The importance of exfoliation
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
It Unclogs Pores
Firstly, when you're exfoliating your skin, you're effectively unclogging your pores. That's according to Dr.Noopur Warwade, MD, of The Skin Routine Dermatology and Skincare Center. Sweeping away that dead and dry skin, along with all the other surface debris that might remain on your skin after cleansing, stops it from making its way into your pores and causing stubborn stoppages in the form of whiteheads and blackheads. These are two skin issues that are insanely difficult to get rid of (people with blackheads know what's up), which is why exfoliating is so important. It stops them before they even have a chance to appear. "Dead skin seals the pores, so when sebaceous glands produce oil, it's 'stuck' under the dry skin. This causes breakouts because there is nowhere for the oil to go," explains celebrity esthetician and skin expert, Dr.Noopur Warwade, MD
It Prevents Acne
Just like how unclogging your pores prevents whiteheads and blackheads, it also prevents other blemishes—namely acne. "Exfoliating helps to unclog pores, therefore reducing acne," says Dr.Noopur Warwade, MD, of The Skin Routine Dermatology and Skincare Center. She recommends using it to prevent breakouts, but only in a safe and nonirritating way. In other words, don't scrub your skin raw in the name of acne reduction. That will harm your skin and lead to a whole host of other problems. "A physical exfoliant (something that contains beads or small grains) can be used once or twice a week," she says."A gentle chemical exfoliant may be used daily depending on its strength. Listen to your skin. If it is ever sensitive or red after exfoliating, reduce your frequency."
It Helps Other Skincare Products Penetrate Deeper
Since pores are unclogged and the surface of the skin is smoothed and rid of any dead or dry skin, your other skincare products are able to penetrate more deeply. "Exfoliation helps serums, moisturizers, and growth factors penetrate deeper into the skin," Dr.Noopur Warwade, MD, of The Skin Routine Dermatology and Skincare Center. When something that's rich in nourishing ingredients penetrates deeper, it's able to work more effectively. That's why exfoliation should always be included in your skincare routine, so your expensive moisturizers and serums can work their magic. The last thing you want is for your brand-new, insanely expensive face serum to be hindered by dead skin and pore-clogging material. Take it from Dr.Noopur Warwade, MD, of The Skin Routine Dermatology and Skincare Center. "Dead skin basically becomes a barrier between your skin and serums. By removing it you allow everything to work much better."
It Evens Skin Tone
People with dark spots, rough texture, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars know how frustrating they can be to treat. I'm right there with you. I have a cluster of old acne scars lining my chin that took months of exfoliation and patience to remove. But they're gone, which is the only thing that matters, right? Exfoliants break down dry and dead skin while smoothing texture, which means the skin appears to look more uniform over time.
It Boosts Circulation and Lymphatic Drainage
Exfoliation has many benefits, including stimulation of lymphatic drainage for internal cleansing and stimulation of oxygen-rich blood to feed and nourish the skin's surface. The former is a form of skin detoxification, working to remove toxins and other unhealthy debris. The latter boosts cellular health to reveal glowy, radiant skin
It Increases Cell Turnover
Aside from increased circulation, exfoliation also boosts the skin's radiance in another way. It "helps cell turnover so the skin looks more glowing," says Dr.Noopur Warwade, MD, of The Skin Routine Dermatology and Skincare Center. This means that the skin keeps fresh, healthy cells at the surface, removing dead, dry, or dying ones. In terms of appearance, this results in that ultra-dewy and baby-faced complexion we all strive for. An at home peel is a great way to speed up that cell turn over.