Q. I know I should be exfoliating regularly, but I don’t know much about it. A little guidance, please?
MyChelle Dermaceuticals licensed esthetician Catie Wiggy responds:
Psst… Do you want to know a beauty secret?
There’s a simple reason why men are slower than women to show signs of aging on their faces: They shave. Yep, that’s right. The act of shaving physically exfoliates the skin, eliminating dead skin cells on the surface, promoting healthy rejuvenation and increasing cellular turnover. The result is smoother, softer, younger-looking skin.
Did you know the skin naturally sheds more than a billion skin cells a day? Gross but true! As we get older though, this natural shedding aspect slows due to genetics, UV damage and age. When the skin isn’t shedding dead cells, it can appear dull, flaky and dry, and, in some cases, you can experience clogged pores and breakouts. To keep your skin in tip-top shape, there is one beauty secret that truly works time and time again, and that is exfoliation!
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliates work to gently slough away the top layer of dead skin or release the intercellular glue hanging onto those dead cells, thus exposing newer and healthier skin cells. Exfoliation also unblocks pores—which in turn leaves them open and more receptive to whatever topical products (serums, lotions, etc.) you choose to apply next. So, not only does exfoliation have its own benefits—it also makes your other skin care treatments more effective.
What are the types of exfoliations?
There are two types of exfoliation:
- Mechanical Exfoliation – using some sort of granular or physical exfoliator to roll across the skin, sloughing off the dead skin cells. Scrubs are a great OTC treatment while microdermabrasions can be done professionally.
- Chemical Exfoliation – use enzyme and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) to loosen the glue-like substance that holds cells together, allowing them to slough away. Facial peels are a form of chemical exfoliation and they can either be very gentle OTC or very aggressive doctor only.
How do you know what type is right for you?
MyChelle peels are formulated to dissolve dry, dead skin cells while increasing cellular turnover deep within your skin. This is a safe, natural chemical process that takes place in the skin. Our peels are like unstoppable nutrient superheroes, packed with potent blends of special plant-derived skin brighteners and texturizers that help battle signs of sun damage. Natural, enzyme-rich alpha-hydroxy acids smooth the look of wrinkles and leave an invigorating, tingling sensation behind.
For combination oily/blemish prone skin types try the Incredible Pumpkin Peel loaded with pumpkin pulp, enzymes and antioxidants. This fortifying peel rejuvenates and supports cellular integrity while clearing pores and aiding detoxification. Skin is left feeling incredibly soft, smooth and clean with a renewed healthy glow. This is a great beginner’s peel!
If you’re concerned about hyperpigmentation and sun damage the Apple Brightening Peel should be your go-to treatment for brightening the skin. A potent blend of apple fruit skin brighteners and texturizers combat and repair signs of sun damage. Lactic and azelaic acids effectively restore youthful tone, texture and firmness. Plant-derived gallic acid and mulberry bark extract naturally diminish UV-induced discoloration and age-spots.
Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles using the Fruit Fiesta Peel, perfect for revealing youthful, vibrant, beautiful skin. Potent multi-fruit acids and 7 percent lactic acid blend smooth the look of wrinkles, leaving skin feeling refreshed and invigorated. You may experience a light tingling sensation with this fantastic treatment. This is MyChelle’s most active exfoliate.
MyChelle has created top-notch physical exfoliators that slough off dead skin cells and instantly improve your skin’s surface texture and appearance. Our scrubs are designed to roll across the skin, lifting up surface debris and dead cells. Our exceptional spherical beads gently remove the gunk without stripping away moisture or causing irritation.
For an easy to use weekly scrub that’s perfect for all skin types try our Fruit Enzyme Scrub loaded with dual skin polishers and dissolving enzymes that quickly exfoliate dead skin cell build-up and unwanted debris in pores. Super-smooth jojoba beads and refined bamboo stem powder gently polish the skin without irritating or tearing the surface. Fruit enzymes dissolve dulling residue for ultra-smooth, ultra-soft skin.
Want an added boost of moisture from your exfoliation? Try the Tropical Skin Smoother designed for dry skin, but really great for everyone! Ultra-fine bamboo stem powder and 1.6 percent lactic acid release and dissolve dead cell build up to give dry skin a brighter appearance. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this exfoliator also helps ingredients deeply penetrate into the skin.
A few reminders
Exfoliating is essential to beautiful, glowing skin, but over exfoliating can be harmful. It is possible to exfoliate too much and your skin will be the first to tell you if you’ve gone too far. It is recommended that most women exfoliate twice or three times per week. You can easily interchange your exfoliates too, using a scrub one day and a peel a couple of days later. Mix and match or stick with the one that works best for you.
Before trying any new product or form of exfoliation, test-patch the product on the skin in a small area to see if there is a reaction or sensitivity to the product.
Don’t forget one last step
Exfoliation will make your skin increased to sun sensitivity. Sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 is a must when using any AHA-containing products. Apply sunscreen liberally, every day and reapply as needed. MyChelle has an array of über-safe, natural sun protectants that will guard against both UVA and UVB rays. Titanium Dioxide and clear zinc oxide offer clean, broad-spectrum defense that helps prevent the signs of aging, and research has even shown that zinc oxide can shield against ultraviolet rays as well. What’s more, our products contain soothing aloe to ease signs of redness and irritation before they have a chance to occur, and restorative algae reduces sun-induced inflammation while replenishing oils hydrate and relieve your skin.
Catie Wiggy is Innovative Programs Manager for MyChelle Dermaceuticals. She has been working in the skincare industry for over 10 years as a makeup artist and licensed esthetician. She holds several certifications in esthetics and has hands-on experience with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, acne management and anti-aging treatments.