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Skin Series: Exfoliation

Be patient with me because this one's a long one...In order to have healthy skin, you have to establish a healthy skin care regimen. That includes cleansing, refining or exfoliating, toning and moisturizing. All steps are just as important as the next, but focusing on exfoliation can be the deciding factor if your product is penetrating the surface of the skin. The corneum layer’s health and skin hydration are major factors affecting skins absorption.

There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and mechanical. With chemical exfoliation, dead skin cells are dissolved by chemical agents. The Aveda “Exfoliant Tea Tree Compress” is one example. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) penetrate into the skin and dissolves the intercellular glue to break down dead skin cells, and the enzyme peel is an exfoliating treatment for clients who are Retin-A users and for “ultrasensitive” clients who have skin that is too sensitive for glycolic peels. Glycolic peels penetrate better and deeper because of its smaller molecular weight and size. It proves to be beneficial for acne prone skin because it helps keep skin free of any excess oils. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) dissolve oils from the skin. Salicylic acid has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Some chemical exfoliations are safe for daily use.

With mechanical exfoliation, dead skin is physically rubbed off the skin by machine (Microdermabrasion) or by hand (Gommage). Most mechanical exfoliations are not safe for daily use and should be done and/or used once weekly because it can cause skin irritations. It is important for all skin types to exfoliate because it improves skin texture, increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture, and it opens the pores and cleanse the follicles to makes extracting easier. Ultimately product penetration is improves and delivery of ingredients into the epidermis is more effective.

There are many types of exfoliating treatments available from brushing treatments and light enzyme peels to strong surgical peels that can only be administered by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Granular scrubs are normally used after cleansing and rinsed with water. Microdermabrasion is achieved by spraying microcrystals across the skin’s surface through a hand piece and can diminish the look sun damage, pigmentation, comedones, fine lines, and wrinkles, coarsely textured skin and enlarged pores. In the hands of skilled professionals, Microdermabrasion can enhance the results of other skin products and procedures.

Exfoliation is beneficial for oily, clogged skin with minor breakouts, dry, dehydrated skin with a tight dry surface, dull lifeless skin and skin that has a tremendous amount of buildup of dead cells that produces a slight gray color on the surface. However, exfoliation can cause irritation and damage to the skin and capillaries if overused or used incorrectly. It can also cause premature aging. To avoid any damage to the skin, do not use brushing machines, scrubs or any harsh mechanical peeling techniques. Exfoliating treatments will always be important to the beauty industry because without removing the first layer of dead skin, products will not penetrate the surface of the skin and it will just build up, causing pores to clog.

I know that's a lot to take in but I'm here to educate for those that don't know. Let me know if this was helpful to you.

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Phoenix Beauty 101 started as my name in my faux business plan when I was in cosmetology school. I needed a name to finish my project to graduate. It stuck! Fast forward and its been my social media persona since 2011...

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