You know what they say, teamwork makes the dream work. This mantra doesn’t just apply to business or sports, but your skincare too.
The aim of the exfoliation game is to reduce the number of dead skin cells sitting atop our complexions. It can be achieved through physical or liquid means, where grainy particles or hydroxy-acids loosen and break down the bonds that hold these older skin cells to the surface.
At any one time, each of us has an excess of older, redundant skin cells covering the surface of our complexions. Our skin will naturally send them packing over time (this process is invisible to the naked eye) but the rate at which this happens slows as we age. Hence why you may notice that your skin appears less radiant as you travel down the path of life. It is at this point that exfoliation becomes an especially helpful tool, assisting the skin with this function.
With older skin cells out of the way through exfoliation, skin not only looks brighter, but any skincare you apply afterwards, such as your serums, will be able to penetrate the skin more easily. Think of it like this. It’s much easier to apply a hair serum or conditioner when your hair isn’t knotty or looped around clips or bands. By taking the time to brush or comb your hair first, teasing out any tangles, the product will be much easier to apply and your hair will reap the benefits.
Exfoliation will also support the work of your serums. Say, for example, you’re using a vitamin C serum to boost brightness and fade dark marks. Exfoliating with an alpha-hydroxy acid will also help, removing radiance-robbing old skin cells from the surface and helping to slowly fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Congested skin? The same theory applies. Blemishes like blackheads and whiteheads form when dead skin cells and oil become trapped in a pore. If you are using a beta-hydroxy acid liquid exfoliant to whisk away dead skin cells as well as a niacinamide serum to help balance oil flow, you’re onto a winning combination. Exfoliation and serums can work wonders when they work together.
As a final note, this doesn’t mean that throwing the kitchen sink at your skin, with lashings of serum and exfoliants, will solve all your complexion bugbears. Both need to be introduced gradually into your routine to avoid irritation. Start with just a couple of times a week, using serums and exfoliants on alternative days, and build up from there. Those with very tolerant skin may find they can eventually use both a liquid exfoliant and a serum every day, while others will remain more comfortable using on alternate days or less frequently. Remember, everyone is different – don’t forget to listen to your skin.