Understanding Exfoliation

Posted by Supreet Sohi on

One major benefit to exfoliation, is that it helps with collagen reproduction. While everyone loves the sunshine, too much sun exposure begins to break down collagen - a very important protein to the skin. Collagen is a connective substance that firms, regenerates, and restores the skin. Exfoliation kick starts collagen production, because the mild irritation it causes triggers a healing response where fibroblast cells begin synthesizing collagen fibers. 

Exfoliating also helps to unclog pores, fix uneven skin tones, and to reduce aging signs. There are two different types of exfoliation you can get done to slough off your damaged skin cells and make way for new ones. Chemical and mechanical are the two types of exfoliation.


Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation removes dead skin cells by using various acids and enzymes to work within the skin. A chemical is applied to the top layer of the skin and then removed. The skin absorbs the chemical, allowing it to penetrate deep within the skin, exfoliating it from the inside out. Popular chemical peel agents are AHA (alpha hydroxyl acids) and BHA (beta hydroxyl acid). 

BHA is indicated for oily, acne prone skin - and AHA for sensitive, aging, dry, sun damaged skin. Another method of chemical exfoliation is by way of fruit enzymes. These work the same as the chemical acids, however, they are derived from fruits. Fruit enzymes are usually less aggressive than AHA and BHA acids.


Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation removes dead skin cells using abrasion with granules or micro beads. This is the most popular method of exfoliation among newbies, because it doesn’t require as much down time as chemical exfoliation. In fact, you may be practicing mechanical exfoliation without even knowing it. Scrubs, brushes, and abrasive gloves are all types of mechanical exfoliation.


Despite the fact that there are only two exfoliation types, it still can get fairly confusing trying to figure out which one is best for you, personally. A common misconception is that exfoliation is strictly for oily skin. However, dry skin needs to be exfoliated as well. Visit an aesthetician that can assess your skin and determine which type would benefit you the most.

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