Which Type of Exfoliation is Right for You?

The skin naturally exfoliates about every 28 days, but regardless of the body part, it can only shed so much on its own. Exfoliation is key in maintaining healthy skin, helping it shed quicker than normal, which is why exfoliators need to be used.  Not sure which type of exfoliation is right for you?

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.

What has been your experience with exfoliating? Let us know. 

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  • LaurenLosAngeles

    My derms excellent facialist told me peels are a better way to exfoliate for a more even exfoliation.Aside from exfoliating by face and body* peels(TCAetc/Laser treatments at our favorite dermatologists and plastic surgeons, is it safe to buy and use a pure glyycolic acid at home peels(like a 10percent peel which can be purchased online at a site like dermstore?) 'Glytone'has been endorsed by many reputable derms for a long time. Is 10 percent a strong at home peel to begin with?Other at home face peels never state the exact acid percentage. I wonder if most At home peels is general are even strong enough to begin with. The best peels I've discovered so far are the beauty juice green apple strong peel. (There is one for sensitive skin)and Lather's 10 minute glycolic brightening peel. Do you have suggestions for a stronger peel and a strong 'BODY PEEL' I can't find a good and strong body peel anywhere to use inbetween medical treatments. I would like to stop usuing an entire jar of a face peel on my body, per treatment lol. lol using a 50$ jar 3 times a week may very well be a waste of money.help!

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  • Mahgela

    Exfoliation is very important in my skin care routine. I have oily/combination skin, i do manual exfoliation twice a week and a chemical exfoliation once a week. It may not be enough i am not really sure but it leaves my skin relaxed, flawless and silky. I also do the manual exfoliation all over my body every other week. I get a lot of compliments. My sking is really smooth.

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  • Skin Care by Marla

    Exfoliation is "key" as Mr. Pinto indicates. The appropriate type of exfoliation will benefit all skin types and conditions. Talk to a licensed esthetician to get the right treatment for your skin. You will love the results!!

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  • Claudio Pinto
    Master Aesthetician - New York, NY

    Exfoliation is key to maintaining healthy skin. I would recommend Clarisonic Daily - If you have oily skin use the deep pore cleansing brush, maybe a mask one a week - Instead of the beads and scrubs which can be too harsh for the skin I would go with chemical exfoliation. Peels are very healthy and can address many skincare concerns and the penetration is much more efficacious than any other methods of exfoliation!

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