Choosing The Right Tools For Exfoliation

When it comes to exfoliation, things seem to be getting pretty sordid. If you follow the Real Housewives of New Jersey, you may have heard Caroline Manzo speak about her preferred method; face shaving, an admission that fellow housewife Teresa Giudice says, “Freakin’ blew my mind!”

This is not the first time we’ve heard of razors in conjunction with the exfoliation of skin. Dermatologists have been known to offer a derma-planing treatment which involves the running of a surgical grade razor over the skin, and both Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor swore by the amazing effects of a daily shave. With all the options out there, it may be difficult to choose the right tools for exfoliation, but, rest assured, there are ways to get glowing skin without running the risk of a five o clock shadow; here are just a few.

Exfoliating Tools

chemical mask
Chemical
Chemical peels involve the application of a solution to peel off the top layer of skin. They contain enzymes and beta hydroxy acids that loosen skin cells, making them easy to remove. Mild solutions are available over the counter, stronger ones are available by prescription.

Mechanical
Mechanical exfoliating tools refer to abrasives, such as loofahs and body scrubs that remove dead skin. Despite their name, abrasives should generally be gentle enough to not cause skin irritation, however, if your skin feels raw after use, the tool may be too harsh.

For the Face
When it comes to facial exfoliation, your best choice is a pair of soft exfoliating gloves or a micro -exfoliating cloth. Pouches are another option, although they tend to be too gentle to exfoliate as effectively as the gloves or cloth. Electric face brushes can be a good idea, but their effectiveness may vary with the type of cleanser, bristle type, and application of pressure.

Expert Advice
Before you choose your exfoliation tools, you may want to consider this advise from board certified dermatologist Mary P. Lupo, MD, FAAD

Take Your Skin Type Into Consideration
Those with dry or sensitive skin should stick with mild chemical exfoliation, such as salicylic acid peels, given by a dermatologist. If you have thicker, oilier skin, you may be able to stand stronger treatments like 2 percent salicylic acid wash or mechanical tools, like a scrub or motorized brush.

Woman using exfoliation mask
Time Exfoliation Correctly
While individuals with thick, oily skin may be able to withstand exfoliating once a day, those with sensitive skin may want to limit treatments to once a week. Also, more aggressive procedures, such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels administered by a dermatologist should generally be performed only a few times over several weeks.

Be Careful When Buying Products
Dr. Lupo suggests making sure that the products you buy come from reputable companies. She recommends over the counter products with an acid concentration of no higher then 2% salicylic acid or 10% glycol acid. Board certified dermatologists can help you pick an at home treatment best suited for your skin type and may be able to recommend other treatments for best results.

Do you know any great exfoliation secrets? Please share!

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