From your dermatologist to your favorite beauty blogger, everyone that’s in the know about skincare will rave about the importance of exfoliation. The simple act of exfoliating your skin on a regular basis can be truly transformational for your complexion.
Why is this? Read on as Introstem explains exactly why exfoliation is so important.
What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is a process that involves removing the dead skin cells that have gathered on the surface of the skin.
Although the body naturally exfoliates, the rate at which it does so declines with age. As a result, dead skin cells pile up on the skin’s surface. This can cause a number of different problems, all of which regular exfoliation can help to prevent.
Why is Exfoliating Your Skin So Important?
Let’s take a look at exactly why exfoliation is so important when it comes to maintaining a healthy appearance:
It Unclogs Pores and Prevents the Appearance of Acne
When dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin, it doesn’t take long for them to start sinking into the pores. Not only does this cause a dull and rough complexion, but it can also trigger acne breakouts.
Pimples erupt when bacteria mixes in with pore blockages, resulting in inflammation. Exfoliating your skin will pull all of those impurities out of your pores. This will then prevent clogs from forming in your pores, which will therefore prevent inflammation, as well as the appearance of acne.
It Fades the Look of Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation can occur for a variety of reasons, with sun damage being the primary cause. Once these dark spots start appearing, people usually turn to products that can help to lighten the look of their discoloration, such as the Stem Cell Vitamin C Serum from Introstem.
While it’s definitely useful to arm yourself with plenty of complexion-balancing skincare formulas, exfoliation is another technique that can go a long way in clearing up the look of discoloration.
It works by breaking up the appearance of excess melanin, which is the pigment that contributes to your skin’s color. This allows the body to then eliminate the excess melanin, therefore evening out the complexion.
It Brightens the Complexion
As we mentioned earlier, dirt and other impurities settling into the pores lead to the skin looking dull and rough. This detracts from the skin’s natural vibrancy, causing a sallow and tired appearance.
By exfoliating all of those impurities away, you’ll be able to brighten up your complexion in no time. Just a single exfoliation session will be enough to add some radiance back to your skin, with regular exfoliation enhancing this even further.
It Improves Product Penetration
It’s not just your appearance that suffers when impurities build up on your skin and in your pores – your skincare routine will struggle to work too. After all, how can all of those products that you’re applying properly penetrate into your skin if they’re being blocked by dirt, excess sebum, and more?
Exfoliating your skin will remove all of that. It will create a clear path for your skincare products to work their way into your skin, allowing them to reach your skin cells much more efficiently. As a result, all of the products that you apply to your skin will provide better results if you regularly exfoliate your skin.
It Gives Circulation a Boost
Exfoliating the skin usually involves a gentle massage in order to spread your chosen exfoliant around your face. This is fantastic for your circulation as it stimulates blood flow.
How does this help your skin? Well, improved circulation means that blood is flowing through your skin at a faster rate. Your blood carries nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells. A faster flow of blood enables your skin cells to receive a greater amount of nutrients and oxygen, allowing them to really thrive. Your skin will look rosier and more radiant, while also feeling so much healthier.
Choosing an Exfoliant
Convinced that you need to start regularly exfoliating? The next step is to choose an exfoliant, but this is where things can get tricky.
Exfoliants usually fall into one of two categories; physical or chemical.
Physical exfoliation involves the use of an abrasive substance, such as salt granules. These are scrubbed over the skin to physically dislodge the dead skin cells that are clinging to your skin’s surface. Once the exfoliant has detached these from the skin, they’re washed away.
On the other hand, chemical exfoliants work by dissolving the bond that keeps dead skin cells attached to the surface of the skin. Once this bond breaks, those dead skin cells fall off, revealing the fresher-looking skin cells beneath.
Which is better?
They both have their pros and cons. Physical exfoliants are so easy and convenient to use, but some contain overly harsh ingredients that tear the skin, causing long-term damage. Chemical exfoliants are, in a way, gentler. However, some of the acids used in chemical exfoliants can also be too potent, resulting in irritation.
So, which do you choose?
We’d recommend trying the Introstem Stem Cell Facial Peeling. It gives you the benefits of both physical and chemical exfoliation, yet without any of the downsides. This is thanks to a combination of bamboo powder, which physically but gently exfoliates the skin, and mandelic acid, which is an exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid with a large molecular size, meaning that it won’t cause any irritation.
Our peel is also loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and humectants. They’ll keep your skin hydrated while also helping to further brighten and revive your complexion.
What About Your Body?
Of course, it’s not just the skin on your face that needs to be exfoliated – the skin on your body requires the same care too! While you could use your facial exfoliant on your body as well, this isn’t usually recommended. The skin on the body is much thicker and tougher than the skin on the face, meaning that the formulas designed for delicate facial skin won’t do much for the skin on the body.
The advantage of this is that you don’t need to worry quite as much about choosing a gentle formula for your body. While abrasive physical exfoliants could potentially tear at your fragile facial skin, they’re ideal for the tougher layers on your body and tend to work better here than chemical exfoliants do.
That’s where Introstem’s Stem Cell Exfoliating Scrub comes in. It consists of a salt base, with salt being one of the best natural physical exfoliants out there. Not only will it scrub away rough and dry skin cells, but it’s also loaded with so many different skin-loving minerals.
Our body scrub is also formulated with vitamin E. This antioxidant is a superstar at helping to keep the skin moisturized while strengthening the feel of the skin’s protective barrier.
How Often Should You Be Exfoliating Your Skin?
With exfoliation being so beneficial for the skin, it only makes sense to want to do it as much as possible. However, exfoliating too often can result in a significant amount of damage to your skin. You’ll end up causing long-term harm to your skin’s protective barrier, leading to everything from redness and irritation to dryness and breakouts.
So, how often can you exfoliate?
This depends on your skin type. People with dry or sensitive skin already have a compromised skin barrier. This means that extra caution is needed, which is why exfoliation should only be carried out once a week.
On the other hand, if you have oily skin, you’ll be more prone to clogged pores. For this reason, you’ll likely need to exfoliate twice a week to keep your complexion clear.
Adding Exfoliation to Your Skincare Routine
Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Cleanse
Although exfoliating your skin will cleanse it to some extent, the main purpose of an exfoliant is to clear out the pores. This is why it’s so important to cleanse before you exfoliate. This way, you’ll be removing any dirt and debris from the surface of your skin. This will provide your exfoliant with a clear path to your pores.
Don’t have a good cleanser? Try Introstem’s Stem Cell Mousse Cleanser. Formulated with grape stem cells, aloe vera, argan oil, and a number of other plant extracts, this gentle cleanser is the ideal product to use before exfoliating your skin.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Now that your face has been cleansed, you can go ahead and use your exfoliant. Remember to be gentle when applying it. Avoid scrubbing or tugging at your skin – this will only lead to damage.
It’s also important to follow the usage guidelines for your chosen exfoliant. Don’t be tempted to leave the exfoliant on your skin for longer than recommended otherwise, again, you’ll end up damaging your skin.
Step 3: Use a Toner
Toners are usually applied to the skin after cleansing. However, if you’re exfoliating too, then save your toner for after you’re done exfoliating.
One formula that works beautifully on freshly exfoliated skin is the Introstem Stem Cell Facial Toner. It’s brimming with hydrating compounds that will leave your skin looking soft and refreshed.
Step 4: Apply a Serum
Post-exfoliation is the perfect time to apply a serum. Since your pores will now be clear, any serums you apply can dive deep into your skin and produce even better results.
If you don’t yet have a good serum in your skincare routine, Introstem’s Hydro Stem Cell Drops is a great all-rounder. Whether you’re dealing with the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, dryness, or anything else, this product can help!
Step 5: Moisturize
Now for the final step in your skincare routine; moisturizing. This is particularly important after exfoliating as your moisturizer will form a seal over your skin’s surface, helping to keep your vulnerable skin feeling protected.
If you’ve exfoliated in the morning, then SPF is vital too. Freshly exfoliated skin is more prone to sun damage. To save time, go for a two-in-one product that both moisturizes and protects, such as our Stem Cell Active Defense SPF 30.
If you aren’t regularly exfoliating your skin, then you’re missing out. It provides so many direct benefits to the skin. And, it enhances how the rest of the products in your skincare routine function, meaning that you’ll be able to enjoy healthier-looking skin overall.