The Importance of Exfoliation for Melanated Skin: Achieve Your Best Glow Yet

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Are you doing your skin a disservice?  If you’re not polishing it up as often as you need, then you already know the answer.  So, today, we’re talking about sloughing off those dead skin cells that are holding you back from your skin’s full potential, in other words, the importance of exfoliation for melanated skin.

How Exfoliation Works

Here’s what exfoliation actually does.  It removes dead skin cells which can clog pores and cause your skin to break out.  When we exfoliate regularly it helps stimulate cell turnover, but what exactly does that mean?

Well, let’s think of your skin like it’s a puzzle made up of small pieces called cells.  And, because these cells are constantly growing, moving and changing, they no longer are a great fit to the puzzle and divide so that they can make new cells that are a better fit.  These new cells then replace the old, dead cells that no longer fit the puzzle because they’ve aged out. 

So, when we talk about exfoliation working to promote cell turnover, what we’re actually saying is that exfoliation helps to speed up the process of getting rid of old, dead skin in order to replace it with newer cells that results in skin that appears healthier, fresher and more youthful.  Exfoliation can also bring out a brighter, more even complexion, something that’s a major plus for those of us with deeply melanated skin who are sometimes challenged with hyperpigmentation.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “but wait, won’t exfoliating create dark spots and hyperpigmentation on my skin due to too much friction?” That’s definitely a valid concern, however, the truth is, it’s all about how you exfoliate and what you choose as your exfoliant.  When exfoliating darker skin, chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are great options because they’re gentle and work to brighten and even out our skin tone without causing irritation or hyperpigmentation.  And, exfoliation can actually help to remove those dead skin cells that can be contributing to hyperpigmentation, as well as helping to smooth out your overall texture and skin tone.

The Benefits of Exfoliating: Making Room for Product Penetration

But, please know it’s not all about just scrubbing away dead skin cells and hoping for the best.  It’s important that you replenish your skin by adding moisture.  The great thing about exfoliation is that it allows your other skincare products, such as your moisturizers, to penetrate deeper into your skin.  This is essential when it comes to replenishing your skin with ingredients and products that are necessary for nourishing it and protecting your skin barrier.  But it’s not just about scrubbing away dead skin cells – it goes beyond that.

With proper exfoliation working to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, you’re creating a smooth surface for your serums, moisturizers, and other products to absorb much deeper into your skin, resulting in better product penetration.  This in turn, should make the benefits of the products, especially high-quality products, affect your skin in a number of beneficial ways, such as more hydrated skin, and possibly, the look of smaller pores, for instance, depending on the exact products you’re using.     

Proper Exfoliation Techniques to Avoid Damage

But, just like with any other skincare technique, tool or product, it’s important that you make sure you use exfoliants in moderation and to always pay attention to how your skin reacts. Over-exfoliating can actually damage your skin barrier and make your skin irritated and sensitive, so we recommend, for best results, that you start slowly and then gradually work your way up once you see how your skin feels and looks.

After exfoliating, it’s important to follow up with a moisturizer to hydrate and protect your skin. And, if you’re going to be spending time in the sun, make sure that you apply sunscreen to protect your newly exfoliated skin.

Physical Exfoliation and What to Avoid

Now usually when most people think of exfoliation, granules or scrubs tend to come to mind,  especially for those who prefer a more tactile experience.  So, if you’re in this category, just make sure that you put down and walk away from harsh scrubs with large, jagged pieces that can potentially cause micro-tears in your skin – not cute!

Professional Exfoliation: Visiting an Esthetician for the Best Results

While exfoliating at home is a great way to maintain healthy skin, it’s always a good idea to visit an Esthetician for a professional treatment. An esthetician can guide you on the best type of exfoliant for your skin type and concerns and provide a more thorough exfoliation that you might not be able to achieve at home. Plus, they can recommend follow-up treatments and products to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

Exfoliation is Crucial for Maintaining a Glowing Complexion

Exfoliating is a crucial step in any skincare routine, but it’s especially important for those of us with skin of color. By removing dead skin cells and allowing other products to better penetrate your skin, exfoliating can help your skin maintain a smooth, glowing complexion.  And, by visiting an Esthetician for professional treatments and guidance, you can take your exfoliation game to the next level.

Just remember to always be gentle, pay attention to your skin’s needs, and don’t be afraid to glow up and show out with your polished melanin.

Author: Tiffany

Tiffany is a licensed esthetician and the Founder of SpaSho.

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