We can't say it enough; exfoliation is key! Without exfoliation, your skin cannot function properly and requires exfoliation to remain healthy. Naturally, our skin reproduces by shedding the outermost layer bringing new skin to the surface. As we age, this shedding process slows down, for example, a person the age of 19-21 will have a cell turnover that averages a 14-21 day cycle while ages 30-40 the cell turnover is every 28-45 days. As the cell turnover slows, we must exfoliate to keep the skin from looking dull and rough. Exfoliating can unclog pores and clear the completions, improve texture and tone, lighten and brighten the skin, as well as reduce breakouts and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Over the years exfoliation has changed and become more advanced and become much more effective while still being gentle on the skin.
Mechanical Exfoliation can be done at home or in spa treatments in which dead skin is sluffed off with a tool or an ingredient. The basis of many of these types of exfoliants tends to be coffee or sugar as the abrasive agent. Or in the case of our Multi-Active Scrub, the exfoliation is rice bran, bamboo, green tea, and walnut. You will notice with a mechanical exfoliation that the skin becomes inflamed and irritated. With this, we recommend that you exfoliate longer not harder to achieve optimal results that do not damage or irritate the skin too much.
Another form of mechanical exfoliation is microdermabrasion and dermaplaning. Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin with either a diamond tip or abrasive crystals. This form of exfoliation is exceptionally effective and different depths of exfoliation can be achieved. Dermaplaning, on the other hand, is done with a scalpel and dead skin and peach fuzz are removed as the blade is gently scrapped along the surface of the skin. Both of these methods require a certified professional to perform these treatments.
Chemical exfoliation typically refers to techniques that exfoliate with beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). You can read more and determine which chemical peel is right for you here.
Retinols as a form of exfoliation in the simplest form encourages skin to continue to renew. We won't go in the more detailed description of how this is achieved but this is an extremely effective form of exfoliation. You can get over the counter products that carry a sufficient amount of retinol to be extremely helpful, like our Timeless Retinol Night Mask that encourages cell renewal and diminishes acne scarring, discoloration as well as wrinkles and fine lines.
Enzymes are also another great way to exfoliate. Enzymes can be used in spa treatments as a very gentle peel or used in masks like our Pumpkin Heat Exfoliation Mask, that uses the enzymes from pumpkins, papaya's and pineapple to gently exfoliate the skin. Enzyme peels offer a gentle approach and require no downtime.
Its no secret that we can over exfoliate our skin, with that we like to caution using any of the above methods in excess. For any treatments that require a licensed professional, we recommend that you ensure that they do have the required certification to perform chemical/enzyme peels, microdermabrasion, and dermaplaning. For treatments that tend to be a little more aggressive in terms of exfoliation proper aftercare and home care, in general, are important. Ensure you adhere to your aftercare instructions and your skin will be glowing! For any at home exfoliating, 2-3 times per week is sufficient to achieve youthful skin.