Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exfoliate 101

Dearest readers,

I am concerned that many of you are not properly exfoliating your skin. I get MANY questions about skin care, and often times I receive emails that make me wonder if most people ever obtain proper skin care knowledge? I personally did not know that much about my skin and what I was doing to it {or schmearing onto it} before I went to aesthetics school. Obvi, everyone isn't going to go to school to learn about skin care. Some people don't even care {!} about their skin. Well it's time to start taking accountability, people. After my crash course in skin care 101, you won't be able say that you weren't ever told WHAT to do or HOW to do it...

Today's lesson will be on exfoliating. I know many times purchasing exfoliators can be terribly intimidating, because, really WHY do you need to exfoliate? Well, I will tell you.

Here's the scoop. Your skin constantly has layers and layers (and layers) of dead skin cells building up. If you don't scrub them off once in a while {via a physical or chemical exfoliant--more on that later} then everything else you are putting on your skin, i.e. moisturizers, eye cream, serums, etc. etc., is just sitting on top of impenetrable layers of dead flakes. Gross, right? So, you are spending hundreds of dollars on La Mer face cream? Awesome, but it means nothing if you aren't providing the means for it to sink into your pretty skin.

There are two different kinds of exfoliators--physical and chemical. Physical refers to the gritty beads that are in some masques or face washes that basically just rip the skin off your face. As you can see, I'm not a super-fan of physical exfoliants. Why? Because people abuse them. And now we all must suffer the consequences. Just kidding, but seriously. If you scrubby scrub scrub your face with those beads til you're red and tingly, guess what is going to happen? Your face will be inflamed, sensitive, AND you might even break some blood vessels. SO what have we learned here? Say it with me, "It is not better to scrub harder."

The other type of exfoliant is chemical. This refers to a plethora of options: lactic, salicylic, glycolic acids, as well as fruit enzymes and things such as oatmeal. This form of exfoliator digests the skin cells and allows for premium penetration of product, thereby freeing your skin from its trap of dullness. The chemical exfoliants are the ingredients that you want to look for in a good exfoliant.

Most over-the-counter (a.k.a. drugstore) exfoliants are physical only. That said, there are many washes that contain salicylic acid. Let me make this clear: unless your skin is acneic, using salicylic acid is too harsh for everyday use. Exfoliating with salicylic acid is fine, but it should be more of a once a week occasion. Doing it too often will strip your skin and can cause a myriad of other problems we won't get into today.

Here are a couple drugstore options for exfoliants:

Canus Nature All Natural Hydrating Facial Scrub (dry skin)

St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub (oily or acneic skin) {But please, please, please...DO NOT use St. Ives Apricot Scrub!!!}

As for professional product, I recommend:

Image Total Resurfacing Masque

That's all for the skin care lesson today, I don't want to keep going for fear of information over-loading you. Next up on the skin care block: DIY techniques.

Before I sign off, I do have to there an exfoliant that you swear by? Share your secrets, please!!

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The Banners said...

Great tips! The most amazing exfoliant in my book is Dermologica Gentle Cream Exfoliant. You put it on like a mask and it basically just eats off all the dead skin and leaves the good skin alone. I haven't used it for over a year since I was pregnant and nursing because it has Salicylic Acid. But I've been dreaming of the day I can use it's that great! Another one I really like that I use now is Boots No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator.

Jake and Kalli said...

very well said sister! Beautiful Ms. Sutton and crazy Wackerman would be proud... just DON'T SING, LAUGH, OR SMILE AROUND THE LASER!!!! :)

Myla said...

I love to use a buff puff with my cleanser daily...then a few times a week Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. You can leave it on your skin 5 min after you've scrubbed & the rice enzymes do their magic!

Courtney Rogers said...

You girls are so right! I love both of those Dermalogica products. And it is so nice that it is now available at places like Ulta!

Brenn said...

I have a physical exfoliant that I really really like--it's full of essential oils and happiness. I use it about once a week, the rest of the time it's face wash... I have no idea if that's good or not?

Courtney Rogers said...

That's great. Maybe add in a chemical exfoliant once or twice a month and make sure to not scrub too hard!!! said...

okay thank you for this post! i have to exfoliate because i have dry skin, and this is awesome to finally have answers behind the process.

i am ashamed (maybe) to say i use apricot scrub and have since i was about 12. i don't scrub super hard at all, and found it works best. my skin FREAKS out when using anything but that and st. ives lotion.

but maybe i will give their green tea stuff a try so i'm not ripping my skin apart. yikes!

Brooke said...

Thank you for this! I'm going to try it :)