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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.
During childhood and early adulthood, a typical skin cell has a short life of 30 days. The skin cell makes its way to the outer layer of the skin near the end of its life cycle. It is then sloughed off, making way for new skin cells.
As our skin ages, this “turnover” begins to slow down, allowing unwanted cells to build-up on the surface of the skin, causing that dull, lackluster, and sallow complexion. Skin products have a difficult time penetrating through the buildup to do their job.
Exfoliation helps you do away with that undesirable dead skin layer – out with the old and in with the new!
By removing the buildup of the dead skin layer, you enable fresh, new skin cells to emerge. In addition, your skincare products are readily able to penetrate and help encourage collagen and elastin formation.
Without the help of exfoliation, your skin can’t get rid of the dead skin cells as quickly and efficiently, resulting in a buildup that can lead to breakouts and dull appearing skin. Also, any products applied to the skin will need to fight through the accumulation 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 the skin where the change happens.
In your teens and 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 help combat sun damage.
In your forties and beyond, exfoliate to help reduce age spots, thicken and firm skin, and reinvigorate your healthy, youthful glow. Skin at every age can benefit from healthy exfoliation.
You can do a lot on your own, but to 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. You will achieve better results with a plan tailored to your specific needs. A professional facial will keep skin cells turning over regularly.
There are two categories of professional exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Chemical exfoliation occurs by applying a chemical exfoliating agent (chemical peel) onto the skin, which dissolves keratin protein and breaks 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 skin type and issue.
Many people have the misperception that if you do not experience significant peeling of your skin, the chemical peel did not work. The ingredients and formulations have evolved and many of the peels today, penetrate and do their work from the inside out, lessening the “peeling”.
Professional mechanical exfoliation uses a tool or machine to eliminate dead skin. Two examples are microdermabrasion or dermaplaning. A microdermabrasion utilizes a wand with a 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 dermaplaning is the removal of fine vellus hair (peach fuzz) on the face.
A common misperception of dermaplaning is that the hair will grow back more coarse or thicker than it was. This is completely false as it is impossible for either of these to occur with vellus hair or (light-colored peach fuzz). An added benefit is a glow to your skin and makeup that effortlessly glides onto your face.
Each of these treatments is an excellent form of professional exfoliation. Your skincare professional will determine which of these treatments is right for you. Mechanical and chemical exfoliations are often combined into one session for more aggressive treatment.
In addition to clearing your skin of dead-cell buildup, exfoliating also:
- Optimizes the penetration of other skincare 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 genuinely 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!