Getting older takes a toll on the ability for our skin to feel and look healthy. Our skin slows down its ability to shed skin cells and regenerate new ones. When old skin cells aren't removed the end result is our skin looking dull and rough. Skin can also feel dry causing excess oil to build and clog pores.
Exfoliation will remove dead skin and unclog pores exposing the fresh new skin underneath. The main benefit of exfoliation is that serums, moisturizers and corrective products are able to penetrate more deeply and be more effective.
There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. A physical exfoliation is something containing granules of some type to physically buff off the dead skin. Any time a physical exfoliant is used, you have to apply light pressure to avoid being too abrasive with the skin. A chemical exfoliation uses alpha/beta hydroxy acids (glycolic, salicylic, lactic acids) or enzymes to provide a deeper exfoliation. Exfoliation is recommended 1-2 times a week.
During the summer months I recommend using a lighter exfoliant. However, since we are moving into Fall weather, more aggressive methods, like chemical peels, of exfoliation are acceptable since we don't have as heavy UVA/UVB rays to worry about that would cause increased skin sensitivity.
If you are a regular makeup wearer exfoliation is especially important since so many heavy oil based products can get trapped under the skin if not throughly removed.
Below are a few of my favorite exfoliants.
Tip: Do NOT apply to heavy or aggressive pressure if you are using a physical scrub. The granules or beads in the product should do the buffing for you, not added pressure from your hands. Too much pressure can result in the skin feeling burned or sensitive.
Tip #2: Do a double cleanse and apply your physical exfoliation before getting into the shower in the evening. The steam will open pores and force buildup and congestion out of the skin.
Tip #3: After exfoliating use a hydrating serum and facial oil for a healthy glow!