When you want to stay up on your cosmetic dermatology knowledge, it's important to factor exfoliation into the mix. It can be tough to determine how to exfoliate, whether it's good for your skin, and how often to do it. If you're struggling with these questions, here's what you need to know.
It's a common question. Is exfoliating actually good for your skin? The answer is yes! Exfoliating can benefit your skin in a few different ways. First, exfoliating can leave your skin looking brighter and feeling smoother. Not only that, but exfoliating can help improve the effectiveness of your skincare products. By removing the outermost layers of skin cells, exfoliating ensures that your products penetrate more deeply into your skin. In addition, regular exfoliation can help decrease the likelihood of clogged pores, which may help reduce acne flare ups. There are long-term benefits to exfoliation, too. For one, long-term exfoliation can help increase collagen production. If you want to avoid wrinkles for as long as possible, then collagen is definitely something you want more of in your skin. More collagen and skin elasticity can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging in the face. But before you can reap all of these benefits, it's important to learn how to exfoliate correctly.
There are two primary methods of exfoliation: chemical and mechanical. Chemical exfoliation is performed during treatments like chemical peels, in which a chemical solution or product like salicylic acid is applied to loosen and help slough away the outermost layers of skin cells.
Mechanical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves removing skin cells by way of physical friction. You might use a tool like a loofah glove or a cleanser with rough granules in it to perform exfoliation in this manner. The method you choose is up to you, though it's a good idea to consult with your dermatologist before trying either one. The best exfoliating method for you will depend on a few factors, including body area, skin sensitivity, and even your skincare routine.
When you want to remove dead skin cells, using rough, heavy motions might seem like the fastest way to do that. Unfortunately, you could be seriously damaging your skin if you don't use a gentle hand when you're exfoliating. Rough motions can cause microtears in the skin, which may lead to rough skin texture and even acne flare ups in some cases. If you're using a gentle hand and your skin is still getting irritated, it could be time to try a different method of exfoliation or a different exfoliating product.
There isn't really a consensus within the skincare community on how often you should exfoliate. While it's common to exfoliate two to three times per week, how often you need to exfoliate really depends on your skin's needs. When in doubt, exfoliate less often than you think you need to. Doing so too often may lead to over-exfoliation, which can contribute to skin rashes and other forms of skin damage.
Like it or not, exfoliation is an important part of taking good care of your skin. If you're unsure how best to exfoliate your skin without getting a skin rash, set up a consultation with our team at North Pacific Dermatology today.