There is a secret to healthy skin. Exfoliation is the key. Exfoliation stimulates collagen and elastin in the skin, as well as moisture molecules. With exfoliation, the accumulation of dead skin cells are removed, allowing healthy cells to receive the moisture and nutrients that they need to survive. Topical skin care can penetrate into the skin as well, giving the most benefit.
With so many skin care companies offering so many choices, how do you know which one is best? There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and manual.
Chemical exfoliation commonly involves the use of fruit acids or AHA’s which have been modified to an acidic pH to stimulate cell renewal. Chemical exfoliation is more gentle on the skin, and can be used on sensitive skin types such as rosacea. Studies have shown that sensitve skin types need exfoliation, which will strengthen the skin. When the skin is strengthened, the skin becomes less sensitive.
Acids have unique properties that can be used to address specific skin concerns. For example, lactic acid is commonly derived from milk, and is ideal to exfoliate sensitve or dark skin phototypes. Mandelic acid is derived from almonds, and has anti-bacterial properties as well as inhibits the formation of melanin in the skin. A common acid is glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane, and has a small molecule which can penetrate deep into the skin. Other acids such as polyhydroxy acids or acidified amino acids, are naturally found in the skin, and can be used to treat all skin types and ethnicities.
Chemical acids are an ideal treatment option, which can target specific skin concerns.
Manual exfoliation is commonly found in the form of scrubs or procedures such as micodermabrasion, and cannot address specific skin concerns. Manual exfoliation can be much more aggressive than chemical exfoliation, and should be used on healthy and intact skin. With healthy skin, manual exfoliation can be combined with chemical exfoliation as an aggressive treatment option. Some skin care companies have designed scrubs that include AHA’s as well, for optimal benefit.
When choosing exfoliation, the options can be specifically designed to treat individual skin concerns. Depending on the health of your skin and your skin concern, will determine which exfoliation option will have the most benefit.
Linda Gulla is a Master Esthetician and an adjuct instructor at Brunswick Community College located in Bolivia, NC. Starting in January 2013, she will be offering distance learning in cosmetic medicine, bringing advanced education to professionals. In April 2013, she will be offering CME to medical professionals through the National Procedures Institute. She can be reached at email@example.com