Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to Exfoliate

Recently, I have had many people complain about their skin "suddenly" breaking out and having issues with an increase of "acne-like" pimples and cysts. Unfortunately, there are so many factors that could contribute to this problem, that if I were to address them all, I would be writing a book at this point. However, with the onset of this remarkably hot and humid weather, it seems that a course in exfoliation might be just the key to controlling some of these pop-up breakouts.


The many benefits of exfoliation

The primary function of the epidermis is “to keep the insides in and the outside out”, and without proper exfoliation, dead skin cells(and whatever bacteria that comes in contact with) can get trapped on the skin’s surface. When they’re trapped, they build up, and keep all the nastiness IN. Mild daily exfoliation enables the skin to shed this unwanted layer more effectively and better absorb additional daily cosmeceutical ingredients.


The life of a skin cell

From beginning to end, the life cycle of every skin cell you have is about 28-30 days. During the last week of this cycle, cells become flaky and dull. Our skin works hard to shed these dead cells, but this process takes longer and longer as we age. That’s why using a product to exfoliate skin is key.

Life of a skin cell

Week 1:
A cell is “born” – bright, new and healthy. This layer is regenerative (it is closest to blood flow in the dermis) and provides color to the skin.

Week 2: Here, the skin cell still maintains a healthy color. Its shape becomes more irregular as it begins to accumulate toughening proteins — preparing to become part of your body’s most protective barrier.

Week 3: The mature cell has now broken down a bit with age. It is wider, flatter, and adheres strongly to other cells. This cell is tough and protective.

Week 4: It only takes a few weeks for this once healthy skin cell to become flaky, dehydrated and colorless. This final stage consists of about 10 to 30 sub-layers of dead cells. Two to three of these layers are shed daily. Exfoliation will help the process.


Chemical vs. physical exfoliation

Physical vs. 
Chemical Exfoliation

What part of the skin do you exfoliate when you exfoliate skin?

A. The top “protective” layer of skin, A.K.A the epidermis. It’s made up of both living and dead cells, and they’re always growing and dividing. When this happens, cells are pushed up to the top layers of your skin, where they eventually die and flake off. BUT – did you know that as you age, your ability to shed dead skin cells decreases? So they pile up and cause problems like clogged pores and an overall dull tone, and the more build-up, the harder it is to keep your skin hydrated, moisturized, and clear. Time to exfoliate skin with the right skin care product!

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