Proper exfoliation is key to maintaining naturally beautiful skin. Exfoliation smooths the skin’s surface by sloughing off dry, flaky cells, which help even out the skin's texture, minimize the appearance of discoloration, and acne blemishes.
Humans are covered by 25 to 30 layers of dead cells that sit on top of our epidermis, otherwise known as the topmost layer of our skin. We also shed around half a billion of these cells each day. And if that wasn’t enough we also produce new cells underneath the dead one. The young cells then make their way to the surface of the skin to repeat the shedding process every four weeks.
If these dead skin cells come off like they’re supposed to, we don’t have a problem. But if that process gets disrupted by things like makeup, stress, and dry or cold air, we can have issues. These issues can range from acne to dull/dry skin all the way to hair loss.
There are two main types of exfoliation; physical and chemical. Both can be extremely helpful in maintaining naturally beautiful skin, however there are a few things to be mindful of when using them on your face. Physical exfoliation is any method which manually removes skin cells and other debris from the surface of your skin. This includes simple tools such as washcloths, loofahs, sponges (like our Konjac Face Sponge), and brushes as well as products such as scrubs which contain exfoliating particles. In our Sweet Orange Facial Cleanser, and our Rose Clay Face Mask we use rounded jojoba beads, to act as a means of physical exfoliation. When using this means of exfoliation it is important to be mindful of the type of exfoliant you use. It is not recommended to use anything with jagged edge particles on the face as this can leave the skin with micro-tears, opening the skin up to harmful bacteria and infections. So the next time someone tells you to use a sugar or salt scrub on your face, just say NO!!
Chemical exfoliation involves the use of enzymes, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid (BHA) or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid to dissolve dead skin cell buildup from the surface of your skin—no scrubbing necessary. Our Fruit Acid Gel is a blend of both AHA’s from fruit, and BHA’s from Willow Bark Extract. There are many products containing these types of ingredients. Some you use in a mask at higher concentrations and need to be washed off. Some, like our fruit acid gel, are formulated at lower concentrations and can be used for leave on treatments. Higher concentrations are performed with a licensed esthetician and are known as “peels.” For some, acids can be sensitizing to the skin, especially if you have certain skin conditions like rosacea.
Here at Bella Botanicals we’re providing you the best of both of these types of exfoliation with our Natural Exfoliation Trio. This trio combines both physical (Rose Clay) and chemical (Fruit Acid Gel) exfoliation to properly assist your skin’s natural cell turnover. And as the clay begins to set up and work its magic, you can further extend it by misting with our Witch Hazel and Lavender Hydrosol Toner. The key to properly applying a clay face mask is to leave it on long enough to pull debris and toxins from the skin, but not long enough to dry out the skin. If you leave it on until the whole mask is dry and you can’t move your face, the clay is now pulling moisture from your skin, which is NOT what you want. The key to a good clay face mask is to remove it while your cheeks are still a bit moist (yes, I hate that word too LOL).
So what makes natural exfoliants different from conventional products you’ll find at the store? First and foremost our fruit acids actually come from fruit. Here at bella we utilize a blend of five botanical extracts: bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange, and lemon. These extracts contain several naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids. Why do we love them so much? Because, when formulated correctly, they’re much more gentle on the skin than synthetic acids. Synthetic acid blends tend to be formulated at concentrations that, if used incorrectly or on the wrong skin type, can cause redness and irritation. Because we formulate ours with a lower concentration of these acids we allow for a blend that can be used on more delicate skin types. We also back our blend up with algae extract and aloe to help soothe the skin.
Here at Bella Botanicals we recommend using our Rose Clay Face Mask for a deep exfoliation and polish once a week. Our Fruit Acid Gel can be used more frequently. We recommend using this product 2-3 nights a week, and during the day as a spot treatment on active blemishes. Because fruit acids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, we do recommend using these types of products at night.
So tell me. Do you exfoliate your skin? If not, perhaps it's time to start.