Skin Exfoliation

When one dead skin cell leaves the surface of the skin, another skin cell grows.

If you can remove many dead skin cells, new skin cells appear. So the skin looks fresher, plumper, revitalised.

However, dead skin cells provide protection to the deeper skin layers so is it a good idea to exfoliate? Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells before they are ready to shed. Doesn’t this expose vulnerable cells, won’t your skin feel sore after exfoliation and won’t the vulnerable skin cells dry up and die sooner?

The dead skin layer provides protection from the Ultra violet rays of the sun that have the potential to cause cancer. But … we need sun to provide the reaction in the skin that gives us Vit D so that we can absorb calcium for strong bones etc.

If you have a thick dead skin layer or a very tanned skinned, it takes longer to receive the rays that provide the reaction in the skin to make Vit D. This is why dark skinned people used to have a propensity for rickets – a rarer condition now because of supplementation but still possible.

It is good to sit in the sun but only for 20 minutes a day and remember the Old Wives’ tale: Never sit in the sun during midday in June because that is when the sun is at its strongest. Before 11am and after 3pm is the rule in June. My Grandma told me that! Twenty minutes a day is enough to gain the rays you need for the Vit D and for a tan! I don’t wear a sunscreen either because I can’t help wondering if skin cancer is also caused by the reaction of the sun with the chemicals in the sunscreen – my sceptism and not born from anything I have read. I use Olive Oil (of-course) as this has a natural sunscreen but it only lasts about 10 – 20 minutes. No, no, NO, you do not fry!!! What a stupid, idiotic reasoning that was and I wonder who coined it? If I have to be in the sun for longer because of where I am or what I am doing, then I cover up after 20 minutes with loose cotton clothing.

I do like to exfoliate as you know from my skincare routine, and this is because it removes the surface dead skin cells, which then gives the appearance of refined and finer lines. Also because the excess dead skin cells are removed I am less likely to get spots. See this article for that reason: Anatomy of the Skin

And finally after sitting in the sun I find I need to exfoliate more because the protection factor of the skin increases the dead skin layer to protect from the rays which is possibly why the people as long a go as Byzantine times in the hot countries exfoliated. My skin tans better after exfoliation and the tan looks smoother and clearer.

If you are someone who suffers from acne, you will find that your acne appears to clear up in the sun but seems worse once you get back from your holidays.
With the reaction of the sun on the skin, the skin is busily increasing your dead skin layer and because of this production, not many dead skin cells are naturally shed and so you don’t get spots.

Acne is caused by too many dead skin cells falling into the pores or hair follicles of the skin. The immune system sends bacteria to digest the dead skin cells that have got lodged in the wrong area and so a spot is formed. While in the sun, spots are not forming but as soon as you leave the sun the thicker dead skin layer is not needed and so is rapidly shed, the dead skin falls into follicles and so a spot forms.

Acne can be aggravated by exfoliation because the bacteria is so used to being sent to the follicle that it percieves any rough movement across the skin as potential dead skin cell invaders and so causes a spot.

The thicker dead skin layer on acne sufferers is best exfoliated using lemon juice and honey or yoghurt and a very gentle sponge to gently slough off the residue after about an hour. Acne sufferers may be low on Vitamin A which helps reduce the amount of dead skin and dry skin conditions, also zinc and omega oils (fish and evening primrose oil) may help.

I use a green scourer for my skin because I have tried every natural product I can think of and nothing is as successful as that. I have used natural cosmetic sponges and they don’t do the job and I have tried hemp flannels. I used sea-salt but this made my skin feel very sore and dry and I think this is because salt attracts moisture to itself and was drawing moisture out of my skin. This makes sense because the Dead Sea salts that one puts into the bath are for the very purpose of drawing toxins out of the skin – one should drink a glass of pure mineral water after a soak in one of those!

So if you do not suffer from acne using a green scourer in the manner suggested in the article My Skincare Routine will help keep your skin clear of imperfections. To protect the newer more vulnerable cells make sure you moisturise with Olive Oil which contains Vitamin E which helps the elastine of the skin, Vitamin A which helps the NMF (natural moisturising factor), small percentage of vitamin B and beneficial omega oils that will all help protect the skin and aid restoration to the NMF (natural moisturising factor).

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