Exfoliation

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For me the best part about spring (other then sunlight & spring flowers) is of course skincare related! Its time to shed some skin. Skin that looks and feels healthy needs fresh air and lots of moisture – especially after long months of cold air, over heating!

Exfoliation is nothing new. It is however considered one of the most important techniques that you can perform on your skin to resolve certain skin problems and invigorate the skin to maintain a natural, healthy glow.

Exfoliation is defined as the removal of surface dry skin cells. The skin's natural exfoliation process slows as we age, resulting in an accumulation of skin cells. With exfoliation, you are tricking the skin into acting young again. There is one type of exfoliation appropriate for every skin type: mechanical, chemical or enzymatic.

  • Mechanical exfoliations activate the microcirculation in the skin.
  • Chemical peels also activate microcirculation; however, in this case it is induced by a chemical solution. The intensity varies according to the specific treatment and follows different mechanisms. If you have sensitive skin, or are prone to getting broken capillaries, chemical exfoliation might be best, because it avoids friction.
  • Enzyme peelings are a popular option. Enzymatic peelings are very gentle and smooth; their effect is limited to the skin surface. They will not activate microcirculation as there is no mechanical or deeply penetrating chemical solvent.
  • Microdermabrasion is applied against wrinkles, scars, photo damage and cornifications. The advantages to this procedure is the immediate results.

Anyone of these procedures can be easily integrated into a facial with an experienced aesthetician. Some may also be bought over the counter. The costs can vary from a basic 14$ physical exfoliation over the counter, to a 200$ professional chemical peel. However to effectively exfoliate your skin, you need to choose a product based on your skin type.

DRY SKIN: For dry skin especially in the winter, exfoliation is very important. So often when the skin is dry, we tend to load up on heavier creams to compensate for the dryness. Exfoliation to remove the dry skin cells, and then moisturize the new skin cells, resulting in a moister skin. Use products with the chemical exfoliant AHA, because you only need surface exfoliation and don't want to cause further dryness,

OILY SKIN: Look for exfoliants with BHA, because it exfoliates the skin’s surface and inside the pores. Also, you can incorporate a gentle physical exfoliant in your regimen.

ACNE-PRONE SKIN: Exfoliation is particularly important for this skin type. It’s best not to use physical exfoliants, which can aggravate acne, and opt for a BHA product gentle enough for daily use.

NORMAL AND COMBINATION SKIN: Try a BHA and a mild physical exfoliant. Normal types also benefit from at-home microdermabrasion treatments

HYPERPIGMENTATION: These are the brown spots that come from age, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and genetics. These spots tend to become more apparent and darker as the skin ages. Exfoliation is beneficial for breaking up the pigmented cells to allow them to fade. Combined with a skin lightening agent, such as Vitamin C, exfoliation will help accelerate the fading process.

After exfoliation, skin is more permeable, so it's always good to follow up with a vitamin and mineral-enriched serum, mask or cream.