Exfoliation 101-Part 2

Exfoliants are essential for achieving smooth, healthy, and glowing skin. They come in three types: physical, chemical, and enzymatic, and each one has its unique way of promoting cell turnover and resurfacing the skin. Some exfoliants only remove the top layer of the skin, while others penetrate deep into the pores to exfoliate at a more profound level. 
Physical Exfoliants (Normal skins, body)
When it comes to exfoliants, physical ones are the most abrasive and traditional type. They utilize crystalline granules or tools to manually remove the top layer of skin, which can help stimulate lymphatic drainage and increase blood flow. However, these types of exfoliants can be too harsh and cause micro-tears in the skin if used too aggressively. Therefore, it's recommended to save scrubs for body parts with thick skin, like the arms and legs, instead of using them on the face.
If your skin is normal, thick, or oily (without acne), a mild scrub or delicate brush could benefit you, but those with sensitive, acneic, or eczema-prone skin should avoid physical exfoliants as they can cause inflammation and damage the skin's barrier. 
Chemical Exfoliants (All skins)
Chemical exfoliants are a great way to get rid of dead skin cells on the surface or deeper layers of your skin. They work by dissolving the substances that hold old cells together, making way for fresh, new ones. Unlike physical exfoliants, chemical ones aren't as abrasive, meaning that they're suitable for just about anyone, as long as you choose the right strength and formula for your skin. They also come in a variety of formulations, from powerful facial peels to gentle cleansing products and toners that are perfect for daily use. There are three main types of chemical exfoliants: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). Each of these acids has a unique molecular structure that determines how deeply it can penetrate the skin. To get the best results, it's recommended that you use a blend of acids to renew the skin on multiple layers at once.
  • AHA's-Alpha-hydroxy acids:  are water-soluble compounds naturally derived from various fruits, sugar cane, or milk. Think of glycolic acid (from sugar cane), malic acid (from apples), lactic acid (from sour milk), tartaric acid (from grapes), and citric acid (from citrus fruit). Because they’re water-soluble, AHAs work mainly on the skin’s surface to loosen the bond between dead cells and don’t typically penetrate deeper layers. Ideal for fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and retexturizing.
  • BHA's-Beta hydroxy acids: BHAs best known for preventing and treating acne. The most prevalent BHA is salicylic acid, which is oil-soluble. This means it can penetrate the fat layers, reach into pores and unclog them of impurities and bacteria. BHAs are particularly useful in regulating excess sebum production, balancing oily and acne-prone skin, clearing congested pores, and reducing breakouts.
  • PHA's-Polyhydroxy acids: PHA's consist of lactobionic acid.  They are gentler than AHAs and BHAs, hence are more suitable for sensitive, problematic, and dry complexions. 
Enzymatic Exfoliants (All skins including Sensitized and Rosacea)
Enzymatic exfoliants are a gentle option for those looking to improve their skin's texture. These exfoliants use natural enzymes from fruits like pineapple and papaya to break down keratin and dissolve dead skin cells. Because of their gentle nature, they work well on people with sensitive skin and provide additional benefits such as hydration and brightness. Some enzymes even have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that can help protect the skin from damage and treat acne and blemishes.
Choosing the right exfoliant for your skin type and concerns is essential. Whether you are dealing with acne, dullness, or uneven texture, there is an exfoliant out there that is perfect for you. It is recommended to exfoliate once to twice a week to encourage cell turnover and allow your serums and moisturizers to absorb and work more effectively. Always make sure to listen to your skin and keep it hydrated. Additionally, using a physical sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, especially after exfoliating, is crucial. If you need guidance on the right exfoliant or exfoliating treatment for your specific skin concern, don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@faceology.ca.
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