By Patricia Wersinger
It’s no secret that exfoliating our skin regularly is an essential part of a good skincare routine. All skin types need to regularly slough off the dead skin cells on the surface which not only makes our skin feel softer, but also allows for skin care products to work more effectively. A freshly exfoliated skin is the easiest way to achieve a healthy glow, and who does not want that? It also stimulates the production of collagen, and creates a smoother surface for makeup application.
Though exfoliation is the key to radiant, youthful skin, there are different methods that can be utilized. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, so read on for some of the best ones for your needs. Dermatologists advise staying away from harsh scrubbers made from fruit seeds or nut shells because they contain sharp edges that can tear the skin. Glycolic acids are considered safer and most effective at removing debris and penetrating oil to clean up clogged pores.
I tried and recommend GlyPro Exfoliating Facial Cleanser by SkinMedica that contains an effective amount of glycolic and salicylic acids to promote skin renewal with tiny eco -friendly micro beads , a wax-like substance that surrounds the product’s jojoba liquid. As you use it to wash your face, the beads melt into nothing while olive leaf extract and polyphenols keep the skin hydrated. Apply a small amount to fingertips, add a little water and gently massage into face. Rinse thoroughly and fresh new skin is delivered. Use twice a week.
Available at http://www.skinmedica.com
Glytone’s Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel is formulated in a water and alcohol base to facilitate the absorption of glycolic acid in the outer layer of the epidermis. It exfoliates thoroughly but gently without dehydrating the skin. It is recommended between professional office peels to maintain the benefits of a peel, or to use twice a week to smooth the skin. You’ll love its gentle but effective power.
Always make sure to follow instructions thoroughly and there’s usually no need to exfoliate more than twice a week. Many doctors report on the tendency of some women to over exfoliate with potent acid based formulas. Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth VanderVeer creator of VOLANTE, has noticed this phenomenon in her daily practice and told me that the side effects of over exfoliation can include redness, tightness, roughness, dry patches, swelling, pain, sun-sensitivity and inflammation. The problem lies in the fact that alpha-hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin via an inflammatory mechanism. Glycolic acid should only be used episodically to treat the skin (like in a doctor’s office), but she believes that on a daily basis, we should not be using pro-inflammatory ingredients on our skin. They can make generally normal skin turn sensitive because the healthy skin cells, which protect its natural lipid barrier have been sloughed off. There are also deeper, less visible problems that can occur on a microscopic level due to too aggressive, pro-inflammatory exfoliation. Dr VanderVeer warns, “Your skin is like your garden: Alpha-Hydroxy acids act as “fertilizer” for your skin – you use fertilizer on your garden episodically, but if you use it daily or weekly, you will harm it”.
To provide the gentlest exfoliating possible, Dr. VanderVeer patented a blend of botanical actives with bromelain in every VOLANTE Skincare formula, thus providing built-in effective but gentle anti -inflammatory exfoliation every time you use any of the products. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme found in pineapples that de-flames the skin. Think of it as “water” for your garden/skin that keeps it growing and glowing every day. This allows all of the other actives to work faster and deeper, and it provides an instant polish to the skin with every use.
The Radiant Glow Body Firming Serum contains 13% of Dr VanderVeer’s blend of botanical actives to safely and effectively polish away the dead surface layer of cells while also delivering a firming peptide to the deep layers of the skin. You will notice that the appearance of brown spots and acne scars gradually vanish without causing inflammation. No paragons, sulfates, petrolatum or synthetic fragrances.
Sensitive skins will also enjoy Aquareveal’s Satin Bright Water Peel. It provides gentle, thorough exfoliation with 95% organic or natural ingredient with hyaluronic acid using a blend of water and a conditioner called bromide that helps the formula bond to dead skin cells and loosen them up before lifting them away. There is no inflammation because the product adjusts to the level of exfoliation that the skin needs without damaging it, while nourishing botanicals moisturize the skin. In a clinical study, Aquareveal was tested at different time intervals on the skin. It was discovered that there was no difference when the product was used for a longer period of time vs a shorter period of time. It only exfoliates dead skin without touching anything below and leaves skin feeling like satin. I like to use it after swimming to remove the chlorine. After use skin is left with no discomfort or dryness at all. The collection also has the peel for body, eye and lip as well.
For my daughter’s sensitive skin with a bit of acne, I loved Eau Thermale Avene Gentle Purifying Scrub. It uses non-abrasive beads made out of jojoba esters combined with beta hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate and purify pores. Inflammation is reduced immediately by the high concentration of Avène Thermal Spring Water, proven by over 150 stringent biological, pharmacological and clinical studies to provide skin-restoring, soothing, calming and softening benefits with a fragrance tolerated by even the most sensitive skin. Use once or twice a week. C
If you cannot bear acids or anything clinging or rubbing on your skin at all, you will appreciate LiftLab’s NEW PURIFY + CLARIFY Daily Cleanser, Detox Mask and Gentle Exfoliant – a 3-in-1 treatment. It’s super gentle, for even the most sensitive skins, and the moisturizing cleanser becomes an exfoliating mask if left on for 3 minutes. Lift Lab’s cleanser offers gentle acid-free exfoliation as it brightens the skin and improves its elasticity thanks to their patented cell protecting protein. The formula was first discovered as the secret to survival in plants and marine life that thrive in icy Arctic waters. Use it morning and night without hesitation. It leaves even the most sensitive skin absolutely calm and beautified.
For a super gentle body exfoliator, try Pevonia De-Aging Saltmousse with a lovely papaya-pineapple scent. It sloughs off dry skin cells with Pevonia’s a foaming base of salts that nourish the body without irritating the skin thanks to pineapple’s soothing anti inflammatory qualities. Your skin is left feeling balanced and soft, never tight.
If you are looking for alternatives to water based scrubs and acids and enjoy dermaplaning in your doctor’s office or at the spa, try this new home exfoliating device DERMAFLASH. Inspired by dermaplaning, a method of exfoliation that consists of using a 10 gauge scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dulling dead skin cells in order to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion, it refinishes skin by removing dead skin cells and built up debris with a subtle sonic vibration, the device is gentle and goes as far as removing facial hair for a smooth and younger looking skin. It is lauded by make up artists to prep the skin for better make up application.
Exfoliation is a necessary step to keep your skin smooth and glowing. But beware of the dangers of inflammation. Find the method that works the best for your skin’s requirements and remember that less is always best.