The role of exfoliation in the pursuit of vibrant, beautiful and healthy skin!

Winter is coming to the Midwest and you may have already seen the change of season manifest itself in your skin. The hydrated and bronzed days of summer are over and are quickly being replaced with dull, dehydrated and lackluster skin. Regardless of the season, there are plenty of ways to boost vibrancy and hydration with exfoliation!

The natural desquamation cycle, or the amount of time it takes a newborn skin cell to reach the skin’s surface and flake off, slows down as we age. Have you ever noticed how children’s’ skinned knees heal so quickly? That’s because their cellular renewal cycle is as short as 7 days before 9 years! It’s a different story when we get into our 20’s, 30’s and beyond. A normal adult cycle lasts about 3-4 weeks. This rate can expand to 6 to 8 weeks in our 60’s! If no measures are taken to expedite this cycle, we can be left with cell buildup, which can appear as dull, lifeless and sallow skin. The solution? Exfoliation! And luckily, there is a method that will prove to be perfect for your skin, budget and lifestyle!

There are two forms of exfoliation, physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation involves methods that physically remove dead skin cells, think scrubs, microdermabrasion, some laser treatments, or even your Clarisonic! Chemical exfoliants tend to be more versatile and utilize different acid compounds to encourage a chemical response in skin to allow for the detachment of dead skin cells over time. This may be as simple as the glycolic acid found in your cleanser or serum, or as advanced as a customized chemical peel at a medical spa that will cause your skin to shed or flake within 3 days and unveil smooth and soft skin!

Are there benefits of one method over another? Yes! Physical exfoliants like scrubs and microdermabrasion are fantastic ‘pick me ups’ for normal healthy skin. They immediately brighten the skin, allow makeup to set flawlessly and enhance the absorption of any subsequent products. But, due to friction, possible abrasiveness, and the increase in circulation they may cause, they are not suited for sensitive or redness prone skin.

Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, can literally be matched to the specific needs of your skin! For example, if you are battling acne, you may choose a serum or chemical peel which includes salicylic acid, which loves targeting oil and can clean out the dead skin cells within a pore that cause acne. If your problem is dark pigmentation, you may partner with a licensed esthetician to be treated with a chemical peel that includes acids such as glycolic, lactic, TCA, or even phytic acids. These acids love to target damaged pigment cells and do a wonderful job at progressively evening out skin tone!

When pursuing professional exfoliation techniques such as laser peels or chemical peels, it is important to plan your social schedule accordingly and to partner with a qualified provider. Most chemical peels, and certainly laser resurfacing, cause the skin to shed, or slough, for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the strength of the treatment.

The licensed estheticians at FACE Cosmetic Skincare of Midwest Facial Plastics have all received advanced trainings in all methods of exfoliation and can help build the perfect strategy for you to Shed the Dead! Call us to schedule your appointment 651.632.9700.