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Why Do I Need to Exfoliate My Skin?

More Out of Monday: Beauty Tips

By Jeffrie Ann Hall (Esthetician)

Certainly, we have all heard about exfoliating, right? It’s that process we should be incorporating into our skin care regime that keeps the skin on our faces, and our bodies, fresh and glowing.  In my experience as a facialist, I found that most clients skipped this essential step. Sure, they got the exfoliation during a monthly or the occasional facial, but this is a process that needs to be performed on a regular basis.

Why Is It Important?

Well, what do you think happens to your skin cells as they die off? And they all do; it’s a natural process.  As a young child, your cells turn over and slough off quickly on their own revealing fresh skin constantly. This remains the same during the teen years. Once we hit our 20’s, it slows…a bit. In our 30’s, we have a potential problem.

Changes Come with Age

These skin cells on the top layer (the epidermis) don’t naturally and quickly slough off on their own. They need to be helped along to reveal the fresh, newer skin below. If we don’t address that through exfoliation we end up with a dull, rough complexion that looks older than it is. Exfoliation helps promote cellular renewal by stimulating the fibroblasts.  Remember the things that produce collagen, elastin, and GAG’s (providers of ‘snap back’ and hydration). Exfoliation can be done either by use of chemicals simply applied to the skin or with products that require manual manipulation. Keep reading.

If you are using an Anti-Aging skin care regime you are probably already addressing this because these products generally contain ingredients, such as vitamin A in the form of a retinol, and sometimes further exfoliation can cause irritation.

Read the Label

If your anti-aging products do not clearly state that they include an ingredient that addresses cellular turn over (Retinol, Alpha, Beta or Polyhydroxy acid), than seriously think about finding a better product! Umm, I happen to have a very good one in my bag of Anti-Aging Secrets! You can ask me about it.

So, what to do if you aren’t using Anti-Aging products that already contain an exfoliating ingredient? First you need to know that you are wasting the products you are using! You are moisturizing dead skin. Yuck, huh? These cells are past help and need to go so the good ingredients in your products can work on your fresh skin and do what they are meant to do!

The Right Products for Your Skin Type

That will determine how often you exfoliate. If you are using a manual manipulation product, 1-2 times a week is generally plenty.  There are products gentle enough to use everyday; you can choose those if you don’t mind that extra daily step.

These products come as lotions, gels or liquids. They are natural chemicals, which come under the categories of Alpha, Beta and Polyhydroxy Acids which are simply applied and left on the skin. Alpha (AHA) includes Glycolic, Lactic, Malic, Tartaric and Citric acids; they tend to be best for dryer skin . Beta (BHA) is Salicylic acid and is best for oilier skin. Polyhydroxy acid is Gluconolactone. It is believed that these hydroxy acids also aid in keeping the skin thick and hydrated.  Poly is fine for either and great for sensitive skin.

A manual use product is one that is applied with your finger tips.  You lightly massage the skin and rinse it off. These usually contain particles made of tiny crystals, super finely ground seeds or nut shells (although, I personally think the ground nut shells to be too harsh for most skin) and even tiny synthetic beads. I would avoid these or be very careful if you have sensitive skin.


If you have moderate to severe acne be careful! If you are treating your acne either with a prescription or an over the counter product you are getting the benefit of exfoliation in that product.

One last thing…NEVER USE A BODY EXFOLIANT ON YOUR FACE! It is too aggressive for the delicate facial skin. And never exfoliate the very tender eye area beyond the bone structure surrounding your eyes! You will only end up with irritated skin and that will not make you happy! 😉

***For more information about Jeffrie’s Best Anti-Aging Secret and to view actual pictorial results, contact Jeffrie  at 203.740.2005, ♫ jeffriehall@sbcglobal.net , or visit The Secret to Perfect Skin.

Photo by Jasmine Green Tea

About Jeffrie Ann Hall

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