Exfoliation refers to the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Our skin tends to fail to get rid of the dead skin cells due to multiple reasons like weather, over-application of make-up and other cosmetic products, etc. Exfoliation helps in getting rid of all the unnecessary layers on your skin, and exposes the younger looking bright and radiant skin underneath.
There are mainly 2 types of exfoliation – Chemical and Mechanical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation uses a tool, such as a brush, a sponge, or a scrub to physically remove dead skin cells, while chemical exfoliation uses chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, to gently dissolve dead skin cells. The type of exfoliation depends on your skin type and health. Continue reading to know more!
Even if you do not have any tools or chemicals for exfoliation, it is easy to exfoliate your skin at home using natural products such as sugar and other household items. One thing to remember is to NOT over-exfoliate. Over-exfoliation leads to damage of the skin by making it red and increases irritation and swelling.
But why is exfoliation so important?
Exfoliating regularly stimulates collagen production and improves skin cell turnover, which helps in having and maintaining tighter, less saggy skin. It even clears out the clogged pores, which help in avoiding frequent breakouts. Exfoliation also enhances the ability of topical skin care products to work by improving absorption in your skin.
Which skin type should use which exfoliation method?
Dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin always needs extra care when it comes to exfoliation. A washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator is the perfect option for this skin type since mechanical exfoliation may lead to irritation and redness. Oily or thicker skin needs stronger chemical treatments or mechanical exfoliation depending on the condition and health of the skin
Why should you include exfoliation in your skincare routine?
Exfoliation is a great way to increase the efficacy of your skincare products. By removing the top layer of dead cells, exfoliation ensures that all those active ingredients from the products penetrate your skin better and have an enhanced absorption. Regular exfoliation also helps in keeping the skin fresh, youthful looking, and tight.
Can you over-exfoliate your skin?
Over-exfoliation can make your skin sensitive and susceptible to damage. It’s best to maintain regular prescribed intervals between each exfoliation depending upon the agent used. Mechanical exfoliation can be repeated twice a week, mild AHAs and BHAs can be applied once a week or fortnight, whereas more potent clinic grade acids should not be used more than once a month.
How does Chemical Exfoliation work?
Most chemical exfoliants contain hydroxy acids like AHA and BHA which have a peeling effect.
AHAs derive from natural substances and are water-soluble acids. They peel away the first layer of the skin and work on the topmost layer.
If you have never exfoliated before, we suggest starting with lower concentration acids, especially if you have extremely dry or sensitive skin, and gradually upgrade as the skin starts getting used to the products. Glycolic acid is derived from sugarcane, mandelic acid from almonds and lactic acid from milk.
Beta Hydroxy acids are oil-soluble acids and go deeper into the skin to unclog pores, reduce sebum production and remove dead skin cells. BHAs are mainly used for acne more suitable for oily, combination and acne-prone skin types. Salicylic acid is a BHA derived from the bark of willow trees.
How does Enzyme Exfoliation work?
Enzyme exfoliators are formulated with active ingredients such as papain, an enzyme extracted from raw papaya, and bromelain, an enzyme extracted from the stem of pineapple trees, that aid in exfoliation. These enzymes help to break down the keratin in the skin’s upper layers, which helps it lift off and literally digest the dead skin on your face. The benefit of enzyme exfoliators over acid exfoliation is their gentle nature. They work without disturbing the pH of the skin and thus do not disrupt the healthy skin barrier.
Now that you know the basics and a few more details about exfoliation, you are all set to make your skin glow! Although these methods and skin types are generalised, we suggest visiting your dermatologist before you use any products on your skin or adapt to a skin-care routine.
At Rasaderm, you will first be guided through a consultation session with our founder, Dr. Veenu Jindal, who will assess the condition and health of your skin. She will then recommend a personalised treatment or skin care routine suitable to your skin type. We also have a wide range of trusted cosmetic and medical products that help your skin regain its beauty. Visit rasaderm.com to book a session now!