Exfoliation of dead skin on the face or body is now considered an important part of caring for the skin. However, the idea itself is an old one, possibly dating back to the middle ages. Some even link exfoliation to the Egyptians. When one exfoliates, one removes dead skin cells that may remain on the face, and this may be done using natural or chemical products. One can find many products that can help fulfill this purpose but exfoliation can also be done using home-made products and materials such as sugar, salt, tomatoes and lemons.
It is also important to remember to use exfoliators appropriately. For example, one should not use body exfoliators on the face and vice versa.
Skin regenerates. It sheds its old, damaged cells in favour of newer, fresher ones. However, when old cells do not shed as quickly as is required, certain skin problems can arise, such as blackheads, whiteheads etc. Exfoliation can hasten this process, which may aid the effectiveness of moisturisers and thus result in one achieving the desired skin tone.
Ways to Exfoliate
When exfoliating, one can use both chemical and manual methods. Chemical exfoliation involves the use of chemicals to dissolve the old, dead skin cells. These chemical substances are often derived from fruits and sugars in milk, such as glycolic and lactic acid.
Manual exfoliation entails the physical removal of dead skin through the use of scrubs. These scrubs often contain ingredients such as crushed apricot kernels or almond shells. When choosing a scrub, avoid those that contain sharp edged abrasives, as these may in fact damage skin. Try to find scrubs that use beads.Home-made Solutions
Some home-made exfoliating recipes can be just as effective as those for sale commercially. Our first recipe uses Honey and Almond. You will need half a tablespoon of honey, the same amount of lemon juice and one almond. Grind the almond into powder and mix it with the honey and lemon. Using the result, scrub the face in a circular fashion before rinsing off with cold water.
Strawberries can also be used to exfoliate. Crush two fresh strawberries and mix them in with half a tablespoon of brown sugar. As with the previous method, scrub the face with the resulting mixture using the fingertips before rinsing the face clean.
A mixture that uses olive oil and sea salt can also be used. Mix one tablespoon of olive oil with the same measure of sea salt. Apply the paste to the face and gently scrub, again using a circular motion. Rinse off and towel dry.