There are a number of reasons to exfoliate, all of them ultimately have the same goal to achieve a healthier appearing complexion.
Dry Skin – Dry Skin builds up and flaking is the end result. Cold, dry weather is frequently the cause. Overuse of drying perfume-filled non pH-balanced cleansers is another. Use a gentle soap-free cleanser and moisturizer frequently; ideally with a product that contains a chemical exfoliate such as SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. Body scrubs can be beneficial when used a few times per week. This helps speed up the elimination of excess noticeable dry skin and allows your moisturizer to penetrate more easily. The result; fresh renewed skin.
Acne/Blackheads/Pore Size – Poor exfoliation can lead to acne, blackheads and even large-looking pores.
Aging Skin – as we age, not only do our epidermal cells get larger, the overall thickness of the epidermis increases. Over time the cell turnover process begins to slow down and natural oil production wanes. Blotchy skin discoloration, the by product of years spent out in the sun also affects the complexion. The result; dull, drab, aging looking skin.
Types of Exfoliants – There are two main types of skin exfoliants: Mechanical and Chemical. Mechanical exfoliants are readily available in products and spa services such as microdermabrasion. This type of exfoliation is particularly good for people with oily skin or acne prone skin types, as they remove dead skin cells and debris that cause clogged pores. These types of exfoliants range from mild to aggressive depending on your skin type and skin sensitivity.
Chemical exfoliants use gently acids to dissolve bonds that are preventing the outer layer of dead skin cells from sloughing off. There are two main types of chemical exfoliants. Those that include an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and those that include a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from fruits, such as apples, grapes and milk. An alpha hydroxy acid is best suited for people with dry or thickened skin. Beta hydroxy acids are derived from willow bark and sweet birch trees. These acids are oil-soluble and therefore better at exfoliating oily or acne – prone skin.
How often to Exfoliate – contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to use these products every day, especially if you have sensitive skin. When using a scrub-type product three times a week is sufficient and with retinols once a week is all you need in the beginning. Chemical peels and microdermabrasions can be repeated as often as every 4-6 weeks depending on skin sensitivity. The signals that you’re over-exfoliating are irritation, redness, and sensitivity. And as always, when in doubt, ask your Aesthetician.
Here at Gallaher Plastic Surgery & Spa MD we offer medical grade treatments such as : diamond tip microdermabrasion, chemical peels and products such as Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, Neocutis Nouvelle+, SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex and Obagi Exfoderm Forte Exfoliant to only name a few.
Come in today for a skincare consult and allow our extensively trained Medical Aestheticians to help you choose the exfoliant and/or treatment best suited for your specific skin care needs. ~Sarah D., LE