Did you know that “dust bunnies”, those wisps of dust found under beds and chairs, are made up of dead skin cells? Put that in your “things that I really didn’t need to know” file, right? The reason I mention this, is that we are constantly shedding skin cells – all over the place, all the time! As we get older, they don’t come off quite as easily or as quickly. I heard someone once say “that’s why old people smell and have a grayish hue to their skin”. While I’m not so sure about that, I do know that I don’t want anything dead stuck on me ever!!
Exfoliation is the process of using mechanical or chemical means to promote skin cell shedding from the epidermis. Despite the fact that skin exfoliation is incredibly beneficial, it is often an overlooked part of a healthy skin care regimen. To understand why exfoliation is so important, it is necessary to first look at skin function and the natural sloughing process.
The skin is made up of three layers – the hypodermis, dermis, and epidermis. Skin cells are constantly regenerated, with new skin cells created in the dermis and old, dead skin cells shed from the epidermis. This process keeps skin clean and smooth, helps prevent pore clogging, and reduces acne breakouts. As we age, the natural sloughing process can slow and become uneven. the result – dull, rough-looking skin, clogged pores, and blemishes. Exfoliation helps prevent skin from becoming dull and damaged looking by removing dead cells and encouraging cell turnover.
How Can Exfoliation Improve Your Skin?
- Removes dead, dry skin cells to reveal healthy, translucent skin underneath
- Supports health skin cell function by increasing epidermal turnover rate
- Helps prevent the cell buildup associated with clogged pores and acne
- Helps fade age spots
Two Types of Exfoliation
Mechanical and Chemical
- Mechanical exfoliation involves physically scrubbing dead skin cells from the surface using an abrasive. Commonly used abrasives include plastic beads, salt, sugar, crushed nut shells, pumice, and abrasive sponges or loofahs.
- Chemical exfoliation involves products that contain enzymes or acids that help loosen the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the epidermis. Many chemical exfoliants use fruit acids or alpha-hydroxy acids. Fruit enzymes can also be used to help dissolve dead cells. A dermatologist can apply highly concentrated chemical exfoliants, though products containing lower concentrations are available over the counter.
Carica Papaya Leaf Extract
Carica Papaya Leaf Extract contains the proteolytic enzyme, papain, which is well-known for its exfoliation properties. Proteolytic enzymes assist in the exfoliation process by naturally dissolving proteins that hold dead skin cells in place. Papain is a mild alternative to harsher ingredients commonly used in chemical exfoliation.
Good Question – ‘How Often Should I Exfoliate?’
While exfoliation is an important step in promoting healthy skin cell turnover, over-exfoliation can cause skin drying and irritation. It is generally recommended that we exfoliate 1-3 times per week, depending on our particular skin type and exposure to environmental factors that cause skin damage. For example, oily skin tends to slough off skin cells less easily, so an individual with oily skin may exfoliate more frequently than someone with normal or sensitive skin. When designing a regimen suited to your needs, by sure to assess how your skin feels before and after exfoliating to determine the frequency that is best for you!
- At birth complete cell turnover takes approximately 2 weeks. At 50 years old, the same process takes 4 – 6 weeks.
- Celloxylin™ Enzyme Activated Micro Scrub is formulated with fine beet sugar to provide gentle mechanical exfoliation, and papain to provide natural chemical exfoliation!
- The problem with pellets | Many exfoliation products use tiny plastic beads, called nurdles, as the abrasive for removing dead skin cells. Unlike other common abrasives (sugar, salt) these pellets are not biodegradable – instead, they travel down your drain, contaminating the ocean and other aquatic environments. In addition to accounting for up to 98% of marine debris found on some beaches, nurdles are a danger to small organisms that ingest them, so chose wisely next time you grab a scrub!
- TRY THIS . . . a great way to use the Celloxylin™ Enzyme Activated Micro Scrub! Apply the Celloxylin™ Enzyme Activated Micro Scrub in the shower as instructed. Before rinsing, apply Celloxylin™ Hydro Burst Cleanser for a delightful cleansing and exfoliating experience!
I absolutely LOVE this scrub!! It is the “grittiest” scrub I have every used, and as I am scrubbing, it completely melts on my skin – my skin feels minty fresh, and tingly, clean and renewed!!
Thanks for stopping by…..You Make My Life Beautiful!!
PS: Do you have a skin care issue you would like help resolving, or a health question for me? Leave a comment and I will do my best to help!
©2011 Candy Dye