin with less tone.  On average, cell renewal in midlife takes from 28 – 35 days and up in maturity up to 90 days.


Exfoliation treatment is in particular helpful on mature and premature aging skin, as it stimulates cell renewal faster than the body can on its own.


Useful Tips for Exfoliation

– During exfoliation always, work with warm water. An exfoliating product can become very difficult when applied on its own.
– Avoid the use of body exfoliators on your face.
– Do not apply make-up immediately after exfoliating.

– Avoid exfoliation after a facial shave.

– When exfoliating twice a week, do not carry out the procedure in two consecutive days.  It is advisable to leave a gap between the days within the same to help skin regenerate well.
– Do not forget to include the neck area during the process of exfoliation.

– Individuals having sensitive skin with blemishes ought to avoid Exfoliation process.
– Do not use products containing prickly grains of nutshells, as these can scrape, split, and damage your skin.
– Always test the product on the back of your hand before purchasing.


The key to effective exfoliation is regularity. Pampering your skin frequently will impart soft and supple skin.