What is exfoliation? It is the removal of surface dry skin cells. How do you know if you need to do it? Everyone needs to but it then becomes a question of how often and what should be used. This will all be discussed. And I want to be clear that my recommendations are in general terms since everyone really is different.
Why should you exfoliate? It’s considered a very important technique to achieving healthy and glowing skin. Sometimes when I perform a facial, I am surprised at the immediate difference in the skin after exfoliating.
Basics of exfoliation. We only want to exfoliate at night. When you do it in the morning, you make your skin more vulnerable to the sun but also, the products that are used at night are usually (supposed to be) products to help repair the skin and stimulate cellular regeneration. Freshly exfoliated skin will take in these ingredients much better.
And generally speaking, you want to exfoliate about 3-4 times a week. This number changes based on your skin and skin needs and also what you want accomplished.
Here are some things that can happen if you exfoliate daily…
- Flaking, redness and underlying inflammation of the skin because the moisture barrier is damaged.
- Dryness and dehydration
- Sometimes we do damage that cannot be seen. You can age the skin prematurely when there is chronic inflammation
- You can destroy healthy cells
- The more you exfoliate the more you are stimulating melanin activity and that can result in hyperpigmentation
- Products that used to work for you may not anymore because you have stripped and irritated the skin
There are 2 types of exfoliation. Physical and Chemical. A physical exfoliate is a facial brush, facial sponge, scrub, washcloth or anything similar that will lift off dead skin and a chemical exfoliate dissolves the dead skin and examples of that is a glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
As always for the product talk episode, I will discuss the products I use and retail.
SS Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub– This scrub is a powerful cellular turnover scrub with Retinol (Vitamin A) and jojoba beads to clean, soothe and polish the skin. The retinol encourages the breakup of blackheads and clogged pores, jojoba beads gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while kojic lightens age spots and blemishes left from scars. I love this one because it doubles as a mask. I always tell my clients to use it in the shower. Cleanse your face, apply the scrub and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The steam from the shower will help push the ingredients into the skin (kind of like when estheticians use steam during a facial). Shave your legs, wash your body or whatever while the mask does its job and then rinse off. Of course you don’t have to do it this way.
Lessens Visible Aging
Provides Chemical and Physical Exfoliation
Promotes Collagen Synthesis
Assists in Healing and Rejuvenating
SS Raspberry Refining Scrub– Polish and energize the skin with the antioxidants raspberry and marionberry which will brighten skin and provide anti-inflammatory-like benefits to soothe skin irritations. Jojoba beads and blue corn meal gently exfoliate to remove surface build-up provides physical exfoliation while exfoliating and lightening ingredients work in tandem to promote a clear, healthy skin tone. For all skin types as a mechanical exfoliation. Safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women. I like to always be honest with you so I’m going to tell you that this is not my favorite scrub. I have clients that love it and it’s safe during pregnancy, which is nice to have an alternative. There is nothing wrong with it but it’s just not my go-to.
SS Glycolic and Retinol Pads– These pads break up surface oil to refine pores and reveal fresh, healthy skin. Kojic and arbutin lighten sun spots and scars left from blemishes. I’ve talked about these on other episodes. These are really great because they do so many things. Here’s the thing…if you’re looking to lighten your skin and make a change, these will do it. Plus, they can be used on your neck, chest, hands, feet and elbows.
Provides surface renewal and resurfacing
Purges and exfoliates
Removes oil and debris
Prevents future breakouts
Assists in Anti-wrinkle actions
Lightens pigmentation spots
Improves Skin Function
SS Beta Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum– Yes, this is a serum but it’s also considered a form of exfoliation. With aloe and olive. A mild exfoliation serum for sensitive skin. Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A; papain is an enzyme derived from papayas. May be used on pregnant or lactating women which is why I retail this one and why it’s so great. When you’re pregnant, you’re very limited on what you can use and this helps.
Improves Skin Barrier Integrity by Balancing Surface Lipids
Exfoliates to Reduce Visible Wrinkles
LM Beta Acid– The American Academy of Dermatology currently recognizes Salicylic Acid (Beta Acid) as one of the most effective agents available for acne skin by significantly reducing build up of dead skin cells through a gentle exfoliation process. You actually apply this at night and leave it on. It has done amazing things for my clients. When it comes to acne you really do need something strong that will actually go deep into the skin and kill the bacteria. Salicylic is my favorite because it’s more gentle. It’s under exfoliation because it’s an acid and will help exfoliate the skin.
LM Vita-C Clear Skin Pad– Gentle micro-peel exfoliates and prepares the epidermal cell layers for faster and more effective penetration of other nutrients. Natural Vitamin C is infused within the soft fabric to help to brighten skin for a natural glow. These are definitely different than the Glycolic/Retinol Pads because first of all, they contain vitamin c but also because these pads are more about setting the skin up for the serums you apply after. And of course, they do exfoliate the skin.
LM Perfect Renewal System– This skin-perfecting system clears congested pores, improves uneven skin tone, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and blemishes. Features mandelic acid to enhance cellular turnover, while vitamin B, hyaluronic acid, and alpha-arbutin promote a smooth, radiant complexion. WHAT DOES IT DO? Clears congested pores and excess oil without causing dryness. Improves uneven tone and texture. Helps smooth out fine lines. Reduces the appearance of blemishes, including back acne. Restores radiant glow. These are closer to the Glycolic/Retinol Pads so I would choose one over the other, not both. I do love both though. These are probably a little bit more gentle and better for my sensitive skin. But to be honest, I use both and just switch when I run out of one. These have hyaluronic acid and we all know how great that is for the skin.
5% Glyco Polymer Solution– This polymerized micro-peel lightly exfoliates the skin with glycolic and lactic acids to refine uneven texture, clear and tighten pores, and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Features a marine enzyme known to preserve the skin’s collagen network, plus soothing botanical extracts that promote a smooth, healthy complexion with fewer breakouts. Wanna know why I sell this one? For Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin. It’s those little red bumps that people get on the back of their arms. This is really great for getting rid of them. Of course it can be used on the face too but it’s not my first choice.
LM Ultrasonic Spatula– I love this tool. I talked about this on my episode about at-home tools. This is one of 2 devices that I retail and my most favorite. I actually use it in almost every facial. It gently exfoliates and helps lift clogged pores. Makes extractions easier during a facial. It’s so great for home use because you can’t really over use it, as most tend to do with devices. It’s like a little earthquake for the skin…shakes things up! And when you flip it over, it can help infuse your serums deeper into the skin.