Exfoliation is the process of removing the older, dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. This is called superficial exfoliation. The process is essential for fresh skin glow because, things like age, pollution, diet, and weather all play a role in skin’s health. It unclogs pores, lightens and brightens the skin, and allows skin care products such as moisturizers and serums to penetrate more deeply, thus being more effective. It is recommended to exfoliate once a week to keep the complexion clean, bright and youthful.
There are many ways of superficial exfoliation. Here are the 3 best:
Scrubs are “mechanical exfoliants” because, they consist rough or abrasive particles that are meant for rubbing the dead skin cells with manual manipulation. However, scrubs sometimes can be dangerous for the skin, because the rough particles can over time damage the skin complexion.
Acids are “chemical exfoliants” because they work by loosening the “glue” that holds the skin cells together. There are a few acids that are used for exfoliation:
- Lactic acid has a large molecular chain structure, allowing gentle penetration. In particular it has excellent lightening properties as well as superior hydrating effects.
- Glycolic acid is AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and is more widely recognized. It loosens the glue, allowing for a smoother, brighter and clearer complexion. But, it has a shorter molecular chain structure, so it can irritate the skin very easily.
- Salicylic acid is BHA (beta hydroxy acid) and works the same way as AHA’s. The difference is that it has the ability to penetrate fats and lipids, so it is great for decongesting clogged pores.
Microdermabrasion is mechanical exfoliation and is performed with a machine that abrades the skin by micro-crystals across the face while the suction removes the used crystal particles as well as the dead skin. It is really good for scars and pigmentation. But it is recommended to be performed by an experienced dermatologist.