Saturday, April 24, 2010

Don't Hate, EXFOLIATE!

I have had numerous customers say that no matter how much moisturizer they apply to their skin, they still don’t seem to be able to stay hydrated. When they apply a moisturizer, there is really no change in the look and feel of their skin. If this is something you deal with as well, read on, I may have a cure for your issue.

EXFOLIATION! This is the simple act of removing the outermost layer of skin. I know that this may sound disgusting, but what is more disgusting is NOT removing this layer of skin.

First a little bit science. Skin is made up of three layers; the outer most is the epidermis, the middle layer is the dermis and the innermost layer is the hypodermis. New skin cells are created in the skin's middle layer, the dermis. Over time, cells migrate to the surface of the skin and become more acidic and saturated with keratin. Keratin is a protein and combined with the acidity of the epidermis, it helps to protect you from outside elements. Each skin cell's journey takes about 30 days. Once it reaches the surface, it has completed its life cycle and dies. These dead cells sloughing off to make way for new skin cells is a part of the natural rejuvenation process of the epidermis.

As we age, the process of cell turnover slows down. Cells start to pile up unevenly on the skin's surface, giving it a dry, rough, dull appearance. Exfoliation is beneficial because it removes those cells that are clinging on, revealing the fresher, younger skin cells below. The exfoliation process unclogs pores, keeps skin clean and helps reduce acne breakouts. Also, by removing dead skin cells, the process of exfoliation prepares skin to drink in moisturizers via live cells and make up can be applied more smoothly.

Your entire body is covered with skin most of which can benefit from some assisted exfoliation. Some areas are more sensitive than others, so not all exfoliation methods are good for use on all areas of your body. Below are a few items that can be used for healthy, mechanical (by way of scrubbing dead skin away) exfoliation of your skin. *Please note, there are other chemical methods for exfoliating, however I prefer the more natural method and only have experience with these methods.

Prior to exfoliating, be sure to cleanse skin. Starting with clean skin remove dirt, oil and containments from the surface of the skin which will make exfoliation easier and will lessen the chance of dirt, or contaminants from being infused into the new skin cells you are trying to reveal.


One would never expect that the loofahs have their origins in a dishrag – or rather, the dishrag vine. This plant is closely related to the cucumber or gourd family. They are edible and are actually quite a popular food source in Asia. Known there as ‘Chinese Okra”, loofah are cooked and eaten.

Loofahs have long been cultivated by Indian and Middle Eastern civilizations. The plant thrives in warm climate, but must be watered frequently. It tends to die when exposed to frost, so (when cultivated in the United States) it must be kept indoors and under close supervision during the cold season.

Loofah sponges are useful, but can breed bacteria especially in humid weather and moist environments like the bathroom and kitchen. We recommend drying a loofah sponge completely between uses, and throwing it away after a few months of use. The wood-like surface is excellent for exfoliating the skin ~ helping to reveal healthy, glowing skin and stimulating better blood circulation.

Loofah is recommended for use on most skin areas. It is mild and can even be used on the face. Be careful when using on under eye areas, it can be a little irritating to that tender area.


Perfect for use on the face, the fibers of a good Microderm Exfoliation cloth are 50-100 times thinner than human hair. These strong, ultrafine fibers are able to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells effectively, smoothing, softening and improving the clarity of the surface of your skin. This miraculous cloth removes dirt, makeup residue and impurities on skin that can lead to blemishes. By removing the top layer of dead skin cells, this cloth enhances the efficacy of other treatment products and moisturizers by allowing them to be applied more directly to living skin cells. By smoothing the skin's surface, it helps makeup glide on smoothly and more evenly. A Microderm Exfoliation Cloth gently polishes away dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, improving skin clarity and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - resulting in a healthy radiance.


Body scrubs are a combination of an exfoliant (sugar, salt or pumice, small seeds like poppy seeds or ground nut shells) and a moisturizing medium (glycerin, oil, butters, etc.). The benefit is that you are moisturizing new skin as soon as it is revealed. Also, body scrubs are easy to use while in the tub or shower (be careful, it may leave the tub or shower slippery) and can have an endless variety of additives with nice fragrances and/or aromatherapy properties.

Body scrubs are great for all over use, but pay attention to the label, some ingredients may be a bit irritating to skin and use caution on sensitive areas. I find that sugar scrubs tend to be less irritating than salt, but salt scrubs can be a great addition to a detoxifying treatment.


Pumice is a type of extrusive volcanic rock, produced when lava with a very high content of water and gases (together these are called volatiles) is extruded (or thrown out of) a volcano. As the gas bubbles escape from the lava, it becomes frothy. When this lava cools and hardens, the result is a very light rock material filled with tiny bubbles of gas. Pumice is the only rock that floats on water, although it will eventually become waterlogged and sink.

As an exfoliater, pumice is available in rock or bar form as well as in powder form. The powder is usually an additive in some form of cream scrub. Pumice is recommended for use on very rough dry areas such as the heels, only. It is very abrasive and could be irritating to more sensitive skin.


Body and facial exfoliating brushes are wonderful for increasing circulation under the skin and removing dead skin cells. The wonder of these brushes is that they can be used wet or dry. Use them for a quick exfoliation prior to applying make-up or moisturizer or use them while bathing along with soap or body wash.

There are other ways to gently exfoliate skin, using natural sea sponges or even mesh shower sponges. These are perfect daily use and mild exfoliation of skin. There is such a thing as over exfoliation so we recommend when using anything other than sponges, that you allow a few days in between each exfoliation treatment. If your skin becomes irritated, or you experience abrasions, this is a sign of over-exfoliation. Allow skin a chance to heal prior to exfoliating again.

Exfoliation works wonders, using the above simple methods will reap benefits equivalent to many costly spa treatments which are marketed to reveal new, healthy skin. You will see results immediately, but remember to moisturize!

Your comments and question are welcome.
Abundance & Light