Exfoliation – The Answer to a Great Complexion
Sad as this is to admit, my complexion sometimes takes a turn for the less-than-optimal. I’m quick to blame the humid weather living here Clearwater, Florida, my hormones, but the truth is there’s something I drop out of my routine periodically…
Yep, sounds too simple right?
Nope. Let me “break it down for ya.”
Exfoliation is defined as “the peeling off in flakes or scales of dead skin,” but you probably already knew that. But did you know that when done right, it gently breaks down dead skin cells and unclogs pores, allowing the skin’s natural oils to flow unobstructed, reducing blemishes without drying your skin out?
There are 3 forms of exfoliation:
Manual – Scrubs, wash clothes, microdermabrasion (a process that uses a powerful vacuum to spray micro-crystals across the skin’s surface leaving it very smooth). Basically using force or friction to remove the dead skin. Simple.
Chemical – Here’s where we use scary sounding acids. Yes, on your skin. There are many different kinds of acids and you may have heard of them, such as glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (derived from dairy products) salicylic acid (derived from willow bark). Some of these acids are better for certain skin types and conditions. For example acne improves with salicylic acid as it helps control oil and kill bacteria. Lactic acid is better on sensitive skin types or for those with darker pigment. Glycolic acid helps to dissolve the “glue” that keeps dead skin cells stuck to you and in your pores. These types of peels are typically available at your local day spa and also found in some skin care lines.
Enzymes – These work to dissolve the dead skin itself. You’ll find enzyme peels are usually made with pumpkin, papaya and pineapple. Great for anti-aging and a gentler form of exfoliation.
So, if you want to brighten a dull complexion, look younger, have clear skin or simply feel refreshed and clean…exfoliate!
But, how often should you exfoliate?
The rule of thumb is, for every decade you are old, that is how much you should exfoliate. For example, if you’re 20 then 2 times a week is good to scrub, peel etc. 30 years old, 3 times a week etc….
Hope this helps.