Exfoliation is an important process of good skin care. Patients with acne are usually aware that the skin needs to be exfoliated since clogging of the pores is part of the cause of acne. In acne prone skin, dead skin doesn’t come off as it should and becomes sticky, clogging up the pores causing blackheads and whiteheads. People may not be aware, however, that exfoliation is also important for anti-aging. As we age, the dead skin also stays longer on the skin than it should causing the skin to look dull instead of bright and clear as when we were children.
Not all methods of exfoliation are good for the skin. Mechanically trying to scrub the skin with a loofah or other scrubbing devices are too abrasive for the skin, mostly irritating the skin rather than causing good exfoliation. Cleansers with scrubbing beads in them are also too abrasive for the skin. The particles are too large to properly get into the pores and clean them out so all it does is scrub and irritate the skin. Instead, I prefer exfoliation with acids, such as glycolic acid. Acids are microscopic particles that are small enough to get into the pores to dissolve any dead skin. There are many different types of cleansers and creams which contain acids of different types and strengths to exfoliate. My personal favorites are the Glytone Mild Gel Wash which contains 4.7% free glycolic acid and Glytone Rejuvenating Cream which contains 10% free glycolic acid both of which are gentle enough to use daily. Chemical peels can also be used for a good exfoliation but is much stronger so would only be recommended to use about once a month. Microdermabrasion is another method of exfoliating the skin. In this case, fine particle crystals are used to buff against the skin for exfoliation. This is stronger as well and is recommended to be done about once a month.
Using the right cleansing devices can also achieve daily exfoliation. The Clarisonic cleansing unit uses vibration rather than a rotation method to be able to gently clean deep into the pores. Many cheaper imitations will use the rotation method which mostly irritates rather than exfoliates the skin. If you’re thinking of getting a cleansing device, make sure the brush head vibrates rather than rotates. These cleansing devices can be used daily but if the skin is irritated for any reason, such as a flare up of acne or eczema, I recommend not using the device during that time.
Follow these tips to make your skin as healthy and fresh as possible. Take care of your face. It’s the only one you have!