You’ve heard me say many times that exfoliation is the single most important therapeutic treatment you can do for your skin.
Advances in cosmeucetical ingredients in the past 20 years have enabled people to achieve incredibly effective results by performing exfoliation at home with the consistent use of topical products, especially glycolic based exfoliants.
Like many other subjects in skincare, there is a lot of misinformation available about exfoliation and today’s episode is to simply tell you what exfoliation does and does not do.
First, exfoliation does not make your skin more sensitive to the sun if… and this is very important… If you’re using effective sunscreen and if you’re not over exfoliating
Exfoliation also does not thin your skin… Yes, it removes the extra dead cells - that’s what exfoliate means - to shed from a surface - but it also thickens two of the underlying live layers of the epidermis to make the skin healthier and look better
Next, exfoliation does not dissolve other skincare ingredients applied at the same time… At home glycolics work slowly over hours, not in a few minutes… However, glycolic and salicylic exfoliants will inactivate brittle retinoid products if they are applied at the same time… But I almost always prefer glycolics to retinoids.
Exfoliation does not irritate your skin if your exfoliant is glycolic based, pH adjusted and buffered and in a skintype appropriate vehicle.
Exfoliation does not prevent you from using self tanners… Since self tanners work by staining your dead cells, exfoliating before using self tanners gives you a much more even tan. Yes, exfoliation will fade your self tanner faster so you have to reapply… But it then keeps getting move even and more natural looking.
Exfoliation with at home products does not make you more vulnerable to herpes cold sore out breaks.
So what does exfoliation do?
Exfoliaton makes your skin healthier, more radiant and younger looking
It helps prevent and control acne breakouts
It helps remove early abnormal cells that go on to form precancerous growths
It helps other skincare ingredients penetrate better into your skin
It helps moisturizers work better
It helps remove unwanted brown discolorations
It helps treat and prevent ingrowns
It removes the need for make up and if not completely, then it certainly enables you to use much less
It makes self tanners work better
It helps remove unsightly and uncomfortable callous and fungus on the bottom of your feet
And it treats keratosis Pilaris, also called chicken skin, on your arms and thighs
So there you have it. Now you know why I love exfoliation, and why it’s truly the single most important therapeutic treatment you can do for your skin.