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People have been searching for the perfect exfoliant since Cleopatra used sour milk (lactic acid) to refine and exfoliate her skin.
Exfoliation is encouraged at home but remember that more is not better. Even if the manufacture label recommends using their product daily, know that it may result in red, irritated skin.  Education will help you discern the difference between gentle exfoliation and dermal assault. Raw, dehydrated skin is not goal.
There are all different forms of exfoliation for all different skin types. It is important to speak with your skin care specialist about the right exfoliant for your skin type.

Here is a quick overview of some exfoliating procedures:

Enzymes are a great way to digest dead skin cells and leave the skin smoother and brighter. Papaya, pineapple and pumpkin all have enzymatic action, but allergies and skin sensitivity must be considered.

Glycolic acid is wonderful for all skin types. Timing and strength are important. Glycolic acid is used to improve the skin’s appearance and texture. It may reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and improve many other skin conditions, including actinic keratosis, hyperkeratosis, and seborrheic keratosis. Once applied, glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of the epidermis, weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together. This allows the outer skin to “dissolve” revealing the underlying skin.

Microdermabrassion hit the industry fast. Unfortunelty, manufacturer training was brief and incomplete, leaving many estheticians ill-equipped to provided responsible treatments. Sometimes leaving the skin red and irritated with “stripes” or leaving the skin bruised and bloody. Many complain of seeing no improvement even after many series of treatments. If you choose to try microderm please be sure that your technician is well qualified AND experienced.

Chemical exfoliation, using light peels such as TCA (trichloroacetic acid) have become more prevalent. These are found to be very beneficial as well. Again, be sure your technician is well trained and experienced. Healing time and skin sensitivity should be factored in.

Most importantly to remember: “less is more” when it comes to any exfoliant.

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