Exfoliation is a word so commonly used in the beauty world, but what is it?

Our skin rejuvenates and sheds on a regular basis. Sometimes those dead skins cells that are being shed actually cling to the skin, and over time they build up, clogging pores, compressing hair in follicles and creating uneven skin tone and textures. Like all other beauty treatments, we have learnt over the years what works and doesn’t work, and what products are best for where.

So what is exfoliation? Exfoliation is the act of buffing, sloughing and scrubbing away those dead skin cells using two methods of exfoliation: Mechanical– which is just a fancy way of saying you do all the work and Chemical– not as scary as it sounds


Mechanical exfoliation

This is the act of physically exfoliating, with the use of exfoliants that require motion and participation. Mechanical exfoliation is great for sloughing away dead skin cells on the body. They use the methods of scrubbing, brushing and buffing dead skin cells.

When using a scrub, you want to work the exfoliant into the skin in circular motions to also help circulation. Brushes are usually used dry on dry skin prior to showering, again work into the skin in circular motions or upward strokes, they also help cellulite and removal of toxins. Mechanical exfoliants can be harsh on the skin especially on delicate facial skin, unless specifically designed for the face like konjac sponges, but they are great for body care.

Best for body exfoliation.

Important notes- Avoid 24 hours prior to waxing. If you have active acne breakouts, its best to also avoid mechanical exfoliants to ensure bacteria isn’t spread.


Chemical exfoliation

This refers to a type of chemical component that breaks down the cells that hold dry/dead skin to the surface of the skin. These chemicals are commonly referred to as acids, but fear not! Dermatologists and chemist’s have realised that with the right dose and carrier, these acids are more beneficial than harmful.

Acids like glycolic, salicylic and lactic (AHA & BHA) can fight these dead skin cells, reduce enlarged pores, clogged pores and dull skin unlike anything else. This makes them a great potential additive to any skincare regime. If you’re looking for a more natural alternative, look for enzyme exfoliants, such as products that contain pineapple, papaya and pumpkin in them.

Best for facial exfoliation.

Important notes – Avoid use 24 hours prior to waxing, always wear SPF whilst outdoors when using any chemical/enzyme exfoliants.


More reasons to add exfoliation to your face and body care:


  • Exfoliation prevents ingrown hairs period; dead skin cells block hair follicles and can force hair back under the skin forming those red inflamed bumps.
  • Exfoliating helps products penetrate the skin better; want to get the most out of your skin care? Exfoliate first. Think about dry skin as an extra layer that skin care has to fight through to penetrate the surface.
  • The overall look of skin changes; dry, uneven skin tone and texture is usually because of the dead skin that doesn’t get removed; exfoliation reveals refreshed and new skin.
  • Not exfoliating pre-wax can actually make the wax less comfortable. This is because waxing lifts hair and can lift dead skin cells which can be painful for some. Exfoliating creates the perfect base for waxing whilst reducing discomfort.


When should I exfoliate for the perfect selfcare ritual?


The face:

Depending on the choice of product and how much time you want to spend on your routine, we recommend exfoliating the skin of the face every 2-3 days. The action of exfoliating the face tends to happen after cleansing the skin and prior to toners, serums and moisturizers. Also, depending on the type of exfoliator, some can be used daily for those who like to exercise their right to fresh skin on the regular.


The body:

Similar rule as above; this all depends on the method and product used. Exfoliate every 2-3 days in the shower or prior to showering. You should also exfoliate 24 hours prior to any hair removal and hold off on the exfoliation at least 24 hours post hair removal.


Let’s reveal our best skin yet!