Your skin has five layers to it, and the newest skin cells are at the base of that. As the cells mature, they travel from the base layer of the epidermis to the outermost layer. At that point, they form the stratum corneum, the "tougher outer layer that [acts as] a barrier and prevents things from coming in. Exfoliation is the act of sloughing off dead skin cells. While the reveal of new skin is what the goal is, one must be careful not to over-exfoliate as this creates tiny cracks in the skin barrier and leads to loss of moisture and inflammation.
There are 3 major ways to exfoliate. The selection type depends on your skin condition and what you're trying to achieve.
Mechanical/Physical- Scrubs,brushes, abrasive particles such as oatmeal that physically remove dead skin to primarily loosen and remove flakes of dry or dead skin from the surface. If you are looking to even out your skin tone this may be a good selection for you.
Chemical exfoliation- which is often applied as a chemical peel containing AHA,BHA usually acids-that "break the bonds” between skin cells, the little bridges that keep them together. These treatments are typically much stronger and more abrasive than those products available in your drugstore. Although they can usually treat more serious or stubborn conditions such as Acne scarring, wrinkles, sun damage and Hyperpigmentation. If you want a thorough exfoliation and also want to treat a condition this may be the route for you. Please note chemical peels should ONLY be administered by Licensed skin care professionals.
Enzyme exfoliants- Fall under the “Chemical umbrella” however they are a more mild exfoliating option. Enzymes come from natural sources like fruits, and work like chemical exfoliants to break down keratin in skin, but at a much slower pace, for a more gentle and safe turnover process.Pumpkin,Pineapple and Papaya are just some of the fruits containing said enzymes that when used with a gommage technique,digest dead skin cells.This type of exfoliation works best for sensitive skin types.
The ideal goal is healthy, functioning skin that allows you to put your best face forward!
What are some ways you exfoliate? Have you seen any noticeable results?