Our upper layers of skin, known as the epidermis, is a heavy duty workhorse that is constantly renewing itself. With its main function to provide protection from environmental aggressors it can take a beating. This is the reason that its constant renewal is so vital.
The challenge is, as we age or are under more assault from stress or the environment, this renewal becomes compromised. What happens when this renewal is compromised? Here are a few skin issues that are caused by poor cell renewal in the skin surface:
- Dull looking
- Uneven skin tone
- Rough texture
- Deeper lines and wrinkles
- Rosacea flare-ups for those that are rosacea-prone
Think of a baby's skin: it renews itself, on average, every 28 days. It's plump, glowing, smooth with no lines and wrinkles. With natural aging this process will start to slow to 30-35 days by the time we are in our mid-twenties. By our mid-30's it can slow to 35-40 days. By our mid-40's it can slow to 40+ days. You can see the trend. The slower the metabolism of this renewal the more aging and other skin concerns become apparent. Another easy way to see this is in a tan as we age. In our 20's we lose our tan-lines very quickly. By the time we are in our 40's and 50's our tan lines never really leave.
The known factors that will slow this renewal process dramatically are:
- Sun exposure
- Smoking and pollution
- Drugs and alcohol
- Poor nutrition
Typically a really compromised skin surface will also be slower to heal. Blemishes last longer. Sun damage (tans) never completely fade. Cuts and abrasions take longer to heal without scarring. Flaky, drier skin is more easily irritated.
The great news is that regular exfoliation can be the easiest and most rewarding for both your wallet and results! One to three times a week (depending on the skin type) is enough. Many can be done quickly in the shower and others can be done while you sleep! Here is a simple rundown of the different types of exfoliants and the best time/skin type to use them:
Skin Type - all skin types particularly sensitive and thin.
How to use - usually a smooth cream or gel consistency. The enzymes in these exfoliants have the ability to breakdown the dead skin bonds. Apply in a thin layer. Leave 5-15 minutes depending on the formula. Rinse. Some can also be applied to a clean skin and left overnight!
Phytomer Vegetal Peel (GREAT overnight treatment!)
Special Tips - These are so easy and yet effective to use!
Skin Type - different chemical peels are better for different skin types - see your Esthetician to get the right one for you. The main ingredient in a peel is either Alpha Hydroxy or Beta Hydroxy Acids. Besides different ingredients they also come in different %'s and PH's. All of these factors determine how they will work depending on skin type - professional advice is key to their success.
How to use - Peels work by breaking the dead skin bonds by being more acidic then the skin surface therefore re-surfacing the epidermis. Depending on the strength and skin type this can lead to the most dramatic results particularly for mature, acne and rosacea-prone skin types. They also work by stimulating collagen and elastin renewal in the dermis- a key component to any anti-aging program. They can be used from once a week to nightly for home use strengths and once every 2-6 weeks for treatments by your Esthetician.
Body - Glymed Plus Alpha Therapeutic Body Lotion - amazing for the treatment of sun-damaged and aging skin of the body and the doctor recommended treatment for Keratosis Pilaris (those pesky arm bumps)
Special Tips - Get the advice of your Esthetician before purchasing for complete instructions on how to use.
Scrubs or Polishes
Skin Type - medium to thicker textured non-sensitive skin types are best with scrubs or polishes. Perfect for most men's skin!
How to use - the best scrubs have smooth round particles making sure that the product does not create tiny wounds in the skin surface. Apply a small amount to a damp skin and massage gently for a few minutes and rinse well.
Best examples -
Special Tips - Great quick treatment that is best done in the shower! Let the scrub or polish do the work. Don't add much pressure with your hands - this will only make the treatment more aggressive then it needs to be.
What happens when a skin is regularly exfoliated?
-healthy vibrant looking skin
-products penetrate better giving more efficient results
-reduction in lines and wrinkles
-more even colour
-no dry patches
-less skin reactions
-no ashy looking skin
Exfoliate and reveal your skin's true greatness!