Bonjour, Mes Amis!
I hope you’ve all had a lovely and relaxing weekend, and got to enjoy our extended summer weather a bit (wearing your sun protection, of course)! I know that nothing leaves me feeling more refreshed and renewed like a long weekend of reading, relaxing, and doing nothing! Which got me thinking, doesn’t my skin deserve a little time to refresh, too?
So, let’s talk about exfoliation! We are all, no doubt, familiar with the concept of exfoliation (let’s face it, it’s not exactly new to the world of skin care!), but just to recap, Exfoliation is defined as the act of removing that top layer of dead skin cells and debris that we accumulate over time, which cause our skin to look dull and matte. But I want to dig a little deeper. How does one go about exfoliating? As it turns out, we have three options:
- Mechanical Exfoliation: This implies the use of simple friction, by implementing either a tool (a brush, loofah, etc.) or a product with a coarse ingredient (sea salt, sugar, crystals, pumice, etc.) to knock this top layer loose and wipe it off of the skin beneath it. This is the most basic form of exfoliation, and is an excellent step to incorporate into your weekly skin care regimen.
- Enzymatic Exfoliation: We borrow very specific enzymes (all natural proteins) from fruits like pineapple and papaya that are specially wired to break down and digest dead skin cells. Unlike mechanical exfoliation, using enzymes to resurface your skin actually penetrates much deeper and works to clear debris out of your pores and deeper layers of your skin, as well.
- Alpha or Beta Hydroxy Acid Exfoliation: This may sound a bit scarier, but Acid Exfoliation uses naturally-derived acids, like Salicylic Acid (from willow tree bark), Lactic Acid (from milk), and Glycolic Acid (from sugarcane, and which many of us use in our Jan Marini Skin Care Management Systems, anyway!) to provide a deeper, more intensive form of exfoliation. Similar to using enzymes, these acids (used in our peels and our home-care products) penetrate deep into the skin and pores to remove debris, while also stimulating the skin’s natural renewal cycle—your cellular turnover rate, which can slow with age—to stimulate cellular renewal on the skin’s surface. Glycolic peels have the added benefit of synthesizing collagen in the skin.
But, I have yet to mention the most important part: WHY should we exfoliate?
Exfoliation by itself can give your skin a youthful, healthy glow by removing the top layer of dead cells and debris, which makes your skin more luminous (because we see the living layer, full of natural oils, on top!) and provide a cleared path for oxygen to reach your living cells.
Yes, you read that right, it will enhance the benefits of your other products. If you don’t exfoliate, the products you apply don’t always penetrate through that dead top layer, and therefore don’t do much for your skin. However, removing this top layer regularly enables your products to penetrate the skin completely and really work their magic!
Now that I’ve told you how wonderful exfoliation is for you, check back with me tomorrow to see what products we have at A French Touch to give your skin that easy, at-home renewal it needs! Then on Thursday, I’ll send you off into your weekend daydreaming about our refreshing and anti-aging peels!
Alors, à bientôt!