Skin Types

Exfoliating For Aging Skin Has Many Perks

Written by Dahvi Shira

Ever felt like your skin hit a dead-end? You’ve been to every luxury department store and med spa, tried every serum, mask, you name it. You’ve stayed out of the sun, you haven’t over-applied anything compromising, what gives

If your skin continues looking dull and feeling lifeless—or your foundation application comes out looking like your DIY prom glam in high school, it’s time to exfoliate. This process is instrumental in removing peach fuzz and dead skin at any age, but mature skin exfoliation is even more beneficial. 

Exfoliation helps make skin smoother, clearer and brighter, which is especially important as we get older. When cell turnover slows down, dead skin cells build up and dullness and dryness can creep in. Fresh, bouncy, glowy skin takes longer to reveal itself. Exfoliation nudges that process along, helping replace lost radiance. 

It’s important to note that exfoliating isn’t about stripping the skin, but rather sweeping the skin free of dead cells that serve no purpose anyway.  Exfoliation breaks the bonds between the dead skin cells and the skin’s surface.

Why Skin Care For Mature Skin Is Especially Important

They say death and taxes are the only things in life that are certain—well, surprise! If you’re fortunate enough to make it to your 40s and beyond, signs of mature skin will most likely come with the territory. 

While the chances of being mistaken for your teenage daughter are rare, regular exfoliation can at least help bring that glow back to your skin by getting rid of dull, dead cells that cling to the skin’s surface. Removing the dry debris off your face will reveal your smoother, softer skin.

In addition to exfoliation for the face, general skin exfoliation is great for a number of reasons:

  • Helps natural skin cell-turnover process
  • Helps targeted moisturizers and treatments penetrate the skin better
  • Reduces breakout-causing congestion
  • Helps smooth rough areas
  • Prevents ingrown hairs

Keep reading for a deep dive into why exfoliation is key to brighter, clearer, smoother, softer and more radiant skin (and therefore a more confident you!). 

Benefits Of Exfoliation

Revives the Appearance of Your Skin

Would you rather be remembered for your exceptionally radiant skin, or not remembered at all? Gee, we wonder… 

Freshly exfoliated skin makes a statement by removing built-up dead, dry, hardened skin cells to reveal healthier, smoother, softer skin beneath. 

With age comes slowed cell turnover, which means our skin becomes less efficient at desquamation (naturally shedding dead skin). Prepare yourself for a not-so-appetizing visual, but the term is from the Latin word descuamare, meaning “to scrape the scales off a fish.”

When we can’t naturally shed our skin, the buildup of dead, damaged cells makes the skin look dull, rough, patchy and less toned. In other words, bland. Think of pasta without sauce. Unappealing and plain. Your skin needs flavor, too!

Encourages Skin Cell Renewal 

Exfoliation speeds up the cell renewal process, which means you’re on the fast track to brighter, glowier skin. By leaving the cell turnover process in natural hands, you risk poor skin barrier function, which can make the skin more susceptible to dehydration, irritants, allergens, bacteria, viruses, sensitisers and other environmental aggressors. But by grabbing that trusty dermaplane tool, physical scrub or chemical exfoliant, you can kick old and damaged cells to the curb, while stimulating new ones. 

Promotes a Fresh Face

Envision a post-vacation glimmer, but year-’round. While it may be impossible to embody your carefree days as a 20-something, you absolutely have the ability to look fresh-faced on the reg. 

When you make the move to exfoliate, you remove dead skin cells. This in turn can help unclog blocked pores, and lift trapped dirt, bacteria, surface debris and oil that causes blackheads, whiteheads and spots. In other words, your youth unlocked! (Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration… but you get the idea—it makes a big difference).  

Exfoliating is particularly imperative for oily skin because oil acts like a glue holding dead skin cells in place, which contributes to clogged pores. Sloughing off dead, oily skin not only helps prevent blemishes, but can aid their healing and reduce mild hyperpigmentation by stimulating skin cell renewal. Those stubborn, dark, hyperpigmented spots are commonly caused by acne-related inflammation, as well as sun exposure and pregnancy-induced melasma.

Stimulates The Production Of Collagen

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably sipped on a collagen smoothie or even let some influencer, well, influence you to buy collagen supplements. But do you actually understand collagen’s importance? 

Instagram gimmicks aside, collagen is actually extremely critical, especially as you age. It gives our skin strength and elasticity, and the older we get, we naturally produce less of it. Collagen loss results in lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. 

So, does exfoliating help with wrinkles? Well, it’s been known to stimulate collagen synthesis which helps keep the skin firmer and luminous. While it doesn’t directly make wrinkles go away, it plays a role in a long line of what can help minimize their appearance.

Keeps Your Blood Flowing

It’s always important to keep your blood flow stimulated. This brings vital nutrients and oxygen to the skin, which helps improve its overall health and appearance. 

Increases Absorption 

Does your skin feel dry, despite globbing on your favorite moisturizer like it’s going out of business? Does your foundation appear cakey, despite succumbing to every TikTok tutorial you can fit into your lunch break? These are telltale signs it’s time to exfoliate.

Dead skin cells, dirt and grime all create a barrier on the skin’s surface, which makes it harder for skincare products to be absorbed. By sloughing off this barrier and unclogging pores, skincare products not only penetrate the skin more deeply, but makeup also sets more smoothly.

Helps Slip Toxins From the Skin

You can think of exfoliation as a massage for your face, in the sense that it can aid the body’s detoxification process by stimulating blood and lymph flow. But it’s a 2-for-1, because as a result of your detoxification, you’re improving the appearance and condition of your skin. It also saves you a few bucks at the smoothie shop. 

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Exfoliating Etiquette for Mature Skin

Mature skin will be more tender, due to collagen loss. Therefore, you can’t just slap it around. There are guidelines to follow—etiquette, if you will. The goal is to exfoliate gently and avoid aggravating your skin. Keep reading for the most effective exfoliation techniques for mature skin.

Choose The Right Exfoliant For Your Skin

Not all mature skin is the same. While yes, we’re all likely in the same boat with some collagen loss and hyperpigmentation, you still need your exfoliation products to cater to your specific skin type (dry, oily, combo, sensitive).

Your best exfoliator for mature skin could include scrubs, pads and brushes that work to physically lift dead skin cells off your body’s surface. There’s also the option of more intensive, professional treatments, including chemical peels, which remove the outer layer of damaged skin.

Exfoliating Should Set the Tone of Your Remaining Routine

As we mentioned above, exfoliating makes skin care penetrate deeper into the skin. So it only makes sense that exfoliating would kick off the rest of your routine. Think of it this way: Would you roast a carrot and then peel its skin? What would be the point, right? Once cell debris is discarded, hydrate the skin by applying your serums, Xtremely Rich Moisturizer and makeup.

Avoid Abrasive Scrubs

You’ve probably been warned against using harsh scrubs like walnut and apricot for the face. As you get older, you just can’t experiment the way you used to. When it comes to an exfoliator for aging skin, stick to what’s gentle. The skin on your face is more sensitive, so save the apricots for fruit salad.

Less Is More

Too much of a good thing does exist, and such can be said for exfoliating. If you exfoliate regularly and you’re not getting the results you want, it doesn’t mean you should do it even more. And likewise, if you are getting the results you want, you shouldn’t increase the pace at which you’re already going. Remember, everything in moderation. 

Over-exfoliation can lead to some less-than-favorable skin dilemmas, including dehydration, accelerated aging, sensitive or irritated skin and increased UV damage. Depending on the exfoliant you use, doing so a few times a week is a good place to start. A busy, tired mom or working woman needs something effective she can quickly swipe on the skin and discard. YSE Beauty Your Favorite Ex Exfoliating Pads are examples of glycolic acid-packed products ready to give you the gentle exfoliation you need, several times a week with ease.