Ask An Expert: Is My Cleansing Routine Cutting It?

Every week we take questions from our lovely readers and reach out to experts to get all the answers. After all, you know what you want to know best. This week we had a question from a reader on our Facebook page, Jeani, concerning exfoliating and chemical peels. Jeani asks:

I'm 57 and have pretty decent skin for my age (minimal wrinkling). If I use my Clarisonic with an exfoliant cream about 5 times a week to keep my skin looking fresh, should I also be supplementing with chemical peels? Are there other products I should be using as well?

We reached out to Northern California dermatologist Marie Jhin, MD, to get answers.

On how often you should exfoliate, Dr. Jhin says, “If you have oily skin then you can exfoliate everyday, and if you have dry, thin skin then you may not need to exfoliate.” Basically, there is no one-size-fits-all answer because it all depends on your individual skin type.

For Jeani, Dr. Jhin definitely recommends doing a chemical peel in addition to using the Clarisonic five times per week. “The clarisonic doesn't necessarily exfoliate your skin. What it does is stimulate it, but it doesn't do a complete job,” says Dr. Jhin. A chemical peel will do a better job of exfoliating your skin than the Clarisonic because it only really cleanses the surface of your skin. By doing a chemical peel, you get an even deeper cleanse. The deeper you go, the brighter your skin.

How often should you do a chemical peel? Again, it depends on your skin type. Typically, Dr. Jhin recommends doing a peel every two to four weeks depending on the results you want. It also depends on the intensity of the peel. A superficial peel can be done every two to four weeks, and a moderate peel should be done once a year.

In addition to using the Clarisonic and doing chemical peels, Dr. Jhin also recommends trying a topical exfoliant like Retin-A at night to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Applying SPF in the morning is also a very important step to take in your skincare regimen.

So there you have it. Keep asking those questions, and we'll keep getting answers for you.

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