Exfoliation: an intimidating yet important topic. Exfoliation can be a game-changer for your skin if you know how to exfoliate properly. But why is exfoliation so important you may ask? Well, for starters, you generate new skin cells on average every 2-4 weeks. Exfoliation removes the layer of dead skin cells as well as other impurities in the skin. This reduces breakouts, prevents clogged pores, and gives your skin the best glow! (Not to mention some exfoliators have great antiaging properties.) Bad news: If you don’t remove that layer of dead skin, you know that expensive moisturizer you got? It’s being wasted on dead skin! Yikes! But don’t fret, we’re here to walk you through the different exfoliators out there, and finding the right exfoliator for your skin to vamp up your skincare routine!
What are the different exfoliator types?
There are two different types of exfoliation: physical and chemical exfoliation. Now, I know we’re usually told chemicals are bad for you, but that’s not the case here. Chemical exfoliation uses AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHSs(Beta Hydroxy Acids) that gently exfoliate a deeper cellular level. Chemical exfoliators also include Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Lactic Acid among other acids that can help brighten the skin, remove dead skin, balance the skin, as well as lighten hyperpigmentation. These also include spa peels and enzymes!
Physical exfoliation, on the other hand, uses scrubs or other exfoliating tools where you physically remove the dead skin. These also include spa facials such as ultrasound microdermabrasion and dermaplane facials.
How do I choose the right exfoliator?
This is the most important part of exfoliating properly. The right exfoliator for you is the one that best suits your skin type and skin concerns. If you use a very abrasive scrub for example, and you have sensitive skin, you’re going to potentially damage the skin. Or if you suffer from hyperpigmentation, a brightening chemical exfoliant would work best for your specific needs. Those with dry skin probably don’t want to have an exfoliant that’s going to dry out their skin even more and cause the skin to begin to peel. Those with mature skin should avoid using scrubs altogether, and opt for chemical exfoliation instead. That being said, at the spa we aren’t too crazy about using scrubs. When the scrub granules are too large, they can cause damage to the skin. We prefer chemical exfoliants for healthier skin, that will reap all the benefits of exfoliation. Chemical exfoliants go beyond the outer layer of the skin, for a deeper exfoliation, not to mention a healthy glow you will love! If you really prefer using a scrub, we recommend one that dissolves easily and isn’t too abrasive or rough on the skin.
What ingredients should I look for in an exfoliator?
Now that we’ve gone through and discussed the different types of exfoliants, let’s talk ingredients. What should be in an exfoliant and what shouldn’t? It depends on your skin concerns. For example, lactic acid is great for someone with dry, sensitive skin, while salicylic acid or glycolic acid is great for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Kojic and arbutin (commonly found in Skin Script) are great for those suffering from sun damage (dark spots, hyperpigmentation) who want to even out their skin tone.
How often should I exfoliate?
Another reason why knowing your skin type is so important! Over-exfoliation is a thing, trust me. If you don’t want to end up with flaky, dry skin make sure you have the right product for your skin type, but also, that you’re not overdoing it! If you have oily skin, you can get away with exfoliating more often (around 3x a week). However, if you have sensitive skin you can end up causing irritation to the skin if you over-exfoliate. This will result in your skin losing oils needed to keep your skin glowing and moisturized, and instead, you’ll have red patches, dry patches, and flaky skin. AKA, the opposite of your skincare goals. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation you should exfoliate once a week. Another common exfoliation mistake is the idea that those with acne-prone skin should exfoliate as much as they can and that will get rid of breakouts. This is false. In fact, acne skin tends to be very delicate skin prone to irritation. Using a chemical exfoliant, once or twice a week should be enough! Again, deep exfoliation doesn’t mean scrubbing your acne away.
What exfoliators do estheticians recommend?
At the spa, our estheticians swear by chemical exfoliation, because it does more than just remove dead skin cells. They work towards giving you healthy skin, that works beyond the outermost layers of the skin. We have some favorite exfoliating skincare products that we absolutely swear by, and are loved by our clients!
1) Skin Script Glycolic and Retinol Pads:
The Skin Script Glycolic and Retinol Pads is by far one of our estheticians’ all-time favorite product. Skin Script is known to put brightening ingredients in the products, that work to keep your skin glowing, and healthy. The wipes help dissolve oil, to prevent breakouts, it makes your skin look even, healthy, and smooth, it brightens and lightens hyperpigmentation, and lightly exfoliates the skin to remove dead cells, and unclogs pores. Not only is it a wonderful chemical exfoliant, but it also boosts collagen production, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Should we say more? It’s a fabulous product! This is great for mature skin but can be used by all skin types, including acneic skin.
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2) Biodroga Micro Dermabrasion Peel:
This peel is wonderful for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It’s a great addition to your skincare routine. Your skin will be refreshed, soft and smooth. It’s also perfect if you have scars on your face. This peel helps reduce the appearance of scars. Use this peel as part of your night routine. It can be used on all skin types! Those with normal skin or combination skin 3 times a week. Those with oily skin can use it every other day. Those with sensitive skin should only use it once a week. Most of Biodroga’s products can be used by all skin types! They don’t cause irritation and are moisturizing!
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3) Skin Script Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub/Mask:
Skin Script makes some wonderful exfoliating products. This scrub is amazing because it doesn’t damage the skin. It’s very gentle, but nonetheless, it’s a very effective exfoliant. Retinol (Vitamin A) has been proven to be the best anti-aging ingredient because it boosts collagen production. It also helps break down blackheads and unclogs pores. It also has jojoba beads that gently exfoliate, while moisturizing the skin. It also soothes the skin and unclogs pores. It also contains kojic acid which is perfect for lightening pigmentation and sunspots! The scrub works for all skin types, but it’s especially recommended for people with sun damage, or hyperpigmentation.
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4) Bella Reina Bamboo Sand Exfoliating Mask:
The Bella Reina Bamboo Sand Exfoliating Mask is a 2-in-1 product. It’s an exfoliator, and a mask all in one jar! The bamboo exfoliates without causing damage. It softens fine lines, and wrinkles, boosts collagen production and exfoliates the skin gently. The mask adds hydration, for beautiful healthy skin. It also removes excess oil and reduces impurities. If you’re looking for gentle exfoliators that add hydration to the skin, this is a great exfoliator for you!
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Spa Exfoliation: What Treatments can I get?
While having the right exfoliator for your daily routine is important, getting regular facials can help improve your skin over time! But what exfoliating treatments can you get?
HydraFacial MD is one of our favorite facials ever! It exfoliates the skin with a blend of glycolic and salicylic acid. The skin is then hydrated with peptides and hydrating serums, containing hyaluronic acid. The result is healthy, glowing, beautiful skin!
2) Ultrasonic Microdermabrasion
Ultrasonic microdermabrasion is a safer form of microdermabrasion that uses a skin spatula that loosens dead cells, and debris, deeply cleansing the skin, while hydrating. This type of microderm facial is better because there’s no risk of tearing the skin or causing an infection, compared to crystal microderm.
3) Dermaplaning Facial
Dermaplane is all the hype today, and there’s a reason for it! Dermaplane facial removes dead skin, as well as peach fuzz! The result is smooth, soft skin for a flawless makeup application. This facial leaves the skin looking glowing and radiant.
4) Facial Peel
Enzyme peels work to renew the skin, brighten the skin, and can help with hyperpigmentation. Enzyme peels can also help get rid of hyperpigmentation. Consult with your esthetician to see which peel would work best for your skin concerns.