Your epidermis is one of the hardest working organs of your body. We’re talking about your skin; your barrier between you and a world full of pollutants, dirt, and other irritants. It’s also the largest organ and, often times, the most neglected on a day-to-day basis. As your skin works tirelessly to make new cells, the old cells die and are “shed” off the top. However, lingering dead cells that don’t come off immediately, clog pores, causing breakouts and contributing to poor, dull skin texture and appearance, as well as the creation of fine lines and wrinkles. What’s your best defense? Exfoliation.
But, hold on a moment before you dive in. Too much of anything is bad for you. First of all, if you have delicate skin, it’s often recommended to do less exfoliation, especially if your skin is red and irritated after an attempt. Once a week could be plenty for you and it’s always wise to go to your favorite spa for the treatment and let a professional help you figure out what’s best for your skin type.
On the other side of things, although twice a week is usually recommended for treatments, if you have oily skin or live in hot climate where you sweat more, you may need to exfoliate more than twice a week to keep your skin glowing.
Now that you have an idea as to how often you should exfoliate, how do you do it?
There is no right answer for everybody. We all have different skin (with different problem areas), so, once again, a good way to answer a lot of these questions is to ask your trusty aesthetician or expert at your favorite spa for a consultation and skin analysis. They will be able to advise you as well as do the more complicated treatments that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do on your own. However, here are some terms to learn, so you know what you are looking for.
Glycolic Acid: This important ingredient penetrates the skin easily and is most often used in chemical peels. The spa will use a higher concentration formula, but the peels that you can buy for home use will have this same ingredient, only in smaller doses. Glycolic Acid is known for effectively reducing acne scarring, wrinkles, and “Seborrheic Keratosis;” the flat, benign, dark skin growths that often appear with age. Look for this ingredient if you want to improve the overall texture of your skin.
Grape Wine Peels: Often touted as a more “natural” alternative to using Glycolic and Salicylic Acid, Grape Wine Peels are very popular because they are gentle enough to do more often. Used as a exfoliate with the extra benefit of the wine polyphenols, which zap antioxidants and nutrients into your skin, you’ll find that your face will feel more hydrated and refreshed.
Microdermabrasion: Once just a treatment for the stars, Microdermabrasion is now available to everybody. You’ve probably heard of this treatment because it’s often used instead of plastic surgery or botox injections to repair skin damage from acne and the sun, as well as reduce wrinkles, including the age-induced, “crows feet.” Your skin is “buffed” using tiny crystals to remove dead skin cells quickly and efficiently. Your skin might be a bit pink after this treatment, but that should go away soon. You’ll notice the effects almost immediately, as your skin will be tighter and more radiant. A moisturizer should be applied after the treatment.
Soft Grain Scrubs: Gentle to your skin, Soft Grain Scrubs are a great way to softly exfoliate in between spa treatments. Not only will it delicately aid in the sloughing off of dead skin cells, but it will also calm mild skin irritations and moisturize.