Updated: Nov 22, 2019
The answer is no you don't, but if you want smooth glowing skin the answer is definitely yes!
The science bit
Your skin is your body's largest organ. It keeps everything within it protected from the effects of the world around us such as sun, wind and pollution. It takes quite a battering which can leave it dry and flaky. The skin undergoes a natural process of regeneration. It continually creates new skin cells which rise to the surface of the skin, the epidermis, and slowly die. The dead skin gradually shed to make way for the new skin cells being produced. Exfoliation is the process of removing the dead skin cells and any other debris that has built up, from the top layer of skin.
You don't have to walk around with dull, dry skin just start exfoliating regularly. Exfoliating is beneficial for your whole body especially those areas that are prone to dry skin like elbows, knees, feet and face. There are different approaches for different parts of your body and also for different skin types - one method of exfoliation doesn't fit all. You wouldn't want to use the same method on your face as you would on your feet.
The benefits of exfoliation
Whilst it is important to regularly cleanse the skin to get a deeper level of clean you need to exfoliate regularly. Once or twice a week is optimal, over-exfoliating is possible especially for people with sensitive or aging skin. Exfoliating can improve the look of your skin and also the results of your skin care products. By removing the dead skin cells and any build up of products you clear the pores and leave the skin refreshed and clean. Clogged pores can result in acne or blackheads, regular exfoliation can reduce these symptoms.
You will see the benefits of exfoliation immediately but there are longer term benefits too. As we get older the process of rejuvenation slows, and the dead cells take long to shed. Removing the dead skin cells allows the skins renewal process to speed up, allowing healthy skin cells to take place. This will help reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles.
Some benefits of exfoliation are:
- Unclogs pores
- Can help prevent acne and black heads
- Reduces the signs of ageing
- Boosts circulation
- Helps your other skin care products penetrate more deeply
- Evens skin tone
- Helps prevent ingrowing hairs
- Softer smoother skin
Exfoliation for all seasons
Exfoliation is beneficial all year round. In the summer, if you are sun conscious and prefer a sunless tan exfoliating will help you get an even tan. Exfoliate before you apply your sunless tanner to stop the streaks or splotches. It will also help remove any old tan left when you want to renew your look.
In the winter our skin is battered by the cold air outside and the dry heat inside. Your skin dries and out dehydrates quicker in the winter, so it is important to keep up your exfoliating routine. Removing the dead skin cells allows your mosturiser to penetrate deeply and re-hydrate your skin. If you don't exfoliate your moistursier will just soak into the dead skin cells and not penetrate down to the layers of new skin that need the nourishment.
From scalp to toes
As your skin covers your whole body, you should exfoliate every part of your body. Your face is the obvious place to start just ensure you don't scrub too hard as your skin is more delicate on your face. Your lips also benefit from exfoliation especially in the winter when they are prone to chapping and flaking. Moving onto your body you can use a more robust exfoliating product concentrating on those areas that are prone to dryness such as your elbows and feet. Coffee scrubs are also great for helping reduce cellulite. Lastly exfoliating your scalp can help combat dandruff, leaving you with luscious healthy locks.
Disclaimer - All of these blog posts are personal opinions I’ve developed after researching different topics on my own. Whilst I do my best to share information with you I am not a doctor or scientist so please use your discretion when taking any of the advice and do not take my advice over that of your doctors.