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How to Properly Exfoliate: The Top Benefits + Nature’s Best Exfoliating Ingredients

Does your skin ever feel dull and lifeless? Have you tried just about every skincare product but still aren’t seeing results? Even with a solid routine, your skin might not be getting all the nutrients it needs to look and feel its best. That’s where exfoliation comes in.

Not only does exfoliating allow for better moisture absorption because it helps remove dead skin cells, but it also increases blood flow to support collagen and elastin production. And while exfoliating offers a number of anti-aging benefits, what type of exfoliant you use makes all the difference — because not all exfoliants are created equally.

Here are some of the top benefits of exfoliating to combat visible signs of aging and the do’s and dont’s when choosing superior ingredients.

Why Exfoliating Matters

Healthy Skin Cells

As you age your skin cell turnover rate — which is crucial for an even complexion — naturally decreases. This leads to a buildup of dead cells that cause dull, dry, and clogged skin. Exfoliating is the unsung hero that can take your complexion from dull to dazzling. The purpose is to slough away those dull, dead skin cells that can build up on the surface of your skin over time.

But exfoliating does so much more than just remove dead skin cells — it also paves the way for your skincare products to work their magic more effectively. That means your moisturizers, serums, and treatments can penetrate deeper into the skin, delivering their potent ingredients where they’re needed most.

And there’s another important reason to exfoliate. Your skin naturally loses collagen and elastin as you age as well, both of which are important proteins that keep your skin taught and supple-looking. When you lack collagen and elasticity, your skin loses its ability to bounce back which leads to saggy-looking skin.

The good news is that exfoliating actually stimulates blood flow which supports the production of collagen and elastin for younger-looking skin.

Exfoliating isn’t just about scrubbing away dead skin cells (although it does a stellar job at that), it’s also a game-changer for your skin’s health. Think of it as a mini spa day for your face — minus the hefty price tag! But what exactly can it do for you? Let’s dive into the benefits of exfoliating and how it can transform your complexion.

The Top Benefits of Exfoliating

Exfoliation is the cornerstone of a good skincare routine, but it does so much more than remove dead skin cells. From brightening your complexion to smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, here are the benefits you can expect from the right exfoliator.

Supports a More Even Complexion

Age spots, also known as liver spots or sun spots, are pigmented areas that develop on your skin over time due to prolonged sun exposure and the natural aging process. These spots occur when melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, becomes concentrated in certain areas, leading to dark patches or spots on the skin’s surface.

As you age, the process of skin cell turnover slows down, causing dead skin cells to accumulate on the skin’s surface. This buildup of dead skin cells can exacerbate the appearance of age spots, making them more pronounced and noticeable.

By gently sloughing away these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps to reveal the smoother, more evenly pigmented skin underneath. This not only improves the overall brightness and clarity of your skin but also reduces the contrast between the age spots and the surrounding skin, making the spots appear less prominent.

Boosts Collagen and Elastin

Collagen and elastin are important proteins responsible for keeping your skin taught, supple, and thick — essentially all the characteristics that keep your skin young-looking. But collagen and elastin can start to decline as early as age 20 and lead to saggy-looking skin and visible signs of aging.

Regular exfoliation helps to stimulate blood flow, which is shown to play a vital role in collagen and elastin production. By promoting blood flow, exfoliation helps ensure that your skin receives enough oxygen and nutrients, which are essential for collagen and elastin synthesis. Increased blood flow to the skin’s surface slows down the breakdown of these proteins, allowing your skin to maintain its structure and elasticity.

This means that instead of settling into lines and wrinkles, your skin has the ability to bounce back, retaining its youthful appearance for longer.

Smooths Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Speaking of collagen and elastin, did you know that these proteins — or lack thereof — can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles? And these visible signs of aging can actually make you look older than you really are.

Collagen and elastin play a critical role in maintaining the firmness and elasticity of your skin. By promoting blood flow and therefore collagen production and removing dull skin cells, exfoliating can help to smooth the look of your skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that age your face.

Combats Enlarged Pores

Combats enlarged pores

Dead skin cells not only accumulate on the surface of your skin but can also become lodged deep within your pores, creating a breeding ground for dirt, oil, and bacteria. This buildup can result in congestion, breakouts, and the dreaded appearance of enlarged pores, particularly in areas prone to excess oil production such as the nose and chin.

Fine-grain exfoliants are incredibly effective at buffing away this buildup, helping to unclog pores. But for a targeted approach to pore congestion, consider incorporating an all-natural beta hydroxy acid (BHA) into your skincare routine.

Willow bark extract, for example, is a potent BHA renowned for its ability to penetrate deep into the pores, dissolving impurities and excess sebum. By breaking up blockages and promoting cell turnover, BHA exfoliants help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, leaving your skin looking smoother and clearer.

Encourages Skin Cell Turnover

Exfoliating works by gently buffing away the top layer of your skin to remove dead skin cells. This encourages new, healthier cells to replace the old ones. And this is key because skin cell turnover is crucial for combating visible signs of aging.

Getting rid of dead skin cells and having a high turnover rate improves the appearance of skin, smoothing texture and reducing the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. But there’s one other important benefit of encouraging skin cell turnover: product absorption.

Essential for Product Absorption

Hydrating skincare products are only beneficial if they’re actually absorbed into the skin. But dead skin cells pile up to create a protective layer, which can interfere with product absorption. This protective layer is also largely responsible for dull, uneven skin and can even contribute to clogged and enlarged pores.

This is why it’s so essential to exfoliate these dead skin cells away regularly. By removing this built-up layer of dead cells, you give way to healthier cells that can absorb moisture more effectively. As a result, your skin becomes more receptive to hydrating skincare products, ensuring they penetrate deeply and deliver maximum hydration.

But there’s one big issue when it comes to exfoliation that you NEED to be aware of, which is that some exfoliants can be extremely irritating and do more harm than good. And this leads us to the biggest problem with many popular exfoliants on the market today.

The Biggest Issue with Exfoliants on the Market Today

While it’s clear that exfoliating offers a number of benefits for your skin, not all exfoliants are created equally. In fact, many of the popular exfoliants on the market can actually pose a serious RISK to your health. That’s because they fall into one of two categories: synthetic chemical exfoliants or abrasive physical exfoliants.

Chemical ExfoliantsFor starters, chemical exfoliants often use harsh acids like glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid. Essentially, these burn away dead skin cells. And while they do work, they more often than not cause skin irritation like a burning sensation, redness, and even peeling.

And then there are physical exfoliants. While these can be a better option because they don’t use synthetic ingredients, many are just as irritating as their chemical counterparts. This is because many physical exfoliants contain large and uneven particles in order to remove dead skin cells. These can be very abrasive and irritate your skin’s natural barrier. But that doesn’t mean all physical exfoliants are bad. The key is to choose one that uses fine, all-natural exfoliating ingredients.

Now you might be asking yourself why you haven’t heard of these issues before, and that’s because of clever marketing. “Healthy,” “luxury,” and “safe” don’t mean much of anything — they’re simply greenwashing you to think their products are better for you. Meanwhile, they’re often abrasive and potentially hormone-disrupting formulas.

So how can you take advantage of the amazing benefits of exfoliating without harming your skin or your health? Let’s look at some of the best non-abrasive ingredients for gentle exfoliation.

Nature’s Gentlest Yet Most Effective Exfoliating Ingredients

When it comes to skincare, ingredients matter. The last thing you want to do is hurt your skin when you’re trying to help it, which is why it’s crucial to choose natural, non-abrasive exfoliants. Here are three of the best exfoliating ingredients renowned for their gentle yet effective properties.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flourBuckwheat flour is made up of finely milled particles that help to remove dead skin cells, encouraging new cells to surface and promoting a more radiant complexion. And while buckwheat flour is great for gentle exfoliation, what makes this a stand-out ingredient is that it’s also bursting with antioxidants.

Scientifically known as Polygonum fagopyrum, buckwheat flour contains rutin which is known for its nourishing, antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are known to fight free radical damage that leads to premature skin aging.

So while the exfoliating properties of buckwheat flour slough off dead skin cells to promote better absorption, it also gives your skin an extra burst of antioxidants for a youthful-looking complexion.

Sorghum Flour

Sorghum FlourSorghum flour comes from the sorghum plant and is known for its ability to buff away dullness and grime to reveal healthy-looking skin. Its finely milled texture acts as a gentle exfoliant, effectively removing dead skin cells without causing irritation — making it great for all skin types.

But what truly sets sorghum flour apart is its rich nutrient profile. In addition to its exfoliating properties, sorghum flour contains a number of beneficial compounds such as B vitamins which play a crucial role in maintaining skin health. B vitamins help to support the skin’s health and natural barrier function, which is essential for protecting against environmental stressors and retaining moisture.

Sorghum flour also contains antioxidants that help to protect the skin from environmental aggressors and maintain its youthful appearance.

Willow Bark Extract

Willow BarkWillow bark is a gentle beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that offers powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. In fact, willow bark serves as a natural source of salicin, from which the well-known acne-fighting compound, salicylic acid, is derived.

In addition to its abundant salicin content, willow bark extract boasts high levels of phenolic acids and flavonoids. These compounds work to help soothe the skin and promote cell regeneration.

Unlike abrasive chemical exfoliants that may strip away natural oils, willow bark extract provides a gentle yet powerful exfoliation. It encourages cellular turnover for a smoother, clearer-looking complexion without causing irritation.

How to Properly Exfoliant for Your Healthy-Looking Skin

How to Properly Exfoliate

Choosing the right exfoliating ingredients is key to exfoliating properly, but so is knowing how to do it correctly for optimal results. Here are some expert tips to properly exfoliate for brighter, youthful-looking skin.

1. Start By Cleansing

You’ll want to make sure you have a clean canvas before exfoliating. Cleanse your skin with your favorite natural cleanser and warm water to help open up pores and soften the skin’s surface. This will enhance the effectiveness of the exfoliation process and minimize the risk of irritation. Keep in mind that using water that is too hot can strip your skin of natural oils and cause dryness.

2. Keep it Gentle

If using a water-activated exfoliant, pour about one teaspoon of the powder into the palm of your hand. Add a few drops of water to make a creamy mix. On wet skin, apply the paste to your face using gentle circular motions. Massage it onto your skin for 15 seconds, focusing on areas that tend to be rough or congested and avoiding the eye area. Rinse your skin with water to remove the exfoliant completely. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel, being careful not to rub or tug at your skin.

3. Stay Consistent

As with any beauty product, consistency is key to seeing results. You wouldn’t expect to see results from hitting the gym once in a blue moon, right? The same goes for exfoliating. Make it a regular part of your skincare routine, but don’t go overboard. Two to three times a week should do the trick without irritating your skin.

4. Follow Up With Hydration

After exfoliating is the perfect time to hydrate your skin since all of the dead cells are gone. By replenishing moisture after exfoliation, you’re helping to restore your skin’s natural balance and support its barrier function. This not only keeps dryness and irritation at bay but also helps defend against environmental stressors that can wreak havoc on your skin. Apply a hydrating USDA Certified Organic serum or moisturizer to soothe and nourish.

Properly exfoliating your skin two to three times a week is an essential step for your healthiest, youngest-looking skin and truly does have the power to increase skin elasticity, brighten and revitalize your complexion, and leave your skin feeling softer and firmer than it has in years.

Introducing Nature’s Finest: The Age-Defying Skin Exfoliator

If you’re looking for the best all-natural exfoliant to nourish your skin without any toxic or syntheticingredients, there’s one exceptional product that checks every box: Purity Woods’ USDAThe Age-Defying Skin Exfoliator Certified Organic Age-Defying Skin Exfoliator.

Unlike the many harsh chemical exfoliants or overly abrasive physical exfoliants you’ll find on the market today, Purity Woods’ Age-Defying Skin Exfoliator is a clarifying and nourishing formula to gently slough away the dead skin cells and pollutants that dull your complexion, increase blood flow to your skin, and boost collagen and elastin levels.

Plus, it’s made of 100% plants which means ZERO synthetic or hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Instead, The Age-Defying Skin Exfoliator utilizes ALL of nature’s best natural exfoliants — including buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, and willow bark — and anti-aging botanicals like bakuchiol which gives you all the benefits of retinol without the irritation.

And like all Purity Woods products, it’s USDA Certified Organic, which means it is strictly and independently verified as free from synthetic and potentially toxic ingredients, non-GMO, and is sourced from ingredients grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.

Learn more about The Age-Defying Skin Exfoliator  — and get up to 31% OFF and FREE U.S. Shipping today!

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