Exfoliating skin is a broad topic that can fill up volumes! What is it? What are the methods? What methods and products are best for at-home treatments? Good questions!
Simply: Exfoliation is the process of removing the top layer of dead skin to reveal healthy skin right underneath. When the 'glue' which holds dead skin on the top layers of our skin is loosened and shed, the fresh skin beneath shines forth. Serums and moisturizers work their magic better on exfoliated skin because they don't need to fight through the layers of dead skin sitting on top. Exfoliated skin looks healthy, brighter, less lined, smaller-pored. In essence--it glows!
First of all, some exfoliation treatments are to be left in the hands of licensed estheticians and medical practitioners. Laser procedures, deep Microdermabrasion, and high percentage Acid Peels should be administered by those who are qualified and trained to administer these treatments.
We're talking about the methods we can safely do ourselves at home as part of our skincare ritual.
There are two primary types of at-home exfoliation: Physical and Chemical.
Physical can be anything from using a simple washcloth, a mechanical cleanser (such as Clarisonic or Foreo) to gels and cleansers with micro abrasive beads or granular sugar type scrubs. All of these used in moderation can be beneficial for our skin. However, if used too often, you may risk trying to exfoliate skin which has already been exfoliated--so you're basically scraping the healthy skin! Some sugar scrubs are too harsh (our two products which contain sugar have ground the sugar to a finer consistency to avoid any scraping).
The Second method of at-home exfoliation is Chemical which includes Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA's (Glycolic, Lactic), Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA's (Salicylic), and Fruit Enzymes (Pumpkin, Papaya, and so many others). Most home administered AHA exfoliation treatments have a lower percent concentration (10% or less) and Salicylic are normally capped at 2% or lower. AHA's and BHA's can be in cleansers, leave-on creams, or masks. Most of these are applied once or twice a week. There will be tingling when starting to use these treatments--that is normal, however, some sensitive skin may not tolerate these at all. It's always best to do a patch test to make sure.
The products we offer with Exfoliating properties are:
- Replenishing Emulsified Sweet Almond Body Scrub- a very finely ground sugar scrub which is emulsified and turns into a lotion in the shower
- Pucker Up! Softening Lip Scrub- also a finely ground sugar scrub for lips (can also be used on nail cuticles!)
- Fresh Skin Face Cream with Lactic Acid-a wonderful lactic acid creamy lotion promoting gentle exfoliation (start using 2-3 times per week and then build up to using nightly or daily)
- Pumpkin Enzyme Mask with Glycolic Acid- a mask which contains 4% Glycolic Acid in addition to the Pumpkin Enzymes. Can be used once or twice per week. For all the skin loving benefits of Pumpkin Enzymes--please see my Blog of 8/20/19 on that topic.
- Bright Delight Toner with Glycolic and Lactic Acids- a toner containing a very mild 3% of Glycolic and 3% Lactic Acids. It's designed to be light enough for Effective daily use!
- The Trio Toner- a stronger toner with Pumpkin Enzymes and 6% Glycolic and 6% Lactic Acids. Wonderful to use 2-3 times per week.
Exfoliation is a wonderful way to reveal fresh healthy skin! We think using the above products can Effectively help in that effort. Done once or twice a week these can really be game changing for your skin. Of course, please use common sense and always 'listen' to your skin's cues, especially if you have sensitive skin. Over exfoliating can have negative effects on the skin; so avoid overdoing a good thing! (You know the saying--too much of a good thing...)
Also, remember to ALWAYS use sun protection especially when using products with AHA's or BHA's. This is not optional! The newly revealed fresh skin needs to be protected from the sun's rays. (Okay, done with my 'preaching' about sun protection!).