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Should you exfoliate your skin, why and what with?

Skin cell turnover is the continuous shedding of dead skin cells and replacing them with younger, healthier cells. Dead skin cells (no longer active, living cells) become a thickened layer of cells that eventually slough off. This process usually takes 4 to 6 weeks but as we age our bodies become less efficient and these dead skin cell layers build up which contributes to visible changes in ageing skin such as fine lines, poor texture and loss of tone.

There are several ways to hasten the skin cell turnover process. The gold standard is Vitamin A/retinols but in this article we are discussing mechanical exfoliation. This can be done either physically or chemically. This encourages lovely healthy younger cells to get to the top of skin layers improving skin health, tone, texture, fine lines and collagen production. They leave your skin feeling polished, smooth and radiant….so why wouldn’t you want to exfoliate?

Physical exfoliation such as facial scrubs and brushes, dislodge dead cells and scrub them away and should be used 2 to 3 times a week. These products can be abrasive and are easy to over-use leading to microscopic tears and cuts causing infection. Our favourites include Neostrata Glycolic Microdermabrasion polish and Obagi Professional –C (30% L-ascrobic acid) microdermabrasion mask.

Chemical exfoliators break the bonds (unglue) between dead skin cells and the skin surface. They are often found in skincare products and are either alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) such as glycolic, lactic, phytic and beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) such as salicylic acid. These should be used daily for maximum benefit. Our favourites include Obagi-C Exfoliating Day Lotion, Obagi Nu-Derm Exfoderm, Neostrata Smooth Surface Glycolic Peel containing 10% AHA, and Obagi Clenziderm foaming wash with 2% salicylic acid, particularly good for oily/acneic skins.

Whenever you use any exfoliating product you should always protect your new cells with a good quality, high factor daily sun protection cream……on top of your moisturiser and under your make-up.

Until Friday 15th October (we are closed between August 31st and September 10th) to kick start your new home peeling regime we are offering a free Neostrata face peel, rrp £50, with every exfoliating product purchased from Skin Deep. This is subject to medical history/skin suitability and one peel per person. Get in touch to find out more.