The Why’s And How’s Of Exfoliation

It is important to make sure you exfoliate in winter. Dead skin cells reduce the amount of absorption you get from the products you apply, and increase winter dryness and irritation.


I often get asked questions about exfoliating. ”Is it necessary, how often, with what??” In order to maintain healthy, youthful, glowing skin we do need to both remove old, dead skin cells and encourage proper cellular turn over. Exfoliating both removes the old dead skin cells and speeds up cell renewal enabling new healthy skin cells to grow.
Your body is continuously producing new cells to replace those that naturally die off. As we age cellular turnover slows down, especially skin cells. This slower turnover and excessive dead skin laying on the surface is one of the causes for dull, lackluster, unhealthy, or wrinkled skin.  Additionally, dead skin cells clog your pores and create blockage, wreaking havoc for your skin.
Knowing ’the why’ is only half of the story when it comes to exfoliating. It is equally important that you know’ the how’ so you do not cause damage to your skin in an effort to keep it beautiful.


There are several different kinds of exfoliates. They all work differently and are not all effective or safe for skin. Products can contain fruit seeds (apricot), nut shells (walnut), salt or sugar, chemicals, acids, ingredients that  ”digest” your dead skin cell, circular exfoliates (jojoba beads), grounds nuts, grains, and flours.
Long gone are the days of abrasive over scrubbing. It scratches, tears, and rips your skin. These tiny abrasions damage your skin and accelerate aging. Avoid any products that contain exfoliates with jagged sharp edges that do not dissolve such as pit fruit seeds and nutshells.
In the case of salt and sugar where they are square (and do start with sharp edges), they dissolve with water, and with the circular motions of applying, become circular, thus preventing any skin damage. Spherical exfoliates are gentle and safe.
Chemicals, acids, peels, and micro derma abrasion can burn, blister, cause redness and swelling to your skin as well as age the appearance of skin over time. You may feel more youthful looking after the first few sessions, but in the long run they can accelerate aging and damage skin. Some can be safe and effective in small doses, but I do not recommend them.
Natural ingredients that  “digest” your dead skin cell (ground nuts, grains, and flours) are effective, safe, and work wonderful to slough off dead skin.

Make your own:

    Facial scrub

  • 1/2 tablespoon almonds
  • 1/4 tea honey
  • 1/4 soymilk
  • 1/8 tea green tea
  • Make a paste with the almonds in a food processor. (Do not make butter; stop when the almonds are ground before they go to creamy butter.)
  • Add additional ingredients, pulse a few times, and remove from processor.
  • Will keep in refrigerator for 3-5 days.
    Body scrub

  • 1/8 cup oat flour (you can substitute the flour with finely ground rolled oats, ground in a coffee grinder.
  • Don’t worry about any coffee residue, it is wonderful for cellulite)
  • Olive, safflower, almond, avocado or pistachio oil
  • Mix flour and salt. Add oil in 1 tablespoon increments until the salt/flour mixture lightly is coated.