Combat aging – EXFOLIATE!

Want to feel that silky smooth skin you had as a baby?

As we age new skin forms more slowly, because cell turnover decreases. Cell turnover is the process by which our skin produces new cells that travel from the lowest layer of the skin to the top layer and then shed off.  The slower the cell turnover the more built up or aging skin we accumulate.  A baby produces brand new skin in just 14 days compared to 42 days for a 50-year-old person.

Try exfoliation.

It is important to include mild exfoliation in your everyday skin care regimen, to keep the top layer of the skin from getting too old and thick with dead skin cells.

Regular exfoliation is the key to keeping pores clean, skin hydrated, and reducing sun damage.  The end result is a more even complexion, smaller pores and less fine lines and wrinkles.

Exfoliation shouldn’t be confined you your face.  You can exfoliate your entire body! This will keep your dry skin at bay and help to increase circulation, lymph drainage, and decrease ingrown hairs. 

The 2 methods of exfoliation you can try at home:

1)   Chemical Exfoliation:

Chemical exfoliation is achieved through the topical use of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA & BHA).  They dissolve the glue that holds dead skin cells together on the skins surface.  AHA’s and BHA’s jump start the production of collagen, elastin and stimulate the production of new skin cells. 

You should look for products containing: Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid.  These products are typically a lotion or gel and can be found counter at any supermarket or drugstore.  However, your local esthetician or spa will have a stronger and more effective product.  You will also benefit by getting professional advice for your specific skin type and needs. 

2)   Mechanical Exfoliation:

Mechanical exfoliation uses a tool (i.e. glove, brush or sponge) or material (i.e. apricot seed, salt, sugar, oatmeal, etc.).  Pressure and friction combined with your choice of mechanical exfoliant will loosen and reduces the outer layer of dead skin cells. Be careful, excessive abrasion can result in skin irritation. 

My favorite method of mechanical exfoliation for the body is exfoliation gloves.  Exfoliation gloves are cheap ($2-$5) and can be used in combination with your favorite body wash.  I recommend starting at your feet and hands and working towards your heart.  This way you get the added benefit of increased lymph drainage, which can help to improve your immune system.