Why is it so important to exfoliate?
Ahhhh, my favorite subject. EXFOLIATION!!! Other than sun protection, this is one of the most important steps in skin care and will help most skin problems. Exfoliating is removing dead skin cells from the surface of your body. On an average our skin cells shed approximately every 28-30 days. As we get older, it tends to slow down to 45 days +. Babies shed approx. every 15 days, which is why they have that soft, clear skin. When we don’t exfoliate, our skin builds up those dead cells and clog pores, which can lead to breakouts. Dead skin cell build up also leads to facial products not being able to penetrate deep enough to actually work and our skin eventually looks dull.
There are 2 types of exfoliation; Chemical and Physical. Physical is when we use small granular beads that we rub around our skin to slough off the dead cells. Another physical type of exfoliation is using a Clarisonic brush when cleansing your skin. Chemical is exactly what it says! It’s a chemical (like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and enzymes) that removes dead skin cells by dissolving the “glue” that binds them to other cells. You do no work! You just apply, neutralize and rinse… (these are my favorite). Chemical peels, enzymes and Microdermabrasion are also professional ways of exfoliating, which are treatments I perform that most of my clients enjoy. I say professional because you want to make sure that someone who is trained and licensed perform these treatments since it could be damaging to your skin if not preformed properly.
Benefits of exfoliating
1.) Promotes a clear, healthy skin tone by getting rid of dead skin and regenerating new cells.
2.) Helps your skin care products penetrate and work more efficient so they are not just lying on top of dead skin.
3.) Lightens pigmented spots (from acne, trauma, sun etc.)
4.) Assists in unclogging pores, which can prevent breakouts.
5.) Helps relieve dry skin
How often should I exfoliate?
Normally it is recommended that you exfoliate approximately 2 times a week. If you have sensitive skin, you will want to reduce that to probably once a week. And for oily skin you may want to do it more depending on how oily your skin is. But you do NOT want over exfoliate. Yes, that is possible! When we over exfoliate, we do more harm than good. You can take off healthy skin cells that are not ready to come off leaving it red, irritated and more prone to sun damage. You also want to stay away from those Darn Apricot scrubs as they are not meant for your face. They are wayyyy to harsh and can tear the protective layer of your skin causing more damage. So if your face is irritated, red and sore, ease up a little.
Always remember, less is more!
Cool way to test if you need to exfoliate… I did it with my employees and it worked. Take a clear piece of tape and rub it gently on your forehead. If you have dead skin on there when you remove it, then you better get to exfoliating!