What Is Exfoliation?
Before we explore whether exfoliation is good for your skin, we first want to define this important step in any skincare routine. Exfoliation involves the removal of the outer layers of skin, which is what some consider the ‘dead’ skin cells. This process can be done with a physical exfoliating product, such as a scrub, with exfoliating equipment, such as microdermabrasion, or with a chemical exfoliant, such as an acid or an enzyme.
Is Exfoliation a Skin Trick or Treat?
We take a conservative approach to exfoliation at Facial Expressions, so this is a bit of a trick question (see what we did there?). Your skin acts as a protective barrier, keeping allergens and irritants outside, and hydration and moisture inside. Even the surface ‘dead’ skin cells are still functioning to protect you. Too much exfoliation (or the wrong type) can result in removing or damaging this protective ability. Over exfoliation can lead to redness, irritation, and discomfort.
Since we focus on repairing skin barrier function in all of our facials, you might assume that we’re anti-exfoliation. However, that is not the case. Yet we do proceed with caution.
The FX Exfoliation Philosophy
Loosening and removing surface cell buildup can result in immediate improvements in texture, clarity, and smoothness of the skin. Exfoliation is also beneficial in preparing the skin for necessary extractions and allowing more efficient penetration of nutrient infusions. Therefore, we think that proper exfoliation at the right time is very much a skin treat.
We include gentle enzymatic exfoliation in all of our facials. More intensive exfoliation with stronger topical solutions is featured in many of our advanced treatments. We don’t, however, offer microdermabrasion, hydro abrasion, dermaplaning, or any other technological form of exfoliation that involves ablation, scraping, or suction.
Is Home Exfoliation Good for My Skin?
While we believe appropriate exfoliation is often good for the skin, we believe that less is more. Our primary goal is to restore healthy, well-functioning skin that is capable of desquamating (shedding excess cells) as part of its own natural processes. Along the way, that might mean that you balance your professional treatments with home exfoliation, and sometimes not.
We certainly don’t recommend harsh scrubs. Use up that apricot scrub on your feet, not your face – and please don’t waste your money on it again. (We don’t care if the label says that it’s gentle and suitable for daily use – it’s not)! Our preferred home exfoliation products incorporate liquid- or mask-based enzymes to soften and digest cellular buildup and should only be used as directed.
We take a conservative and safe approach to exfoliation. We ensure client comfort, minimal healing downtime, and optimal skin rejuvenation at all times to protect the long-term health and vitality of your skin.