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Is Daily Exfoliation Harming Your Skin?

Your dog’s moulting is driving you mad! No matter how much you hoover the carpet or sweep the floor, you keep finding your dog’s hair in the corners.

But don’t be too hard on your dog because you shed too!

Yes that’s right. Up to 75% of the dust around you is made up of your dry flaky skin cells. In fact, did you know you slough off as much as nine pounds of dead skin every year?

The idea of exfoliating daily to speed up the renewal of your skin cells might seem like a good thing. There are all kinds of products on the market that will help remove the outer layer of skin and many contain alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs.

These chemicals remove cornified cells from the epidermis exposing the healthy, glowing, living cells that are underneath.

But it turns out that daily exfoliation to speed up the shedding process of your dead skin cells, which is called desquamation, can actually be harmful for you if it’s done too often.

The dead keratinocytes, which are the top layer of skin, protect the living skin that’s beneath. The horny layer is made up of dried out cells that are slightly hardened so that they can protect the thriving keratinocytes below.

Daily exfoliation, especially with harsh or abrasive products can end up damaging your skin. They are called acids for a reason after all! Such exfoliators strip away the horny layer of your skin and can cause damage to the layer below.

So instead of exfoliating daily, using a gentle exfoliator weekly is a wiser option. I’ve listed a few alternatives below but if any of these methods irritate your skin, stop using it completely and try another option.

Natural Exfoliation Techniques

These natural exfoliators are easy to use, non-harsh, and affordable ways to exfoliate your skin at home.

When you are exfoliating your face, you should always first cleanse and then rinse with warm water. Apply your moisturizer immediately afterwards.

1. With a dry clean towel, gently rub your skin after your shower. This will create a light friction that will discard the dead skin.

2. Use a sugar scrub to cleanse your skin. Rinse your skin to remove any oils and dirt. Then make up a mix of one part oil and one part sugar. Use whatever oil you prefer, but coconut oil or grape seed oil are particularly good options.

3. Use a light pressure with circular motions and massage each area for about one minute.

4. Take a ½ tablespoon of gentle cleanser and add ½ tablespoon of baking soda. Mix well then apply to your skin using a light to medium pressure in a circular motion for 1 to 2 minutes.

If you have dry skin do this 1 to 2 times a week with a mix made up of ½ tablespoon baking soda with ½ tablespoon coconut oil.

5. Create a mix of 1 part salt to 2 parts oil and gently massage over your body, but do not use on your face as it is too harsh. For your face use a muslin or microfibre cloth instead.

6. It’s better to avoid exfoliation on areas of your face and body where you have open sores, visible capillaries, or skin lesions. And remember do not exfoliate daily as you are likely to damage your skin.