Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

All the Rage: Konjac Sponges February 26, 2014

konjac-sponge-opener

Chances are you’ve probably already heard of or even tried a konjac sponge.  I’m a little late to the game in explaining and reviewing these cleansing sponges.  But better late than never, correct?

What Is A Konjac Sponge and How Do You Use It?

Dr. Jessica Wu explains what a konjac sponge is and how to use it:

What is a konjac sponge? A konjac sponge is made of plant starch that’s extracted from a type of potato plant. The sponge absorb a lot of water, so it has a unique texture, kind of like a thick piece of squishy felt. It’s more nubby than a dish sponge, but softer than a loofah and has a finer texture than a washcloth so it’s safe to use on your face. Because of its bouncy, rubbery texture, it makes a rich lather and requires less cleanser that you would normally need. It dries quickly, so it’s more hygienic than a washcloth. Plus they are affordable (I get mine for less than $2 each), so you can change them frequently without having to worry about ruining your washcloths with makeup.

How do konjac sponges help your skin? They dislodge dirt, oil, makeup, and impurities to deep clean your skin, so they’re helpful for those with acne and large pores. They can help slough off dead, dry skin flakes that are a sign of sun damage. They can also help remove stubborn, water resistant sunscreen.

How do you use a konjac sponge? First, soak your sponge in warm water for at least five minutes to soften the fibers and avoid injuring your skin. Splash your face with warm water and squeeze a few drops of cleanser onto the sponge. Massage in a circular motion, concentrating on trouble areas and avoiding areas with healing pimples, infections, or abrasions. Rinse face with warm water and pat dry. Thoroughly rinse the sponge with warm water, squeeze out excess, and let air dry.

Personal Experience

First off, what Dr. Wu writes above about the sponge only costing about $2 is completely correct.  Buy your konjac sponge on eBay; most sellers also offer free shipping.  I bought a regular konjac sponge via eBay though the next time I buy one I’ll be trying a charcoal one since charcoal has acne fighting properties.  I did not find that I had to soak my sponge in warm water for five minutes in order to soften it; it took me about a minute to soften the sponge in the shower.  It is definitely true that you need less cleanser when using a konjac sponge; a little bit of your cleanser will foam up brilliantly on the sponge.  For me the most interesting thing about the konjac sponge was how much the texture changed once it was wet.  Dry the sponge is rough and hard, but once you’ve soaked it the sponge becomes incredibly soft.  I liked using the sponge and the price can’t be beat, but I didn’t see a difference in the appearance of my skin when using the sponge.  I think for someone like me who has tough, acne prone skin konjac sponges are a lovely addition to my skincare routine but not a necessity.  I do think that a konjac sponge can be an excellent way for someone with sensitive skin to exfoliate their skin without any irritation.  Plus, these sponges are just fun (and cheap).  I will definitely be buying another one and recommending them to clients with sensitive skin or to clients who are exfoliation phobic (unfortunately I meet a lot of those) since by using a konjac sponge you can definitely gently exfoliate while you cleanse.

Sources and Further Reading:

Photo from Refinery29

 

The Risks of Over Exfoliation December 5, 2012

Usually I can’t say enough good things about exfoliation.  In my eyes regular, at home exfoliation is one of the most essential things you need to do to maintain healthy and beautiful skin.  Depending on your skin type, how your skin is feeling and looking, and what exfoliation product you use you can exfoliate every day or just twice a week.  The thing is – you need to exfoliate.

Why exfoliate?  New Beauty explains why succinctly:

There are many benefits of regular exfoliation. As we get older, skin-cell turnover slows down and exofoliating can help speed up the normal shedding cycle. Exfoliating can rid the skin’s dull, outer layer as well as all of the flaws that reside there, like fine lines, dark spots and blemishes. Plus, your skin-care products can better penetrate your skin. Here are our top four reasons to exfoliate on a regular basis:

1. Even out skin texture. “The granules polish the skin, leaving it with a softer, smoother texture. It’s like using sandpaper on coarse, unevenly textured wood—step-by-step it becomes smooth,” says Los Angeles aesthetician Ole Henriksen.

2. Fight the signs of aging. With age, the skin’s ability to naturally exfoliate slows down. When the skin is laden with dead cells, lines, wrinkles and dryness become more apparent. “Removing dead skin reveals fresher, brighter, younger looking skin,” says Mt. Pleasant, SC, dermatologist Marguerite Germain, MD.

3. Prevent blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts. When the pores get clogged with dead skin and oil gets stuck beneath the surface, pimples can occur.

4. Minimize dark spots. Long after a blemish has healed, a red, brown or purple mark may remain. But each time you exfoliate, you’re removing the top layer of skin to diminish the appearance of discoloration.

(From Four Reasons You Need to Exfoliate)

And what are different ways you can exfoliate?  Once again I’ll turn to New Beauty to explain:

Manual Exfoliation: exfoliates with beads or spheres
This involves physically removing dead skin with scrubbing spheres or beads, which are massaged into the skin by hand. Some ingredients, like ground-up nutshells, can tear the skin and potentially cause infections, so if you choose to use a manual exfoliant, make sure that you use one with beads or spheres, which are less likely to scratch the skin.
The Upside : Quick and easy to use, manual exfoliators are available in a variety of forms and are best for normal skin types.
The Downside: May aggravate acne or sensitive skin.

Enzymatic Exfoliation: exfoliates with fruit enzymes
Ideal for sensitive and mature skin, enzymatic exfoliators contain enzymes that are derived from fruits like pineapple, pumpkin, kiwi and papaya to purge the skin of dead cells.
The Upside: Can be used on extremely sensitive or reactive skin because they tend not to irritate since there is no physical scrubbing. Plus, they’re excellent for really cleaning out clogged pores.
The Downside: “Enzymatic exfoliators take longer to work because you have to let them sit on the skin for awhile,” says Kirkland, WA, dermatologist Julie Voss, MD.

Chemical Exfoliation: exfoliates with acids
Good for acne-prone and sun-damaged skin, chemical exfoliators rely upon ingredients like alphahydroxy (AHAs), betahydroxy, lactic, malic, tartaric, salicylic, retinoic, uric or glycolic acids to break the bond between the dead skin cells, dissolving and removing them.
The Upside: Deep cleans pores, making it a good choice for oily and acne-prone skin types. Exfoliators with AHAs offer anti-aging benefits too.
The Downside: Can cause sun sensitivity and may be too irritating for dry skin. “These exfoliators are usually found in cream or lotion form, rather than being part of a cleanser, so they require an added step,” says Dr. Voss.

But sometimes too much of a good thing well is just too much.  That brings us to the risks of over exfoliation.  Go overboard with exfoliation and risk red, irritated, dry, flaky, and even thin skin.  The New York Times T Magazine article The Peel Sessions explains:

… the search for perfection often leads to just the opposite. Instead of achieving plump, soft skin, some women are winding up with visages that are “thin and kind of stretched, almost like Saran wrap,” according to Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and the director of the Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center in New York. “It puckers like the material would if wrapped tightly on something and looks like if you pricked it with a pin, a clear fluid would come out.”

This is the over-exfoliated face. For the past few decades, the most dominant recipe for radiant skin has called for removing the dead layers of epidermis to reveal newer, brighter, less-wrinkled skin. But not everyone knows just how often to slough, and some women have been misled into thinking that the more often you do it, the better. Or women exfoliate constantly to ensure that anti-aging or anti-acne serums are delivered more effectively. Exfoliate too frequently, though, with chemical peels or Retin A, and you could encounter a multitude of problems: redness, a strange waxy look and, over time, the thin skin Alexiades-Armenakas described. It can look crepelike and translucent, with capillaries showing (if you’re Caucasian), and is far more prone to fine lines, not to mention increasingly vulnerable to cancer-causing UV rays, than untreated skin. For those with darker complexions, overpeeling can also cause hyper-pigmentation, which can be permanent. …

At-home treatments can have their downsides as well. Retinoids like Retin A increase skin turnover and should be used at the correct strength and frequency. “Everyone used to put it on every night — you brush your teeth, you put on your Retin A,” Enterprise recalled. “Cheeks were getting very thin and people had that glossy look. That waxy skin makes you look older and can make you look dated in the same way your hair or makeup can.”

Abuse of drugstore or beauty-emporium products is also a danger. “I’ve done R&D for a large cosmetic company, and unfortunately to launch these over-the-counter peeling agents, the rule of thumb is to recommend twice-weekly use,” Alexiades-Armenakas said. And why is that? “Because if you don’t use it that often, you’re not going to see any results. It’s so weak compared to a dermatologist’s peel, and to compensate for this they have people overuse it.”  …

Of course, disrupting that barrier at just the right rate — either by peels, Retin A, lasers or other means — is how you stimulate the skin into creating collagen. Alexiades-Armenakas is at work on a new method for doing so, testing pixelated radiofrequency technology and ultrasound to push anti-acne or anti-aging drugs into the skin. It’s another form of fractional resurfacing, whose advantage, she said, is that most of the epidermis is left intact. Eventually, according to the dermatologist, this science will make its way into an over-the-counter product, in the form of a hand-held roller.

There remains, however, the conundrum of what to do until those futuristic gadgets arrive. For now, Alexiades-Armenakas recommends relying on a much older technology — that of the body itself. “The skin turns over every 28 days,” she said. “I’m of the firm belief that you’re better off having a strong peel just once a month at most, giving the skin a chance to recover, rebound and rejuvenate itself.”

Furthermore, according to the article Exfoliation: When Is Just Enough … Enough?  by Annet King explains that exfoliation:

… a course of action intended to keep the skin vibrant, supple and youthful, may result in a skin which is more fragilehas less natural ability to protect from UV, is easily sensitized, heals more slowly and lacks in general structural fortitude. Parchment paper comes to mind.

We now know that much of what we call aging is caused by inflammation. And overly aggressive exfoliation, along with other cutaneous assault such as pollution and UV exposure, set off the cascade of dermal interactions known as inflammation.  It is very important to note that skin which is past the age of 25 or so recovers more slowly from inflammation. In fact, inflammation, whether in response to a heavy handed microdermabrasion procedure or some other inflammatory condition such as adult acne, may result in extremely persistent redness—and by persistent, we mean that it may not ever really dissipate.

The good news is, our skin is genetically designed for remarkable resilience. The human skin produces about 1,000,000 skin cells every 40 minutes, which equates to over 36 million skin cells per day. No wonder we think nothing of obliterating them with scrubs, enzymes, acids, sonic brushes and other procedures! …

LESS IS MORE
Gentle exfoliation keeps the debris from accumulating. Today, the market is full of exfoliants which are gentle enough to use daily, such as superfine micropowders and precise dose leave- on serums containing silky microparticles of rice bran, phytic acid or salicylic acid, botanical extract combo’s. These lift dead cell debris, gently resurface using only the mildest bit of mechanical action, and still leave the lipid barrier robust and intact. …

Often, problems arise when clients start to “help the program along” by being over enthusiastic with different products in the confines of their bathroom or while in the gym sauna! Also discuss their comfort-level, perhaps from years in the gym with masochistic fitness trainers, many consumers believe that pain is required part of an effective regimen. This may be true of acquiring a rock-hard six-pack—but it definitely is NOT true of effective skin care.

NIX THE MIX
Combining products and procedures “freestyle”, without the close supervision of a licensed therapist, is where consumers often get themselves into trouble. The trumpeting claims of lunchtime lasers and other medi-office procedures along with powerful products may prove irresistible, especially with the advance of age, and especially with the impending arrival of a pivotal life passage such as a high school reunion or a daughter’s wedding.

Lastly, another reason to stop with over exfoliating – you may be causing breakouts.  According to Allure:

Convincing people that they’re exfoliating too much “is one of my great challenges,” laughs [ Ranella] Hirsch, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. “Over-exfoliating is probably the single most significant cause of breakouts. For some reason, people think exfoliating means ‘torture my skin like it has secret government information.'” In particular, Hirsch shakes her finger at skin-care overachievers: “The person who is exfoliating too much is also putting on actives [such as Retin-A and salicylic and glycolic acid], is doing facials, is doing microdermabrasion. Each of those things on their own is good, but when you add every form of treatment together it leads to injury.”

So how can you exfoliate effectively?  Once again according to Allure:

Hirsch insists that for the most part skin knows how to exfoliate itself and says using just one exfoliator should be enough. And instead of having a set routine for how often you use your product, leave it up to your face. In other words, don’t exfoliate because it’s 7AM—exfoliate because you feel like you need to. “You have to listen to your skin,” says Hirsch. “Something that’s right at one moment can shift in real time. Just listen and adapt.”

Bottom Line:  Everyone needs to exfoliate just don’t overdo it.  Check in with your skin regularly to see if you need to adjust your exfoliation routine.  Strive for balance (I know – much easier said than done)  Experiencing breakouts and clogged pores turn to a salicylic acid product for exfoliation.  Flaky yet normal skin?  You could use a gentle scrub.  Want an effective anti-aging product?  Find the right retinol or Retin-A product for you.  Just remember – when your skin starts to feel irritated and sensitive or is constantly red you could be overdoing it.  Then it is time to reevaluate your exfoliation routine.  Keep in mind that correct exfoliation will make your skin soft, smooth, and bright.  Since everyone is different don’t look to others – figure out what your skin needs.  Check in regularly with your skin to make sure you are doing what is best for your skin.

My Related Posts:

Image from realbeauty.com

 

Baking Soda – A Great Natural Exfoliant? November 26, 2012

I’m not someone who usually makes her own skincare products except for the occasional body scrub from sugar and oil (you can read about my misadventures in trying to make my own beauty products here).  I am very diligent about facial exfoliation though it has never occurred to me make my own facial exfoliant.  Yet again and again I’ve seen baking soda recommended as a DIY exfoliant (even Arm & Hammer recommends you do this).  So is it really ok to put baking soda on your face and scrub away?

I’ll turn to The Beauty Brains for some explanations from their post Is Baking Soda an Effective Natural Exfoliant?:

Baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) falls under the category of physical exfoliants, and what makes it especially effective is that it is a fine, yet hard powder, making it highly effective at removing the dead skin cells without causing excessive irritation. Chemically speaking, baking soda is acid neutral, and acts a mild buffer which means that it has the ability to neutralize other substances it comes in contact with that are acidic (like vinegar) or basic (like soap). Many people also believe that baking soda has cleaning properties; however, scientific evidence has shown that this is due to baking soda’s physically abrasive nature, and it is not an effective anti-microbial agent.

Exfoliating with baking soda

To reap the benefits of exfoliating with baking soda, add a teaspoon of the powder to your facial cleanser, mix well, and massage into skin like you would with a commercial exfoliant. Do this 2-3 times a week or as per your regular exfoliation routine. If you notice that your skin is red or irritated afterwards, try putting in less baking soda and use the treatment at night so that your skin has a chance to get back to normal while you sleep. Remember to always moisturize afterwards!

Baking soda as an acne treatment

While there are numerous testimonials in which people claim that baking soda cleared up their acne when nothing else helped, please remember to take these statements with a grain of salt. We don’t know what else that person had changed in their skin regimen; it’s possible that besides using baking soda they also started drinking more water, switched their cleanser or moisturizer, or maybe even changed the number of times they cleanse their skin per day. Seasonal changes and stress levels also have a very strong impact on how much and how noticeable your acne may be. However, there is some evidence that baking soda may be beneficial in treating acne since just the exfoliating properties of baking soda alone lead to an increased skin cell turnover rate making your acne look less noticeable. Plus, baking soda’s neutralizing properties maybe reduce redness of the skin also reducing the appearance of acne. If you want to try using baking soda as an acne treatment, my recommendation is to use one teaspoon of it in your cleanser at night to exfoliate your skin, as well as make a thicker paste of just baking soda and water and apply it to the acne as a mask for 5-10 minutes or overnight (beware, when it dries the mixture will crumble so you might up wake up to a messy pillow).

The Beauty Brains bottom line

In summary, all signs point to baking soda being an excellent and cheap physical exfoliant. It is ph neutral and a fine powder, which means that it will be gentle on your skin. Baking soda may also be useful in treating acne when made into a paste and applied to the affected areas although there is not as much scientific evidence to back that up.

(As an aside I want to mention that I was actually taught, though I never tried it, while in esthetics school that if we didn’t have another way to exfoliate skin we could use a mixture of baking soda and water.)

I thought for the purposes of this post I should try exfoliating with baking soda.  I added about a half a tablespoon of baking soda to my gentle cleanser one night and gently scrubbed away.  I found the baking soda felt very harsh on my skin, too harsh almost, but my skin did feel very soft afterwards – if only for that night.  Because I found the baking soda too  harsh I would think twice before using it again.  (I should mention that I use prescription Retin-A on a regular basis so my skin tends to be more sensitive to exfoliating products)

Bottom Line:  As long as you aren’t using a lot of other exfoliating products you can try baking soda a few times a week as a mild scrub to exfoliate.  Just keep in mind that a scrub will remove surface dead skin cells and will not penetrate into your pores in order to unclog pores or dissolve excess oil.  I would definitely not believe the internet hype that using baking soda cures acne.  Keep in mind what The Beauty Brains had to say above about that phenomena.

Further Reading:

Image from http://www.good.is

 

Exfoliation for your Body June 6, 2010

As the weather warms up we are all starting to show more skin.  And wouldn’t you want that skin to look great?  One of the best ways to make skin look wonderful is to exfoliate on a regular basis.

 

What Does Exfoliation Do?

 

Exfoliation helps to even out skin texture leaving your skin soft and smooth.  Without regular exfoliation your skin can appear dull and even be dry.  If you have body acne exfoliation is key in keeping your pores unclogged.  Regular exfoliation will help your body lotions and self-tanners will go on more evenly.  No more ashy or flaky skin either.  Each part of your body can benefit from regular exfoliation.  For instance if your lips are flaky from dead skin or dryness than your lipstick will appear flaky as well.  Exfoliating your lips can help get rid of that problem.

 

Recommended Products

 

  • One of my favorite body scrubs has been Soap and Glory Flake Away Scrub that you can buy at Target.  It works well, smells yummy (like peaches), and costs all of $10.
  • Sometimes I make my own body scrubs.  Mix household sugar with olive oil; use in the shower since this can be messy.  Or even use your coffee grinds after making coffee.  This works well but is messy as well so be prepared to have to spend time cleaning up your shower.
  • You can always use a washcloth to exfoliate.  It will do a decent job of getting rid of dead skin cell build-up and should make your skin a little softer and smoother.
  • Use a body lotion with added alpha hydroxy acids in it.  I would recommend using this in the evening before going to bed since acids make your skin more sensitive to the sun.  Products like this are particularly good for elbows, knees, and heels.  Ones to try: Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA or DDF Glycolic 10% Body Lotion
  • For lips New Beauty recommends The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ.  Personally I’ve never tried it, but I would love to hear from someone who has.

 

 

Feel free to share information about your favorite body exfoliation products.

For information about facial exfoliation please see my earlier post All About Exfoliation.

 

Is There Anything That Can Be Done About Large Pores? March 24, 2010

 

I am sure it will come as no surprise to anyone to find out that I obsess over my skin.  I am particularly distressed at the fact that I have very large and visible pores on my checks.  We have a tyrannical societal expectations that people should have flawless, blemish free skin that looks lit from within and also has invisible pores.  Well that only occurs with the help of make-up and photo shop.  But nevertheless what is a person to do who has large pores?

Large pores are usually a matter of genetics so it is almost next to impossible to shrink the size of your pores.  But pores can become enlarged if they are clogged with dead skin cells and oil.  Keeping your pores unclogged can reduce their size slightly.  Most likely you’ll need to find a few ways to disguise the appearance of your large pores with make-up.

In order to make sure that your pores are unclogged and thus not enlarged by dead skin cells and oil you need to exfoliate.  See my early post All About Exfoliation for tips on how to exfoliate. 

But if genetics are to blame for your large pores, as they are in my case, make-up is really the only solution you have.  Currently I use a mineral powder in the morning before leaving the house.  I reapply my sunscreen with a mineral sunscreen throughout the day so that not only gives me sun protection but also cuts down on shine and gives my skin a more smooth appearance.  Consider using primer before applying your make-up since primer will create a smooth surface on which to apply your make-up, and then your make-up shouldn’t get stuck in your pores.

I keep hearing about two other powders that help reduce the appearance of large pores but haven’t tried them myself yet:

 

Sources and Further Information

 

 

All About Exfoliation March 14, 2010

Everyone needs to exfoliate, and you’ll be delighted with the results if you do.

Why Should You Exfoliate?

First off, the term exfoliation refers to the removal, either by peeling, rubbing, or sloughing off, of dead skin cells on the outer layer of the epidermis -the stratum corneum.  The exfoliant is the product is that helps you with this process.  The benefits of exfoliation are numerous and include:

  • Smoother skin
  • Helps unclog pores – an essential benefit for anyone with acne
  • Improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture
  • Allows for better product penetration
  • Easier make-up application – no caking of your make-up
  • More even toned skin

If you suffer from breakouts exfoliation is a key step in your home skincare routine.  As I discussed in my earlier post How Acne Forms acne begins to form when your pores are clogged with dead skin cells and oil.  People who suffer from acne need to help their bodies slough off the dead skin cells so that they don’t clog the pore and so oil doesn’t get stuck in the pore as well.  Regular exfoliation is the key to keeping your pores unclogged.

As we age our cell renewal factor or cell turnover rate slows down.  The cell turnover rate is the process by which our skin produces new skin cells which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer and then shed off the skin.  Think about this – a baby’s cell turnover rate is 14 days, a teenager’s is 21-28 days, a middle age person’s 28 to 42 days, and someone who is in their 50s or older the rate is between 42 to 84 days.  That means that as we age the top layer of the skin, the one we see, touch, and even agonize over, becomes dull.  We lose our “glow”.  And think about this – if the top layer of your skin is really lots and lots and lots of dead skin cells (between 15 to 20 layers) how much of the antioxidant and retinol serums you are applying actually are getting through and doing what they are supposed to be doing?  We can help keep the top layer of skin from getting too thick with dead skin cells by exfoliating. 

Can You Over Exfoliate?

Actually you can over exfoliate.  As I’ve already mentioned exfoliation is an essential step in any skincare regime but it should be done gently.  If you over exfoliate you are actually causing your skin more harm than good.  By removing too much of the top layer of your skin you are opening yourself up to redness, irritation, dryness, and even infections.  So moderation is key.  Our skin needs that top layer to stay intact since it plays a very important role in protecting our skin.  We don’t want to remove it; we just want to keep it thin.

Also remember that using too many products with exfoliating ingredients will cause irritation and redness.  Unless you are a teenager with acne doubling up on products with AHA like glycolic acid will probably prove too irritating for your skin.

How Do You Exfoliate?

There are numerous ways to exfoliate and how you choose to exfoliate will depend on your age and lifestyle.  Since as we age our cell turnover rate slows down dramatically you can exfoliate more often and with stronger ingredients as you get older.  If you suffer from acne you might find that you also need to be exfoliate more than twice a week.  For people in their 20s and 30s with normal skin a twice weekly facial scrub might be all they need to keep their skin even toned and glowing.

 

Mechanical exfoliants are scrubs that rub dead skin cells off your body.  The beads in the scrubs that do the exfoliating can be made from crushed nutshells, oatmeal, or tiny synthetic beads.  Start by using the scrub only once or twice a week in the evening. 

 

Mechanical Scrubs to Consider Trying:

Exfoliating Lotions/Serums generally have beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) or alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, citric, or malic acid – to name a few) in them and are applied in the evening after cleansing.  Depending on your skin needs you could apply the products every evening or only a few times a week.  You need to be the judge of what is best for your skin so you can get the great benefits of exfoliation without unneeded irritation.

 

Lotion/Serum Exfoliants to Consider Trying:

  • Paula’s Choice – I can only vouch for the BHA lotion.  It works great.  A good thing about Paula’s Choice is that you can buy samples for very little money so you can try her products without much of a monetary investment.

Cleansers and Moisturizers with AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acids) are yet another way to exfoliate.  Using a product like this eliminates the need to buy a separate product just for exfoliation which is important for some people.  Just remember that these products can be strong – they are meant to exfoliate after all – so you might only want to use them a few times a week.  Everyone’s skin is different so some experimentation might be necessary to find the right balance for yourself.  See my post Amped Up Cleansers for more information about cleansers with added ingredients.

 

Cleansers and Moisturizers with AHA and BHA to consider using:

 

At-Home Peels should not be confused with professional peels since any product that is marketed for home use will be buffered so as not to cause irritation and/or peeling to the user.  You actually want to see peeling after receiving a professional peel.  Nevertheless this is yet another option for superficial exfoliation at home.

 

At-Home Peel Product to Consider Using:

 

Exfoliating Masks might not be a great choice for everyone, but they are another exfoliation option worth considering.  You can simply apply the mask before entering the shower and wash it off at the end of your shower. 

 

Exfoliating Masks to Consider Using:

 

Professional Exfoliation Treatments to Consider

Both microdermabrasions treatments and chemical peels are a wonderful way to exfoliate and treat the skin.  Be sure to get those treatments from a trained professional.  A series of treatments is usually needed to see more dramatic results, but even one microdermabrasion treatment or a chemical peel will leave your skin smoother, more even toned, refreshed, and glowing.

 

Though Mae West said “too much of a good thing is wonderful”, and I think she is right when it comes to chocolate cake, french fries, and cheese it certainly doesn’t apply when it comes to exfoliation.  Remember that exfoliating will make your skin more vulnerable to the sun’s rays so be extra vigilant about using sunscreen and reapplying throughout the day.  If you are using a retinol product be sure to go easy on the exfoliating in order not to irritate your skin. 

All things in moderation would be a better motto for exfoliation.  Find the right exfoliating product for your skin and stick to it.  Your appearance will thank you.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

 

 
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