Exfoliation Ins and Outs

When discussing skincare, the term ‘Exfoliation’ pops up constantly. It’s an important part of keeping our skin healthy and vibrant but what exactly is it? … and what does it do to our skin? Exfoliation, when it comes to our skin, is when we utilize one of two ways (physical scrubbing or chemical peeling) to slough off our dead skin cells. While our skin naturally does this for us once every 30 days, it’s beneficial to aid our skin along in its natural processes. Along with getting rid of our outer layer of dead skin as well removing any dirt or oil that may have accumulated over time, it also aids in the natural production of collagen. Collagen helps to keep our skin elastic, tight, supple and healthy. Collagen production naturally fades with age, therefore, the more we can induce our body to produce, the better our skin will look and feel. Exfoliation also has the added benefit of making our skin look brighter and more effervescent; never a bad look!

There are multiple ways to go about exfoliating our skin. The two forms of exfoliation consist of mechanical/physical exfoliation (scrubs) and chemical exfoliation (enzymatic chemical peels). Which we choose depends on how sensitive our skin is as well as personal preference. I tend to prefer chemical exfolations which range in mild to deep and consist of different types of alpha or beta hydroxy acids. Physical exfoliation scrubs that contain irregularly shaped beads or sharper ingredients can cause microtears in the skin which cause further inflammation and irritation. However, there are a few out there that are great. I caution every patient to not overexfoliate. Once or twice weekly maximum! It is super easy to do a simple exfoliation at home. For those who want a scrub, there are a multitude of products out there to fit whatever needs arise, whether they be skincare or financial. From the Kate Somerville Intense Exfoliating Treatment to the Simple Kind to Skin Face Scrub, your options are near endless! The same goes for at-home chemical peels, from the intense Natura Blisse Glyco Extreme Peel to The Ordinary AHA Peeling Solution. There’s something out there for everyone! That being said, when looking for a specific product for you, I recommend looking for formulas that have Glycolic Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acids. Start with a low potency and low frequency. You can always titrate concentration and frequency upwards! I also recommend looking for products with Salicylic Acid to help with inflammatory and comedonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads).

Of course, if you want a more personalized and/or more potent treatment that’ll guarantee an effective result, we offer completely customized Chemical Peels designed with you in mind, perfect for helping with skin discolorations, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne. We also offer Fraxel Laser and Microneedling. Our Fraxel Laser can help with minimizing the appearance of acne scars and enlarged pores, along with evening out skin tone and texture. Coupling microneedling with either PRP or skin actives on the other hand is perfect for encouraging collagen production; thereby enabling your skin to look as full and beautiful as it can! We specialize in creating individualized treatment plans to reach your skincare goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about exfoliation and what we can do to keep your skin at its best, feel free to make an appointment. Please remember that masks are mandatory for all appointments, and you’re encouraged to call the office to discuss all safety precautions being taken.

Want more skin care tips and tricks? Follow me on Instagram where I answer all your questions as part of my #UnfilteredDerm Stories!

Marnie B. Nussbaum, M.D., FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in non-invasive aesthetic rejuvenation.

There is not a more caring, more attentive, smarter dermatologist than Dr Marnie Nussbaum. I trust her implicitly with anything and highly recommend her.

— Carolyn Rosen


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