Skin Exfoliation: 5 Things You Need to Know

Did you know that men are said to look three to five years younger than their female counterparts?  Why is that, you say? It’s because of the daily shave!  Shaving is a manual form of skin exfoliation.  Not only does shaving remove unwanted facial hair but it also removes the top layer of dry, dead skin cells; revealing fresher, younger skin.  As women, we are not going to start shaving our face every day, not even in the name of beauty.  But what we can do is learn how to exfoliate our skin in a different, more lady-like way.

1. Exfoliating is simply the removal of the dead skin cells to reveal the younger, healthier skin just below the surface.  As we grow older, the need for skin exfoliation becomes more important for a healthy-looking complexion because our body’s ability to turnover skin cells slows down. As a result, our once rosy complexion becomes dull and damaged.

2. Not all skin exfoliation products are created equal; some products may even cause damage to the skin.  Granular or pumice-based exfoliating products can create small tears and irritation in the skin.  Founding medical director of The Skin Center Medical Spa and Pittsburgh cosmetic surgeon, Dominic Brandy, MD recommends using a gentle acid-based exfoliation product such as glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid for daily use at home.  When used as part of a morning skincare routine, the acid-based product gently wipes away the dead skin cells to reveal a healthy, glowing complexion.

3. In the world of skincare, prescription-grade Retin-A is like a magic cream for your face.  When applied in the evening, Retin-A increases cell turnover and exfoliation so effectively that the side effect of exfoliation, flaking skin, is often the reason people give for stopping use of Retin-A.  But if you persevere through the initial flaking stage, beautiful skin will be yours for the keeping! At The Skin Center, we recommend gradually incorporating Retin-A into your skin care routine to help minimize flaking. Start by using Retin-A one night a week for the first week of use; two nights for the second week of use and so on until you are using the product seven nights a week.

Continued and regular use of Retin-A offers a number of skin benefits – only one of which is increased cell turnover and exfoliation.  Check out this blog to learn more about the virtues of regular Retin-A use!

4. These days you can’t open a fashion magazine without reading an article extolling benefits of the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush and this blog is no different. Gentle enough for twice-daily use, this powerhouse cleansing tool delivers a face washing so deep that it actually allows skincare products to penetrate further into the dermis – making your products more effective and longer-lasting.  Beyond gently and daily exfoliation, the complexion-correcting benefits of the Clarisonic include reduced pore size, improved clarity and radiance, softening of fine lines and wrinkles and minimized acne outbreaks too!

5. Professional-grade medical spa treatments exfoliate the skin at a much deeper, more precisely controlled level.  Professional exfoliation not only results in a brighter, more radiant complexion but it also offers lasting improvement to skin tone and texture by fading freckles and sun spots, softening fine lines and wrinkles and reducing acne outbreaks.  Popular medical-grade exfoliating treatments include:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Microdermabrasion Treatments
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing

Now that you know all there is to know about skin exfoliation, it’s time for you to shed the winter doldrums and lackluster complexion and let your beautiful complexion bloom!

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