Exfoliation is a crucial step in your facial regimen. It is a process that removes dead skin cells from the surface of the epidermis (our outermost layer), it reveals fresh and radiant skin.
A typical skin cell has a short life of 30 days, making its way to the outer layer near the end of its cycle. Exfoliation helps speed up the skin’s natural process of cellular turnover, sloughing off dead cells and encouraging the regeneration of new ones.
As our skin ages, this “turnover” begins to slow down, allowing unwanted cells to build up on the surface of skin, causing that dull, lackluster and wrinkled complexion. This buildup can also clog your pores, contributing to acne and breakouts.
Exfoliating helps you to do away with that undesirable layer — out with the old and in with the new!
In your twenties, exfoliate to unclog pores and prevent breakouts. In your thirties, exfoliate to help stimulate collagen production and stave off the first fine lines and reverse photo aging. In your forties and beyond, exfoliate to help reduce age spots, thicken and firm skin, and reinvigorate your healthy, youthful glow. There is something for every skin here.
You can do a lot on your own, but to really keep the signs of aging at bay, you need to enlist the help of a professional. A regular facial with exfoliation is indispensable to your skin. The pros have products and knowledge the average consumer doesn’t, so you will get higher-level results tailored to your specific needs. A professional facial will keep skin cells turning over regularly.
Without the help of exfoliation, your skin simply can’t get rid of the dead skin cells as quickly and efficiently, resulting in a buildup which can lead to breakouts, and dull appearing skin. In addition, any products that you put on, will need to fight through the buildup of dead skin and may never make it to the targeted destination. Your skincare products may seem like they aren’t working, and technically they aren’t because they can’t reach the level of skin where change is made.
There are two categories of professional exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Chemical exfoliation is done by applying a chemical exfoliating agent (chemical peel) onto the skin which dissolve keratin protein or break apart the bonds (desmosomes) between the skin cells.
There are varying types and strengths of chemical peels and your skincare specialist will use the best option for your particular skin type and issue. However, to achieve adequate exfoliation, significant peeling of the skin is not necessary. Lighter peels will do an excellent job and you may only experience dry skin with some minor flaking, leaving skin looking refreshed and healthy.
Professional mechanical exfoliation is done through the use of a tool or machine to eliminate dead skin such as microdermabrasion, dermablading. A microdermabrasion utilizes a wand with a diamond head tip that removes the outermost layer of dead skin which is then removed through suction. Dermablading is a procedure in which a surgical blade is moved gently across the face to remove dead skin. An additional benefit of dermablading is the removal of fine vellus hair (peach fuzz) on the face.
Each of these treatments are excellent forms of professional exfoliation. Your skin care professional will determine which of these treatments are right for you. Mechanical and chemical exfoliation are often combined into one session for a more aggressive treatment.
In addition to clearing your skin of dead-cell buildup, exfoliating also:
- Optimizes the penetration of other skin care products, allowing them to travel into the deeper layers of the skin.
- Increases blood circulation, bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to nourish your skin cells. This stimulating effect will truly make your skin feel revived!
- Fades dark spots on the skin, also known as hyperpigmentation.
Every skin type can benefit from regular exfoliation and is an integral step in taking care of the largest organ of the body – your skin!