Help Your Skin Exfoliate Itself…with Water

I recently participated in a webinar given by one of my favorite industry organizations, the Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP).  It was about one of my favorite skin care topics, exfoliation.  As I mentioned in my recent post, All About Exfoliation, the outermost layer of the epidermis constantly sheds and replaces dead skin cells.  The rate at which this happens slows with age.  

I’m molllltttttiiiing!  

So, how do these cells actually shed?  Do they just fall off?  Do we molt like birds or reptiles losing their skin?  Or like how tortoise shells flake off? I suppose in a way, yes.  But it is the enzymes found in the epidermis that cause the dead cells to slough off.

Quick Little Science Q & A

  1. What are enzymes?  Without getting too cerebral here, enzymes are chemicals (usually proteins) that, when activated by certain catalysts, break up or digest protein fibers.  
  2. What are skin cells primarily made of?  Keratin.  
  3. What is keratin?  A protein.  
  4. What catalyst activates the enzymes that naturally occur in the surface of the skin?  Water!  Do you see where I’m going with this?
Look Ma!  I’m exfoliating!

So, by drinking the amount of water required by your particular body, you are actually helping your skin to do its job of naturally exfoliating those dead cells; the very dead cells that cause a dull complexion, exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles, and contribute to clogged pores and acne breakouts.  If your body is dehydrated, that means your skin is dehydrated, which will cause the natural exfoliation process to slow down even more than it already does by aging.

Drink Me

One Step Further…

Hydrating the body from the inside out by drinking enough water is so important, but you need to also hydrate from the outside in and lock in that moisture with the right skin care products.  See Inside Out and Outside In for my full explanation of this concept.  I kind of look at it like this:  The internal hydration and the external hydration meet halfway, in the deeper layers of the skin where the new, youthful skin cells are formed.  That way all layers of the skin are adequately hydrated, and those enzymes can do their job.  Make sense?  I hope so.  Drink that water!

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