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Exfoliation, why we love it...

Exfoliation, why we love it...

We're delighted to welcome back skincare expert  Natalie Fisher, aka The Derm Nurse. We're lucky enough to have Natalie write a series of guest blogs for us, where she shares her knowledge on all things skin!


You know it's time for a pedicure when you can exfoliate one foot with the other one. Sorry, not nice imagery but I think we can all relate. Is there anything more satisfying than the instant gratification you get from exfoliating your skin? 

The Egyptians were known for their practice of exfoliation. It is believed that Cleopatra bathed in donkey milk. Milk is known to contain lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which has exfoliating properties. The Egyptians weren’t the only ones though, in the middle ages wine was used as a chemical exfoliant. The word ‘exfoliate’ derives from the latin word ‘exfoliare’ which means to strip off leaves. 

So why over the years have we been such fans of exfoliating our skin, were milking all those donkeys or wasting all that wine really worth it? With benefits including unclogging pores, reducing break-outs, evening out skin tone, increasing cell turnover, stimulating collagen synthesis…… I would say yes it was worth it. (Just leave the donkey milk and wine alone though, we have more advanced skincare to replace the need for those now!)

The ways to exfoliate can be described as either physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation involves scrubbing the skin with an abrasive. Examples of physical exfoliants can include microdermabrasion, facial/body scrubs, cleansing brush tools, loofahs and microfiber cloths. Chemical exfoliants act in a way to loosen the glue-like substance which hold together dead skin cells. Examples of these include glycolic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and fruit enzymes. 

Each chemical exfoliant has unique properties so it is worth investigating which one is best suited to your skin type. A perfect example of this is salicylic acid which is a beta hydroxy acid and oil-soluble. This means it can penetrate into pores to help unclog them which makes it the perfect chemical exfoliant for spot prone skin. Compare this to glycolic acid which is an alpha hydroxy acid and water-soluble. This works well on the skin's surface to loosen dead skin cells so is perfect for anti-aging or a dull complexion. 

As for how often you exfoliate, it is so important that you listen to your skin.  Start off gradually and build up slowly. It is certainly the case that what works for one, won’t work for another. Some skins can tolerate daily exfoliation whereas others need to limit to once or twice weekly. Don’t be sucked in by marketing hype which may suggest higher percentages of acids to be better or more effective. Whilst its true that some skin types will see faster results with higher percentages of acid, for other skin types treating more aggressively can actually be detrimental to the health of their skin. 

 So when it comes to exfoliation, here are my main tips:-

  1. know your skin type. 
  2. Choose your method of exfoliation accordingly.
  3. Slow and steady wins the race! Don’t be tempted to over exfoliate. 
  4. Don’t forget daily sunscreen to protect your freshly exfoliated skin.

Once you start seeing the positive results from regular exfoliation, I am quite certain you’ll be hooked. 

Best wishes, 

Natalie |The Derm Nurse 

To optimum results, we have chosen to use a combination of physical and chemical exfoliation in our polish and include micro Jojoba spheres which fit inside the narrower pores of your neck and décolletage, this delivers dual-action exfoliation, leaving the skin perfectly polished and radiant.

Click through to find out more about LUMINOUS PERFECTOR TREATMENT POLISH here