I’m a firm believer in exfoliation and often do more than I should at times. Because I’m focused on maintaining a youthful glow and doing everything to slow down the aging process, it’s best to take a step back and understand the exfoliation healing process so you don’t over initiate your skin.
For example, it takes 14 days for your skin to maintain its new found smoothness after a microdermabrasion treatment (from a study in Skin Research and Technology). I do weekly microdermabrasion OR an acidic skin peel to maintain my facial appearance’s soft smooth glow. But if you are someone in your early 20’s or 30’s, your skin heals and turns over faster so weekly may not be appropriate for your skin. If you find your skin is too tight, feeling more like a sunburn than refreshing – it maybe your over exfoliating.
So back to the basics: Skin consists of three layers of tissues: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer. The epidermis is the outer thin layer of the skin. It consists mainly of dead cells and the main reason why exfoliation is necessary. The dead cells are replaced by new cells produced in the lower portion of the epidermis, which move upward to the outside of the skin.
This cycle of cell production and replacement takes longer as we age. On average, It takes about 28-45 days for someone in their 30’s. And slows to about 45-60 days in our 40’s and 50’s. And slows further to about 60-90 days in our 50’s and 60’s.
The dead cells accumulate on the surface of skin causing sagging and collapse of structure or what we see as lines, wrinkles, and deeper folds. And if you don’t maintain a proper exfoliation process, bacteria can become trapped causing breakouts. Or even worse is the possibility of discolored and irregular cells can also become trapped causing a more serious skin condition.
The exfoliation healing process is specific to each individual, but there are numerous ways to exfoliate so mixing and match different treatments can target in on what is best for your individual skin needs and preferences. In addition to my weekly microdermabrasion or acidic skin peels, I use a 10% glycolic acid peel at night which also helps control acne breakout. And of course I use a rotating cleansing brush twice and day to help with the light exfoliations and allows for my serums and lotions to adhere to the skin.
The exfoliation healing process is best when you are over compensating on the after affects, so try different methods to ensure your anti-aging process is efficient and effective!