Did you know as we age, our cellular renewal rate slows down. What does that mean? you might ask. Well it means that our bodies are slower to shed dead skin cells and generate new ones. This can be a very big deal in the skin and aging department!!
In fact, these are the cold hard facts about age and the rate we generate new cells:
- Babies renew their cells every 14 days.
- Teens renew their cells every 21-28 days.
- Middle aged people renew their cells every 28-42 days.
- People over 50 renew their cells every 42-84 days.
Of course genetics, lifestyle, environment, personal hygiene and a person’s medical history are factors that can play a huge role in their cellular renewal.
But…Have you ever heard the term “Soft as a baby’s bottom”? Well, a baby has the softest skin because their cells are turning over at a rate that is double or triple what we as adults experience!
As a skin care specialist, I am constantly explaining the importance of regular exfoliation. I truly believe this is in the top two things an adult needs to invest in when it comes to skin. The other being a good physical SPF. If left unaddressed, your old skin cells start to pile up on the surface of the skin, leaving it dull and a lot of times tired and rough looking. This build up will also lead to an abundance of clogged pores which can cause blemishes and acne.
When you exfoliate regularly, you are removing that barrier of dead cells that are doing the clogging, and you will expose the fresh new cells below. Exfoliation also opens up the way for other active products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which in short, will make them much more effective!
What is the best way to exfoliate?
A good skin care regimen that incorporates the regular use of a product containing Retin A (Vitamin A), such as retinols or retinaldehydes can be a good base for achieving that fresh and healthy skin. Depending on your complexion and skin sensitivity, your aesthetician can customize an individual plan that meets your specific needs. There are many products out there containing retin-A. Some are over the counter and some are only obtained by prescription. I recommend by-passing the OTC products and heading straight for the good stuff. A medical grade product will always achieve better results quicker.
In addition to good products, I recommend a manual exfoliation once a week. A good gentle scrub that contains smooth granules will be sufficient to get a great glow. Try to avoid scrubs with jagged, rough particles, such as some of the apricot scrubs that are out there. These can be too harsh and irritate the skin.
It is also a great idea, I believe, to have a chemical exfoliation every once in a while. A series of chemical peels (series of 3 spaced 4-6 weeks apart) done 2-3 times per year can be very beneficial and give your skin a good boost. Keep in mind, for those with very sensitive skin, you may want to dial it down a bit. Perhaps choose lighter peels and lessen the frequency of them.
If you want healthy, glowing skin, regular exfoliation is a definite must! Be careful not to over exfoliate. This can leave your skin dry and irritated. A visit to your favorite skin care specialist should ensure you get on a healthy routine that is exclusive to your skin. Happy exfoliating!!!