Exfoliation is a lot like spring cleaning—slightly messy, sometimes emotional but both are necessary events. After working hard to moisturize your skin during the long winter months, it’s time to revive it through exfoliation. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, smooth the texture of your skin, and improve the penetration of medical grade products.
Exfoliating treatments come in two forms: physical or chemical. Physical exfoliation is pretty straightforward — exfoliation with the use of small grains (microdermabrasion) or a scalpel (dermaplane). But not all physical exfoliation treatments are created equal. Dermaplane is less aggravating to sensitive skin and as an added bonus removes unwanted peach fuzz. Microdermabrasion grains can be harsh on skin, especially for patients who have rosacea or redness. This is why we prefer dermaplane over microdermabrasion.
Chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells with the use of chemicals to aid in cell turnover, removing the damaged outer layer. The term “chemical” can have a negative connotation for the health-conscious, but it shouldn’t when speaking about exfoliation. All chemical exfoliations means is that the product is doing the work, rather than microderm grains or a scalpel. Chemical peels are great for exfoliation and can also smooth and brighten the skin and stimulate collagen and elastin.
Not all chemical peels yield days of peeling. We have many different types of peels, from a “go and glow” which we suggest before big events to the SkinMedica Rejuvenize peel where you can expect heavy peeling for up to a week. We can customize your peel to fit your lifestyle.
Most patients only see their aesthetician every 4 to 8 weeks, so we suggest using a medical grade retinol like Renova for manual exfoliation between treatments. Renova is a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself by stimulating collagen, increasing cell turnover and compacting dead skin cells into a bright and youthful surface. Renova can soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles as well as help unclog pores. The emollient system used in Renova is significantly better than Retin-A at minimizing irritation which is the number one reason patients discontinue the use of retinol. The collagen stimulating properties found in Renova make it a gold standard for an anti-aging skin care routine.
Another gold standard in anti-aging is broad spectrum sunscreen. All the anti-aging skin care products in the world can’t counter the effects of continued sun exposure. Freshly exfoliated skin is slightly more susceptible to sun damage if proper SPF is not applied daily. EltaMD SPF is formulated with a transparent zinc oxide, which is safe even on the most sensitive skin. Zinc oxide blocks UVB (burning) and UVA (aging) rays which have been linked to sun damage and skin cancer. EltaMD SPF provides powerful protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays as well as hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid making it a fantastic two in one product.
Our aesthetician can determine if a chemical or physical exfoliating treatment is right for you, explain the benefits of Renova and other anti-aging products and suggest an SPF that is right for your lifestyle.