If you tend to think of exfoliation as a somewhat new technique for the advanced treatment of skin, you are not alone. While it is common for the majority of women to imagine that exfoliation is this clever, new and revolutionary way of going deep in the war against skin problems, breakouts and clogged pores, the truth is that exfoliation has been here much longer than any of us. As far back as in ancient Egyptian times, there were various forms of exfoliation in practice, with minerals, a variety of masks contained alabaster particles included for their abrasive properties. in the expanse of time following the ancients, there have been countless formulations to include extracts, poultices, acids obtained from minerals and plant life. There have been recorded practices of extreme practices involving fire and gritty ingredients added to work much like sandpaper.
Humans Naturally Exfoliate
Exfoliation–more aptly, desquamation, refers to outer layers of the skin’s epidermis being shed. The term desquamate means to remove the scales from a fish by scraping. While humans do shed skin cells all the time, their particular form of desquamation is nothing like that of a snake, who leaves behind an intact outer layer and then moves on. It has been determined that, for a variety of reasons including environmental factors and everything we might put on our skin, the exfoliation provided by our natural processes is often insufficient at completely ridding all our pores of the built up dead skin cells and toxins, and sometimes can result in a pustule or infection.
Exfoliation can be performed in one of two ways: Physical or Chemical. Chemical methods range from anything as simple as mild toners, on up to professionally rendered peels costing hundreds of dollars. These rely on abrasive agents, like enzymes from extracts as well as protease enzymes from bacteria. In addition, alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy (salicylic acid) acids, lactic acid, glycolic acids and malic acids join Retinol in various compositions to affect different end results. There is an ongoing argument that chemical exfoliation processes are unable to work as effectively as physical ones. In chemical exfoliation procedures, it is believed that by enabling the turnover of cells of the epidermis, healthy skin being formed would eject the now defunct dead cells.
Of What Use is Exfoliation to Me?
Regardless of which form of exfoliation you decide to go with, either can be of tremendous benefit in enhancing that golden glow of your skin. When performed with consistent regularity, both approaches to exfoliation will help you avoid clogged pores, ingrown hairs, acne, pimples, blackheads and a myriad of subcutaneous conditions. When adhered to regularly, scarring is dramatically reduced and unblocked pores are more able to absorb the nutrients and skin enhancing products you use. Circulation to the face is improved when exfoliation is performed. If you or someone you know is interested in exfoliation, it is vital to first determine the exact formulation that will work for your skin type, and adhere to the warnings. Less is more. Too much exfoliation only produces irritation and possible infection.