To exfoliate, simply buy a face scrub, any kind will do, and vigorously rub it in all over the face, right? Nope! It’s a lot more in depth than that, and thanks to an Exfoliation 101 session with Annet King, the Director of Global Education at the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, an education in skin cells, ingredients, and technique was received, meaning that now I can share some misnomers, crucial facts and tips when it comes to exfoliation and skin care.
Annet’s key exfoliation facts and guidelines are as follows:
1) “We lose one million skin cells every forty minutes, and we exfoliate all the time without the aid of products. Every time you rub your face on a towel, you are exfoliating; when you pull a tight sweater over your head, you are exfoliating!”
2) “Exfoliation is fine for all skin types, and if you use the right exfoliant for your skin, you can exfoliate on a daily basis. The more you both cleanse and exfoliate to remove all of the makeup and products, the healthier your skin tissue will become.”
3) “Cheaper exfoliants and scrubs tend to have nuts in them; don’t put nuts on the face! Think about it; nuts are sharp, and these scrubs have sharp, tiny particles in them that can make mini lacerations on the skin, which can then be open to bacteria. Look at the ingredients to see what is in the exfoliant, particularly for Alpha Hydroxy Acids and/or Beta Hydroxy Acids (lactic acid, retinol, salicylic acid), mechanical components (rice bran, oatmeal, corn cob meal) or non-acid alternatives (urea, hibiscus, rose hip). Most products have a combination of these areas. “
4) “If you have a pustule (pimple), blemish, or scarring, still exfoliate; just work around that area, and if a pustule, treat it with 2% benzoyl peroxideor salicylic acid.”
5) “To properly exfoliate, use light fingertip movements, working your way from the inside, out. Use one finger and work in more thoroughly the exfoliant in areas that need it, such as on blackheads.”
6) “Nothing is a magic eraser for wrinkles. Exoliants help to diminish the signs of aging and wrinkles. but nothing completely gets rid of them. Exfoliants also help with discoloration; the lactic acid in the product helps to even out the color.”
7) “A professional peel, by definition, takes off the top layer of dead skin cells, plus some live skin cells as well. That’s why there is redness and blistering that can occur after a professional peel is performed.”
8) “The “sting test” is the best way to know if you’ve over done it with an exfoliant; if there is a product that you use on a daily basis that is now stinging, you took away too much from the lipid barrier layer on your skin.”
Dermalogica, the skin care system researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute offers a selection of exfoliants suitable for a variety of skin and lifestyle needs. Receive a free Face Mapping skin analysis consultation at any of the 6,500 skin care centers in the U.S. that offer Dermalogica products under the prescription of a licensed skin therapist.