flowerYour skin’s job is to protect you day in and day out from the elements of the outside world, and that means it can take a heavy beating from time to time. There’s actually a lot that goes into keeping your skin healthy, and part of the process involves the constant regeneration of cells. You might not be aware of it, but your body produces new skin cells nonstop around the clock. It has to because an average adult can shed up to 50,000 dead skin cells every minute. It’s an important process, but sometimes cells don’t slough off as well as they should, so they can end up clogging pores, which leads to breakouts. You can do your part to help with the shedding of dead skin cells by exfoliating on a regular basis.

There are two types of exfoliation: mechanical (scrubs, buffers, etc.) and chemical (like prescription Retinol, for example).

Exfoliation is a simple process that removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Most of the time when you exfoliate at home, you use some type of face wash that has tiny, sandlike particles in it. Gently rubbing those particles on your face helps scrape away dead skin cells and expose newer ones, leaving your skin looking and feeling healthier. Just remember, a scrub like this should not be used more than once an week and, depending on the scrub, can sometimes create little micro-cuts that can end up damaging the skin. For that reason, chemical exfoliation would always be my first choice. Simple cleansers with salicylic acids or alphahydroxy acids are always a great choice, but to be more aggressive in aiding with anti-aging, a Retinol, like SkinMedica’s™ or 1.0 strength would be perfect addition to any skincare regimen. Call your skincare specialist to find out the right strength for you.

The thing to keep in mind is the goal of exfoliation. It should leave your skin feeling softer and looking healthier — not red and irritated. You also want to avoid those harsh chemicals and gritty scrubs around the eyes, remembering that skin is super thin and fragile. Find yourself a good eye cream to do the trick there!!!! Consistency is the key, and remember…the faster you are shedding dead skin cells, the faster you are creating new healthy ones, so exfoliate away people!

Amy Bierly, Medical Aesthetician
Radiant Skin Medical Spa
{tucked inside River Region Facial Plastics}