Enzymes, Acids, and Scrubs...Oh My!
Exfoliation! An important step in maintaining your skins health.
It's a fact of life that we all need a little exfoliation in our lives. You probably hear it all the time, "girl, just exfoliate and moisturize". #boybye But why do we need to exfoliate, how do we exfoliate properly, and what products should you use for your skin?
Why do we need exfoliation?
What's that saying? Baby soft skin. Everyone wants baby soft skin. That saying, obviously comes from babies and their skin being super soft that you just want to squeeze their little cheeks. Babies and young kids have such soft skin because of how fast their skin cells shed and regenerate. On average, babies skin cells shed on a 14 day cycle, quickly giving way to that new skin below and giving them that baby soft skin we all wish we had. As we age, that cycle slows down. Teenagers are roughly a 21 day cycle (that combined with rapid change in hormones often gives way to acne). And then as we get into our 20s-30s we slow to about a 28-30 day cycle, and it keeps slowing as we age further.
With that said, we need to give our skin a little kick in the butt to help shed those skin cells a little faster and bring on that new skin. That's where exfoliation comes in. By exfoliating you are sloughing, dissolving, or digesting dead skin cells that build up on top of the skin which dull our complexion, clog pores, and prevent products from being effective.
When + how often should we exfoliate?
Everyone's skin is a little different so talk to your esthetician or contact us directly for a complimentary skin consultation to come up with an ideal plan for your skin. However, most people are safe with 2-3 times per week exfoliating at home and then getting a facial once a month for a deeper treatment.
Generally, exfoliating at night is the way to go. Always cleanse first to take the day off and then follow up with your preferred method of exfoliation. Finish your routine with your toner, any treatment serums, and moisturizer. Overnight is when our cells are doing all the heavy lifting to regenerate. When you exfoliate at night and follow with your treatment products, you are helping them work that much better as they are getting deeper into the skin.
As always, make sure to wear your SPF in the morning. (Side note, if you are not wearing AND reapplying SPF EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., you are wasting your money on all other treatment products.) #SPFBFF
Different methods of exfoliation
There are so many ways to go with exfoliation, here are the different options, what they do, and who they are best for.
1) Manual/Mechanical Exfoliation: Scrubs and dry brushing fall under this category. By scrubbing the skin, you are sloughing off dead skin cells that sit on top of the skin, giving way to that newer skin below. This method is great for the body (specifically anywhere you have hair removal performed) and anyone with normal to oily skin without active breakouts. If your skin is more sensitive or you have active breakouts, it is best to skip this method and go with either chemical or enzymatic exfoliation. Manual exfoliation can be a bit too rough for sensitive skin and, in the case of acne, may spread bacteria around the face rather than treating it.
When going with manual exfoliation, look for scrubs that have either spherical exfoliator components (think jojoba beads) or have been milled multiple times over. Many products (like certain apricot scrubs), have exfoliating components that are jagged and can create micro-tears in the skin, leading to long term damage of the skin. Skin Script's Raspberry Refining Scrub or Retinol 2% Scrub/Mask are both great options for a manual exfoliation.
2) Chemical Exfoliation: We're talking acids here! The good kind. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) each have their own benefits for the skin and gently breaks down the "glue" that holds those dead skin cells together. Glycolic, lactic, and malic acid all fall under the AHA category and are great for those with dry skin, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and lightening pigmentation. Lactic and malic acids are both great options for more sensitive skin and especially good for dry skin. Skin Script's Glycolic & Retinol Pads and Glycolic Cleanser both are AHA exfoliators and perfect for anti-aging and lightening.
BHAs on the other hand, like salicylic acid, are better for helping to treat acne and for those with more oily skin. Salicylic is oil soluble so it will bind to the oils in your skin, break them down, and help to combat any over production. Skin Script's Glycolic Cleanser, Glycolic/Retinol Pads, and Clarifying Pads all have chemical exfoliation benefits for the skin depending on what type you are looking for. Use the Raspberry Refining Cleanser and Clarifying Pads from Skin Script to get that BHA exfoliation!
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before using any AHA or BHA exfoliating methods.
3) Enzymatic Exfoliation: Enzymes are an amazing way to gently exfoliate the skin that anybody can do! Enzymes are like little pacmen that digest the glue that holds the cells together. They aren't as aggressive as chemical exfoliation so are a much better bet for extremely sensitive skin. Typically the enzymes are derived from fruit such as pineapple, papaya, pumpkin, etc. At The Honey Pot, we offer a variety of different enzyme masks that we use as treatments to address any concerns you might have from lightening and brightening, anti-aging, breakouts, and more! For home use, the Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum is the perfect addition to your routine. It provides a very gentle exfoliation and anyone can use it, even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you're still not sure which way to go with your exfoliation, then shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule you for a complimentary skin consultation (either in person or via phone) to set you on the right track!
All products mentioned above can be purchased here!