In the simplest of terms, exfoliating is the process of getting rid of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Your skin naturally sheds dead cells in what is roughly a 30-day cycle, in order to make way for younger-looking, more vibrant cells. Unlike a snake that sheds its old skin all at once, our natural shedding of cells can be patchy and uneven, which can leave the skin looking and feeling dry and flaky. It can also clog our pores and cause havoc with our skin’s natural oil production and balance. By exfoliating, we manually slough off dead cells, adding our body’s natural process and revealing a more even layer of fresh skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that exfoliation can leave your skin looking brighter and enhance how well your topical skin care products work by improving absorption. This is particularly beneficial when applying moisturisers and sunless tanning products, as the smoother, exfoliated skin will allow for a more effective and uniform application.
Other benefits of regular exfoliation include preventing clogged pores, which means fewer breakouts, and boosting your skin’s production of collagen, the protein that helps give our skin structure and bounce. The better your collagen production, the tighter and more elastic your skin will appear, lessening the look of fine lines and sagginess.
Physically exfoliating the skin can be done with scrubs, pumice stones, dry brushes or our Serendipity Exfoliating Pad ($6). The benefits of using a mitt or pad made from natural materials are that it is easy to use, inexpensive and you can pair it with any soap or body wash. Simply keep it in your shower and give yourself a gentle yet thorough once over once or twice a week. Once finished, pat dry your skin and apply a generous layer of Serendipity Body Balm to minimise irritation and lock in moisture.
Be mindful to not over scrub or scrub too forcefully, as that can irritate your skin, causing redness, dryness, or worsening breakouts. Also, facial skin is much thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of our bodies, so be sure to exfoliate that area with a softer material or scrub designed specifically for that purpose.