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The 2 Types of Skin Exfoliants

Exfoliation-Zimmet-Skin-Vein-Dermatology-AustinThe secret to smooth looking skin is in regular exfoliating once or twice per week. The purpose of exfoliation is to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells from your skin, leaving newer, smoother skin underneath. Your skin cells are developed in the dermis and then move outward, toward the epidermis, as they age over a period of 30 days. After the 30 day mark, they are dead and fall off. Because of this, the outermost layer of skin is the oldest and can be removed through exfoliation.This is why after exfoliating, your skin feels so smooth and soft. It is important to exfoliate regularly because the buildup of dead skin can cause acne breakouts from clogged pores, small bumps from ingrown hairs, and overall dull appearance.

The following are the two main methods of exfoliation. Make sure you are using the right exfoliator for you, because some methods are better for certain skin types than others.

1.) Mechanical: This method utilizes an abrasive material to physically scrape and remove dead skin cells. They  usually come in the form of scrubs or brushes, and are typically available over the counter to be used by the individual themselves. In scrubs, small particles suspended in a cream or gel exfoliate the skin. Brushes with stiff bristles can slough off dead skin cells, too. Microdermabrasion is a mechanical exfoliant, though it must be performed by a professional dermatologist because of its invasive nature. People who have dry or sensitive skin should avoid this type of exfoliant because it can be irritating and drying. People with oily or combination skin will find this type of exfoliant the most effective because of its ability to clear pores by removing dirt and oil.

2.) Chemical: If you have sensitive skin, chemical exfoliants with ingredients like enzymes, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid may be for you. Instead of physically scrubbing away the dead skin cells, these use chemicals to dissolve the dead skin away gently. Chemical exfoliants can be applied by a dermatologist in higher concentrations or can be purchased over the counter in lower concentrations. This method is also known to fade the appearance of scars and spots over time.


If you have questions or would like to schedule an exfoliating service, contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today for an appointment and we will be happy to take care of you.


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