I’m sure you’ve noticed how dry and scaly your skin tends to get in the winter. I turn into an alligator. It's not fun at all, especially when combined with the inevitable dry itch that comes from the winter air sucking moisture out of your skin. Exfoliation is always touted in the summer because that is when we are wearing the least clothes and our skin to appear smooth and radiant. However, it is just as important in the winter if you want to avoid the dull, crispy skin that comes every year.
What is it?
Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells. Your body naturally removes dead skin cells, but at a rate governed by an internal clock. If too many dead skin cells build up before that time, you are left with dull, scaly skin. You can remove these dead cells yourself with the help of a body scrub, loofah or a dry brush.
Your skin benefits from your products the most when there aren’t any dead skin cells in the way. Exfoliated skin allows your moisturizer to penetrate deeper, thus allowing you to experience the full benefits of the product (ex. nutrients can penetrate your skin at deeper levels and your skin stays moisturized longer).
Exfoliation also speeds up cell turnover, which is great for those looking to improve their skin’s overall appearance. Cell turnover is when your body replaces damaged skin cells with healthy ones. The cell turnover rate for babies is every 1-3 weeks- that’s why their skin is so soft and their skin tone is so even. As we age, our cell turnover slows down. This can lead to dull skin and body acne triggered by the accumulation of dead skin cells.
As you can see, exfoliation is essential for maintaining moist, glowing skin in the winter. Exfoliation:
Which method do I recommend?
Exfoliating in the shower with a body scrub is my favorite method.
That way involves exfoliating and adding moisture at the same time. Terrene Fusions Coffee & Himalayan Salt Scrub moisturizes with Shea Butter while the Himalayan Salt and Coffee granules remove your dead skin. The caffeine content in the coffee also helps diminish the appearance of cellulite. It’s an indulgent treat to use in the shower before starting your day.
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I spent my teenage years battling acne and a face so oily that it was almost reflective. In fact, I remember kids asking me if I put Vaseline on my face when I was about to head to middle school. I tried everything under the sun to get my skin to look clear & matte; things like microdermabrasion, medicated lotions and soaps, & homemade tonics. Nothing worked! After a few years of trial and error, I stumbled upon an article where a woman claimed that oil got rid of her adult acne. I stayed away from oil because I assumed it would make my situation worse. However, I was desperate for clear skin, so I figured I’d try it out. Turns out she was right! I’ve been using oil as replacement for a facial lotion for the last 5 years and my skin has never been clearer.
OIL ON MY FACE HELPS GET RID OF SHINE AND ACNE?
Yup. Many people believe oil causes acne, thanks to the clever “oil-free” captions that are on many facial products. The truth is that oil, or sebum since we are talking about skin, does NOT cause acne. Sebum is necessary to lubricate our hair and skin. Without it, we’d be perpetually dry and itchy, among other things. What causes acne is bacteria. Bacteria has the perfect place to reproduce when sebum gets trapped under a clogged pore. The reproduction of bacteria is what causes pimples, not oil itself.
Using oil on your face can save you a lot of money on acne washes and mattifying lotions. Here are just a few of the benefits:
SO HOW DO I DO IT?
If you want an oil that is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, plant based and nutrient rich so that you won’t have to do all of the mixing, I recommend Terrene Fusions Nourishing Hair & Body Oil. You can add oils to your beauty regimen as a post wash moisturizer or replace your soap with it entirely. The latter is called the Oil Cleansing Method. Mommypatomus has a great article and video tutorial that goes into the step by step process.
For the past 5 years I’ve been using oil as a moisturizer after washing my face with gentle, unmedicated natural soap. Just 3-5 drops is enough for me. If I use to much, I just wipe off the excess oil before leaving the house. My face remains clear and glowing for the rest of the day--no more oily reflection. I urge any one suffering from acne prone skin to try this out.
Feel free to share this article with anyone who may find it helpful. Let me know how it works for you if you decide to try it out!
HOW IT STARTED
A few years ago, I binge watched a bunch of food documentaries that made me question every processed food that I ate. After learning how the chemicals used in many foods are the cause of common ailments like acne, heart disease, cancer, upset stomach, bloating and headaches, I sought out on a mission to revamp my diet. My first goal was to eat a raw meal each day filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Specifically vegetables, because I hardly ate any back then. Eating vegetables involved washing, chopping, seasoning, cooking… stuff I simply just didn’t feel like doing as a student working two jobs at the time.
I decided that the simplest way to start eating more produce would be to throw it all in a blender and get multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in one meal. This way, all I had to do was rinse the produce, roughly chop it into large chunks (which takes less than 2 minutes), toss it in a blender, and sip it as I drove to work each day. So I did. My formula for the best taste was to add twice as much fruit as I did veggies, which worked perfectly. Check out my green smoothie post here if you want to see my staple recipe.
I noticed multiple changes after drinking green smoothies for just a few days.-My once perpetually acne-prone skin was crystal clear, and stayed that way for multiple days (which never happened before)! My breath was noticeably odor free; I’m talking all day, every day, even just after eating a super funky meal. I also noticed less body odor overall. After working out, there was no funk, and this included my armpits. My regularity increased. I was now cleansing my colon 2-3 times a day instead of once a day or every other day. Since adding a daily smoothie was the only change I made to my diet, I knew that the fruits and veggies were working some internal magic!
I did a lot of experiments when trying to find the perfect smoothie recipe. While doing these trials, I noticed that my acne returned when I used carrots as my vegetable base instead of greens when trying a new recipe. What was it about greens that kept my skin so clear? Why was my morning breath noticeably less foul each morning? Chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the molecule that gives any plant its green color. Plants use chlorophyll for photosynthesis, which turns sunlight and carbon dioxide into food. With some research, I learned that chlorophyll does wonders for almost every living thing. It has many benefits for humans, such as:
WHERE TO FIND CHLOROPHYLL
Those are just a few of the many benefits of this molecule. I make sure to get my chlorophyll by having a green smoothie every day. Adding daily servings of dark green leafy vegetables to your diet is an inexpensive way of greatly improving your health from the inside out. If you don’t want to change your diet but still want to benefit, visit your local vitamin store. Chlorophyll is sold in many forms such as liquids, capsules, or powders. It can be purchased at health stores all over the country.
Try adding chlorophyll to your daily diet in any of these forms. Within just a few days, you should see a noticeably difference inside and out.
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