Have you had an overwhelming urge to scrub your skin every time you remove your mask? If you answer yes, you are not alone. According to American consumer reports there has been a significant increase in the purchasing of exfoliators, cleansers and scrub skin care products. This makes sense when you consider how mask wearing can trap sweat and bacteria on the skin. Regular exfoliation can help prevent clogged pores, resulting in fewer breakouts.
What are clogged pores? They are the result of dead skin cells becoming trapped in your skin instead of being shed.
What are pores?
Pores are tiny openings in the skin that release oil and sweat. When pores are clogged, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads and acne. Environmental factors can also contribute to clogged pores which include: air pollution/toxins, oil from your hands transferred when you touch your face & sweat. Problem is…YOU CAN OVER EXFOLIATE! Over exfoliating can lead to red, dry and inflamed skin. For darker skin types it can also lead to hyperpigmentation. This begs the question… what is the best exfoliating treatment?
Skin naturally sheds dead skin cells over 28-30 days. Certain factors can stall this process (dry, cold air, indoor heating systems, stress) so exfoliation is critical to increasing skin cell turnover, especially in the winter months. There are several different ways to release the dead skin buildup and stimulate the turnover of new cells being made and making their way to the skin’s surface.
PHYSICAL EXFOLIATION is the manual dislodging of dirt and removing of surface skin cells with textured bits (diamond tip microdermabrasion) and grainy particles (scrubs & crystal microdermabrasion). The type of physical exfoliation MUST be tailored to your skin type. Overly sensitive, thin or reddened skin types may not be good candidates. This doesn’t mean this type of exfoliation is not beneficial but getting professional advice from a skin specialist is important. Stripping away too much dead skin or initiating an inflammatory reaction will lead to an increase in trans epidermal water loss (evaporation of skin moisture).
CHEMICAL EXFOLIATORS, such as alpha and beta-hydroxy acids have become quite popular as they are some of the gentlest ways to break down the bond that is holding the dead skin cells in place as well as decongesting pores. As with physical exfoliation, you can make the wrong choice and cause irritation. Please see descriptions below to help you understand some of the different options for various skin types. Consultation with a skin care professional can help with what may seem to be a confusing decision.
Normal skin is clear and not easily irritated. Many people who have “normal” skin find that they can try any exfoliating technique or product without experiencing adverse effects. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Dry skin is flaky or rough. AHAs such as glycolic acid can break through the surface layer of your skin, allowing your moisturizer to hydrate your new skin cells more effectively.
Oily skin appears shiny and feels greasy. People with oily skin are often able to use stronger chemical and physical exfoliators. There is such a thing as over exfoliating and increasing the skin’s oil production.
Combination skin is characterized by a mix of oily and dry sections. You should focus on each area individually and alternate products as needed. For example, you may be able to use a chemical exfoliator or scrub on oily areas one day and a low-level AHA on dry areas the next day.
A good recommendation to keep skin healthy, clear & glowing, stimulate collagen, minimize breakouts & improve absorption of serums, is to get a professional exfoliating treatment at least every season change. This is an opportunity for a good skin assessment and skin type appropriate treatment. Keeping the results going between facials can be discussed at the time of treatment.
Our favourite Professional Exfoliating Treatments are:
bFabulous Facial. Customizable diamond tip for physical exfoliation for all skin types while simultaneously infusing a hydrating serum deep into the skin resulting in plumper, smoother and glowing skin. The added neuromuscular stimulation and antioxidant treatment leaves your skin feeling and looking lifted and soothed.
Our favourite chemical exfoliating treatment for normal to dry skin is Brilliance Facial. Hydrating, comfortable treatment that allows us to control the level of flaking/peeling. Our favourite chemical peel for oily and acneic skin is AFA Clay Peel. It draws oil out of pores and reduces dead skin buildup where acne causing bacteria live.
Exfoliation can also be achieved with micro-needling treatments. These treatments are also called collagen induction therapy. This treatment creates micro-injuries that stimulates the body to create new collagen as well as sloughing of dead skin cells. This is something you can discuss with your skin care provider to see if it is an option for you.
Written by: Sue Wagner, RN Owner of Skin Appeal, Orangeville (formerly Skin by Mosaic)
WANT TO TRY A DIY HOME FACIAL SCRUB?
CAFÉ AU LAIT FACIAL SCRUB
What you’ll need:
- ½ cup coffee grounds
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp milk or buttermilk
- 1 tsp honey
- Add all ingredients to an airtight container and stir well.
- Gently splash your face with water or wet your face using a spray mist.
- Spread scrub over your face and neck, avoiding your eyes.
- Wet your hands and begin gently rubbing the mixture into your skin in a circular motion. Continue for 3-4 minutes. Rinse off using lukewarm water and pat dry.
- Store any remaining scrub in the fridge.