My Thoughts on Exfoliating
Today's entry is a hot topic in the skincare world. People have strong feelings about it- professionals and clients alike. We are going to dive deep into the world of exfoliating.
Let's start with the fact that our skin actually exfoliates all on its own. Scientists call this natural process "desquamation" and it takes around 28 days (give or take a week or so, depending on your age) for the natural exfoliation cycle to be complete. During this time period, our skin cells are born, grow, mature, reach the cellular equivalent of “old age” and die. Our body manages to do this in almost a month, and when this process works optimally, your skin maintains itself. This is why some people have no need to exfoliate at all. Their skin just looks healthy and smooth- thanks to their efficient desquamation cycle.
Some skin types need extra encouragement and that's where exfoliating comes into play. This can come in a variety of ways. Masks that contain acids or enzymes are considered a chemical exfoliant. A physical exfoliant is your typical "face scrub" or cleansing brushes. They all work in very different ways and are not meant for everyone.
Sensitive skin types often benefit from a product that does not contain "granules" because they can be irritating to the skin. Using ingredients like enzymes such as pineapple, pumpkin and papaya extracts can work wonders on the skin without causing trauma and almost all skin types can benefit from them. Radiant Facial Cleansing Bar or Lemongrass Enzyme Creme are great examples of this.
Rough, dry/combo skin types often benefit from a manual scrub to encourage the "sloughing off" that is needed. Ingredients like jojoba beads and clay work well for skin types that can handle it. Fruit Acid Cleansing Scrub and Revive Facial Cleanser contain ingredients like these.
Facial brushes are in a category of their own and some skin types can handle them- depending on your sensitivity level or inflammation. You wouldn't want to use a brush over red, irritated skin or acne.
No matter what your skin type is or which type of exfoliating process you choose to use, in my personal and professional opinion, you shouldn't be doing this more than once or twice a week- at most. I know you may feel very differently about this, but from the research I have done and the many beautiful faces I have treated over the years, it is what I feel is best for the overall health of the skin.
If your daily cleanser, serum, moisturizer, etc all have some form of an exfoliant in them and you use them morning and night, you are doing too much. Your skin will, over time, thin out and possibly be permanently damaged. You will lose that "thickness" that your skin so vitally needs to stay firm and plump. There are lots of scientific terms I could throw around here to elaborate on how and why this happens but I am going to keep it simple, so I don't get too crazy on my soap box!
Also, are you one of those people that if you were on a deserted island you would need your Clarisonic facial brush? Well, you may want to reconsider using something like this every, single day. Just pump the brakes and use it a few times a week instead. I promise you that your skin will still "get clean" with those two beautiful hands of yours and a solid cleanser. You can even add in a clean washcloth- if you need that extra "oomph!"
This is not meant to be a lecture- I promise. I just want to share my knowledge and encourage healthy skincare habits in a world where there is so much misinformation and misleading advertising!! So slow your roll and let your skin do what it does best, which means choose the right type of exfoliant (if your skin needs it!) and use it wisely.
"Be picky with your time, your friends and your skincare"
As always, thank you for reading.