The Real Deal on Peels and Other Exfoliants?

In our teens and early 20’s our skin cells turn over every 28 days.  As we age, our cell turnover slows down and our skin looks and feels duller and less supple.  Slower cell turn over delays the skin cell renewal process called keratosis, which results in less collagen production and outcomes are loss of firmness and increased wrinkles. Luckily, exfoliating is an easy way to help speed up cell turn over.

Exfoliation is key to keeping the skin clean and functioning properly.  Skin is always shedding dead cells, which can interfere with our skin’s renewal process if they aren’t removed.  Without the process of removing these dead cells, breakouts, blackheads or pimples can occur.  It can also prevent products from being absorbed.

There are many different forms of exfoliation, some being easy to do at home and other extensive treatments that need to be performed by a professional.  Exfoliation is categorized into physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation.

 Physical exfoliation is the process of manually scrubbing or scraping the dead skin cells off the skin.  A scrub used 2-3 times a week is a great exfoliation. Dermaplaning or microdermabrasion are professional physical exfoliations that should be performed by a licensed professional, these remove more cells on the epidermis layer of the skin.

 Chemical exfoliates have the ability to penetrate deeper through the cell’s layers. Hydroxy acids (lactic, salicylic and glycolic) and natural enzymes (fruits) dissolve cell debris and buildup. Peels, a chemical exfoliation, are a form of exfoliation on the skin. The peel “unglues” the bonds connecting dead cells to the surface.  Once these cells fall off, it triggers the fibroblast cells in your skin to increase cell turn over and produce more collagen.  The key is to get peels regularly in your professional skincare treatments, either once a month or every 2 weeks, depending on the intensity of the peel.

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