Back to Basics: Exfoliation 101

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Body Spa exfoliating body scrub

Exfoliation is one of the most important treatments you can give your skin. As you age, the cell regeneration process slows down, causing dead cells to buildup, giving you a dry, dull and rough surface. It can also result in clogged pores, wrinkles and blemishes.

When you exfoliate your skin, you are removing the dead cells, making way for new, healthier ones to come to the surface. This not only leaves you with a fresh, smooth and younger looking complexion, but also allows for other products to penetrate and treat more effectively.

There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical. Both are instrumental in the fight against many skin conditions including aging and acne, and it’s important for you to know the difference and which one is most beneficial for your skin type.

Physical Exfoliant

Physical exfoliants, also known as scrubs, remove the dead skin cells through friction. Scrubs contain small granules that slough off the dead cells on the surface as you manually rub it into your skin. Physical exfoliants are ideal for full body use, especially for those with dry and flaky skin. Scrubs are also beneficial for those with excessively oily skin. The tiny granules will clean out pores, and remove dirt, makeup and other debris, preventing them from clogging the pores further.

An example of a physical exfoliant would be the Body Spa exfoliating body scrub, which is a full body polish that exfoliates and hydrates the skin and is ideal to use prior to the application of a self-tanner. The Clear Cell medicated acne facial scrub uses micro exfoliating beads to manually clean out pores and Benzoyl peroxide to attack bacteria, preventing infection and further acne breakouts.

Chemical Exfoliant

A chemical exfoliant removes dead skin cells by dissolving the glue like substance that binds the cells together. Most chemical exfoliant products use salicylic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) or retinol. Unlike physical exfoliants, chemical exfoliants are simply applied to the skin and then rinsed off—no scrubbing is required. This makes chemical exfoliants especially beneficial for dry, sensitive and aging skin.

You can use a chemical exfoliant in your everyday cleanser such as the Image MD reconstructive facial cleanser or the Ageless total facial cleanser. For a deeper exfoliation, use a masque such as the Ageless total resurfacing masque. You can also consult your esthetician about which I-Peel would be beneficial for your skin.

When it comes to exfoliation, your goal should be to use a product that allows you to exfoliate as much as possible with minimal irritation. This allows you to achieve the smooth, healthy and radiant skin you desire.

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