Exfoliation is a skin care technique that has been around for hundreds of years. It is, therefore, a word we all should be quite familiar with in 2018. Before learning the best exfoliating methods, it is important to know and fully understand what exfoliation is. It is also important to know why exfoliation is so great for your skin.
What is skin exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the removal of the dead, keratinized skin cells sitting on the skin’s surface. It leaves the skin smoother and fresher looking, and makes it easier for facial products like serums to penetrate the skin’s surface. It is an important part of both professional facials and body treatments. However, exfoliation is a double-edged sword. It is easy to overdo facial exfoliation, especially, at home with overzealous scrubbing and cheap products. The skin on the rest of your body can take more vigorous exfoliation, more frequently than the skin that is on your face.
Why you shouldn’t over exfoliate the skin
If you exfoliate your face too much, your skin can become sensitized. This means you have literally made it prone to redness and irritation. By over exfoliating you can actually make your skin worse than it was before. You also have to be careful about exposing yourself to the sun after you exfoliate. For instance, it would not be smart to get an aggressive chemical facial peel at a spa and then go lay in the sun.
The skin does give us signs when it is being over exfoliated. If your skin becomes overly shiny, especially on the forehead, you might be over exfoliating. The shininess occurs when light reflects easily off of over-exfoliated skin, because you have smoothed out the natural textures of your skin too much. Puffiness is also something that that can occur due to over exfoliation. This happens because too much exfoliation can break down the skin’s protective barrier.
Why is exfoliation important?
The skin is constantly generating new skin cells at the lower layer of skin called the dermis and sending them to the surface of the skin-the epidermis. As the cells rise to the surface they gradually die and become filled with keratin, a fibrous protein. These keratinized skin cells are essential because they give our skin its protective quality, but they are constantly forced to make way for younger cells.
As we age the process of cell turnover slows down. Cells start to pile up unevenly on the skin’s surface, giving it a dry, rough, dull appearance. Exfoliation is beneficial because it removes those cells that are clinging on, revealing the fresher, younger skin cells below. If your facial skin has a dull, pasty look, as it often does in older people who don’t exfoliate, an exfoliating treatment will make you look younger.
Two types of exfoliation
There are two main types of exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation literally rubs the dead skin cells off with some kind of abrasive, anything from jojoba beads to a diamond-tip microdermabrasion machine. Chemical exfoliation uses acids. This means anything from gentle fruit enzymes, to powerful peels to dissolve the glue-like substance that holds the cells together.
- Mechanical Exfoliation: The dead skin cells are physically rubbed off with an abrasive. Examples of mechanical exfoliation include a salt glow, a body scrub that might use sugar or coffee grounds, or skin brushing. On the face, scrubs should use small, round, gentle abrasives. Stay away from harsh products which can cause micro-tears in your skin. A more aggressive and effective approach to mechanical exfoliation is microdermabrasion, which comes in two types, crystal and crystal-free.
- Chemical Exfoliation: Enzymes, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) loosen the glue-like substance that holds the cells together, allowing them to be moved away. Facial peels are a form of chemical exfoliation. Chemical peels can either be very gentle or very aggressive, depending on the acid. Body treatments might use mild chemical exfoliants like pineapple enzymes.
MDSUN offers an innovative skin exfoliation product that helps to unclog pores, minimize breakouts, improve skin tone and refine skin. Skin Exfoliation Pads have a two-tier approach to exfoliation. The first layer of ingredients is made up of several acids and essential vitamins to exfoliate while hydrating the skin. The second layer of ingredients is a powerful blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients designed to reduce and control redness, inflammation and irritation. These also provide deep moisturization. The end result of this process is that you exfoliate the skin without even truly realizing it. Upon application, there may be a slight stinging sensation, but soon your skin begins to produce natural oils as it starts to seal in moisture.