By stimulating cellular renewal, exfoliation helps to combat dull complexion, rough skin, and clogged pores. However, this practice can prove harmful if it is carried out too frequently or too vigorously.
What are the dangers of facial exfoliation?
- Why should you exfoliate your face?
- The dangers of facial exfoliation
- The correct practices to adopt to avoid all skin discomforts
Why should you exfoliate your face?
The skin renews itself approximately every 28 days. Biologically, keratinocytes originating from the deep layer of the epidermis known as the basal layer migrate to the superficial layers of the epidermis, becoming laden with keratin. Once they reach the skin's surface, they have lost their nuclei and are referred to as corneocytes. They then form the stratum corneum which protects our epidermis from external aggressions. Eventually, these dead cells detach (a process referred to as desquamation) and new corneocytes take their place.
About 10 g of dead skin per day is naturally shed by an adult and immediately renewed!
However, this desquamation process can be disrupted by various factors (pollution, stress, hormonal fluctuations...). The corneocytes accumulate on the skin's surface, clogging the pores and dulling the complexion.
This is where the role of exfoliation comes into play. It prepares the epidermis for treatment, deeply unclogs the pores and stimulates blood circulation. In summary, carried out once a week, it improves the skin texture and its overall appearance.
Note : There are two types of exfoliation: mechanical scrubbing and chemical peeling. The difference between the two lies in the method of action for removing dead cells from the skin's surface. Generally, a chemical peel involves substances called AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids), BHA (beta-hydroxy acids) and PHA (poly-hydroxy acids), while a mechanical scrub removes dead cells from the epidermis through the friction of the skin with abrasive micro-grains.
The dangers of facial exfoliation.
The primary risk associated with mechanical exfoliation is performing it too frequently (more than once a week) and/or with overly vigorous movements. Indeed, this can cause various skin disorders:
Disrupting the hydrolipidic film which no longer fulfils its protective role against external aggressions;
Drying out the skin too intensely can cause redness and tightness.
On the most sensitive skin types, a mechanical exfoliation can even cause micro-lesions. For this reason, chemical peels with fruit acids such as those withlactic acid are more recommended for fragile and reactive skin.
The correct practices to adopt to avoid all skin discomforts.
Firstly, the use of a body scrub on the face should be avoided. Indeed, body scrubs often contain more exfoliating particles and/or larger, more angular grains; therefore, they are unsuitable for the delicate skin of the face.
Next, it is preferable to perform a mechanical exfoliation in the evening, before bedtime, to allow time for the hydrolipidic film to regenerate overnight.
Finally, after exfoliating, it is recommended to apply a mask to nourish and hydrate the skin, and help it restore the hydrolipidic film that has just been slightly disrupted. You can then apply your usual night serum and/or your moisturising cream.
Find the two grainy face scrubs on our website. The radiance face scrub is recommended for unclogging pores and promoting cell renewal, while the regenerating face scrub is preferred if one wishes to reduce the appearance of the first signs of ageing. These two treatments have a unique texture: they are gels that become an exfoliating oil under the effect of massage, then emulsify into milk upon contact with water, facilitating their rinsing.