Exfoliating is an important step in a skincare routine as it helps to keep skin looking even, clear, fresh and bright. It also helps skin to be more receptive to the actives applied after cleansing skin, as they can reach the deeper down layer of skin. Exfoliation is amazing for skin, but there is a darker side to it as it can be quite harsh to skin, which is not something that we ever recommend. At Nakin we dedicate our work to producing amazing Natural Skincare products, and we only advocate natural ways to exfoliate skin. In this feature we are also only focusing on exfoliating the face and neck, as the body has different options and also does not need such gentle care as the delicate face and neck do. So, read on to find out how to exfoliate the face and neck naturally.
Exfoliation is a must for clear, smooth skin and we recommend using a natural exfoliation method on the face and neck once a week. Effective cleansing is really important for skin, and exfoliation takes this one step further than just having clean skin. This is because it removes dead skin cells from the surface of the face plus the top layer of skin, to improve skin texture and tone. This means that it can help to brighten the skin and it also helps to accelerate cell turnover, and assist the actives of anti-ageing skincare to better work - by getting deeper into the skin cells and therefore getting the best of them. Skin sheds dead skin cells all the time, but as we age this process slows down and this can show on skin as dullness, dry/ flaky areas, clogged/ enlarged pores, bumps, lines and an uneven skin tone. In order to remove dead skin cells, it takes some force, and this is why exfoliants need to have a tougher action, such as by scrubbing or from a chemical reaction.
There are two main types of face exfoliation options, which are physical options and chemical ones. The chemical exfoliation products are also known as chemical peels and are modern ways to exfoliate skin and they use ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. There are three main types of chemical exfoliants which are AHAs, BHAs and fruit enzymes. The alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic and lactic acids and the beta hydroxy acids include salicylic acid and citric acid. Then there are exfoliants made of fruit enzymes, which are much more natural and kinder to skin than AHAs and BHAs. If you are using chemical exfoliants then always carry out a patch test, just to make sure your skin can tolerate it. If you experience any adverse reactions then rinse it off immediately and discontinue use of the product. AHAs, BHAs and fruit enzymes break the attachments that hold dead skin cells on the surface of skin. They are usually used a few times a week and gradually break down the dead skin cells. They are often in a watery liquid format and are wiped onto skin with cotton wool, although they also come in disposable pad options. The problem with these synthetic chemical exfoliants is that they can be quite harsh and irritating to skin, so for these we only recommend the fruit enzymes. We only recommend natural exfoliation methods as outlined below. Natural exfoliators help improve skin texture and tone plus allow active products to work better by reaching deeper down into the skin layers than they could normally. But without the irritation that AHAs and BHAs can cause.
The reason that we prefer natural exfoliation methods for skin is because they are so much kinder to skin than harsh or chemical exfoliation options. So, with natural exfoliants we are talking natural scrubs, exfoliating with a cleansing milk and muslin cloth, or by using fruit enzymes. The scrubs and muslin cloth method are more traditional and might need to take a little more work and effort. But they are kinder to skin, as they do not involve a chemical reaction to remove dead skin cells. They also have the added bonus that you can personalise and adapt the exfoliation to different parts of your face and neck. So, you can be stronger on congested areas, but take it easier around the eyes and on the neck. The other natural option is to use a fruit enzyme product. These three options to exfoliate skin naturally are discussed below.
Cleansing Milk and Muslin Cloth Exfoliation
The first step in a skin regime is to cleanse the face and neck with a cleanser made for sensitive faces, like our Advanced Cleansing Milk. This will cleanse & comfort skin with the calming natural oils and seaweed extract. To exfoliate once a week remove the cleansing milk from the face with a damp warm muslin cloth, massaging skin in small circular motions on the face and neck. This is the only exfoliation that we recommend for sensitive faces, as anything more than this can cause irritation. Exfoliation is important in a face regime as it removes dead skin cells, which build up on skin and can cause dullness. This gentle exfoliation method supports the skin’s natural protective function, preparing it for a toner and day or night care.
Follow cleansing with a soothing toner to clean, purify and soften the face and neck with our Purifying Face Toner. Using a cleansing milk and toner combination works better for sensitive faces over a face wash. This is because the foaming agents in a face wash can contribute to sensitivity. Some toners can be aggravating to sensitive faces, but this is only if they contain harsh cleansing and exfoliating ingredients. Toners are good for sensitive faces if the actives that they contain are natural, kind and enhancing. They gently cleanse while revitalising skin and minimising the appearance of pores.
Face Scrub Exfoliation
Face scrubs are cream like formulas that are grainy in texture, so when the grains are massaged into skin, they exfoliate dead skin cells away. There are many face scrubs on the market, so look for a natural one that is kind to skin and includes ingredients like sweet almond meal to exfoliate. As this type of exfoliation is gentle and kind, it should not cause adverse reactions on skin. You can even make 100% natural fresh face scrubs that are super kind to skin by using ingredients like sugar and oats. There are many recipes on the internet.
Exfoliation with a Fruit Enzyme Peel
Fruit enzymes exfoliate skin in the same way that AHA and BHAs do, but without such irritating ingredients. They exfoliate by loosening the keratin proteins attached to dead skin. The fruit enzymes also loosen up dead skin cells and stimulate cell turnover, and for this reason this type of chemical reaction can also cause some sensitivity and irritation to skin. But it is much kinder to skin than using the AHA or BHA chemical exfoliators.
Choosing the right facial exfoliant for you is a matter of personal preference and what your skin can tolerate. As we discussed above, we prefer the physical exfoliants to chemical exfoliants. But whatever you choose it is important to remember that every product is unique, and the main thing is to assess the actual ingredients included in the product. So, if using a cleansing milk with a muslin cloth then make sure it is a natural kind and effective cleansing milk, like our Advanced Cleansing Milk, which is also used with our natural Purifying Face Toner. Likewise, physical abrasive face scrubs vary between the ingredients that they include to smooth and refine skin. So, make sure that they are gentle to skin and also biodegradable in the environment. If you prefer a fruit enzyme product then be sure to take a look at the rest of the ingredients that are included and check there are no parabens, glycols, silicones, artificial fragrance or colour.
To find out more about Nakin and our natural face products then view the full range here. Everything is suitable for sensitive faces as well as being cruelty free and made in the UK. Visit our website at www.nakinskincare.com Our range is designed to offer the best skincare products and is made with amazing natural ingredients, to bring the best out in all of our complexions. The range includes everything that you need for a natural anti-ageing face regime.