The skin on every inch of your body naturally sloughs off and replaces itself about every 30 days. But dead skin doesn’t always shed completely, leading to flaky areas, clogged pores, and a dull complexion. Exfoliation helps with this.
Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells and other debris from the surface of your skin using a granular scrub, physical exfoliation tool, or chemical product. Consider these reasons why it’s important to exfoliate.
- Unclog your pores: Dead skin seals your pores, causing oily sebum to get stuck there. By removing dead skin, oil is washed away when you cleanse your face, effectively preventing the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.
- Prevent acne breakouts: When done safely and correctly, exfoliation can also halt acne. Just don’t scrub your skin raw in the hopes of unclogging your pores, as this only harms your skin and leads to other problems. If preventing acne is your primary goal, try a gentle physical or chemical exfoliant a few times per week. Then, if your skin ever feels sensitive, reduce this frequency.
- Detoxify and boost circulation: Exfoliating does more than remove dead skin—it also sweeps away toxins and other unhealthy debris. In this way, an exfoliation is a form of cleansing detoxification. The act of gently scrubbing an area even increases circulation, delivering oxygen-rich blood to feed and nourish your skin.
- Enhance absorption: Clearing away the debris that sits on your skin helps any moisturizers, serums, and growth factors you use penetrate more deeply, increasing their effectiveness as a result.
- Even out your skin tone: If you struggle with roughness, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, or acne scars, exfoliation can help. The process of breaking down dead cells also smoothes your skin’s overall texture, making the surface appear more uniform.
- Improve skin radiance: The trick to achieving a dewy, baby-faced complexion is to keep the top layer of skin cells as fresh and healthy as possible. This is done by increasing cellular turnover with regular exfoliation.
- Slow the aging process: Continue exfoliating over the long term, and you can help stimulate collagen synthesis to keep your skin looking plump, firm, and young. Collagen is the key to preventing fine lines and wrinkles, meaning exfoliation offers impressive anti-aging benefits.
You have many options for over-the-counter physical exfoliation, including body scrubs, brushes, and loofahs. At-home chemical exfoliation is also safe to use as often as once per day, depending on its strength.
Professional exfoliation is more aggressive. For instance, dermatologist-administered chemical peels dissolve the top layer of dull, dry skin for maximum effectiveness against sun damage, age, and environmental toxins. Then, professional physical exfoliation includes dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and other highly effective techniques that can be customized to address your specific concerns.
If you’re interested in learning more about professional exfoliation or you need help selecting the right method to treat certain skin conditions, please call Arlington Dermatology at 847-392-5440 and schedule an appointment with us today.