Over the course of 1 month, the outer layer of our skin literally falls off and rejuvenates itself. Every 15 years or so, all of your skin cells, including the inner layer, replace themselves as well. This is the normal cycle of skin. If skin does not follow this cycle and dead skin cells build up, it can lead to skin abnormalities. Removal of dead skin cells is called exfoliation and is essential for good-looking skin.
The ancient Egyptians are credited with discovering the benefits of exfoliation, and it carries on to this day. It is also known as mechanical exfoliation or microresurfacing. Daily exfoliation is good for many reasons. It can make your skin feel healthier and look younger.
There are several different types of exfoliation techniques from very simple manual techniques and topical applications to procedures done by medical professionals. It can be done with a physical instrument or with a chemical treatment, but the results are the same, removal of dead skin cells.
Surface cells of the skin are supposed to fall off after 28 days. But as we age, this does not always happen according to schedule. The result is a buildup of old cells and, consequently, an uneven complexion. It creates a rough, uneven, dull texture. Exfoliation makes the skin smoother and gives you back a luster and brightness.
Those same dead cells accumulate excess brown pigment, and some of them can even become precancerous. Exfoliation evens the color of your skin and also makes it healthier. It removes the cells that are clogged in pores, which helps prevent and treat acne.
Physical exfoliation works like sandpaper–it removes the dead skin cells by rubbing. This is what is typically done in facials at salons and can be achieved with a loofah, brushes, sponges, or even a washcloth. A product is often applied that has an abrasive, rough consistency, likely with a sandy feeling, which aides in rubbing the dead skin off.
People have been using microdermabrasion to rejuvenate the skin for more than 25 years. It is another type of mechanical exfoliation. It is helps maintain a healthy complexion and reduce fine lines, acne scarring, uneven skin tone, and large pores.
By gently removing the upper layers of the epidermis, microdermabrasion increases the cellular turnover rate. This refines the surface skin and stimulates collagen and elastin production in the dermal layers. A single treatment can bring about a brighter skin tone and finer pores. Several treatments can aide in the reduction of hyperpigmentation and scarring.
Chemical exfoliation works by dissolving the glue between the cells, so they fall off sooner. A chemical solution is applied to the face to cause the dead skin cells to shed. The skin is then usually smoother, and wrinkles are relaxed too. There are several different types, including alphahydroxy acid peels, betahydroxy acid peels, retinoic acid peels, and trichloroacetic acid peels. These are strong chemicals and should be applied by professionals.
Adding a microdermabrasion product to your daily routine is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can help bring an end to dull, flaky skin. Always remember to moisturize your skin after exfoliation.