Exfoliation: Why It Matters

No matter how diligent you are about cleansing, moisturizing, and applying anti-aging products to your skin, you won’t reap the full benefits unless you exfoliate regularly. Why? This practice removes dead skin cells that can build up and clog pores, making skin look bumpy and dull. When you exfoliate, you remove this outer surface of dry, dead cells and stimulate cell renewal, resulting in a healthy, glowing complexion.

There are several ways to exfoliate; we explain them below:

How Do You Exfoliate Skin?

The two most common types of exfoliation are referred to as mechanical and chemical.

Mechanical exfoliation involves the physical act of scrubbing skin to clear it of debris. You can use a product specifically designed with scrubbing particles, or a Clarisonic facial brush, a trusted favorite of makeup artists. Microdermabrasion is another manual exfoliating agent in which a diamond-encrusted wand is gently whisked across the skin to remove the outermost layer of dry, dead cells. If you have super sensitive skin, you can also use a soft washcloth with your regular facial cleanser (just be sure to wash the cloth after each use!).

With any of these manual techniques, be cautious not to scrub too vigorously—you don’t want to irritate your skin or expose raw tissue to bacteria and infection. Light, circular motions should do the trick since the roughness of the exfoliating agent does most of the work for you.

With chemical exfoliation, a product containing low percentages of gentle enzymes or acids that dissolve dead skin cells is applied to the face. These products most often contain enzymes or AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids). The best part? The chemicals do all the work, meaning there’s no fear of over-scrubbing! Chemical exfoliators come in all forms: cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers.

For optimal results, we recommend alternating between manual and chemical exfoliation. Build it into your routine once or twice weekly, and sometimes more often, depending on your particular skin type and condition. One of our skin care experts at Leah Nickie ADVANCED AESTHEICS can help you determine which regime is best for your skin type. 

Not sure if you need to exfoliate? Try this simple test at home: Apply a piece of clear tape to your forehead. Rub it gently, then remove. If you see bits of flaky skin on the tape (i.e., surface dry skin cells), it’s time to exfoliate!

Whether you opt for manual exfoliation, chemical, or a combination of the two, be sure to let one of our skin care professionals provide you with a customized regimen based on your unique skin type and condition. Make an appointment for your complimentary consultation today!

Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 License