We all want smoother, more radiant skin. Right? So what our number one way to get there? Exfoliate.
As we age, the rate of skin cell turnover slows, meaning the body takes longer to shed old skin cells and generate new ones. It takes 40-60 days for skin cells to be completely regenerated in older adults, while it takes only 28 days for younger individuals (and half that for babies!). And to make matters more drastic, the production of collagen — a protein crucial to skin’s firmness and elasticity — also decreases with age, resulting in progressively-thinning, weakened skin.
So, what can you do to slow this process? Exfoliate. Sloughing away dirt and dead skin cells helps eliminate dullness, roughness and dryness—conditions that amplify the appearance of lines, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation leaving you with a smooth, radiant complexion.
Radiance is achieved when skin is smooth enough to reflect light (hence, the incredible trend on highlighters – more on that later). However as we age, radiance diminishes as skin shows signs of aging. That’s because, over time, cell turnover rate slows down and dead skin cells build up, which creates the appearance of rough, dry skin and enlarged pores.
Exfoliation can help reverse these conditions, as it stimulates cell turnover, resulting in a more polished and smooth skin surface—all the better to reflect the light. Sloughing away dead cells, dirt and leftover makeup evens out skin tone and improves its texture, rendering skin softer, brighter and fresher looking. So, in short: exfoliation is a must for revealing and preserving radiance.
Removing old skin cells is vital in making your skincare products work better. How? Your cleansers, moisturizers and hydrating serums are able to penetrate more deeply and do their jobs more effectively when skin is freshly exfoliated.
As with most things in life, moderation is key when it comes to exfoliation. Whatever form of exfoliation you use—physical, chemical or both—don’t fall into the “if it’s hurting, it must be working” trap.
Too-vigorous, frequent or harsh scrubbing, scraping or peeling can irritate the skin; overzealous exfoliation is likely to damage the protective skin barrier, which can lead to more damage..
In fact, any assault on the protective skin barrier, such as excessive scrubbing or a sunburn, can lead to sensitized and dehydrated skin that is susceptible to redness, breakouts, flakiness, roughness, and wrinkles and other markers of aging so – exfoliate – bu, don’t over do it.