Grapes, Raisins & Cornflakes & Your Skin

Stacie ContrerasSkin Care

What does your skin have to do with rains,grapes and cornflakes? Learn the importance of exfoliating.

What do Grapes, Raisins & Cornflakes have to do with Your Skin?

When we are born our skin is similar to plump, juicy grapes.  Our cells are filled with moisture, collagen & hyaluronic acid and we have “no” wrinkles, much like the skin of a GRAPE.   As we age, our skin is exposed to many things in the environment that cause a reduction in those things, thus causing our skin to age and wrinkle.  The sun, UV light, free radicals and pollution all play havoc on our skin.   It is important to learn how to protect the skin from it to help maintain a more youthful appearance.

Let’s look at it in a different way:

Cornflakes are the top layer of skin.  Dry, flaky and needs to be removed by exfoliation. Raisins are the next layer of skin that have been damaged from the sun and free radicals. Grapes are the innermost layer of skin.  Healthy and plump!   The goal is to get those “grape” layers to the top as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, this process of cells moving from the innermost layer to the outmost layer of our skin slows as we age.  By the time we are in our twenties, our skin cells have been exposed to numerous environmental agents that have slowed this process.  This process can take up to around 28 days for those layers to reach the top and be shed.   By the time we are in adults to later years that process can take anywhere from 40 to even 60 days to reach the surface and be shed.  To make things worse, collagen production slows, as does that of of the much needed hyaluronic acid.   What does that mean for your skin?   Watch the video below to hear this explained by Dr. Larry Samuels.  You won’t regret it!


Wasn’t that video great?  Now, imagine your great grandparents and their skin   or somebody in their upper years who has that dull, thin skinned look.  Have you ever noticed the small flakes of dead skin “cornflakes” on the surface?  No, not “walking dead like zombies“, but definately a more dull or lackluster look.  Personally I do not want my skin to end up like that, nor should you.  So what can we do?


Gently removing the top dead skin layers will help to eliminate that dull, dry skin appearance.  It also will make it easier for moisture such as lotions, Vitamin C and other specialty products to penetrate and hydrate your skin.   Without exfoliation, those top dead layers can prevent some of the needed moisture from getting to the inner “raisin” or dermis layer of the skin.  Much like “cornflakes” they soak up and prevent moisture from moving where its needed.  The proper exfoliation can help you gain a more smooth and youthful look.  It stimulates cell turnover and improves the look and texture of the skin as well.  So what are you waiting for?  Exfoliate!!!

There are two types of exfoliation:  Mechanical or Chemical, as I have discussed in another post called “Exfoliation – Chemical or Machanical“.   Both work well and can help with maintaining your skin’s youthful appearance.   The key is using the correct method for your skin type and the amount of time that you exfoliate.  Too much exfoliation can actually strip the skin of much needed oils, causing your skin to react and possibly induce acne problems.   Ummm what?  Thats right.  Removing too much of your bodies natural oils can send your body into overproducing oils as a way of fighting dryness.  Thats why proper skincare, especially with acne prone individuals is so important.  Moisturizing skin, especially skin suffering from acne is important with the correct type of moisture.  This actually will cause your skin to slowly reduce its oil production, but that is another topic as discussed in my post “Acne, Moisture & Me”.

Sorry, Squirrel Moment there!  Yes I tend to get those, so reader beware.

Removing natural oils too often can also weaken and thin your skin over time.  That means simply “more wrinkles!”  Proper exfoliation is AMAZEBALLS though and can bring you from Cornflakes to Juicy Grapes!  So let’s discuss proper exfoliation times.

How Often Should You Exfoliate:

According to Dr. Tanzi, who appeared on the DR. Oz Show and  is the Co-Director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC, normal to combination skin should be exfoliated 2-3 x’s a week, while those with sensitive skin should only exfoilate once a week.

Over-exfoliation often presents itself as dryness or a feeling of taut skin, inflammation, irritation, redness, peeling and flaking, and a stinging or burning sensation. For those who are acessive and aggressive you could cause blistering and bleeding, so be cautious. If that happens, contact your doctor.

Dr. Douglas Altchek warns that even temporary feelings of dry skin or redness after exfoliation (which many of us think is a good thing ) may be indicators that you are over-exfoliating and damaging your skin.  If that is the case, you should  stop exfoliation until your skin appears healed (about three or four days).  If you still think that redness with exfoliation is good, consider this: repeated aggressive exfoliation can damage the stratum corneum, which is critical in protecting the skin from dangers ranging from pathogens to lost moisture. As Dr. Altchek notes “the immune system is regulated through this outer layer [the stratum corneum]. Additionally, over-exfoliation may worsen acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea, and promote premature aging. In other words, you are sacrificing years of skin health for a few instances of over-zealous exfoliation.

Bottom Line:

Be gentle!  Exfoliation is a good thing, but too much of it can be harmful!  Be kind to your skin!  Exfoliate as needed for your skin type and you will be amazed at how Grape-like your skin will become.

I like to say “Re-Grape Yourself! No more Crunchy Cornflakes!

Just for Fun:

I was amazed when I heard supermodel Christie Brinkley mention what I am about to say.  As an MUA with a daughter who is a licensed esthetician, I try to stay on top of my game with information and knowledge.  After all, knowledge is powerful if used right.  It was fun hearing what I have been saying to clients for years come out of her mouth and I had no idea she even thought that.  The lady is beautiful and although I may not agree with everything she says as far as exfoliation routines, she looks amazing and is doing something right.  That being said, let’s get on with it.

Thoughts to Make You Wonder:

  • Men tend to look several years younger than women
  • Men shave their faces, which constantly is exfoliating their skin and removing that top layer of “cornflakes”
  • Exfoliation allows healthier skin to get to the surface faster, thus look younger
  • HMMMMMM!  Now I am not saying run and grab your man’s razor and start shaving your face ladies.  I am saying start exfoliating if you are not already.  If you are, but you are not seeing the results you want, then maybe the form of exfoliation you are using needs to be changed up.  The correct amount of exfoliation and the correct exfoliation depends on many things such as age, skin type, etc.  Want more details on types of exfoliation?  Click HERE and be taken to my article on just that!  Looking for something to exfoliate with?  There are numerous products on the market, but please do your homework.  Look at the ingredients and be sure it is a good fit for you, your skin and your budget.

Still here?  Still need a recommendation?  I would be happy to share that with you and my reasons why.  Simply message me here and say HELP, I need to Re-Grape!