What is the stratum corneum?
The stratum corneum is the outermost part of the epidermis, mainly composed of ten to twenty layers of flat and nucleus-free dead cells. When these cells fall off, the cells at the bottom of the base are pushed up to form a new stratum corneum.
Skin cuticle is our skin’s natural protective film; it is the skin barrier. It not only mitigates the external damage to the skin, but also can store water, and therefore, it can keep the skin moisturized. Since each person’s skin texture is different, the cuticle thickness differs from one person to the other as well.
What is the function of skin horny?
Skin horny is a natural barrier to the human body, which can protect the skin from stimulation and injury by external substances. Meanwhile, the main component of the cuticle is a soft keratin protein, which has an ardent ability for water absorption to maintain the skin’s moisture. You need to note that it is healthy for you to keep a moisturized skin other than a dry one.
Skin needs metabolism, and some of the old skin surface cells (which are the old cutin) will remain on the surface of the skin. Long-term accumulation of horny layer not only darkens your skin but also prevents the absorption of skin care products. That is one of the many reasons as to you should exfoliate regularly.
Why is it essential for you to exfoliate?
Typically, the process of cell metabolism takes twenty-eight days. However, the metabolic function of the cuticle can weaken depending on the following factors;
·Staying up late, or
The accumulation of unwanted old cutin can hinder your skin’s functionality; it not only inhibits the ultimate ability of your skin to absorb the nutrition from skin care products but also renders the skin darker and a bit rough. Besides, it can even end up clogging your pores, producing pimples, among other skin problems.
Which type of skin is ideal for exfoliation?
If you want to exfoliate, you need first to analyze your specific skin condition. It is important to note that exfoliation does not work well for everybody. For you to make sound decisions on whether to exfoliate or not, you need to consider the following factors:
Regardless of whether your skin is dry or oily, so long as it is healthy, you don’t have to exfoliate. But you can also decide on whether or not to exfoliate depending on the condition of your skin. For example, if of late, the skin has been darkening and becoming rougher, whereas the commonly used skin care products are not absorbed, then it means that you can consider exfoliating the skin.
The formation of acne occurs due to keratin thickness or the clogging of pores. However, it does not mean that you should exfoliate first; to begin with, you should effectively treat your acne and then later you can consider exfoliation. If acne has formed on your skin, the use of exfoliants is likely to aggravate the severity of acne far much than attaining that coveted baby face.
Since the cuticle is thin for sensitive skins, exfoliation is not advisable because it is prone to barrier damage even to the extent of causing wounds.
What are the appropriate ways to exfoliate?
Every day, exfoliation products are becoming more and more diversified and are now available in scrubs, acids, and enzymes. You need to follow the guidelines on usage provided by behind each brand carefully.
How do you choose the exfoliants?
Typically, exfoliants come in the form of scrubs, acids, and enzymes.
The exfoliation principle for scrub products is to use the particle in the exfoliant to friction your skin to take away some of the extra horny layers. The commonly used scrub ingredients are brown sugar, silica, and sodium bicarbonate. You need to have in mind that the use of scrub products for exfoliation does not cause significant damage to your skin. However, with some scrub products, you might witness mild peeling or dry flakey skin, which can be soothed by the use of quality moisturizing creams. Usually, exfoliation is done after cleansing and then taking the right amount of products in the wet face to massage. You should pay close attention to avoid the area around the eyes. After massaging white particles of the old cutin, you should rinse your face.
The exfoliation principle for acid products is basically through the forceful disconnection of the link between the cells so that the cuticle falls off. Some common acid exfoliation products are mostly fruit acid and salicylic acid, both of which have their benefits. However, the exfoliation ability of fruit acid is always stronger than salicylic acid, especially malate and lactic acid in fruit acid. The commonly used acid exfoliation products have emulsion, body lotion, and mask, among other ingredients. The basic thing is to massage your skin in circles after cleaning. You need to note that the acid exfoliation mask needs to be rubbed for ten minutes and then rinsed off.
The main principle of enzyme exfoliation products is to cut off the link between cells by breaking down the protein ingredients in the cuticle so that the old skin peels off. The commonly used enzyme is papain, extracted from the raw papaya fruit. The papain enzyme can cause skin irritation, and its primary protein can decompose with time.
How do you use home remedies to exfoliate?
While you can use chemical exfoliants, you can also make yourself natural and safe exfoliation masks at home.
Let us discuss on how you can make and use several types of exfoliation facial masks;
Red wine exfoliator
You need to add one tablespoon of red wine and five tablespoons of water, and then stir. You can now apply the mixture to your face using a mask brush. If your T-zone area is sensitive due to the availability of a more significant number of oil glands which might make the area oilier, you have to begin with it, then massage your nose and forehead quickly for two minutes, and then rinse it with clear water.
Brown sugar exfoliator
You need to mix and stir one tablespoon of brown sugar, one tablespoon of honey, and one tablespoon of essential oil. After getting an even mixture, you can apply it on your face and then wait for two minutes before washing it off with clear water.
Original yogurt exfoliator
You will need to mix and stir one tablespoon of coix seed flour and one tablespoon of yogurt to get a smooth mixture. At that point, you can now apply it on your face and continue massaging with hands for two to three minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
Exfoliation is essential, but you must remember not to overdo it. Some people pursue the soft and delicate skin looks at the expense of becoming “exfoliation addicts.” Excessive exfoliation can easily damage healthy cells by making the cuticle thinner and damaging the skin barrier.
What are the skin problems that result from excessive exfoliation?
The skin can dry and peel off easily
Excessive exfoliation makes the cuticle thinner while weakening its ability to keep the skin moist. Therefore, the surface of the skin cannot efficiently moisturize itself. That makes the skin prone to drying and peeling off easily. If you have thinner cuticle or dry skin, then you must be careful before exfoliating.
The skin is susceptible to allergies
Excessive exfoliation can also cause sensitive skin problems, such as damage to the skin barrier whereby the skin becomes fragile and easy to be stimulated by the outside world, resulting in skin redness, fever, itching, or prickly symptoms. Additionally, it even allows bacteria to break in and cause skin infections.
It can also lead to acne formation
Generally, skin with acne is not suitable for exfoliation. Some people think that acne forms because the cuticle is too thick, and therefore, they consider exfoliation to be the way out. However, you might be interested to know that if your acne is in the inflammation stage, the friction caused during exfoliation can aggravate the inflammation and eventually worsen the acne situation.
Usually, all types of beauty fashion magazines and beauty TV programs tend to lure everyone into exfoliation, and so many people have the tendency of regular exfoliation. But with time, some people find that apart from achieving a better complexion, they also made the skin more sensitive, red blood silk and even acne, which is the effect of excessive exfoliation leading to the destruction of the stratum corneum.
How do you repair the damaged cuticle from an excessive exfoliation?
Consider the following approaches if you need to recover from the damage caused to your cuticle after an excessive exfoliate
Suspension of exfoliation products
Excessive and frequent use of exfoliation products is the root cause of the thinning of the cuticle, the damage to the cutin, and the sensitive problem of skin drying. Therefore, the basic approach to repairing the stratum corneum is to suspend the use of exfoliants and prevent the cuticle from further damage.
Excessive exfoliation can damage the barrier function of the skin, which declines the ability of the skin to resist external stimuli, lack of defense against ultraviolet rays, and quick aging process or secondary injury. Therefore, after excessive exfoliation, you should pay attention to sun protection by either avoiding going out as much as possible or using sunscreens with safety features whenever you go out. It is advisable to choose physical sunscreens since they have lower probabilities of exacerbating redness or irritation, unlike chemical sunscreens.
Moisturizing the skin
Exfoliation can cause you a dry-skin problem, and so it is imperative to moisturize the skin adequately. The use of mild, non-stimulating moisturizing and tonification products can improve the dry and issues of peeling of the skin. At the same time, you should drink enough water every day to ensure that the body is well-hydrated.
Choose suitable cosmetics
In case it is necessary for you to apply makeup daily, you need to highly consider your skin when selecting the appropriate type of cosmetics. The present-day makeup products emphasis mainly on high-efficiency. But for your damaged skin, the highly concentrated and effective cosmetics are sensitive and pose a high risk. Therefore, with such kind of skin, you need to go for cosmetics with lower chances of irritation with natural and mild ingredients.
Reducing the external stimulation of the skin is also an ideal approach to repair the damaged skin. Avoid the wind, rain, sun, do not eat allergic foods, and stop the current use of all skincare and cleaning products. Besides, let the skin only come into contact with clear water and only use warm water to clean your skin every day.
Improve skin tolerance
Exfoliation can make the skin more sensitive and less tolerant. Therefore, it is vital to improve its tolerance by properly taking some grape seeds, which can effectively eliminate free radicals, form a protective film to the skin, and also repair the red blood filaments formed on the face.
Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers
Q: Can exfoliation reduce acne?
A: The physical exfoliation method does not reduce acne, but the excessive friction of the skin can cause hair follicles to open to produce acne. The use of the correct chemical exfoliation products (including fruit or salicylic acids) to regulate hair follicle horny metabolism is much better if there is a need to use, but you must seek the guidance of a dermatologist on the usage.
Q: Can exfoliation improve skin color and increase radiance?
A: The cuticle of the skin is the key to the appearance of the skin. Radiant skin is mainly because healthy epidermis can reflect the light regularly, so it looks very bright. But if the skin is very rough, it will appear dull; dry cuticle with scales reflected in the form of non-specular reflection of light makes the skin look dull. Exfoliation can brighten your skin visually but at the expense of reduced skin defenses and increased UV penetration. If you do not pay attention to protecting yourself from the sun after exfoliation, then you can quickly to induce the formation of black spots and pigment precipitation.
Q: What do I need to pay attention to when exfoliating?
A: First of all, you should exfoliate moderately. It is wrong to exfoliate to enhance the absorption of the skin excessively. That is because if your cuticle is too thin, then it is a bit difficult to resist external stimulation and injury effectively, and your epidermis can also prevent the volatilization of skin moisture. Therefore, exfoliation should be every month. Still, after exfoliating your face, you should routinely make a skincare follow-up. After exfoliation, you might feel that your skin is a bit dry, and at this time, the skin absorption is stronger, so you can apply some moisturizing skin care products. Finally, you should try to choose milder and natural exfoliants; the highly recommended ones are gel exfoliants.
Q: Can cleansing mask be used to exfoliate?
A: The cleansing mask can clean pores deeply, specifically for pimples, blackheads, and other skin problems; it has the effect of softening keratinization. But in the aspect of exfoliation, the impact of the cleansing mask is not as good as the professional exfoliation product effect. And after the use of exfoliants, you cannot continue to use a cleansing mask. Otherwise, the skin will lose a lot of moisture and then cause damage. If you need to achieve the best results from skin care products, it is vital to consider the skin condition; only under the ordinary circumstances of the cuticle, can your skin absorb naturally. So you can neither ignore exfoliation nor can you exfoliate at will.
Q: Which parts of the body need exfoliation in particular?
A: Commonly, the active parts of your body’s joints, such as knees and elbows, tend to be more wrinkled and dimmer. So, those are the parts that are more suitable for exfoliation by using the scrub product; it helps to promote metabolism in the skin. Also, you can regularly exfoliate your lips, which can help to hold makeup better.
Q: Do acne and pimples need exfoliation?
A: You can choose salicylic acid, but its use can cause a significant outbreak of acne in the early stages. Because salicylic acid can speed up the renewal of skin cells, when it reaches a specific concentration, it can accelerate the appearance of acne. If it is hard for you to bear with acne and pimple outbreaks, you can lower the frequency of use of salicylic acid products. The phenomenon of acne and pimple outbreak is temporary, after which the skin becomes cleaner and smoother.