(Did you know our ultrasonic skin scrubber uses the same technology as your hygienist's ultrasonic tooth scaler?) Ultrasonic sound waves combined with the correct protein-dissolving substances, provide you with the deepest follicular cleaning possible, without over-stripping the skin's protective barrier.
Using heavy particulates, strong acids, and scrubbers can damage your skin. It can set you up for inflammation, spread acne & other bacterial infections and viruses, break capillaries, and even stimulate hyperpigmentation, leaving your barrier damaged.
Depending on your skin type and conditions, you may require professional exfoliation monthly or quarterly. Professional exfoliation can remove months of congested build-up without: redness, over-stripping, and irritation, leaving the protective barrier intact.
Every clinical facial at Skinplicity includes customized exfoliation incorporating protein-digesting enzymes, ultrasonic soundwave pulses, and natural chemical resurfacing agents. There is never an up-charge for professional exfoliation treatments when you are having a clinical, deep cleansing facial. Be aware of that other spas may charge you in-excess of $100 more on top of your facial. Look for the deceptive wording "enzyme peel"... that's esthetics marketing for "you are being overcharged for something you should have received at no additional cost". Skinplicity provides comprehensive skincare services without breaking your budget.
The sad truth about harsh and abrasive exfoliation is that in only a short time, it has the exact opposite effect on your skin than what you are hoping to achieve by doing it! It actually can cause the very skin you are trying to avoid: prematurely aged, dry, dull and inflamed; creating a dangerous environment for more problems.
Most people believe the surface of the skin is covered by dead, useless cells that make the skin look dull, prevent the skin from “breathing” and can clog up the follicles. They believe that by scrubbing them away with rough, granular substances, they can make the skin bright and fresh again.
In reality, some of these “dead” (annucleated/without a nucleus) cells are the mature functional cells of the skin. They are there for a special purpose. You may feel as though your skin is healthy and glowing after exfoliation, but the truth is you have exposed very vulnerable immature cells to pollution, damaging UV rays and oxygen, long before nature intended or equipped them to cope with these hazards. The cells are shocked by this sudden exposure and cannot truly perform their function of protection because they themselves require protection from the mature cells that have now been scrubbed away. Hydration will be lost as these vulnerable cells try to adapt to this sudden harsh environment. Bearing in mind how good the skin looked immediately after the exfoliation, it seems that the obvious answer is to repeat the exfoliation and remove these offending dead cells again! And so the cycle of damage goes on.
What have you actually done to your skin by improperly or over-exfoliating?
You have seriously thinned the outer layer, so your physical protection has been removed, and your skin cannot protect itself from the everyday attacks from ultraviolet light rays and free radicals. Your DNA is normally protected by your stratum corneum, but when it is exposed to excessive UVA and UVB rays, this can make you prone to numerous problems and even to develop cancers. Your skin is now much more vulnerable to damage and photo-aging.
Your natural waterproofing barrier has been broken, and so water can easily evaporate out through this damaged layer. As a result, the deeper layers of your epidermis become dehydrated. This impaired layer also means that dangerous chemicals may permeate the skin far more easily, and they will be able to get into your skin in greater concentrations.
The same is true for any other environmental pollutant. The chemical “messages” from the surface to the deeper layers of the epidermis where new cells are made, require and adequate layer of cells to preserve hydration and prevent unwanted substances from entering! Over exfoliation of your skin has now created a problem and it is operating in emergency mode.
You have interfered with its normal physiology.
When excessive amounts of the outer layer have been removed, one is looking at immature cells that have not yet developed the keratins, which are necessary to make them into corneocytes that make up the stratum corneum. This new cells are very vulnerable to oxidative stress.
You have heard about oxidation, which is a break-down & damaging effect to something when a substance is exposed to oxygen, and/or UV light. Some examples of oxidation are: a cut apple turns brown when exposed to air, clothing fades in sunlight, metal becomes rusted when exposed to water and the breakdown causes oxidative rust.
Oxidation of the skin can be referred to as "cellular rust". Oxygenating the skin from the inside by stimulating blood flow is a good thing; but exposing the external skin to oxygen is aging and damaging. These immature cells have no protection from the relatively high concentrations of oxygen in the air (21%) which can damage healthy cells. In addition they don’t have the protective walls to survive the relatively dry atmosphere and cannot prevent evaporation of water from the skin, so the cells dry out.
This is why a few days after extreme micro-dermabrasion is performed and the skin is not restored properly post-treatment the skin no longer looks plump, moisturized and healthy. Its going to take about another 7 days before the stratum corneum function is restored, if you're lucky enough to have not added further damage to the skin from sun exposure, incorrect products, etc.
This is why it's extremely important to heed your professional skin care provider's advice as to how restore the barrier after an aggressive treatment, or you have unintentionally damaged your skin at home. A professional exfoliation treatment ALWAYS includes skin-balancing protective serums, and barrier protecting products post-exfoliation.
(Hint: Having "oxygen" blown on your skin as part of an 'oxygen facial' treatment is NOT good for your skin. However, a good facial which stimulates circulation, blood flow, and removes lymphatic waste, is GOOD for your skin. It creates health-giving oxygenation of the tissue from within.)
Despite the initial healthy appearance after exfoliation, the net result of repeated or over-exfoliation of healthy skin exacerbates significant exposure to environmental toxins and free radicals, creates unnecessary dehydration and interferes with the normal functioning of the skin. Add to that the inevitable exposure to UV radiation makes your skin more likely to become photo-damaged and develop cancers. By ignoring natural processes and interrupting them, you have actually hastened the very thing that you are trying to avoid!
There is nothing scientific about scrubbing your skin as though it were the kitchen floor, and removing everything that nature provided you with to protect your skin/body and keep it properly moisturized. Most people do this scrubbing too frequently. This is why it's very important to have a proper professional exfoliation treatment done when necessary to prevent congestion. Your skin care provider knows how to effectively remove the excess layer without damaging that protective mechanisms in place. She'll also advise you how to maintain a healthy barrier.
The point of proper exfoliation and skincare is to improve the skin health, maintain a better layer of hydration, and help it to be more naturally resistant to damaging UV light and environmental pollutants – not to just make it look better for a short time.
Having said all of the above, I believe that proper exfoliation is important when performed intelligently for specific reasons. However, exfoliation should be performed only when necessary and not make it a daily or weekly routinely unless you are advised differently from your skin care provider. It should not be part of the routine care of healthy well-nourished skin. Say NO to daily exfoliants, no matter how gentle they feel! Advanced, scientific and sensible skin care lines actually make exfoliation less necessary, and we should rather concentrate on keeping our skin barrier as healthy as it could be.
These are the few instances where exfoliation is necessary:
If you have severe photo-aging, congested skin from severe acne or inflammatory rosacea, the stratum corneum/top layer, will be unnaturally/excessively thickened, and your skin will take on a discolored tone & rough texture. It may also be more prone to break out. If you have acne, the congestion process of the skin is exacerbated, so you need to reduce the excess cells that mix with the sebum and cause comedones, pustules, and pimples.
The more congested the outer layer, the more acne get a foothold because it starts and thrives in the deeper layers of the skin. This happens because the cells are kept in contact with each other for an unnecessarily prolonged time by the desmosomes or cell attachment system. In some people the basal keratinocytes (first cells to form in the embryonic epidermis) over-respond to irradiation by UVA and UVB rays by setting up processes whereby the total growth cycle is unnaturally lengthened, and the very top-most cells stay stuck on the surface of the skin for as much as three weeks longer than usual.
This is an unnatural and unhealthy condition that requires professional exfoliation treatments, sometimes several. It is always better to do small professional exfoliation treatments in a sequence, than one big one.
This gives the skin time to reset it's healing process
in between each treatment and stay balanced.
Wondering why your skincare products don't seem to work? A thickened, congested layer interferes with the penetration and absorption of well-needed nutrients, actives, and antioxidants. So if you intend to treat a condition, it is sometimes useful to start off with a proper professional exfoliation, so that the active ingredients of your therapeutic products
can penetrate and work more effectively.
Your skincare professional can put you on products which will help to gently break up congested cells and loosen them so that they can be more easily washed away with your normal skin care routine. It is also very necessary to supplement the skin with antioxidants such as vitamin C, niacinamide and alpha lipoic acid, amongst others, to enhance the free radical scavenging necessary to help maintain the cellular health of the tissue.
The more we can scavenge out free radicals, healthier the tissue stays. The more you expose yourself to damaging ultraviolet radiation, the more quickly your skin ages, it breaks down the foundational scaffolding that keeps the skin firm, and it creates hyperpigmentation and thinning.
So, don't forget to use your mineral sunscreen.