Exfoliation, Radiance and The Microbiome
Radiance, brightness, luminosity… when we think of healthy, beautiful skin, we think of skin that glows. Unfortunately, what we often find ourselves confronted with when we look in the mirror at this time of year can be dull, lacklustre skin, and uneven skin texture. How to turn things around? Exfoliation, of course.
Why should I exfoliate?
The question is actually, why wouldn’t you? Exfoliation acts as a wake-up call for sluggish skin, sweeping away the dead skin cells of the epidermis (the top layer of skin) by breaking down the bonds between them, and encouraging cell turnover in the dermis (the lower layer). This cycle of shedding and renewing cells happens naturally in the skin, but slows down with age, meaning those dead cells hang around for much longer over time. Regular exfoliation prevents that build-up, so skin is brighter, clearer and refreshed.
Exfoliation also helps to unclog pores, dissolving impurities and therefore minimising breakouts and blackheads. It can help your skincare work better too, clearing the way for it to work its magic without an invisible layer of dead cells, dirt and grime blocking its path.
And of course, we wouldn’t be talking about exfoliation if it wasn’t great for your skin’s microbiome too. Having smooth, exfoliated skin means there’s less chance of unfriendly bacteria colonising around dead or dying skin cells, whilst the boost to cell renewal caused by exfoliation also promotes the replenishment of the microbiome from below. On top of that, an acid exfoliator (more on that later) can help to restore skin pH to optimal levels, which is great for microbiome and skin barrier function.
So basically, exfoliation is a no-brainer for healthy, radiant skin and a happy microbiome.
What’s the best way to exfoliate?
First up, it’s important to make the distinction between manual and chemical exfoliation. The former involves using a granular substance to physically buff away dead skin cells, whilst the latter relies upon acids or enzymes to do the job. Whilst manual exfoliators can be a little harsh on the skin - especially if you’re a sensitive type - the right acid exfoliator can do a really thorough job, getting right down into the pores and lifting away dead cells without the need for harsh scrubbing.
You’ll probably have heard of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) like glycolic, lactic or malic acid, which is usually derived from natural sources such as milk, fruit and sugar, and act on the skin’s surface to smooth and refine. There’s also Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), also known as salicylic acid, which gets deep into pores and is therefore great for breakout-prone skin. Together, they can achieve pretty much anything. So look for a formula that combines both, and you’ve got exfoliation nailed.
There is a note of caution though - it is possible to over-exfoliate. If you overdo it, you could be left with weakened skin, a disrupted microbiome, redness and more, so keep an eye on the frequency with which you’re exfoliating and make sure not to use too high a concentration of acids or a product with an extremely low pH.
In conclusion? Gently does it. Play it safe, choosing a gentle formula that feels comfortable on the skin, and exfoliate weekly for a slow and steady approach that will see great results over time.
Exfoliation the Cultured way
The Biome One Mask is specifically formulated to deliver a super effective exfoliating treatment whilst respecting the skin barrier and your microbiome. It is also a multi-tasker that helps improve hydration, skin smoothness, clarity as well as overall skin health and barrier function.
Our Tri-Acid Complex
Rather than use glycolic acid we use its gentler AHA cousin, Lactic Acid, which offers super effective exfoliation but is less irritating and sensitising. In addition, lactic acid leaves skin better hydrated as it is part of the skin’s natural moisturising complex and has collagen stimulating and epidermis thickening properties. We partner lactic acid with malic acid which is a AHA/BHA crossover and has the same gentle exfoliating benefits as lactic acid while helping keep skin pH balanced and the acid mantle healthy. Finally, we use Bio-Succinic acid which is a gentle alternative to salycilic acid (BHA). It boosts natural exfoliation, unclogs and reduces pore size while reducing the appearance of blemishes and blackheads.
But the Biome One mask offers much more than just exfoliation.
We partner our tri-acid complex with other skin-perfecting, renewing and hydrating actives to offer a comprehensive skin treatment that also ensures microbiome health and harmony.
A derivative of wonder active Azelaic acid boosts radiance, evens skin tone and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots and open pores. Hydration and skin barrier health is optimised by jojoba esters that contain unique skin lipids, glycerin, a prebiotic super hydrator and a postbiotic ferment that boosts skin renewal and optimises skin function. The Biome One mask does all this while supporting microbiome health through a prebiotic counter preservative and postbiotic ferment.
To sum up, the Biome One mask is super effective yet super gentle offering an exfoliating facial treatment that delivers renewed, revitalised skin that glows with health. All while caring for your microbiome and skin barrier.