What is Skin Exfoliation?
Who wouldn’t want to have a smooth clear skin, as the ideal skin is associated with the skin of babies, exfoliation was introduced to reach a similar texture of babies’ skin.
Exfoliation refers to the removal of the outer layer of dead skin cells accumulated on the surface of the skin, whether in the natural process known as Desquamation, during the normal life cycles of skin cells or by using skin exfoliants.
Unfortunately Desquamation doesn’t happen easily for most people, especially those who suffer from acne and similar skin conditions, which results in the accumulation of the dead cells on the surface of the skin, blocking the pores and causing several problems such as acne, textured skin, and paleness. Therefore, using exfoliation can have a prominent positive effect on the condition of the skin.
Why should you exfoliate your skin?
As mentioned earlier, accumulated dead skin cells can cause a lot of unwanted problems, big and small, and getting rid of these dead skin cells should avoid us having such issues, but how important is it really to exfoliate your skin?
- The American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) indicated that exfoliation contributes to obtaining a brighter and healthier skin, in addition to its visible effect in enhancing the absorption of the topical treatments used in skin routine.
- Exfoliation contributes to preventing the accumulation of dead cells in the pores, which reduces the chance of acne.
- Long-term effects of exfoliation includes the increase of collagen production this protein is responsible for giving the skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and stretch marks, giving the skin a vibrant, dewy appearance.
What are the types of exfoliation?
The methods of skin exfoliation are divided mainly into two types, and the following is a description of them in some detail:
One of the advantages of this method, that it is inexpensive and easily done at home but most dermatology specialists including Nattoral’s team, aren’t huge fans of physical exfoliation, especially if you’re still a beginner, as excessive rubbing causes irritation, redness, and dryness of the skin, and will also contribute to worsening acne.
This type includes using specific acids on the skin, either for a short or a long period of time. Depending on the concentration. These acid work by breaking down the hydrogen bonds between dead skin cells, hence allowing these cells to be shed off without the need to put the skin under the pressure of rubbing, that’s why this method is gentler on the skin.
The type of acid used varies according to the intended use. It is preferable to consult a dermatologist about the appropriate type of acid and how to use it. Among the available options of these acids are:
- Alpha hydroxy acid
- Beta hydroxy acid
- Poly hydroxy acids
- Retinol, or some enzymes that not only contribute to getting rid of dead skin cells, but are also able to regenerate new skin cells.
Excellent results are one of the most important advantages of chemical exfoliation, but some types of acids are very strong and cannot be used without consulting a specialist or outside specialized clinics, which may be a little expensive.
You can now consult the Natural Medical team to help you choose the right acid for your skin type and problems.
Tips to protect the skin from any damage that may occur as a result of wrong skin peeling:
To ensure have good results from exfoliation and avoiding causing any damage, we recommend following these tips:
- If you have sensitive, very dry or acne prone skin, try to use weak acids, and avoid using physical exfoliation.
- Inform your dermatologist of any type of skin care products you use, because some medications and care products increase the sensitivity of the skin and make it more susceptible to irritation, and with exfoliation, the skin will dry out and the acne will worsen. Examples of these products are retinol compounds, Or benzoyl peroxide, or Retinoid creams.
- Avoid exfoliation of all types in case of the presence of open wounds.
- Avoid strong acids and physical exfoliation in case of highly pigmented skin.
- Maintain a high level of hydration at all times.
- In case of physical exfoliation, avoid putting too much pressure on the skin, and when using an exfoliation brush, make sure it’s not too coarse.
- Palmer, Angela. “Exfoliation Tips to Help Acne-Prone Skin.” Verywell Health, 22 Nov. 2019, verywellhealth.com/exfoliation-basics-15626.
- Mona, Breanna. “Exfoliating 101: What It Means, What It Does, Plus Tips, Tools, and Techniques.” Greatist, Greatist, 27 May 2020, greatist.com/health/what-is-exfoliating.
- “How to Safely Exfoliate at Home.” American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/safely-exfoliate-at-home.