While your body naturally sheds its dead skin cells, the rate at which it does so, which is known as cell turnover, decreases with age, resulting in a complexion that has an overall rougher texture. This is where exfoliation comes in, as this removes the layer of dead skin cells and helps to speed cell turnover back up. However, while both your face and your body do require regular exfoliation, there are several differences between the two, and it is important to understand these so that you can give your skin the proper care that it needs.
One of the biggest differences in the skin on your body compared to the skin on your face is its thickness, with your body having skin that is much thicker and less delicate than that on your face. This means that, when it comes to your face, you need to be using quite a mild and gentle exfoliant, so as not to cause any damage. However, when it comes to your body, you have more options available, as your skin here can tolerate a more potent exfoliant.
How Often to Exfoliate
Since the skin on your face can be irritated quite easily, you are likely to be best off exfoliating your face once or twice a week, depending on your skin type, while your body can be exfoliated two to three times a week. However, the method of exfoliation that you choose makes a difference to this, as does the way in which your own skin is able to tolerate the exfoliation.
Mechanical vs Chemical Exfoliation
There are two main types of exfoliation out there; mechanical and chemical. Mechanical makes use of abrasives to scrub at the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells. These come in the form of body scrubs or exfoliating brushes, and can be used all over your body for total body exfoliation. However, these do tend to be quite harsh on facial skin, meaning that chemical exfoliation is often the best choice for this area. Chemical exfoliation makes use of enzymes and acids to loosen the hold that the dead skin cells have on the surface of your skin, dissolving this glue-like substance and allowing them to fall away. These product formulas tend to not irritate the skin as much, making them great for the face.
While there may be many differences when it comes to exfoliating the face and the body, there is one aspect that remains the same, and this is the way in which exfoliating does leave your skin much more vulnerable to the environment afterwards. This is why it is absolutely essential to follow up exfoliation with a thick layer of moisturizer, as this will form a protective film over the surface of your skin, preventing it from drying out or being damaged, until it is able to form its own protective barrier again.
For those who want smooth, clear, and healthy skin, exfoliation is key. While you may need to use different methods to exfoliate your face and your body, this effort will be worth it in the long run, as you will be giving your skin exactly what it needs.