The Benefits of Exfoliation


Exfoliation of  dead skin cellsOver the last few years exfoliation has become quite a hot topic in the skincare world. There are many benefits for all skin types but what exactly is it, why is it good for your skin and how often should you exfoliate ?


What is Exfoliation ?

Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin’s outer surface, or epidermis.

It plays an important part in facials and body treatments as it can help you to get the most out of your skincare products, such as serums and moisturisers, as it allows them to penetrate into the skin better so that you get the best out of the product.

Ask any therapist and they will tell you that exfoliation is an essential part of any good skincare routine for both your body and face. When done correctly, it will:

  • Leave the skin feeling smoother.
  • Evens out skin tone.
  • Brightens and rejuvenates.
  • Reduces the appearance of pigmentation.
  • Rehydrate the skin plumping out fine lines and wrinkles.


So why do we need to Exfoliate ?

The skin is constantly generating new cells in the lower layers of the skin (the dermis) and sends them to the surface of the skin (the epidermis). As these skin cells rise to the surface they keratinise and die. These hardened skin cells are important as they protect our skin. However, they have to be shed to prevent them from building up otherwise they cannot make way for younger cells. This process is called cell turnover.

As we get older the process of cell turnover slows down, which means that cells start to build unevenly on the skin’s surface, giving it a dry, rough or dull appearance. Exfoliation helps the cell turnover process and helps to reveal the fresher, younger skin cells beneath.


Types of exfoliation

There are 2 methods of Exfoliation, which are:

  • Mechanical – such as microdermabrasion, body or face brushing, mineral salts or other body scrubs. These gently loosen and slough away dead skin cells revealing the younger skin cells.
  • Chemical using specialist or naturally found ingredients such as:
    • Hydroxy Acids such as lactic, salicylic and glycolic acid, Retinol (ie vitamin A), AHAs (alphahydroxy acids) and BHAs (betahydroxy acids) commonly found in chemical peels . These work by loosening the glue-like substance that holds the cells together, allowing them to be sloughed away. Peels range from milder forms through to superficial and harsher peels.
    • Enzymes such as Papain, Bromelain and protease enzymes from Bacillus microbes. Chemical sounds a bit scary but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a harsh chemical. Pineapple, for example, is found in many products and papain is derived from the papaya fruit. Another common ingredient is phytic acid which is found in rice bran.
    • Retinol – or otherwise known as vitamin A is often used in exfoliant products as the skin can convert Retinol to Retinoic Acid, which is a potent skin exfoliant and anti-aging ingredient.


Tips on Facial Exfoliation:

  • Always ensure you exfoliate according to the product instructions and build up your exfoliation regime. Skins that are sensitive should not be exfoliated more than 1- 2 times a week.
  • Facial skin is delicate. Skin that is over exfoliated will appear dry and tight and even red and irritated. Remember you only want to slough off the dead keratinised skin cells in order to encourage more youthful skin cells to come to the surface of the skin (desquamation) not the younger skin cells.
  • Be careful not to overdo microdermabrasion as it can make thin, aging skin even thinner if you have too many treatments too quickly. Your skincare therapist will be able to advise the best regime for your skin type.
  • Always protect your skin with a SPF 30 or above for at least 24 hours after exfoliating. We recommend that you always wear a minimal of SPF 30 all year round even on cloudy days as it protects the skin from the harmful UV & UVA rays.
  • Body scrubs should not be used on the face as they are too rough for facial skin.
  • Be careful not to overdo peels and microdermabrasion. You can remove too much of your protective layer and end up exposing the living dermis.
  • Always follow the pre and post care after a peel as this ensure the best results.
  • Do not exfoliate for 24 hours pre and post waxing and for 48 hours before a facial peel.

What You Should Know About Body Exfoliation:

  • Body brush every day as a gentle body exfoliation.
  • Body scrubs can be used once or twice a week.


Facial and Body Exfoliation at Studio 8 Beauty

If you interested in body and facial exfoliation as part of your skin care regime, we offer a range of treatments at Studio 8 that provide excellent results.


All of our Skin Health and advanced Dermalogica facials include exfoliation as part of your treatment. However, we do also offer a range of more advanced treatments such as:

  • Microdermabrasion – crystal free diamond microdermabrasion provides a mechanical exfoliation. The treatment is always followed with a calming and hydrating masque to complete the treatment. 
  • Active Resurface 35 – is an alternative to microdermabrasion using chemical exfoliation. It uses a combination of advanced products to provide an advanced exfoliation, which is completed with a soothing and calming masque consisting of colloidal oatmeal and botanical additives that help to calm, soothe and hydrate your skin.
  • BioSurface Peel – a low to medium superficial peel using chemical exfoliation.


  • Mineral Salt Scrub (mechanical and chemical exfoliation) – Mineral Sea Salts and Seaweed exfoliate while skin-smoothing enzymes help dissolve dead skin cells naturally for a smooth finish. Natural oils and extracts help stimulate the senses while cleansing and conditioning, whilst the added benefit of warmth helps invigorate the mind and body.
  • Body Foliation Therapy (chemical exfoliation) – A customised treatment coupled with the warming sensation it craves! A gentle Oatmeal and Rice Bran powder activates to create a gentle, yet effective exfoliant that whisks away dead skin cells, brightens skin and helps reduce the appearance of sun spots and hyperpigmentation. Skin is smoother and prepped for maximum absorption of rich, smoothing botanical oils. You’ll leave this therapy with silky, healthier skin!


  • LeRemedi (Chemical exfoliation) – A complete facial for the hands using LeRemedi products from the Jessica Hand Treatment Programme. The treatment incorporates a luxury hand cleanse and exfoliation followed by a restructuring hand masque and hand renew liposomes as a complete anti-aging treatment for the hands.

If you are interested in finding out more about exfoliation and would like to try it for yourself, please contact the Salon on 02392 380692 or email

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