Toning and exfoliating are important steps to include in your daily skincare regimen in order to balance your skin – are you skipping either of these steps?
Our skin is made up of layers that each serve a purpose in protecting our bodies. The outermost and visible layer, the skin barrier, consists of lipids containing cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides, and skin cells containing keratin and natural moisturizers. Despite being thin, the skin barrier plays a vital role in keeping us alive by protecting our bodies from harmful environmental toxins and pathogens, and preventing evaporative water loss.
Because the skin barrier directly encounters frequent damage from the external world, it relies on frequent repair and renewal of its cells. Dead skin sells on the surface are constantly shedding to reveal the new skin underneath in a process referred to as the skin renewal cycle. Cells in the skin go through rapid divisions in the various layers of skin until, in the course of about a month, they produce an outer layer of dead cells that are shed from the surface.
Due to the importance of the skin barrier, we should be vigilant in caring for it – that’s where our skincare regimen comes in. Are toning and exfoliating included in your regimen?
Exfoliation consists of scrubbing away dead skin cells and contaminants from the skin barrier. This process occurs naturally, and is an important step in maintaining a healthy skin barrier. As skin ages, though, its natural functions begin to slow down. Without regular exfoliation, remnant dead skin cells, dirt, and impurities can congest the pores and cause irritation in the form of breakouts and inflammation, which can lead to duller-looking skin and more visible fine lines and wrinkles. Physically or chemically exfoliating the skin aids in maintaining proper function of the skin, and results in clear, glowing skin. There are three types of exfoliators: chemical, physical, and hybrid.
The frequency and type of exfoliation can be customized, based on the needs of your skin. Daily use of a gentle chemical exfoliant is great for more sensitive skin and skin prone to breakouts and hyperpigmentation. Less gentle, physical exfoliants can be used two to three times a week to improve the skin’s tone and are most beneficial when paired with aids such as retinol, which increases the skin’s cellular turnover.
Physical: Physical exfoliators, also referred to as mechanical exfoliators, typically contain small particles such as jojoba beads, silica, or sugar that are naturally derived. These particles, when gently massaged into the skin, physically scrub away dead skin cells and increase blood circulation. Regular use of a physical exfoliant aids in improving skin functions, and by increasing blood circulation, can help “wake up” the skin. It is important, when choosing a physical exfoliator, to avoid overly abrasive options with harsh particles that can cause damage to the skin by tearing it.
Chemical: Chemical exfoliators are a gentler alternative to physical exfoliators and usually contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like lactic, salicylic, and glycolic acids or fruit enzymes. For those with more sensitive skin, chemical exfoliants can be less irritating than physical exfoliants, which physically scrub the outermost layer of the skin. Rather than relying on this physical/mechanical “scrubbing”, chemical exfoliants loosen the dead skin cells and contaminants on the skin barrier.
Hybrid: As the name suggests, a hybrid exfoliant is a hybrid between both physical and chemical exfoliants. These exfoliants combine abrasion and chemicals to sweep away dead skin cells.
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Toning: Toning is an important step to include in your skincare routine, and should follow cleansing and exfoliating. Toners help remove any residual impurities such as dirt and grime from the pores, and when used regularly, can result in tighter-looking, balanced skin. Toners aid in balancing, calming, and hydrating the skin after it’s been washed and exfoliated.
Just as the other steps in your skincare routine can be customized to your skin’s needs, your choice of toner should be dependent on the needs of your own skin and the results you wish to achieve. When choosing a toner, you want to avoid harsh ingredients that are known to cause dryness and irritation such as alcohol. Plant-based ingredients, such as witch hazel and rose water oil, are known to help balance the natural oils in the skin, unclog pores, and soothe the skin.
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In conclusion, exfoliating and toning are two vital steps to include in your daily skincare routine if you want balanced skin. While the skin naturally exfoliates and produces oils and acids needed for protecting our bodies, these processes slow down as we age. By implementing a daily skincare regimen to provide the needs of our skin, we can aid in balancing and improving its appearance.
Regardless of your skin type, we are confident that we have the perfect skincare products for you at Central Wellness. Whether you have established a daily skincare regimen that works for you or you’re interested in establishing a skincare regimen for the first time, we want to empower you with the information you need to make educated decisions when selecting the best products for your skin. Our skincare experts are a great resource for helping you find the right products for your skin and lifestyle, and they’d love to assist you! Schedule your FREE consultation today and discover the best skincare practices to get your skin looking smooth, bright, and balanced.