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The Importance of Exfoliation

By August 27, 2015 One Comment
Exfoliation Image

As a Vancouver laser clinic, we’ve seen some pretty dramatic skin transformations. But what if we told the key to everyday skin health and a smooth, fresh complexion was super simple? Well, it is. Exfoliation – the removal of the dead surface skin cells – is a complexion saver. Make sure it’s a part of your skin care routine.

Why You Should Exfoliate

About every 28 days our body generates a new layer of skin and new skin cells make their way to the surface to take over for the dead ones. As we get older, this process slows and the dead skin cells accumulate and build-up (fun times!). You’re left with a dull, uneven look. This can also lead to acne and congested pores.

Exfoliating regularly leaves skin smoother, softer, more even and younger looking as it removes dead skin cells and speeds up cell renewal to encourage new cells to form. Plus, it can help fight:

  • Acne and blemishes
  • Acne scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Clogged pores
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dullness
  • Dryness
  • Enlarged pores
  • Sun damage
  • Uneven skin tone and texture

As an added bonus, exfoliating improves the absorption of topical treatments like moisturizers and allows makeup to go on smoother and more evenly. Now do you see why we’re so infatuated with exfoliation?

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The Types of Exfoliation

There are two main types of exfoliation: Mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically removing the top layer of skin with an abrasive like a tool (brush, loofah, etc.), a scrub or a process such as microdermabrasion. Chemical exfoliation is when a chemical such as an acid (i.e., glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid), enzyme, retinoids (i.e. Retin-A or Renova) or retinol is applied to the skin to dissolve the dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover.

How to Exfoliate Your Face

The best way to exfoliate the face depends on your skin type and needs. If you have oily, normal or combination skin, use a facial scrub several days a week. The technique is the most important part. Believe it or not, exfoliants work best on dry skin, so you’ll want to cleanse and then dry your face before applying it. Diluting it with water makes it less effective. If you have dry, sensitive skin, however, diluting a scrub can be beneficial and make it more bearable.

For deeper exfoliation, microdermabrasion is the way to go. Our Vancouver microdermabrasion treatments involve gentle mechanical exfoliation with tiny diamond granules. It’s like a scrub but there’s an added feature: suction. It feels a little like you’re having your face vacuumed. That might sound disturbing but it’s actually really relaxing. We swear! Regular microdermabrasion will give you a seriously healthy glow and we typically recommend indulging at least as a seasonal treatment.

For congested, acneic and aging skin types, chemical peels are the perfect remedy. Those with acneic skin types will require both chemical peels and physical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation will reduce the production of oil and bacteria and physical exfoliation will allow the skin to breathe through the congestion and build-up. Our Vancouver chemical peel treatments rely on glycolic acid to remove the surface buildup of dead skin cells. Initially, most people will start off with a series of peels and then schedule one every 28 days or so for maintenance and anti-aging benefits.

Let’s break it down even further:

  • Normal Skin Type: Use a facial scrub two days per week.
  • Dry and Sensitive Skin Type: Dilute facial scrub with water and use twice per week. Apply tons of moisturizer right after, ideally a peptide serum.
  • Combination Skin Type: Use a facial scrub all over your face and a chemical exfoliant on the T-zone or where you have enlarged pores. Do this two to three times per week.
  • Oily Skin Type: Use a facial scrub and chemical exfoliants all over two to three days per week.
  • Acneic Skin Type: Use a facial scrub and chemical exfoliant all over on alternating days. Use a prescription-level antibiotic as a spot treatment on blemishes (ask your family doctor or dermatologist about taro-clindamycin 1% and use as needed on pimples or as directed by your physician).

Include exfoliation in your skin care regimen for an even, healthy complexion and take years off your aging skin. Not sure where to start? Come by NuAGE Laser for a free assessment with one of our expert clinicians. We’ll evaluate your skin, determine your skin type and tell you exactly what it needs from the ideal treatment to the perfect products. We’ve done the research and have narrowed down the best chemical and physical exfoliants. Get an expert’s advice that can help you for a lifetime. Contact NuAGE today.

Ellie Yousefian

Author Ellie Yousefian

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