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How can exfoliation improve my skin?

How can exfoliation improve my skin?

Will exfoliation help the health of my skin?

The fast answer is yes – exfoliation will help the health of your skin!
Skin exfoliation improves the quality and tone of skin by assisting in the removal    
of dead skin cells from the surface (the human skin produces about one million skin cells per minute, which equates to over five billion skin cells per day). As our skin cells renew, old surface cells harden and lose moisture, and eventually detach from skin to allow for new cells to come through (this process is called desquamation).
Desquamation also eliminates damaged and contaminated cells that carry pollutants and micro-organisms from the environment. These dead skin cells don’t always effectively fall from our skin, meaning they can dry and dull the skin’s surface, and cause clogging and congestion. Through professional and at-home exfoliation, these dulling skin cells are effectively removed, and newer cells are revealed for a fresher, healthier appearance.

Acneic skin: Acneic skin produces five times more dead skin cells than other skin conditions, meaning proper exfoliation can have great benefits for acneic skin. Hydroxy acids, in general, will be effective, as they help the dead cells detach, preventing dead skin cells from clogging the follicle and contributing to acne. (Avoid physical exfoliants / scrubs, which can worsen inflammation.)

Aging skin: When we are young, our cells renew roughly every 12 -19 days. But as we get older, this process slows down, as the “glue” that holds our cells together becomes denser. The natural sloughing of older cells from the skin becomes more difficult, causing a build up that results in dull, thick skin with less tone. On average, cell renewal takes from 28 – 35 days in mid-life, and up to 90 days in maturity.
Exfoliation is especially effective on prematurely-aging and mature skin, as it stimulates cell renewal faster than the body can on its own.

Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is an increase in color caused by either an increase in melanin, an increase in melanocytes, or is from substance that adds color by forming deposits in skin. Exfoliation helps shed these pigmented cells more quickly, and will also help remove the dead skin cells so ingredients can more effectively penetrate hyperpigmentation at its source.

Dry, Dehydrated Skin: A lack of moisture in skin leads to gaps in the cellular barrier. Leaving skin feeling tight and stretched, many tend to overmoisturize, which sticks the older skin cells down, leading to a dull, uneven skin tone. Through exfoliation, dying skin cells are effectively removed, and moisturizing and hydrating ingredients can penetrate deeper into skin to help ease dry and dehydrated skin conditions.

When not to exfoliate

If skin is sensitized, exfoliation may not be for you, as it
may further compromise your skin’s natural protective barriers. It is important to always follow the direction of
your skin therapist when exfoliation is a part of your
at-home regimen and professional skin treatments.what is an exfoliant?

An exfoliant is any agent that removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface to reveal newer, smoother skin that’s underneath. When we exfoliate, we automatically cause skin renewal because new cells are stimulated to push towards the surface to replace the newly removed dead cells.
Exfoliants can be physical or chemical, and their usage is dependent upon each individual’s skin care needs.

Physical exfoliants use friction to remove dead skin cells, either through the use of a tool (such as a brush or sponge) or a gentle abrasive (such as Corn Cob Meal, Rice Bran or Oatmeal). Depending on the amount of friction and the nature of the abrasive used, results will vary. You can find Corn Cob Meal in Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub and Rice Bran in Daily Microfoliant®.

Unlike physical exfoliants that remove debris through gentle abrasion, chemical exfoliants smooth skin by dissolving the intercellular “glue” that attaches cells to the surface. Hydroxy acids, Retinol, and enzymes (proteins that initiate a chemical reaction to break the chemical bonds of older cells and “digest” them) are a few examples of chemical exfoliants.

What about over-exfoliation?

The recent emergence of much more aggressive exfoliation treatments, such as dermabrasion and chemical peels, has lead many consumers to over-exfoliate their skin. Research at The International Dermal Institute indicates that a series of exfoliation treatments can actually be much more effective than one very aggressive lunchtime procedure. In fact, any skin treatment – including exfoliation – that causes the skin to become red and irritated is triggering the inflammatory response, which in turn accelerates premature aging. A more gradual approach, which includes professional-strength exfoliation treatments from your skin therapist combined with an at-home regimen, will reveal a dramatically smoothed complexion without any of the undesirable side effects.

Hydroxy Acids
Today we have many choices for exfoliation from Hydroxy Acids – Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic are just a few. Hydroxy acids are the most common form of at-home exfoliant because they are extremely effective and, when used properly, very safe.

Glycolic Acid was the first to be used in a cosmetic application, and is still widely-used despite its high incidence of skin irritation. Lactic and Salicylic Acids, which are as effective as Glycolic Acid, are now the choice of leading skin care professionals because they deliver the same level of results with considerably less irritation. In fact, Salicylic Acid has exhibited anti-inflammatory properties while effectively exfoliating surface cells, which is why it is a key ingredient in Daily Resurfacer. And Gentle Cream Exfoliant and Skin Renewal Booster are two great at-home exfoliants that use this combination of Lactic and Salicylic Acids.

Exfoliation and solar defense

Hydroxy acids increase sensitivity to sun as little as 13% and up to 50%. Because of this, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) requires that sunscreen must be applied after any hydroxy acid exfoliation treatment – good advice for your at-home regimen as well.

Research shows sunscreens formulated with antioxidant vitamins provide enhanced protection against damaging UV light and free radicals. With this increased protection from antioxidant vitamins, there is no need to add more potentially-irritating sunscreen chemicals to create a higher SPF level.

Dermalogica’s Solar Defense System delivers this antioxidant technology through UV Smart Booster Technology, a microcapsule containing antioxidant vitamins that bursts upon contact with UV light, releasing the antioxidants onto skin, providing protection when it’s needed most.

Make sunscreen as much a part of your skin care regimen as cleansing and moisturizing. Apply at least a walnut-sized amount of sunscreen to skin and neck before going out into the daylight, and after swimming or exercising, to impede the damage caused by UV light.

get mapped. get results.
Speak with your skin therapist about Face MappingSM, the skin analysis that breaks your skin down into 14 individual zones so that your condition can be effectively treated. Regardless of your needs, your skin therapist can accurately prescribe a regimen with Face Mapping that will effectively treat all areas of your skin.


Have a skin condition question?

Please select from our FAQs below.


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