Exfoliation: The Start of Something Glowing
Exfoliation seems like a simple enough idea—remove the top dead layers of skin, but there is more to exfoliation than scrubbing off some old skin.
Let’s look at the importance of exfoliation, types of exfoliation and the best methods to achieve healthy glowing skin!
Healthy skin should be soft and smooth in texture with a compact stratum corneum, stratum corneum being the thin top layer of dead skin cells that protect our skin. To keep skin looking healthy and fresh we want this top layer to be renewing regularly without building up too much. If this layer becomes too thick it can give skin a grey, dull appearance. It can also increase the likely hood of acne breakouts by clogging the pore with dead skin cells.
Although exfoliation plays a key role in epidermal renewal and healthy skin it's important not to over exfoliate as this can create inflammation and irritation to the skin which can lead to a compromised skin barrier or even exacerbation of acne issues due to increased inflammation.
In short— Exfoliate, but don’t over do it.
There are two main methods for at-home exfoliation: mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation
Mechanical exfoliation uses physical exfoliation such as a brush or a scrub to physically remove dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, to gently dissolve dead skin cells. The best option usually depends on your skin quality and often a combination of the the two works best.
In the office we like to perform Chemical Peels or Laser Peels to remove that dead skin and reveal fresh glowing skin. However exfoliation at home on a regular basis is the key to keeping skin in optimal condition and better preparing it other in office treatments.
What are some options for at home exfoliation?
An ideal way to start to incorporate exfoliation at home is ZO’s Complexion Renewal Pads or Oil Control Pads. Which pad works best for your skin should be determined by a skin consultation.
Someone with normal to combination skin would best benefit form a Complexion Renewal Pad as it gently exfoliates skin through a combination of glycolic and salicylic acids while replenishing hydration with urea.
Oil Control Pads are great for people concerned with oily, acneic skin and large pores as theres is a higher concentration of Salicylic acid and the addition of Mandelic acid to better tighten pores, control post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and sloth of skin clogging cells. Both of these options are gentle enough for daily use and recommended to be used morning and night as part of a healthy skin routine.
Typically on top of this gentle daily exfoliation we recommended some regular weekly exfoliation. The addition of a physical exfoliating scrub, 2 or more times per week is recommended. Either the Dual Action Scrub for acneic skin or Exfoliating Polish for dry to combination skin should be used.
Exfoliation Polish is made up of ultra scrubby finely milled magnesium crystals that effectively smooth out skin through the physical removal of dead skin while replenishing skin with hydration and healthy lipids. It also contains Vitamin C to brighten skin. This scrub is best used 2-3 times weekly to restrict over exfoliation.
The Dual Action Scrub is better used to treat acne prone skin as it contains salicylic acid to break down oil and destroy acne causing bacteria. The other difference is that it is made up of spherical wax beads that won’t damage skin or irritate existing breakouts. For this reason, dual action scrub can be used as often as 1 time daily without worrying about over exfoliation.
In addition to using gentle exfoliators as part of a cleansing routine, they can also be incorporated in to a corrective protocol. Both the Enzymatic Peel and Exfoliation Accelerator provide effective exfoliation while adding skin soothing ingredients and calming hydration to gently brighten skin.
The Enzymatic Peel uses papain, bromeliain, and glycol acid to gently remove surface skin cells and encourage cellular turnover. Additionally it contains diglycerin, kukui seed oil and safflower seed oil which replenishes hydration and lipids that aid in skin barrier restoration and reinforcement. This at-home peel has been formulated to create a softer, brighter skin appearance and should be used 1-3 times per week by massaging a small amount of product into skin and leaving on for 1-3 hours, or can be left on overnight. We also love this as a body treatment on the arms to combat the red dry bumps known as Keratosis Polaris or on the decollate to gently exfoliate aging skin.
Exfoliation Accelerator is a glycolic and lactic acid complex that aids in the removal of dead skin cells while providing calming and soothing benefits with an aloe, green tea and chamomile blend. It can be used on its own to brighten skin and improve acne or as part of other protocols to hasten results as it allows for better absorption of other treatments products, while smoothing skin texture, improving skin barrier function and soothing inflammation and damaged skin cells. Other than daily on the face we love Exfoliation Accelerator on the body to reduce razor bumps and ingrown hairs associated with other hair removal options.
At Skin Worthy, we value educating our patients on their skin concerns, if you are looking to add an exfoliator to your routine or would like to learn more, we encourage you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will discuss your goals, assess your skin and decide the best plan of action for your specific needs.
call Skin Worthy 647-350-7546 to book your consultation today!
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