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Ask Dr. Schultz | Derm TV | What Is Exfoliation?

What Is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the single most important treatment you can do for your skin. But what is exfoliation?

Even though you may not notice, every 28 days, the skin cells on the surface of your skin die, revealing younger, brighter, smoother skin below it. However, as you age, those dead skin cells don’t necessarily fall off when expected, and instead, start to build up. While you may not notice it with the naked eye, this causes your skin to become rough, which makes it dull. The cells also trap excess pigment, making your skin discolored. And these dead cells can even clog your pores.

When you exfoliate, you remove those dead skin cells. This helps even your skin tone, prevent pores from clogging, and makes your skin’s surface smooth again. When you exfoliate with a gentle but effective exfoliant, such as glycolic, you make your skin look younger. So now, instead of wondering what is exfoliation, make sure to exfoliate as part of your daily skin care routine.




Video Transcription

Hello, I'm Dr. Neal Schultz And welcome to DermTV. You’ve heard me say many times that exfoliation is the single most important therapeutic treatment you can do for your skin. Advances in cosmeceutical ingredients in the past 20 years have enabled people to achieve incredibly effective results by performing exfoliation at home with the consistent use of topical products, especially glycolic based exfoliants. Like many other subjects in skincare, there is a lot of misinformation available about exfoliation and today’s episode is to simply tell you what exfoliation does and does not do. First, exfoliation does not make your skin more sensitive to the sun if… and this is very important… If you’re using effective sunscreen and if you’re not over exfoliating Exfoliation also does not thin your skin… Yes, it removes the extra dead cells - that’s what exfoliate means - to shed from a surface - but it also thickens two of the underlying live layers of the epidermis to make the skin healthier and look better. Next, exfoliation does not dissolve other skincare ingredients applied at the same time… At home glycolics work slowly over hours, not in a few minutes… However, glycolic and salicylic exfoliants will inactivate brittle retinoid products if they are applied at the same time… But I almost always prefer glycolics to retinoids.

Does exfoliation irritate your skin?

Exfoliation does not irritate your skin if your exfoliant is glycolic based, pH adjusted and buffered and in a skintype appropriate vehicle. Exfoliation does not prevent you from using self tanners… Since self tanners work by staining your dead cells, exfoliating before using self tanners gives you a much more even tan. Yes, exfoliation will fade your self tanner faster so you have to reapply… But it then keeps getting more even and more natural looking. Exfoliation with at home products does not make you more vulnerable to herpes cold sore out breaks.

What does exfolation do?

So what does exfoliation do? Exfoliaton makes your skin healthier, more radiant and younger looking. It helps prevent and control acne breakouts It helps remove early abnormal cells that go on to form precancerous growths. It helps other skincare ingredients penetrate better into your skin It helps moisturizers work better. It helps remove unwanted brown discolorations. It helps treat and prevent ingrowns It removes the need for make up and if not completely, then it certainly enables you to use much less. It makes self tanners work better. It helps remove unsightly and uncomfortable callous and fungus on the bottom of your feet And it treats keratosis Pilaris, also called chicken skin, on your arms and thighs. So there you have it. Now you know why I love exfoliation, and why it’s truly the single most important therapeutic treatment you can do for your skin.

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