Facial Skin Exfoliation
Facial exfoliation or skin exfoliation comes in many forms and its benefits range from anti-aging skin care and wrinkle prevention to acne treatment and sun damage exposure. While cosmetic surgery skin exfoliation techniques such as chemical peels are available, many skin care products are designed to provide home facials and a more natural skin care approach. Some simple home remedies may be used as part of an organic skin care routine, but if you’re looking to purchase an effective skincare product, here’s an overview of what you need to know about facial skin exfoliation.
The Benefits of Facial Skin Exfoliation
The purpose of facial skin exfoliation is to remove a dull layer of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This allows skin cells to turn over faster, creating a healthier glow and helping to maintain the luster of skin for a more polished appearance.
Regular facial exfoliation can increase your skin’s ability to absorb moisture which in time can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as diminish acne and acne scarring. In the meantime, exfoliation can improve the overall health of your skin and manage flakes and dryness.
Types of Skin Facials: Manual Exfoliation
There are three main types of skin exfoliating techniques and products: manual, chemical, and enzyme exfoliation. Manual skin exfoliation refers to any form of topical skin exfoliation that is either applied to the skin or moved manually across the skin.
Manual skin exfoliation may be done using a soft washcloth, a facial scrub product, or an exfoliating mask. Be sure to use a product with finer grains for a gentle scrub that won’t tear or irritate the skin.
Manual exfoliation is best suited for normal skin, and is generally not fit to treat acne or sensitive skin since it may cause irritation. Products include loofahs and creams containing salt or sugar with a vitamin C or E base. Microdermabrasion kits are also available and can provide a complete exfoliating package.
Chemical skin exfoliation products include gels, lotions and creams that are applied daily after skin has been washed and dried. This is usually followed by the application of sunscreen since chemical exfoliation sensitizes skin making it more prone to sun damage.
Chemical exfoliation is recommended for acne treatment and typically uses glycolic and lactic acids derived from fruit or milk in order to loosen the bind between dead skin cells and the facial surface.
Many chemical skin care products contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA). Examples of Alpha Hydroxy Acids include:
- Lactic acid (from sour milk)
- Malic acid (from apples)
- Glycolic acid (from sugar cane)
- Tartaric acid (from grapes)
AHA is best suited to treat skin with sun damage, dryness and thickness. BHA products are typically recommended for blemishes and acne usually in the form of salicylic acid derived from wintergreen and sweet birch. Look for a pH level of three when considering these skincare products.
Enzyme Skin Exfoliation
Enzyme skin exfoliation is usually recommended to treat sensitive skin because these skincare products dissolve dead skin cells without the use of friction, minimizing irritation. Products can include powders, pads, masks and cleansers and may be used for acne treatment.
Enzyme skin exfoliating products typically use proteolytic enzymes such as Papain derived from papaya or Bromelin found in pineapple.
Simple Home Remedies: Exfoliating Alternatives
For a manual exfoliating home remedy, you may want to try combining a few tablespoons of oatmeal in cheesecloth or muslin. Dampen the cloth and scrub gently over the surface of your skin. Apply the wet oatmeal directly to the face and use as a mask for five minutes before cleansing. You may also add baking soda to the oatmeal in order to create a paste.
Grapes may be split in half and used as a cleanser, and a mixture of sugar and warm water can be used as a mask for maturing skin. Remember to test out any product, whether purchased or created at home, on a small patch of skin prior to use in order to ensure that irritation does not take place, particularly if you have aging or sensitive skin.