If you want a fresh, youthful-looking face, then skin exfoliation should be a regular part of your skin care routine. While you can exfoliate your skin at home, an aesthetician can also provide professional exfoliation services as part of a facial. There are a number of ways to exfoliate, and many benefits that can be immediately visible.
What is skin exfoliation?
When you exfoliate skin, what you are doing is removing the dead cells from the surface. While it is natural for your skin to shed these dead cells, sometimes they don’t shed completely, which can leave dry patches. In addition, cleaning your face alone without exfoliating can leave your pores clogged with dirt and oils. Most dermatologists recommend exfoliating your face two to three times a week for best results.
How do you exfoliate skin?
There are two primary means of removing those dead skin cells. The first is using physical means, such as using abrasive products to scrub the skin. The second is by using chemical compounds. Physical exfoliation is great for removing surface cells, while chemical exfoliation penetrates deeper.
Physical exfoliation includes skin products that have coarse sugar or salt, or another abrasive, to provide a scrubbing action. It also includes mechanical processes such as using a washcloth, loofah, or pumice stone. All of these are easy to use from the comfort of your own home. For more dramatic results, you could also get a professional dermaplaning treatment, which uses an exfoliating blade to skim the dead cells off, as well as tiny hairs.
Chemical exfoliation uses products such as retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Retinoids such as retinol are derived from Vitamin A, and in addition to exfoliating, they promote collagen production, protect against and repair sun damage, and treat acne. AHAs such as glycolic acid are water-soluble acids derived from fruit and also help reduce skin discoloration, even out skin tone, and minimize pores and wrinkles. BHAs such as salicylic acid are primarily used to treat acne, as these oil-soluble acids penetrate deep into pores to dry out oils and remove dead skin cells. AHAs and BHAs are commonly combined in the same product, as they work well together to exfoliate all the layers of the skin.
What type of skin exfoliation should I use?
For most people, you can obtain the most effective results using a combination of physical and chemical exfoliation products. However, some products are better for some skin types than others. If your skin is sensitive, it may be irritated using harsh mechanical scrubbing, while BHAs are gentler. Rough, dry, or flaky skin would benefit from AHAs, which can help break though the layer of dead cells so that your moisturizer can penetrate more deeply. Those with oily skin should use stronger physical and chemical exfoliating products to remove the grease and reduce shininess. If you have combination skin, you will see the best results by using separate products to target the dry and the oily areas.
What are the benefits of skin exfoliation?
Whether you choose physical or chemical means—or a combination of both—there are numerous benefits to adding regular exfoliation to your skin care routine.
- Exfoliation provides a deeper clean than simply washing your face, penetrating deep into your pores to draw out skin impurities. Dead cells block the pores closed, sealing dirt and oils inside. Exfoliation clears those blockages and unclogs those pores.
- By clearing out pores, exfoliating reduces breakouts of blemishes such as whiteheads, blackheads, and acne.
- It gives your complexion a bright, glowing appearance that is visible instantly. With a higher cell turnover, the fresher, healthier cells remain at the surface for that perfect dewy skin.
- By increasing collagen production, exfoliation also minimizes the signs of aging. It provides more firmness and elasticity to the skin and reduces sagging and wrinkles.
- By removing the dead skin cells, exfoliating also helps even out skin tone. Over time, dark spots and scars become less visible.
- Exfoliation helps moisturizers and other skin care products penetrate deeply rather than sitting on the surface of your skin, making them more effective. It removes the barrier of dead skin cells which prevents them from being fully absorbed.
- Skin exfoliation helps prepare your face for makeup, by smoothing and evening out the texture.
- Regular exfoliation also has internal benefits. It increases circulation, which provides more oxygen to nourish the skin’s surface and improves cellular health. It also boosts lymphatic drainage to more effectively remove toxins from the body.
At Vitality Wellness Clinic, our goal is to help you put your best face forward. If your face needs some expert attention, our clinic offers a number of exfoliation and facial treatments that leave your skin feeling brand new. Contact us at (602) 388-1155 to find out more about how our skin care options can help you achieve that fresh, radiant glow.