What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is any method of treating the skin where the upper layers of dead skin cells are sloughed off. These methods may include using a loofah, sea salt particles, almond bits, jojoba beans, brushes, micro-dermabrasion, Glycolic Acid, AHA’s, chemical peels, Retin-A and enzymes.
Exfoliation helps to speed up the natural process of removing dead surface skin cells. By taking off these uppermost dead layers you expose the newer, plumper, more translucent and prettier skin underneath. Exfoliation also helps clear the pores of oil and debris to reduce clogging and reduce the potential for breaking out.
Who Should Exfoliate?
Exfoliation is good for all age groups. The average person generates a new cell layer every day. That means the entire epidermis replaces itself about once a month. In addition, as skin ages, the bodies’ sluggish metabolism causes cell replacement to slow down. Cell layers become disorganized, undernourished and damaged. These problems result in skin that appears dull, unevenly pigmented, dry and flaky with visible lines.
What Are The Long-Term Benefits Of Exfoliation?
- Removes the dull, dead cells that accumulate on the skin making it feel rough and dry.
- Diminishes that leathery texture which results from sun exposure and other forms of environmental aging.
- Removes the hardened oil and skin cells that clog the pores, leading to blackheads, milia and eventual breakouts.
- With regular exfoliation the circulation in the skin is stimulated. The blood carries oxygen, water, and important nutrients to feed the skin’s layers.
- Surface epidermal cells become more organized creating a softer, smoother, more even texture. The supporting under layer (the dermis) is reinforced making it thicker, firmer and stronger which means your skin becomes more resistant to losing tone, and lines and wrinkles are minimized.
- Keeps your skin looking fresh, young and vibrant.
What Types Of Exfoliation Are There?
There are two main types of exfoliants: mechanical and chemical. For over thirty years Elizabeth Renee Estheticians have observed the many possible ways to exfoliate and we have found that a combination of these two methods works best for most skin types.
Mechanical exfoliators contain minuscule particles that, when rubbed on your skin, dislodge the dead skin cells. The most common types come from walnut shells and apricot pits. These scrubs have irregular edges that can create microscopic lacerations that will damage the skin and invite in bacteria. We prefer a smooth surfaced scrub, which rolls gently over your skin like ball bearings, lifting off dead flaky cells.
Please Note: If you have inflamed, problem skin you should never use your scrub directly over the inflamed blemishes, this will only increase irritation and cause it to take longer to heal. You can use a scrub; just go around the inflamed blemish. Try using a Salicylic based chemical exfoliant right on the blemish, which kills acne bacteria as it exfoliates (Clear Skin Solution). However, those with blackheads or clogged pores without inflammation should choose a potent mechanical exfoliant, like our Clarifying Crystals to clear the pores.
Chemical exfoliators help complete the exfoliation process by effectively dissolving those cells loosened by you scrub. AHA’s like Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Malic Acid dissolve the glue that sticks dead cells together in the pores and on the surface of the skin. Of these exfoliants Glycolic Acid has the smallest molecule therefore effectively goes the deepest into the skin (Glycolic Serum 15% or Glycolic Serum Plus 20%). Salicylic Acid (a BHA) may not go in as deep, but is the best anti-bacterial (Clear Skin Solution) and Lactic Acid is gentle and the most hydrating (Boost). When used regularly, they send a message to the skin to increase output of new, fresher, younger looking cells.
For Sensitive Skin
- Those with allergy prone or reactive skin that react to chemical exfoliants, AHA’s, BHA’s and Retinols may not be an ideal choice. Instead, try a mechanical scrub like our Honey Beads.
- If your sensitivity means you are not really allergic but you get red easily, you may want to try mixing a gentle scrub with a milky cleanser to reduce the abrasiveness of the scrub.
- If that’s too much for your skin, stick with a form of exfoliation that you don’t rub in. Try a mild enzyme based exfoliant such as Tropical Enzyme Smoothing Peel or Boost, which is very hydrating and based on gentler Lactic Acid.
The Perfect Home Exfoliation:
Exfoliation should be individualized for your unique skin type. At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics we have designed this highly effective series of steps you can do in the comfort of your home. You will just love the results!
- Start with clean skin. Remove dirt and makeup first by using your favorite Elizabeth Renee cleanser. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
- Apply a peanut size amount of an exfoliating scrub suited to your skin type. Moisten fingers slightly if you have sensitive skin. Massage for 30 seconds in small circular motions using minimal pressure focusing on the perimeter of the face and the T-zone. After 30 seconds apply a few drops of your chemical exfoliant right over the scrub.
- Remove what you can with a clean, warm moist face cloth. Then rinse well by splashing water on your face many times and pat dry.
- Apply a specialty serum and follow with a masque suited to your skin type.
- Use your favorite alcohol free toner and finish with an eye crème and hydrating moisturizer.
How Often Should I Exfoliate?
Frequency of home based exfoliation is important and should be based on thickness of your skin and sensitivity levels.
- Thin or sensitive skin – exfoliate once a week.
- Normal skin – exfoliate twice a week
- Thick or dull skin – exfoliate three times a week.
Click here to view a complete list of Elizabeth Renee Exfoliants