Winter is over, Spring is coming to an end, and summer is right around the corner. Time to break out the bathing suits and shorts... but wait! Winter has left you with flaky, dry, and scaly skin! Not to fear, Plantlife is here to talk about how important exfoliation and hydration is to your skin and not just after winter, but all lifetime long! Available now for the month of May, we are offering an Exfoliation Kit on our website, to help you achieve beautiful skin!
Exfoliation? What's that?
The word exfoliate comes from the Latin word exfoliatus, which means to strip off the leaves. Similar to a tree, your body also sheds its "leaves" (skin cells) to prepare for incoming new cells. Skin has two main layers: the Epidermis (outer layer) and the Dermis (lower layer). New skin cells are produced in the Dermis and are pushed upwards to the Epidermis, forcing dead skin cells to shed. "Why are my skin cells dying?" you may be wondering, but dead skin cells are natural and are a good thing! When skin cells are pushed into the Epidermis they slowly age, becoming acidic and filling with Keratin. The Keratin filled cells help protect your skin from outside elements and from moisture loss. As we age, cells can fill with Keratin and die at an uneven rate and also accumulate in areas creating dry, flaky patches of skin. Exfoliating your skin helps keep the natural process of shedding dead cells balanced and preventing patchy skin. Exfoliation also gives your skin a more healthy, glowing, and youthful appearance as it helps newer skin cells to surface.
There are two types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Chemical exfoliation includes chemical peels by skin specialists or different types of acids that promote skin peeling. Mechanical exfoliation involves physical scrubbing of the skin by using loofahs or ramies (like Plantlife Hemp & Bamboo scrubbers!), or brushes. As we do not recommend using chemicals on the skin, we will only be talking about mechanical exfoliation.
How Do I Exfoliate Without Damaging My Skin?
The skin is your body's largest organ so it makes sense why you would want to take care of it. Exfoliating can appear damaging since it literally is scraping off skin cells and can temporarily leave skin red. However, exfoliation is like helping your skin breathe. As skin varies in thickness on different locations of the body, it has different requirements for proper exfoliation. We will break it into three main areas to keep it simple: face, body, and feet. It is important to remember to always exfoliate on wet, clean skin!
The skin on the face is the thinnest and most delicate. Over-exfoliation of this area can be damaging. The face should be exfoliated softly and not more than once a week. Do not use pumice or rock exfoliates on the face. Scrubs for the face should have finely ground ingredients and brushes, scrubbers, or cloths should be gentle and soft. Men in particular benefit from exfoliating the face as it uncovers the hair follicles for better shaving results.
Skin located on the body (arms, legs, torso, but avoiding private areas) is tougher than skin on the face. The body can be exfoliated more than once a week, but using brushes, scrubbers, or cloths should be soft and gentle like Plantlife Hemp & Bamboo scrubbers. Legs and arms greatly benefit from exfoliation, making them soft and keeping them smooth. Exfoliation of the body can also help prevent body acne such as back acne.
The bottom of the feet have the thickest portion of skin and can handle rougher exfoliation. Pumice and other porous volcanic rocks are typically used for exfoliation of the feet. Feet can also be exfoliated more than once a week.
I've Exfoliated, Now What?
Exfoliation is only the first step to a healthier skin appearance. The next step is hydration! Sloughing off dead cells can leave your skin thirsty and feeling dry and unprotected because the dead skin cells filled with Keratin help prevent moisture loss. When you hydrate, the skin cells retain the hydration, helping prevent dry skin patches and flaking skin and improve overall look and feel. It is also important to note that skin hydration is not just topical! Remember to drink plenty of water every day. This will improve your overall appearance by help your body flush toxins from the skin and reduce pore size and help prevent blemishes. Plantlife body oils are the perfect way to easily hydrate your skin after a bath or shower!
Easy as 1...2...
Better looking skin doesn't have to be difficult to achieve or expensive. Exfoliating and hydrating are both simple ways that should go hand in hand in your skin care regime. If incorporated into your routine, not only will you have better skin in time for summer, but you'll be taking care of your body's largest organ for life!