The Importance of Exfoliation: A Beauty Fix Post

So…my intent was to regularly do Beauty Fix posts similar to the one I did last year but I’m not sure what happened! I just wasn’t able to keep up with them. So hopefully I will be able to this year as I think it’s helpful to get not only product advice but expert advice too.
Exfoliation for both the body and the face is so important as is reveals smoother skin and will help your products absorb better and therefore you won’t have to use as much as they will be more effective.

You all know my friend Stephanie Daga, Founder and Creative Director of Blush Pretty and Fresh Beautiful right?

Stephanie Daga

Well she is usually my go-to when I have a skin or makeup question. She deals with every single skin type there is out there. Here’s why she feels exfoliation is so important:

You shed dead skin cells daily and while most will wash away with your morning and evening skincare routine, some dead skin cells tend to stick around causing build-up over the skin and resulting, over time, in a dull, blah appearance. Exfoliating regularly ensures that those dead skin cells are being sloughed off the skin to reveal a healthy, bright and fresh layer.  Your makeup will adhere better to the skin and apply better (think a seamless, flawless glide of foundation over the skin with minimal dry patches); plus you’ll look longer naturally.”

This makes complete sense to me. I also find that as I get older my skin cells aren’t turning over as quickly and without regular exfoliation my skin will develop that undesirable dull look.

For me, these two products have worked well for my skin:

The Kellett cleanser is gentle enough for me to use 2x a day and never left my skin feeling tight and dry. I would recommend starting slow with this one as it contains salicylic  acid though it’s not high on the ingredient list.


Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant

This product is super gentle and I love that you either add just water or mix it into your favourite cleanser. I would recommend this product for any type of skin including sensitive.


But how often should we be exfoliating?
I spoke to my friend Kristen Ma skin expert and co-founder of Pure + Simple for her practical tips.
Kristen Ma

“For sensitive skin types, I would recommend using a scrub no more than twice a week.  Keep in mind, I am only referring to natural skincare – usually these scrubs will be made of of ground nuts and almonds, oats and tahini and/or wax jojoba beads, so the ingredients themselves are highly beneficial for the skin.  Note: all sensitive skin should stay away from scrubs using sugar or salt as their exfoliating agent.  These are too harsh despite being natural ingredients.

If the skin is not sensitive, we can exfoliate 3 times a week to everyday depending on how dull and depleted the skin is. If we aren’t using a manual scrub and are using a low percentage chemical peel (such as 5% lactic acid), this skin type can peel every night.  I usually say that a client should start off with every other day, then increase to everyday if the skin feels good after a couple of weeks.  Sensitive skin types should probably limit this type of usage to 3 times per week to every other day.  Though keep in mind, if we do peel more than three times per week with a chemical peel, this should be done temporarily and only because we are trying to treat a beauty ailment such as pigmented lesions.  I do not advocate over-peeling.  But alas, only deeper peeling will truly fade darkened spots – so once enough lightening has occurred, exfoliation should be lessened.”

I’m really glad Kristen brought up the manual exfoliation versus the chemical exfoliation. I think many people shy away from the phrase “chemical peel” as can sound a bit scary but as Kristen mentions it’s really not and sometimes necessary especially if pigmentation, dark spots and even scarring is an issue.

So I asked Kristen what are the main differences between manual versus chemical exfoliation or peels:

“There are two main types of peels – manual scrub that use a granular agent to physically remove dead skin cells and non-physical peels, also called chemical peels.  Chemical peels use enzymes and acids to digest dead skin cells.  

I like manual scrubs for those looking to remove surface impurities and also create some circulation in the skin.  My favorite for all skin types (including sensitive skin) is the Pure + Simple Sensitive Exfoliant and Mask.  It uses jojoba wax beads and therefore does not scrape or over-abrade your face.  But if you are looking to treat dark spots, scars etc, a chemical peel is better as it penetrates into our skin tissue and can treat your skin more deeply.  Even sensitive skin types can use these peels, but should not use a concentration over 5% (in most cases, though it depends on the peel).  In these cases, I would seek the advice of a professional esthetician.  They may even recommend a professional peel so that you exfoliation can be overseen properly.”

So, there are the in’s and out’s of exfoliation and how important it is for your skin’s health and to maintain the healthy and youthful glow that everyone wants.

Thank you so much to both Stephanie and Kristen for their input. You can check out Stephanie at Blush Pretty and Fresh Beautiful where you’ll find her teaching workshops and beautifying clients all around the GTA.  You can find Kristen over at her blog Holistic Vanity.

Is exfoliation part of your daily skin care regime?

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