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Why You Should Remove Dead Skin from Your Face and How

Updated: Jan 2

There’s a lot more to quality skincare than avoiding direct sunlight and wearing a daily moisturizer (although those are certainly important practices.) Did you know that the outer layer of your skin is loaded with dead skin cells? Kind of disgusting, isn’t it? Luckily, an easy and effective method to remove all those gross dead skin cells is skin exfoliation.

Different types of skin exfoliation and an outline of the ideal exfoliation schedule and methodology will be discussed here. You need never fret over the unwelcome presence of dead skin cells again.

Chemical and Mechanical Exfoliation

Numerous exfoliation products are on the market, and it’s sometimes hard to determine whether different ingredients or factors, like natural vs. non-natural make a noticeable difference. First of all, let’s take a look at the two most common exfoliation methods: mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation:

Mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation both assist with removing dead skin cells and promote cell turnover but differ in how they accomplish that. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically scrubbing or rubbing the skin using abrasive materials or tools to remove dead skin cells; for example, mechanical exfoliants include scrubs, brushes, exfoliating gloves, and sponges.

In contrast, chemical exfoliation uses specific chemical compounds to dissolve or loosen the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be shed more easily. The most typical chemical exfoliant component is Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), water-soluble acids that break down the substance that holds dead skin cells together, revealing smoother skin underneath. The other common chemical exfoliant component is Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), oil-soluble acids especially effective for oily and/or acne-prone skin.

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?

We recommend you start by exfoliating once weekly and gradually increase to two-to-three times weekly. That’s a good setup for mechanical exfoliation, but you can apply chemical exfoliants daily, assuming your skin can handle it and it falls within the specific product’s usage guidelines. Keep reading for a breakdown of the perfect exfoliant-based skincare routine.

How Exfoliation Fits into Your Daily Skincare Routine

As with anything else, you can’t get good results with the wrong product, so regardless of whether you’re using a mechanical or chemical exfoliator, it's important to select one that fits your skin type and skin sensitivity. Also, be gentle when exfoliating: Avoid harsh scrubbing or excessive pressure, which may cause skin irritation or damage.

As mentioned, you need to establish a consistent and appropriate exfoliation schedule. Exfoliating too frequently will strip the skin of natural oils and disrupt its barrier function, but irregular exfoliating won’t yield any results.

Don’t forget that exfoliation isn’t the only step in an effective skincare routine: After exfoliation, the consequent removal of dead skin cells and other impurities enables greater absorption of serums, moisturizers, and other essential skincare products. It’s best to think of exfoliants as team member, not a solo performer.

Above all, remember that everyone's skin is unique, so it's important to observe how your skin reacts to exfoliation and adjust your routine as needed. Consulting with a dermatologist or esthetician is also a great way to get personalized advice tailored to your skin type and concerns.

We know that some of our readers don’t just want advice on removing dead skin cells on face or other skincare tips but are more interested in establishing a career in the industry. Part of training to be an esthetician involves learning to diagnose people's skin concerns and recommend the best products and the perfect skincare routine. Interested in learning more about the career of an esthetician or skincare best practices? Request more information today about the esthetician training program at Cortiva Institute Massage Therapy and Skin Care Schools.


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