a guide to the right exfoliant for you

The nuts and bolts of exfoliation, a guide to the right one for you!

The cornerstone of any effective skincare routine,  Exfoliation helps slough off dead skin cells, preventing them from accumulating on the skin's surface and causing dullness, roughness, and clogged pores. Here are 3 reasons you should do it:

1. Stimulates cell renewal: By promoting cell turnover, it encourages the growth of new, healthy skin cells, resulting in a smoother, more youthful complexion.

2.Enhances product absorption: By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, exfoliation allows skincare products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, maximizing their effectiveness.

3.Improves skin tone and texture: Regular exfoliation helps minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and other imperfections, resulting in a more even skin tone and smoother texture.

Understanding Exfoliation:

Our body actually 'exfoliates' naturally this process is called desquamation however as we age, our skin undergoes numerous changes, including a gradual slowdown in the process of natural exfoliation. Understanding how exfoliation evolves with age is crucial for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Childhood and Adolescence: During childhood and adolescence, the skin's natural exfoliation process is typically at its peak. Rapid cell turnover helps keep the skin smooth, clear, and free from blemishes. However, as hormonal changes occur during puberty, some individuals may experience increased oil production and occasional breakouts, emphasizing the importance of gentle exfoliation to prevent clogged pores and acne.

Young Adulthood: In young adulthood, the skin's exfoliation rate begins to gradually decline. While many individuals still enjoy relatively clear and smooth skin, environmental factors such as sun exposure and lifestyle habits like smoking or inadequate skincare can accelerate the ageing process. Regular exfoliation becomes increasingly important during this stage to remove dead skin cells, promote cell turnover, and maintain a healthy complexion.

Middle Age: As we enter middle age, typically around the late 30s to early 40s, the signs of ageing become more apparent. OH my days!!!! The skin's natural exfoliation process slows down further, leading to a buildup of dead skin cells, dullness, and uneven texture. Fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots may also start to become more noticeable. Consistent exfoliation with both mechanical and chemical exfoliants is crucial during this stage to stimulate cell renewal, improve skin tone, and minimize the appearance of ageing signs.

Mature Skin: In later life, typically after the age of 50, the skin's exfoliation process significantly diminishes. Cell turnover slows down dramatically, resulting in thicker, rougher skin texture, increased dryness, and a dull, lackluster complexion. Additionally, factors such as decreased collagen production and reduced elasticity contribute to the formation of deeper wrinkles and sagging skin. Gentle yet effective exfoliation becomes paramount for mature skin to promote cell turnover, enhance skin hydration, and restore radiance and vitality.

So understanding all this is why we come in with exfoliant products and tools achieving this through external means, such as scrubbing with abrasive particles, or chemical means, using acids or enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells. Below is a run down on the different type of exfoliants and what they do.


Manual Exfoliants:

Manual exfoliants typically involve physical scrubbing or rubbing to manually remove dead skin cells. Common manual exfoliants include:

1. Scrubs: These products contain abrasive particles, such as sugar, salt, or finely ground nuts or seeds, which physically buff away dead skin cells when massaged onto the skin.

2. Brushes: Facial brushes, loofahs, or washcloths can be used to manually exfoliate the skin by gently scrubbing in circular motions.

3. Microdermabrasion: A more intensive manual exfoliation method performed by skincare professionals, microdermabrasion uses a handheld device to exfoliate the skin with fine crystals or a diamond-tipped wand.


Chemical Exfoliants:

Chemical exfoliants work by dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be sloughed off more easily. Common types of chemical exfoliants include:

1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): AHAs, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, are water-soluble acids that exfoliate the skin’s surface, promoting cell turnover and revealing smoother, brighter skin.

2. Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA): Salicylic acid is a BHA that penetrates deep into the pores, exfoliating both the skin’s surface and inside the pore lining. It is particularly effective for treating acne-prone or congested skin.


Combination Exfoliants: (my favourite)

Combination exfoliants leverage the benefits of both manual and chemical exfoliation methods to provide a comprehensive approach to skin renewal. These products often contain physical exfoliating particles alongside chemical exfoliating ingredients, such as AHAs or BHAs, to deliver dual-action exfoliation.

Benefits of Combination Exfoliants:

Enhanced exfoliation: By combining manual and chemical exfoliation, combination exfoliants offer a more thorough removal of dead skin cells, resulting in smoother, more radiant skin.

Targeted treatment: Chemical exfoliants can penetrate deeper into the skin, while manual exfoliants provide immediate surface exfoliation, allowing for a more targeted approach to addressing specific skin concerns.

Versatility: Combination exfoliants can be customized to suit different skin types and concerns, providing flexibility in skincare routines.


Exfoliation plays a vital role in maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin at every stage of life. By understanding how the skin's exfoliation process evolves with age and incorporating regular exfoliation into your skincare routine, you can help combat the signs of ageing, promote skin renewal, and achieve a radiant, glowing complexion at any age. Remember, investing in your skin today will pay dividends in the future, so make sure you  prioritize exfoliation as an essential step in your skincare ritual.


Thelma xx




Back to blog