Exfoliation for Winter Skin

by Venus Medina Licensed Esthetician

Q: What is exfoliation?

A:  The removal process of dead skin cells on the outer most layer of the skin.


Q: Why is exfoliation important?

A:  The Skin naturally produces dead skin cells every 25-45 days usually depending on age. As we age this process slows down. Exfoliation helps by removing dead skin cells thereby sending a message to the body to produce new skin cells or “daughter cells”. A lack of exfoliation means an accumulation of dead skin that can clog pores and give the skin a dull and even “grayish” color.

Tips to keep in mind:

- If using a physical facial scrub, make sure the exfoliating beads are natural (not plastic), small and spherical in order not to cause micro-lacerations or scarring. Seeds, shells, sugar, salt and other non-spherical exfoliants are best left for body scrubs as they are too abrasive for delicate facial skin.

- Active acneic skin can sometimes become irritated by using a rotary brush due to inflamed skin tearing and spreading bacteria. Therefore, enzymes and/or alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids such as those found in chemical peels are better alternatives when active breakouts are present.

- Mature skin is too sensitive for harsh exfoliation (dense head rotary brush). Best to manually exfoliate.

- Over exfoliation is possible and can cause irritation and dry skin. Usual recommendation is 1-3 times a week, depending on skin type. Normally the oilier the skin the greater need for more frequent exfoliation. However, sometimes too much exfoliation can actually exacerbate and increase oil production. If this may be the case, try reducing exfoliation to only once weekly and see if your oil production decreases.

- A combination of physical (Jojoba Beads) and chemical (AHA's etc.) exfoliating products work best for most skin types. The physical scrub helping to remove surface dead skin cells and the chemical mixture working deeper and increasing cellular turnover. Alternate these throughout the week. 

- Remember to use a toner, serum and moisturizer after. 

Enjoy your new and refreshed skin!