Do you follow a rigorous skincare routine but still don't get the radiant skin you want? Skin exfoliation could be the missing puzzle piece. But what is the best way to exfoliate your skin and what does it actually do?
Exfoliation is removing dead skin from the outermost layer of your skin. While you constantly shed dead skin naturally, when it accumulates it makes your skin look dull.
According to a 2011 study, the average person sheds about half their body weight in dead skin over a lifetime. With that amount of waste to get rid of, your epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, could use a helping hand.
Yes! Skin exfoliation has many health benefits when done correctly. Dry brushing, the act of scrubbing your skin with a gentle yet slightly abrasive brush, can:
Specific products and techniques will vary depending on your skin type (sensitive, dry, oily, etc.), but if you follow these general rules, exfoliation can be rejuvenating.
Before you exfoliate, take every product or medication you use into account. If you use an astringent to treat acne, you may want to be gentler with exfoliation. Exfoliating too vigorously may lead to more breakouts.
Skin exfoliation tools fall into two categories: mechanical and chemical.
Mechanical tools are called that because you're using friction to scrub away dead skin. This category includes brushes, sponges, gloves, and gritty scrubbing solutions. Brushes and solutions are great if you have oily skin, but you should consider sponges and gloves if your skin is dry or sensitive.
Chemical exfoliation tools include solutions specifically made to break down dead skin on a molecular level. Some are even great for treating acne. While there are some over-the-counter products available, it's highly recommended that a dermatologist can administer prescription-level chemical peels.
No matter what you use, exfoliate gently, especially at first. Scrub lightly in a circular motion for thirty seconds on every affected area. If you're not getting the results you want, consult a dermatologist before moving on to harsher exfoliation techniques.
Even if your skin is naturally oily, exfoliation can leave it dry. This isn't necessarily bad, but following exfoliation with a moisturizer can help balance this problem.
If your skin stays dry and red after you exfoliate, it may be time to move to gentler techniques that involve sponges or products made for exfoliating sensitive skin.
Many people find morning exfoliation to be rejuvenating. This is because the skin repairs itself overnight and sheds a lot of dead cells. However, if you feel grimy at the end of the day or after exercise, that may work just as well. No matter what you do, let your skin be your guide.
If your skin is still dingy after you exfoliate, Premier Dermatology Partners can help. Our HydraFacial procedure can deeply yet gently exfoliate skin for longer-lasting results. With chemical peels, dermaplaning, and skincare advisement, we can help you find a solution your skin will love. Contact us today for an appointment.