When it comes to unlocking your skins full potential- at any age, let’s get to the topic of exfoliation. In my profession, when I ask a client what change they would like to see in their skin, the answers revolve around

  • Sagging skin/loss of volume
  • Large pores/blackheads
Acne/ acneic scarring
  • Dullness, lack of lustre in the skin
  • Hyperpigmentation (the dark spots many of us experience)
  • Sun Damage
Dark under-eye circles/puffiness

All of the above conditions can be improved by exfoliating your skin.  People visit an Esthetician or Dermatologist to get professional treatments, but how you are taking care of your skin at home makes a huge difference long term.
Depending on your age, skin condition, ethnicity, sun damage, genes, and how you have taken care of your skin/body up until now contribute to a course of action taken to improve your skin.

Manual (physical) exfoliators such as your scrubs, brushes and wipes are used to slough off dirt, make-up, oil, and the top layer of dead skin. This is great for our younger crowd (18-28ish) who are still experiencing the benefits of cell turnover every 28 days. After we turn 30ish, the cell turnover of our skin cells slows down. By what percent? Who knows, the point is, these manual exfoliators are no longer enough to give us the results we are looking for: firmer skin, that is hydrated and looks healthy.

Chemical exfoliators are my resurfacers of choice. If you are not familiar with chemical exfoliators, they are simply solutions that use enzymes or chemicals (alpha/beta hydroxy acids) to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells and cellular debris. They are plentiful over the counter, or at a salon close by. The results are: new cell turnover, smooth and resurfaced skin, even skin tone, and clear/minimized pores. Regular exfoliation not only helps our skin function better, it allows our products to penetrate and do their job. It’s hard for an eye cream to absorb into the dermal layers of skin when there are layers of dead skin, dirt and old makeup sitting on your face.

Addressing sensitive skin means just that.
Address it: are you sensitive to fragrance, potency, and abrasiveness or do you have Rosacea? Is your skin environmentally damaged or have you over exfoliated? These are things you should know about your skin.

I would recommend a chemical exfoliator because they are less abrasive and more uniform. Stay away from harsh scrubs and hot/cold water (We should all be using lukewarm water when we wash our face to avoid breaking capillaries close to the surface of our skin) Ask for samples and test an area of your skin to see if you have a disagreeable reaction.

Please get it into your brain that when starting out any new routine LESS IS MORE. Choose an exfoliator and incorporate into your routine 2-3x/week. Let your skin get used to the process, and then you can bump up the percentage or layer products for more exfoliation.

Things to consider:

Exfoliate at night. Whether you are using a face wash, serum or mask, apply it at night. You won’t have to fight the sun, and your skin repairs itself while you sleep.

Use your sunscreen on a daily basis even when it is cloudy. Exfoliation removes the dead layer of skin leaving us more susceptible to sun exposure/damage. EVERY DAY.

Start slow. Don’t over sensitize your skin because you think you need to over exfoliate. The idea is to keep your skin clean, clear and prepared for nutrients. 2-3x/week is enough if you are using the right product.

I could go on and on here regarding exfoliation. It is the key to looking younger and slows the aging process. I am on the conservative side of the spectrum, but there’s a time and a place for everything. I do not judge. Do your research, and find what works for you.