Let's Talk Exfoliation
Let's talk exfoliation. What exactly is an exfoliant? And how do you choose which one is right for you?
Exfoliation: typically deals with the epidermis, the process of removing the older, dead skin cells from the top layer of skin. It takes from 14 to 28 days for new skin to reach the surface, where they die and shed from the skin, to be replaced by newer cells that rise to the surface. Most of the visible skin is composed of dead cells, which are tough and help protect you. Newer skin cells that replace the old skin as they shed off the surface, keeping the skin tone even and healthy, quickly and constantly replace this skin.
The history of exfoliation can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians, when abrasive minerals and alabaster particles were used for this purpose; they obviously understood the difference a good scrub could make to their tired, overworked and sun exposed skin.
Since then a variety of substances have been used to peel, exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin - including natural acids, mineral fragments, plants and direct irritants to stimulate the natural shedding' process.Some of the potential benefits of exfoliation include:
- Improved skin tone balance
- Smoothness at the surface of the skin
- Reduction of minor wrinkles and fine lines
- Unclogs pores and rejuvenates your skin
How often should I exfoliate?
Remember that the goal of exfoliation is simply to remove the oldest dead layer of the skin from the surface.
Once a week is plenty.
DIY (Do it Yourself)
Homemade exfoliators are some of the best in the world!Not only are they all natural, but homemade exfoliators also ensure that your skin stays soft all of the time!
Whether you are just trying to get rid of some breakouts you might be having or you're trying to prevent the breakouts, homemade exfoliators can help!
Today we rely heavily on ingredients that include sea salt, sugar, oats, fruit kernels and gentle exfoliating particles, but why do we need to ensure we're regularly buffing, scrubbing and exfoliating our skin?
Here are some of the ingredience that I love for exfoliating.BAKING SODA
Baking soda is my personal favorite. I exfoliate my face with baking soda daily. I keep a container in my shower and rub about a tablespoon of it on my face in a circular motion, rinse, and then wash my face with one of AromatheraChi wonderful moisturizing soaps. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is the main ingredient in many expensive exfoliation products.SUGAR
Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid. Glycolic acid boosts new cell production and breaks down the protein that keeps the dead cells hanging onto your skin. Pure can sugar crystals work best. Mix the sugar crystals with your favorite massage oil (olive, Jojoba, grapeseed, almond etc.) to make a paste. Scrub on your face in a circular motion, rinse, and wash as usual.SEA SALT
Sea salt, Himalayan Pink salts are full of trace minerals that rejuvenate your skin, stimulate cell growth, and help your skin retail moisture. A salt scrub is great for dry skin. Mix with Rose Geranium; Frankincense, or lavender essential oil and/or your favorite massage oil (olive, Jojoba, grapeseed, almond , etc.) to make a paste. Scrub on your face in a circular motion, rinse, and wash as usual.OATMEAL
Oatmeal is a very gentle exfoliant, so it’s perfect for sensitive skin. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and is very moisturizing. Mix finely ground oatmeal with honey and/or kefir (you can also use yogurt or buttermilk). Scrub on your face in a circular motion, let sit for 15-30 minutes, rinse, and wash as usual.KEFIR
Kefir is like yogurt, but with a lot more beneficial bacteria (about 40 times more). You can use yogurt and still see benefits, but you will see better results using kefir. Kefir is a natural source of lactic acid that hydrates and soothes your skin. The B6 in yogurt helps to stimulate blood flow, making your skin feel fresh and renewed.
Apply to your face and let sit for 15-30 minutes, rinse, and wash as usual. Your skin will be so soft and smooth for several days.HONEY
Raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It kills skin infections, including acne. Honey reduces inflammation and hydrates. Honey can be mixed with any of the other exfoliates mentioned here to boost the antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits.Coffee
Coffee grounds are a natural exfoliant; sloughing away dead skin cells and leaving the skin feel refreshed. Or, use leftover grounds from the morning's cup. Coffee grounds soften the skin.
Bentonite is one of most popular clays and comes from naturally occurring volcanic ash sediments here in the United States. Bentonite clay has been traditionally used to assist in mineral deficiencies, and to help bind toxins making them more soluble.
French Green clay has enormous absorbent powers due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin. French Green clay is great for helping to clear occasional skin blemishes
Fuller’s Earth clay is sedimentary clay that has been widely used as a skin-lightening agent and is best known for its ability to be applied as a “facial bleach.” Because of its enormous drawing capabilities, Fuller’s Earth is the number one choice for oily.
Rhassoul Clay truly exquisite spa quality clay from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas Mountains in Morocco. This mineral rich clay blends extremely well with water making its application to the face and skin a smooth and delightful experience.
White Kaolin clay the most versatile and easily applied clay that is commonly found in standard skincare preparations and cosmetics. White Cosmetic clay, also known as White Kaolin clay, is very fine and light clay that has natural absorbency properties.My Choice of the top oils to use in your scrubs:
Please note try to buy Organic oils if you can
Coconut oil has been used for centuries by Pacific Islanders; it is renowned as a good skin tonic.
Argan Oil, Native to Morocco and used there for generations, Argan oil is so healing because it’s rich in vitamin A and vitamin E, various antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid. Argan is not only great for gently moisturizing, leaving skin feeling and looking youthful.
Jojoba Oil, one of the most widely used carrier oils, jojoba oil is extremely moisturizing and can help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, acne psoriasis and wrinkles. Native to the southern U.S and Mexico, this oil has been used to treat acne, psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin for generations.
Almond Oil, You probably already know about the many nutrition benefits of almonds, but maybe you’re new to using almond oil on your skin. Almond oil not only smells great, but it has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. It makes a great carrier oil for essential oils to naturally treat skin rashes, acne or dryness. It also blends easily with many different smells, so try in it homemade washes, masks or lotions.
Avocado, An ultra-moisturizing fatty fruit, the benefits of avocados include containing vitamins A, D and E that are able to penetrate the skin. It helps soothe sunburned skin, can boost collagen production and treat age spots. It also works to reduce inflammation of the skin when applies topically and can do the same internally when eaten.
Shea Butter, Shea butter has been used as a natural skin care product in Africa for hundreds of years, where it is still largely cultivated and shipped around the world today. It makes an excellent moisturizing option for dry skin types and is inexpensive yet effective at reducing flaking, redness or peeling.
Castor Oil, used to cleanse skin, castor oil is actually a “drying oil,” even though that might seem counterintuitive. For facial cleansing, you only need to use a very small amount, about a teaspoon of castor oil, mixed into in 1/4 cup of another oil like coconut or almond. Rub into your face and massage, and then rinse with warm water to carry away impurities. It is also a wonderful humectant for your skin.
Carrot seed essential oil has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It not only works to help smooth skin, but assists with cell regeneration. For this reason, it can help to fade scars and improve the tone of aging skin. It’s also rich in antioxidants, helping to neutralize inflammation and wrinkle causing free radicals.
My Choice of Essential oils to use in your masks
Frankincense essential oil is fantastic for all skin types. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin, making it great for acne-prone skin. It is also a natural toner, decreasing the appearance of pores and evening skin-tone. It encourages new cell growth, helping to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and the appearance of scars. It also helps soothe chapped, dry skin.
Geranium essential oil helps regulate oil production and reduces acne breakouts. It also helps improve skin elasticity and tighten skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It also promotes blood circulation to the areas where it is applied, helping to heal bruises, broken capillaries, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, ringworm, and other skin conditions
Lavender essential oil is one I suggest no one goes without — it smells amazing, helps you relax and your body adapt to stress, and has great benefits for the skin. It helps regenerate skin cells so are great for mature skin, sunspots, and scarring. Another great oil for all skin types and needs.
Myrrh essential oil greatly benefits aging skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help improve skin tone, firmness, and skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Myrrh can also help heal sun damage, chapped skin, rashes, and eczema.
Patchouli essential oil is particularly great for aging skin. It promotes new cell growth and smooth’s the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because it also has antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, it can also benefit skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.
Rose essential oil is especially great for dry or aging skin. Researchers have found that it contains several therapeutic compounds known to promote healing, especially antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds. As a result, rose essential oil helps refine skin texture and tone, and can be helpful with managing skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.Apple Cider Vinegar
An extremely versatile and inexpensive natural skin care product, apple cider vinegar benefits include helping to kill pathogens (like bacteria), clearing skin problems caused by gut issues, cleansing the skin and helping to stop acne, plus providing antifungal properties..
It also contains highly beneficial acetic acid and certain vitamins like potassium and magnesium that make it a detoxifying agent when consumed internally, since it boosts liver function and helps balance bacteria in the gut.Aloe Vera
Most people associate aloe vera benefits with healing sunburns, but did you know that aloe also contains bacteria-fighting, soothing ingredients that fight inflammation, redness and itching? For hundreds of years aloe has been used to treat skin diseases, infections and as a natural treatment for fungal diseases in traditional Chinese medicine.How To:
Wash your face thoroughly.
Apply the scrub to a freshly washed face using circular motion.
Wet a washcloth with lukewarm water. Lean over the sink and start removing the scrub from your face.
Finish by splashing your face with cold water. This closes your pores and freshens your face. Pat dry with a soft towel.
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