The process of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin is called exfoliation. Exfoliation works to smooth and moisturize the skin, making it look healthy.
We generally exfoliate our skin because we want to get rid of dry skin, especially during the cold season.
The exfoliation process can be done in two ways – mechanically or chemically. Both methods are effective and offer visible results in the appearance of the skin, but should be used with care, with the right products and without over-exfoliating.
How does skin exfoliation work?
Every 28-30 days or so, the skin’s natural regeneration process kicks in to remove dead cells and allow new cells to be created. Sometimes, dead cells are not completely removed, leading to clogged pores, flaking skin or a dull appearance.
Chemical exfoliation, the process of removing the layer of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, is achieved using acid-based cosmetics. The microparticles used to exfoliate the skin with a sponge or brush are called mechanical exfoliation.
The benefits and drawbacks of exfoliation
The benefits of exfoliation done correctly are numerous and your skin has all to gain.
From shrinking pore size (the more dirt that collects in the pores, the bigger the pores become and the duller the skin looks) to fading wrinkles, we list the following benefits:
Prevention of pimples
Faster absorption of skin moisturising cosmetics
Alleviation of post-acne scars
Elimination of pigmentation spots and rash formation
Exfoliation done excessively or incorrectly can damage your skin, and to avoid this you can consider the following tips:
If you have sensitive skin, do not choose strong mechanical exfoliators as they can create damage the skin surface
Apply the exfoliator with circular movements, not very firm. There should be no pain during or after application
At the end of the exfoliation process, the skin should not be dry and moisturising is very important
In case of injuries (cuts, sunburn or infections) exfoliation should be avoided
If you are allergic to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), avoid using a scrub with BHA;
One very important thing is to watch out for acids in chemical skin exfoliation.
They photosensitize the skin – so if you expose yourself to the sun during or after use, you should apply sunscreen with at least SPF 25. Otherwise, there is a risk of irritation or even sunspots. Even two weeks after the chemical peeling process, sunscreen is necessary.
In conclusion, you can enjoy both skin exfoliation alternatives, as long as they are not used at the same time and you follow the recommendations listed above. Contact us today to set up an appointment at our dermatology clinic in Englewood CO!