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Expert Advice for Exfoliation

Spring is officially here and along with it, refreshing signs of renewal in every direction.  There are the welcome seasonal changes of sprigs of vibrant green poking through thawed soil and buds opening on branches.  The home improvement stores are tantalizing us to refresh our patios with new potted plants and outdoor furniture.   Apparel stores are displaying the latest easy, breezy clothes which expose a lot more skin than winter togs.  All of the fresh energy brings out a basic drive to clear out the old and start anew; in everything from your closets to your complexion.

Undisputedly, the ravages of winter can be very hard on your skin.  Low humidity, drying caused by harsh winds and pumped-up indoor heat along with arctic air can leave skin looking haggard and sallow and feeling itchy and dry. A far cry from the rosy, dewy glow of smooth vibrant skin that we aspire to. So what can be done?

Spring Cleaning for the Skin

The best place to start is to rid your complexion of dull, winter-damaged cells and to allow new cells to become exposed.  Our skin goes through a natural cell turnover process where old hardened skin is shed through an organic process called desquamation.  However, the body’s natural cycle of desquamation is often not enough to keep up with external conditions such as drying winter conditions, oily complexions, sun exposure and pollutants. Additionally, natural exfoliation slows down as we age so more mature complexions are often duller due to the build-up of the hardened skin cells. That is where external exfoliation comes into play.  As needed, exfoliation allows you to remove the old skin cells, expose fresh new skin, increase blood circulation for a healthier, more glowing appearance and uncover smoother, more evenly toned skin.  The fresh skin that has surfaced is also more receptive to receiving moisture, preventive products such as sunscreens, and restorative treatments such as the powerful peptides and stem cell technology found in Lifeline’s Daily Defense Complex, Night Recovery Moisture Complex and Eye Firming Complex.

But first, a few important words of advice on exfoliating.

  • Avoid being heavy-handed. Overzealous exfoliation can irritate and damage skin and break small capillaries. A light hand is always best.
  • Space out your exfoliating sessions. Skin needs time to heal between sloughing.  Depending on your skin type and the type of method you are using, you may want to exfoliate on alternate days or just once or twice a week.
  • Don’t use body scrubs on your face. Products designed for thighs, elbows, heels, etc.  are formulated for thicker, stronger skin.  Delicate facial tissue can easily be damaged by using an overly aggressive product.
  • Freshly exfoliated skin is more vulnerable; so treat it that way. It is more prone to sun damage and can also over-react to treatments such as waxing or threading.

Types of Exfoliating

Exfoliation can safely be done at home as a part of your skin care routine and can be approached mechanically, chemically or done as a combination of the two.

  • Mechanical exfoliation simply means the dead cells are removed by abrasion, scrubbing or scraping. It could be through the use of a facial brush, washcloth, loofah, sloughing particles or something similar. Keep in mind, these methods all need to be performed very delicately to avoid harm.
  • Chemical exfoliation refers to the use of topical formulas containing enzymes or other ingredients, such as glycolic or salicylic acid, that break down and remove the outer layer of skin. These formulations range in strength from very gentle acids to a Chemical Peel treatment that can only be administered by a qualified skin care professional.
  • Lastly you can use combination of the two types, such as a textured sponge and a topical exfoliator, or a skin care product that contains gentle acids along with microcrystal particles like Lifeline’s or Brightening Cleanser that combines salicylic acid with delicate rice powder.

So be sure your spring cleaning plan includes freeing your complexion of the woes from this past winter.   Discover the Lifeline Skin Care exfoliator that shows off your most vibrant skin possible and make it a permanent part of your healthy skin routine.

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