By Donna Stephens Johnson, LMBT, MMP, Owner Utopia Spa LLC, in Aberdeen, guest columnist
The body’s first line of defense against pathogens (germs) that make you sick is your skin. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, toxins, and parasites. In Fact, your skin is one of the most important players in the immune system.
Its main function is to act as a barrier to protect the body from the outside world. Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. With this year’s season reporting to be the worst in nearly a decade, it stands to reason that practicing good habits in caring for the skin helps boost the body’s defense system and would comprehensively improve your wellbeing-not just your appearance.
What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is a technique of removing the top layer of dry/dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to encourage the live cells down in the dermis of the skin to turnover and refresh the skin’s appearance. The practice of exfoliating is one of the most important aspects of your home skincare routine for face and body.
Exfoliation not only helps many skin problems, it also increases blood circulation, which in turn helps you to receive healthy, glowing skin. Proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin and uncovers fresh new cells below.
This opens the way for moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective. In short, a regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh with a healthy glow.
Is it True Exfoliating is Good for You?
It can be. The skin naturally sheds this top layer about every 30 days; exfoliation simply accelerates what the skin does on its own, by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, exfoliation can make skin look and feel better and may help some skin conditions.
Skin shedding slows as you get older, and this can result in dry, flaky, and itchy skin. Exfoliation brings newer, healthier skin cells to the surface. These younger cells hold water better and allow moisturizer to penetrate better.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
While it’s important to remove dead skin it’s also important not to strip away too many of your natural oils, so a good balance is essential. You can exfoliate once or twice a week, but do it gently and moisturize afterward. Don’t use anything too abrasive on your face.
Can You Over –Exfoliate?
Yes. You can actually cause damage by doing it too much. How often you should do it depends on your skin type. Sensitive skin should be exfoliated once every 7-10 days. Dry to normal skin can exfoliate 1-2 times a week; combination to oily skin can exfoliate 3 times a week.
Methods of Exfoliation and Benefits?
There are three main types of exfoliation. You can do it through mechanical methods, chemical means or during the process of hair removal.
Several popular methods for exfoliating the body include body scrubs, dry skin brushing, loofahs, and exfoliating gloves. Mechanical processes such as body scrubs and dry skin brushing are the most commonly used options such as you would receive from a professional when visiting a spa or salon.
With body scrubs, an abrasive is used on the skin to scrub the dead skin cells away. Dry skin brushing and loofahs used directly on the skin are also common options. If you want to use a chemical exfoliant and have sensitive skin or a skin condition, talk to your health care provider about which product –if any- is best for you.
Put simply, a body scrub is a skin care product whose primary function is to remove dead skin cells through exfoliation as well as cleanse the skin and increase the body’s blood circulation. The exfoliating component needs to be abrasive enough to achieve this but not too strong so as not to damage healthy skin.
If you’re not using a body scrub then you’re missing out on a number of benefits that other skin care products don’t provide. The combination of cleansing, exfoliation, and massage provides benefits that go beyond what a bar of soap can do.
Body scrub benefits:
~ Makes skin look fresh and rejuvenated by removal of dead skin cells and impurities
~ Makes skin look more youthful, vibrant and healthy
~ Moisturizing as it allows for the easy absorption into healthy skin
Dry Skin Brushing
An age-old process of dry brushing skin with a natural brush to stimulate lymphatic flow, improve circulation and exfoliate skin. Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification.
But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently. This is where dry skin brushing can be invaluable, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes.
Dry Skin Brushing benefits:
~ Stimulates and strengthens your lymphatic system
~Aids in detoxification; when your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick
~ Boosts your circulation, may reduce cellulite, and offers both stress relief and invigoration
~ The benefits of dry skin brushing go beyond skin deep, offering whole –body benefits to your health
Exfoliating is similar to massage. “The light pressure against your skin and the direction in which you exfoliate helps move lymph fluid into the lymph nodes so this waste can then be eliminated. Your body naturally does this, but exfoliating speeds up the process and at the same time boosts circulation, delivering oxygenated blood to the skin and other organs, which helps them do their jobs better.
Utopia Spa offers body scrub and dry skin brushing treatments to help you get scrubbing to smoother, healthier, rejuvenated skin. Visit us at our new location:
604 Magnolia Drive
Aberdeen, NC 28315