When clients tell me they are unhappy with their skin, that it feels rough and dry, it’s dull, and that they hate their lines and wrinkles, I know the solution is EXFOLIATION.
What Is Skin Exfoliation?
Simply put – EXFOLIATION is the removal of surface dry skin cells from the Epidermis. The Epidermis is made of 4 layers of densely packed cells that line the outer layer of the skin.
Believe it or not – there are usually 15 to 30 layers of dry, dead cells in this upper layer.
Now, it’s not all bad! There is a reason for it:
This layer helps prevent germs getting in and moisture getting out.
It also protects the more delicate, underlying layers against abrasion. These dead cells are sloughed off periodically. When a new cell is produced, it pushes the older one off.
A good analogy is to think of the the new cell as a grape…plump and moist, and the old one like a raisin…dry and shriveled. Those shriveled cells are what we see.
When we’re young, these dry cells slough off naturally & are replaced every 4-6 weeks. However, as we age, this shedding period slows down – like our metabolism.
And that’s where I come in! Professional treatments, like microdermabrasion or chemical peels, help remove some of these cells to give you a “fresh” and healthy glow.
So….How Do You Know If You Need To Exfoliate? Besides looking in the mirror …. Do a simple test.
Cut off a small piece of the adhesive (Scotch) tape and apply it to your forearm. Rub it gently and remove. Now look at the tape. See those little pieces of flaky skin? Imagine that as a film on your face – you need to exfoliate!
Here’s Why it’s a good idea to Exfoliate:
- Detoxifies your skin
- Brightens your complexion
- Reduces fine lines and fades sun damage
- Softens your skin
- Kills bacteria and prevents breakouts
- And Improves product penetration and treatment results.
Some common problems which are improved w/exfoliation include:
Blackheads, whiteheads, and those little bumps under the skin are examples of CLOGGED PORES. The more you remove the surface cells, the more freely the skin’s oil will flow, preventing congestion in the pores, which leads to refined pores.
When pores become clogged, they appear larger, which is the last thing we want. By “decongesting” your pores through exfoliation, they will appear smaller & your skin will look brighter.
Simply washing your skin will not accomplish this.
A SIDE NOTE: Some people have told me they wash their face w/water only. Now…without being “critical”..my response is to ask “Is that how you clean your dishes?” You must use cleanser to emulsify & remove the oils/dirt/pollution/grime and products from your skin!
HYPER-PIGMENTATION is another condition improved with regular exfoliation. This shows up as the brown spots that come from pregnancy, hormonal changes and sun damage.
As we age, these spots become more noticeable and darker. Exfoliation breaks up these pigmented cells to help them fade. If you add a skin lightening agent, such as Vitamin C, to your home care, this speeds up the fading process.
Especially in the winter, you may find yourself trying to load up on heavier creams to compensate for the dryness. But dry skin means you have dry skin cell buildup. And the more you layer on the heavier creams, the more you are trying to re-hydrate dried out cells, which makes no sense! You must exfoliate and THEN moisturize. This LEADS TO smoother skin!
Similar to sun damage, the key to fading POST-BREAKOUT MARKS is to increase exfoliation.
The more we remove the damaged cells on the surface, the more we are ridding the skin of the dark marks which – in turn – encourages new, healthy, unscarred skin to grow.
AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE WRINKLES?
Exfoliation works by making the HILLS meet the VALLEYS. One way I help you get more youthful skin is with in-house peels and then teaching you how to extend those results at home by using some powerful anti-aging ingredients like Peptides and Retinol.
For example…Peptides send signals to cells and prompts the skin to make new collagen, which leads to more youthful, supple skin.
Lastly, Exfoliation leads to Better Product Absorption. Serums and moisturizers are better absorbed into skin that’s not blocked by layers of dead cells and dirt.
Regular exfoliation of your face will help your makeup go on smoother, more evenly, and will also allow your sunscreen to better protect your skin.
Types of Exfoliation
There are two types of exfoliants. First, a “chemical” exfoliant dissolves or digests the dry skin cells. These include Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic acids and fruit enzymes such as Pumpkin, Papaya, and Raspberry. They work by being applied & left on your skin or 2-10 minutes.
Second, a “physical” exfoliant includes facial brushes, wash cloths and scrubs, as well as Professional Treatments like Microdermabrasion.
Professional Treatments give your skin a more intensive exfoliation than you can do at home.
The goal is to exfoliate as much as possible with minimal irritation.
My skin care treatments take into account your skin type and condition, which I reassess each time you visit.
I treat the most prominent issue first. This means that if I have a client with active acne and color scars from older acne, I focus first on the clearing and calming the active acne, and later on the hyperpigmentation from old scars.
My spring special is a 45-minute Microdermabrasion treatment at a special price. Just contact me via the Contact Tab above for more details.
Remember: Exfoliation helps resolve certain skin problems and gives you healthy, youthful-looking and glowing skin.