Exfoliation – Chemical or Mechanical

How do I exfoliate my skin?

We know that good skin care is important to maintaining our youthful appearance.  Part of that maintenance involves exfoliation of the top layers of dead skin cells through two different processes.  Both work well when done properly but can cause further damage if done to often or to vigorously.   But done correctly you can see amazing results.

  • Your skin will absorb your other products better.
  • Your serum and moisturizer will be easily soaked up, giving you better results.
  • Your makeup (if done in the morning) will apply smoother
  • You may have more even skin tone
  • You may get better skin texture or more even texture

Do I have your attention now?  Then let’s get to it.

Chemical Exfoliation:

This process uses chemicals such as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids to disolve the “glue” that binds old skin cells together on the surface of your skin among other things like enzymes such as pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple  This is done with out scrubbing or scrapping.   For more info and suggestions on products click HERE and then check out the next 10.

Mechanical Exfoliation:

This mechanical process uses a tool to remove those top superficial “dead” layers.  Tools include such things as a brush or a scrub that contains abrasive particles to physically remove the unwanted cells.  Other forms of removal of mechanical exfoliation including microdermabrasion and dermaplaning.  Both of these forms are conducted in a doctor’s or licensed esthetician’s office.  Dermaplaning is considered more gentle than microabrasion  when used for the proper skin type.

  • Cleansing Brushes – Brushes can scrub away dead skin cells and remove excess oil, leftover makeup, dirt, and sunscreen.   Not all are made to get the same results, so do your homework and know what your goal is.  Some increase collagen production to target fine lines and wrinkles, while others focus on diminishing the appearance of pores. They  also come in different shapes and sizes and some are even waterproof.   Costs vary, but range from approximately $10 – 100.  Want some suggestions on brushes?   Brush suggestions   

Skin Scrubs – Scrubs can help remove that top layer of superficial or dead skin, which helps your skin look mor radiant and fresh.  It also allows your skin to absorb your products better, like moisturizers and anti-aging products.  With consistant use, you will also see a difference in your makeup application as it will apply more even and smooth.  “In addition to revealing fresh skin cells, exfoliating removes dead cells from pores, making them appear smaller,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a Manhattan derm.  Think about when you paint a piece of furniture.  You must first sand the item to remove all of the old products left on it.  Once done, the new paint will apply evenly and last.  Same concept with exfoliating  your skin.  Remove the buildup and top layers of dead skin to allow needed moisture to penetrate the other skin layers. There are numerous products to choose from, such as these from Sephora, but my absolute favorites are two that I swear helped to change my own skin drastically.

*I personally had terrible skin that was dry, leathery to the touch and wrinkled after years of sun worshipping. I laid out with baby oil on my face and body and Sun-In in my hair.  Needless to say my skin took a beating and at age 40, I found myself looking in the mirror and hating what I saw.  I felt old and much like one of those shrunken heads on the Jungle ride at Disneyland.  NOT a good look.  With consistent work, my skin has changed drastically and I even get compliments on how soft and young it looks.  WOW!  To have people compliment me on my skin now at 48 years old is amazing.  Makes me feel great!  Such a difference than when I was 40,  Imagine being told you look younger 8 years later.  It is a fabulous feeling and I want to share that with you.  Afterall, who doesn’t want to feel and look younger? Two of the products that helped me accomplish this are by SeneGence. The Resurfacer and Exfoliator.  Both contain Volcanic ash and and Nangai oil, so as to exfoliate and moisturize.  Want more information, feel free to message me directly or click here and read details for yourself.  Ok now seriously.  How many of you remember Sun-In?  How many of youj used it?

  • Dermaplaning – Dermaplaning is an effective exfoliating treatment in which a doctor or esthetician uses a surgical scalpel to gently scrape off any dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and (along with the peach fuzz on your face). Are you wondering  “Why?  Is this necessary?  Should I just shave?”   The layers of dead skin (or cornflakes as I refer to them) and tiny hairs can make your complexion appear dull, flaky, and can even cause breakouts due to clogged pores or hair follicles.

Sounds like shaving right?  Not exactly.  Shaving does remove that top layer of dead skin with the hair, but there is a different level of exfoliation with this process.  There are different levels              of how deep the technician will plane the skin and unlike other forms of exfoliation, this can only be done every two weeks.  Cost is typically between $75 – 150

  • Microabrasion – Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure used to renew overall skin tone and texture.  It is usually done in a series of treatments for best results and can help even out your skin color and texture.  Often you are looking at between 5-16 treatment sessions.  Costs have gotten better it seems and range from agian around $75- 150 per session.

There are two types of microdermabrasion: Crystal Microdermabrasion and Diamond-Tip Microdermabrasion Want to understand the difference?  Simply click on one you                     want to learn.  Watch the quick video below for more info.

How often should you exfoliate:

While exfoliation is important, over doing it can cause chronic skin irritations and inflammation, leading to accelerated aging. Excuse me?   Yes, you read that correctly.  According to studies, too much can strip the skin of natural oils causing breakouts.  Over time this will thin the skin and cause further wrinkles.  As stated by Dr. Tanzi , 2-3 times a week is usually safe for normal and combination skin, but only once a week for sensitive skin.   These time frames vary with types of exfoliation used as well.  As mentioned above,  dermaplaning is suggested no more than every two weeks.  It comes down to methods and products being used as well as your skin type, so do your research.  Ask questions and try some things out.  Be sure to explain what your end desired rfesults are when talking to somebody for assistance as that can make a huge difference.  Just remember …to much of a good thing is not always a good thing!