Do you exfoliate?
Sure, the obvious is skin… but it goes so much deeper …as do all things.
Is exfoliation natural?
It’s officially Autumn and the very natural process of exfoliation is happening all around us in the Northern Hemisphere. The daylight is growing shorter, trees are losing their leaves, gardens are slowing and dying as frost set in. The direction of the wind is changing. It’s cool in the morning, the days are warm, and the evening is refreshing. The smells are ripe, deep, and nourishing.
We too, are changing our pace and our schedules. Our sun kissed tans are fading. We’re letting go off the long, busy days of summer so that we can go to bed earlier. So that we can renew and refresh. We dream deep on the cool nights. With the window open, we can move through ideas, hopes, fears… It’s natural, this process of transitioning and releasing, of exfoliating.
I find answers and guidance in nature. Releasing and transitioning is organic.
Our skin naturally exfoliates. It’s a process called desquamation. Old skin cells move toward the outermost layers of the skin, and eventually slough away, leaving behind fresher, smoother skin. Through desquamation we shed old skin cells which are more likely to contain environmental pollutants, microorganisms, and damaged proteins. This results in fresh, new, subtle skin.
Skin is a living exchange organ. Your skin is your largest organ.
Your skin reflects your story, your decisions, and your journey. Your skin is the only organ that you’ll admit to being “comfortable in”, or not. Your skin impacts your opportunities, or lack thereof. Your skin impacts your perception of value, to your self and to others. Your skin is opulent. Your skin is a blessing of living, passed to you.
Our skin feels different as we age, and as we grow. As the weather changes, as we season. Our skin feels different as we shed old ideas, hopes and expectations. River beds shift, valleys deepen, shorelines erode or surge. The rising and setting of the sun changes. So do we. We exfoliate.
As we age, the process of desquamation becomes less effective. The well developed matrix of skin cell growth eventually becomes heavier, thicker and harder to shed. Our skin appears less dull and feels less supple. Exfoliation, helps to maintain the natural process of skin renewal, just like a change of scenery, company or daily rhythm.
How to exfoliate?
There’s a range of options for exfoliation, natural and less, always. I will focus on natural, otherwise known as mechanical. This is the process of exfoliation through the use of a textured surface. Mechanical exfoliation can be dry, as with dry brushing and pumice stones, or wet, as with sugars, salts and clay mixtures. Both options use friction from a substance on the surface of your skin to loosen and remove the surface layer of old, dead skin cells leaving fresh, new, softer skin. In either application, the key is enough, and not too much.
The key indicator with exfoliation is your skin…of course. Exfoliation should refresh your skin. It should feel lighter, looser, and brighter. For your face, no more than once a week. For our bodies, once to twice a week is usually safe and satisfying. Light pressure is best to begin. Adjust as you observe your skin’s reaction. Your skin should not inflame or become patchy, scaly or red. If your skin feels sensitive or raw, this is skin not ready for exposure. This reaction means you are exfoliating too often, or with too much pressure, or it could indicate a possible allergenic reaction.
Just like other transitions, pay attention. Notice. You will receive feedback. It feels great to shed the old, but only when it’s ripe, as it’s appropriate. And that’s an ongoing process.
Need help exfoliating?