What happens to my skin when I exfoliate?

Exfoliation is a well-established method for skin resurfacing. It is a critical component in skin care that removes dead epidermal cells on the surface of the stratum corneum (top skin layer). Skin cell renewal is a vital factor in the maintenance of beautiful, healthy skin. The newer, more current methods of exfoliation speed up skin cell turnover, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, which counters the body’s natural decreasing production of these vital components as we age. Exfoliating regularly significantly improves your skin’s tone and texture. These methods of exfoliation can be physical, mechanical, chemical, or topical solutions. Some of these are in-office dermatological procedures, and others are available over-the-counter. In recent years the theory of using your own body’s ability to self-repair itself and induce collagen production has dramatically advanced, with more targeted treatments formulated for maximum potency. Here is an overview of some current and highly effective regimens.

1) Micro-needling: This non-invasive procedure, when done at the office of a qualified dermatologist, reaches deeper into the skin than over-the-counter versions. Micro-needling is a method of collagen induction which involves puncturing the skin with very tiny needles, using the skin’s natural repair mechanism to promote collagen induction therapy (CIT). It stimulates your fibroblasts to produce more collagen via the body’s repair mechanism. A dermatologist will know which areas of a client’s skin will be extra-sensitive to this procedure, and to what depths the needles can safely penetrate the skin. If you use an at-home (over-the-counter) method, be ultra-cautious around any broken skin or blemishes, to avoid spreading bacteria or infections.

Most of the at-home, micro-needling treatments or (micro-rollers) only extend into the shallowest level of the epidermis. A good dermatologist can better discern if the procedure can penetrate deeper, into the dermis layer for better results. This technique has been around for many decades, but only in the last several years has there been enormous scientifically validated advances in its delivery.

Collagen and elastin are a vital part of healthy, youthful skin. Some factors that cause degradation of collagen are poor diet, environmental pollutants, sun exposure, insufficient hydration, aging in general, and stress.

Skin products that reduce inflammation and work as anti-oxidants, fighting against free-radical molecules, that break down collagen and exacerbate acne and other skin issues are fundamental to use in your daily skin-care routine. Most topical products function on the surface epidermal layer of skin. Proper exfoliating techniques create channels within your skin for these potent active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the dermis for more efficiency.

Therefore, micro-needling also makes skin more receptive to other treatments that require absorption. Microneedling is valuable in a comprehensive, multi-focused skin care regimen.

Established, qualified dermatologists have access to highly effective, safer methods of micro needling. The at-home versions are slightly less efficient but safe for use between visits to your dermatologist.

2) Peels: Another process of shedding dead skin cells is through peeling the very top layer of the skin away so new cells can more easily come to the surface. The intensity of these treatments can vary from quite mild to very strong. These peels, when administered by a qualified doctor, can be used to remove precancerous spots in addition to improving cosmetic issues.

There are many different types of modern chemical peels, and when correctly used, chemical peels are suitable for all skin types. Similar to micro-needling, peels produce a controlled injury to your skin, which stimulates new skin cell regeneration giving your skin a dramatically improved appearance. Chemical peels are designed to improve various skin conditions from correcting signs of sun damage to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, melasma, brown spots, enlarged pores, acne scars as well as helping to control acne, and improve overall skin health.

Newer versions of alpha-hydroxy acids, in synergistic combination with phytic acid, salicylic acid, antioxidants such as vitamin C, and resorcinol, are now a current and more effective formulation for exfoliation and general skin care. Alpha hydroxy (water-soluble compounds) and beta-hydroxy acids (fat-soluble) compounds), have humectant properties that aid your skin’s uptake of vital moisturizing compounds. They are all very mild on the pH index.

3) BHAs: Beta-hydroxy acids, fat-soluble compounds, are recognized to be useful for more oily skin. Salicylic acid is a derivative of the inner bark of the willow tree. This mixture can penetrate deeply into problem pores to prevent acne formation and other forms of inflammation. It works synergistically with many antioxidants (such as AHAs), including vitamin C and other skin brighteners.

Sebum, a material secreted by sebaceous glands is a binding substance resembling glue, that must be dissolved and broken down so that newer, younger cells can come to the surface. Salicylic (BHA), and glycolic acid (AHA) penetrate hair follicles inside your skin to dissolve excess sebum and unclog pores. By removing dead skin cells, it eliminates the build-up of blackheads and whiteheads, which lead to acne breakouts and also cause dull aged skin. Additionally, the proper peels can treat various skin tones for hyperpigmentation and melasma by removing damaged layers of the skin surface while using active vitamins to brighten and fade discoloration and help prevent further sun damage.

Hyperpigmentation is a problem often solved in combination with peels, IPL treatments, lasers, and micro-needling. The severity of melanin presence may impose limits on effectiveness. Therefore, there are many reasons to find a qualified dermatologist for evaluation of these critical issues to find the best solutions for your skin.

4) Vitamin A and Beta Carotene: Vitamin A retinoids have been used to excellent effect in many aspects of skin care. First used to aid severe acne problems, it has been discovered to have multiple beneficial effects. It decreases pores size, diminishes old blemishes, strengthens the surface of the skin, and increases blood flow.

Carotenes are an essential part of general nutrition, but the use of these natural materials has recently come front and center in skin care. Carotenes are a vital part of any contemporary skin care routine., from accelerating skin cell turnover to stimulating the creation of new epidermal cell.

Benefits of Exfoliation

5) Plant enzymes: Bromelain (from pineapple) and papaya are popular additions to effective skin care. Bromelain has long been known as an anti-inflammatory agent useful for injury recovery, but more recently it has been recognized as a fabulous part of skin care. Papaya has long been used for skin care in the South Pacific but is becoming better known not only as an excellent dietary addition but as a topical skin care which, in its raw form, can be used as a mask.There are many plant enzyme peels which are highly efficient and safely used for more sensitive skin.

6) Vitamin C: This widely-recognized antioxidant is now known to be synergistically useful in topical skin care formulations. It works biologically to counter excess exposure to environmental pollution, UV exposure, and stress. Vitamin C is often combined with other skin care formulations for greater effectiveness. An incredibly useful tip is to apply antioxidants with your mineral full broad spectrum SPF 30 and above sunblock for daily use come rain or shine. As the antioxidants help to treat and protect your skin from harsh UV rays and environmental pollution that can still penetrate through your sunblock for even more UV and infrared protection.

Contemporary skin care research has gone far beyond what was available even five years ago. The best approach for healthy and beautiful skin is comprehensive. It includes a combination of treatments with active ingredients that prevent, correct and protect your skin from various internal and external factors for a healthy, youthful and more radiant complexion. There is now more emphasis on customized skin care, that is safer and more effective for individual skin types and concerns. The future of skin care treatments and options is looking brighter than ever before!

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