How To Get The Best Exfoliation
Glycolic exfoliation is the key to younger, healthier looking skin. But are there any steps you can take to ensure you get the most from exfoliation? Dr. Schultz discusses.Read Transcript
You've heard me say many times that exfoliation is the single most important therapeutic treatment you can do for your skin. But to get the very best results from your chemical exfoliant, regardless of whether you're using it to make your skin smoother, brighter, more radiant, and lustrous‰Û_
Or, whether you want it to help remove brown pigmentation‰Û_
Or, even if you're using it to prevent and treat acne breakouts‰Û_
Or, if your priority is to help to remove some of the early abnormal cells that otherwise go on to become precancerous keratoses and ultimately, squamous cell cancers‰Û_
Or, if you're using it for all of the above‰Û_
You want to use the optimal strength of the product.
The optimal strength for you is the highest strength your skin will tolerate without irritation or inflammation. And you can achieve that optimal strength not by using the highest strength exfoliant right away‰Û_ which by the way can be very irritating if you've never used one before‰Û_ but instead by starting with a low strength and gradually increasing it. That's because your skin usually acclimates to the slight potential irritancy of chemical exfoliants over time. So, by starting at a low strength that won't irritate your skin and then by increasing the strength slowly, you can induce tolerance in your skin and achieve optimal exfoliation.
Of course, to accomplish this you must use a chemical exfoliant that is available in a variety of strengths. That's one of the reasons I love glycolic, the gold standard of chemical exfoliants. Glycolics are available for at home use in strengths varying from one to 20%. As an example, I'll tell you how I advance the strength of glycolics for my patients.
I start by having them use an 8% ‰ÛÏstarter strength‰Û glycolic serum or cream every day for one month‰Û_ serum or cream depending on their oil water skintype. Then, after one month, I advance them to an intermediate 10% product on alternate nights while continuing the starter 8% product on the other nights. Finally, after another month, I replace the 8% starter strength with a 15% gel or cream‰Û_ again depending on their oil water skin type‰Û_ while continuing the 10% product on the other nights. That way they get the exceptional benefits of potent exfoliation without irritation.
Remember, I believe that regular exfoliation is the most important therapeutic process you can do for your skin. But regardless of which chemical exfoliants you use, make sure you increase strengths gradually to the highest, safest at home strength that you skin can tolerate, to get the best results.