As we step into the depths of spring, exfoliation is usually the talk of the season, with most wanting to shed the Winter coats as quickly as possible.
Interestingly, our skin actually does a pretty good job of this itself. Just like snakes, dogs & spiders humans shed plenty of skin over a lifetime! We’re going to explore why this happens and what we can do to help with the process.
So what's the process?
It’s a continuous cycle of shedding dead skin cells and generating new ones. This process is also known as desquamation and occurs in the outermost layer of the skin.
This is different to animals such as snakes which shed their skin in one continuous piece! For snakes, this happens between 4 and 12 times per year. Humans shed an equivalent to the entire outer layer every two to four weeks. Eerily, over a lifetime this amounts to about 35 KG… a pre-warning for what we might be revealing to some, but most of this excess collects in the form of dust! (so now you know why that appears out of nowhere)
How does it work?
New skin cells are produced and start pushing up to the outer layer of the skin, as this happens enzymes break down the bonds between the old and the new. The dead skin cells then slowly flake off, revealing the fresh layer underneath.
Why is it important?
The skin's natural exfoliation process is important for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. It helps to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote cell turnover, which can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of ageing.
Several factors can disrupt the skin's natural exfoliation process, including ageing, pollution, and harsh skincare products. When the natural exfoliation process is disrupted, dead skin cells can build up on the surface of the skin, leading to a dull, uneven complexion.
If you’re constantly outdoors seeking your next adventure, you probably spend a lot of in the sun. Our natural exfoliation process becomes even more important here as generating new skin cells is the best way to repair sun damage.
Things we should (and shouldn’t do) to support our skin
Starting with musts, avoid harsh chemicals at all costs! These can strip the skin of its natural oils and lipids, which can lead to huge a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, making it look dull and uneven. Helping our skin along with some gentle exfoliation is also important, as some of the dead skin cells may be a little more stubborn.
It's also important to say that eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep are key.
All in all
The skin's natural exfoliation process is an important part of maintaining healthy, glowing skin. So it’s key that we establish some healthy habits and a little bit of gentle exfoliation to keep our skin looking its best. Especially if you spend your days outdoors!