Exfoliation: Chemical vs. Mechanical
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin to promote cell turnover and thereby retain a smooth, radiant complexion. Here’s an overview of the two main exfoliation techniques and the benefits they provide.
This technique relies on acids or enzymes to gently dissolve dead skin cells. The most common ingredients used in chemical exfoliants are alpha and beta hydroxy acids, often referred to as AHAs and BHAs. Alternatively, enzymes derived from fruits and plants can be used.
Chemical exfoliants can be incorporated into cleansers, scrubs and peels. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of BHAs make them a good choice if you have oily or acne-prone skin. If you have dry or sun-damaged skin, AHAs will be more effective at helping your skin retain moisture.
This method refers to the manual removal of dead skin cells using a granular substance. A variety of natural ingredients can be used as mechanical exfoliants including sugar, oatmeal and coffee grounds. A more intense form of mechanical exfoliation is microdermabrasion, a procedure that uses abrasive crystals to reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles and acne scarring.
Gentle mechanical exfoliants such as jojoba beads are a good choice for dry and combination skin, especially when used in conjunction with a chemical cleanser. However, this type of abrasive exfoliation can easily cause inflammation and should be avoided if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
What are the benefits of exfoliation?
In addition to improving the appearance of your skin, there are several advantages to making exfoliation a regular part of your skin care routine. It can:
- Unclog pores and release your natural moisturizing oils
- Reduce the frequency and severity of breakouts
- Help fade age spots and reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Facilitate the absorption of skin care products
- Improve skin elasticity by boosting collagen production
If you don’t exfoliate regularly, start slow and work your way up to a daily routine to avoid irritating or damaging your skin. Additionally, remember to moisturize your skin after exfoliating.
Visit a medical spa in the GTA
If you want to enjoy the benefits of getting a professional exfoliation treatment, visit a Canadian Beauty College medi-spa clinic. We offer microdermabrasion and chemical peels, in addition to our various skin care and waxing treatments. If you want a career in medical esthetics, we offer a variety of cosmetology programs including a chemical and mechanical exfoliation certificate. For more information, or to schedule an appointment at a medi-clinic in the Greater Toronto Area, contact us today.