We've been doing a whole stack of background research into skin exfoliation as part of the creation and launch of our After Dark Face Polish. One of the people we spoke to and asked to test drive the product ahead of the launch is Jane Leonard, Aesthetic Doctor and Skincare Expert. We asked for her expert view on the topic of exfoliation and to get her inside line on how sugar works to help remove skin cells. Here's what she told us...
WHY DOES EXFOLIATION MATTER?
Exfoliation is the removal of old skin cells from the epidermis, the outer surface of the skin. Skin cells are some of the most rapidly dividing cells in the body. They are continually producing new skin cells to grow and repair to maintain a healthy skin surface. Exfoliation is important because it removes the older skin cells to allow the new skin cells to come to the surface. This leaves the skin looking fresher, brighter and improves texture.
HOW DOES SKIN RENEW ITSELF?
Skin cells are constantly dividing to grow and repair. Research has shown that this process is more active at night. Production of collagen is increased which helps to maintain skin volume and elasticity. Whilst you are sleeping your skin is not in contact with environmental factors, like UV radiation and chemical pollutants, which lead to free radical damage which lead to skin ageing.
WHY IS IT USEFUL TO EXFOLIATE BEFORE BED?
It is useful to exfoliate before bed, as you can avoid applying make up and coming into contact with UV rays and the pollution that occur during daylight hours. Exfoliation removes the outer layers of the skin; this deeply cleanses the skin but also makes it more sensitive, especially to the harmful effects of UV radiation. Hence the importance of wearing sunscreen daily to maintain a barrier of protection for the skin.
HOW DOES SUGAR WORK AS AN EXFOLIANT?
Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid. It is an AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) which helps to chemically exfoliate the skin by loosening the bonds between skin cells. It is an ingredient commonly found in skin peels and anti-ageing serums. Due to its ability to increase skin turnover and generate fresh, younger–looking skin, it is effective in treating acne, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles. The small particles of sugar, also make it an excellent physical exfoliant and less likely to damage fragile skin cells by too vigorous massaging.
With thanks to Jane Leonard, Aesthetic Doctor and Skincare Expert
DR JANE LEONARD MBCHB. BSC HONS (1ST ) MRCGP
Dr Jane is a fully qualified GP and Aesthetic doctor. Jane completed her medical training at the University of Manchester. As well as her medical degree she also achieved a first class honours degree in Anatomical Sciences, in which she focussed her studies on the anatomy of the face, head and neck. During her medical training Jane developed an interest in dermatology. After qualifying in 2007, Jane chose to move to Australia to develop her dermatology interest further. During this time she carried out research at The Alfred Hospital Medical Research Centre, Melbourne and had her work published in the prestigious Australasian Journal of Dermatology. On her return to the UK, Dr Jane completed her aesthetic training on London’s Harley Street. She has over five years of aesthetic treatment experience and holds clinics both in London and the North West. Dr Jane splits her clinical work between GP practice and aesthetic medicine