Human grooming by Daniel Laberge
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Skin exfoliation and abrasion

Humans have invented all kinds of techniques
to exfoliate their skin,
while forgetting the original method;
grooming it with their nails.

Exfoliating facial mask
© brododaktula
There is a far better way to remove dead skin cells

The origins of skin exfoliation

Encyclopedias tell us that the Egyptians invented this practice, three to four thousand years ago.
Since then, three methods have mainly been used to exfoliate the skin:

Mechanical
exfoliation
◦ Rasps
◦ Stones
◦ Brushes
◦ Gloves
◦ Abrasive soaps
◦ Micro-dermabrasion
◦ Dermabrasion
Masks ◦ Clay
◦Chemical masks
◦ Oatmeal
◦Yogurt
◦Lemon
◦Cucumbers
Chemical
exfoliation
◦ Exfoliating cleansers
◦Wine and grapes
◦Chemical gels, creams and lotions
◦Peelings

Why is exfoliation needed?

Your skin's epidermis produces fresh skin cells every day.
They are pushed up by the arrival of newer cells, and they slowly dry up on their 30 day journey to the top of the skin.
When they reach it, they are dead and supposed to flake off by themselves in a process called desquamation.

The monthly epidermis renewal system is amazing.
But, does it work perfectly?

Unfortunately, the procedure often doesn't reach its completion in some areas of the body; so dead cells cling on and pile up, thickening your skin.
Dead cells look dull, lackluster and unresponsive.
They make you ugly.

You can't see how thick your skin is

From above, your skin may look perfectly uniform and flat.
However, its actual thickness varies tremendously.

Actual skin thickness   Legend for skin thickness

You can't see the thickness of your skin,
but you can feel it with your fingertips and nails.

Whatever its thickness, skin looks the same.
However, the thicker it gets, the more exfoliation it needs.

Only your nails will do

Only your nails have the sensibility and the delicacy to feel where your skin is hard and thick and needs exfoliation.
Abrasives, masks and chemicals can't make the distinction between folded and unfolded, thick and thin skin.
In some places, exfoliating it may be unnecessary.
Areas where your skin is healthy may easily be hurt by your harsh methods and powerful products.
Scraping the skin, elsewhere than where it has thickened, can bring blood rushing to the surface and damage the skin.

You want exfoliation?
Try using your nails

While grooming, you can continuously monitor skin tension and apply pressure only where it has thickened or folded.
Use superficial grooming techniques in areas where your skin is thin and switch to pressure grooming strokes where it is thicker.

Skin cell falling off groomed arm

When grooming under certain lighting conditions,
you can actually see the skin cells fall off.

You remove so many dead cells when you pass your nails on your skin that the space beneath the tip of the nails fills up quickly.
At some point, their presence hinders your grooming work.
Keep your fingers and nails clean.

The return of an ancestral behavior

If modern exfoliation techniques are 3 to 4 thousand years old, grooming can be traced back to the first humans, 7 million years ago, and to the first primates, about 50 million years back.
Yes, we've stopped grooming at some point in our past, but we're back at work now.
Needless to say you will get much better results, and for free, by grooming your skin every day, than by using contraptions and magical formulas invented by people who don't even understand that the skin is folded.

 

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