Skin care isn’t just about washing and moisturizer. While washing and moisturizing are important, these steps really only benefit the outer layer of the skin, which mostly consists of dead skin cells, dirt, and debris. To get deeper into the skin to actually thoroughly cleanse, one must exfoliate. Now, I’m sure you have heard this term before, but many don’t actually know the meaning. Exfoliating is the act of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin by using either physical or chemical exfoliants. Doing this crucial step in your skincare can allow for better product penetration, remove flakey skin, and unveil shiny, healthy living skin.
Examples of physical exfoliants include your scrubs or other grainy cleansers that allow you to “buff” away the dead skin cells. Another great mechanical exfoliation technique is Dermaplaning. Dermaplaning consists of the esthetician gently scraping a surgical scalpel across the skin at a 45-degree angle, which allowed the scalpel to glide smoothly and painlessly across the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells and vellus hair (aka peach fuzz). The most important part of mechanical exfoliation is to not over-exfoliate. Over-exfoliating (exfoliating too hard or too often) can result in damaging and drying out your healthy skin. It is recommended to use scrubs or grainy exfoliants once every 1-2 weeks and Dermaplaning be done only by your esthetician once a month.
Examples of chemical exfoliants include chemical peels and enzymes. These types of exfoliants gently burn and dissolve away the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, leaving the healthy skin glowing. Enzymes take acids naturally found in fruits and other ingredients to dissolve the dead skin and can also work on correcting other skin problems like acne, scarring, texture, and dullness. The enzyme is left on the skin for a specific amount of time, sometimes under steam, and then gently removed. Chemical peels use natural acids to gently and effectively burn away the dead skin cells. Chemical peels are also a great way to work on healing acne, tightening and brightening the skin, and also helping to smooth the texture of the skin. Some chemical peels are great when paired with a Dermaplane service for even more exfoliation and smoother, brighter skin. Enzymes and chemical peels are to be done only by your esthetician and are performed at least 2 weeks apart (typically once a month). Chemical peels offered at Trinity Chiropractic include a 20% lactic acid peel, a 30% glycolic peel, and a 5%, 7.5%, and 10% TCA peel (with mandelic acid).
It is important to find a method of exfoliation that works best for you and your skin, so be open and honest with your esthetician about your skin goals so you can set up a care plan as a team. Be aware that there are some contraindications to each type of exfoliant, so it is important to trust your esthetician if another exfoliant is recommended for you. And just remember to stay moisturized, hydrated, and wear your SPF after any kind of exfoliation! Your skin will thank you!