The Myth of Exfoliation
We've all heard that we need to 'exfoliate' our skin on a regular basis and there are a zillion products over the counter and used by professionals that will achieve that goal. Even I must admit that until I met the Doctor who created my skin care line I too believed that acids, abrasives and micro-dermabrasion were the gold standard in skin care. I learned new and stunning information after attending a class back in 2013 that completely revised my understanding of how our skin works and what exfoliation does to it. While this new information challenged everything I thought I knew about skin care, it also explained the 'why' of many issues that had puzzled me in my skin care practice when it came to exfoliation. To say that what I learned changed the course of how I practice skin care professionally would be an huge understatement. Add to that my good fortune to have the opportunity to put my new knowledge to work with my fabulous and always ready to experiment clientele and boy have we have achieved some very impressive results! So let's talk exfoliation...
Exfoliation is a natural function of the skin. Skin cells on the epidermal surface dry out and flatten over time and eventually slough off and are replaced by new plump ones. This happens in young skin approximately every 30 days and as we get older it stretches out to 45-90 days. The thinking behind the old way of exfoliating was that you apply a substance that loosens the bond the skin cells have to the surface and viola, new skin cells emerge and our complexion is once again dewy and fresh and the more frequently the better. Here comes the reality of exfoliating with acids, harsh abrasive scrubs and micro-dermabrasion and I'm willing to bet you are NOT hearing this kind of information everywhere....
Forcing exfoliation using any of these methods does two things, it does indeed force the removal of the surface skin cells, even the ones who weren't ready to 'retire' just yet. In forcing cells that were not ready to slough you create 'gaps' in the surface of your skin, your protective epidermal layer. The 'gap' I refer to occurs because the new skin cells that are to replace the ones that were prematurely removed have yet to reach the surface. Hence the description, 'forced exfoliation'. This leaves our skin vulnerable to more invasive sun and environmental damage which in turn then increases the potential to develop skin irritation, hyper-pigmentation as well as compromise your barrier. And trust me, you NEED your skin's barrier as intact as possible!
Almost everyone equates pigmentation with skin that looks aged. In addition to increasing the skin's vulnerability, that acid, harsh abrasive or microdermabrasion has also inflamed your skin to accomplish it's goal of removing skin cells. This generates a process in our skin where our natural intrinsic renewal mechanisms stop doing their 'daily' renewal work and rush off to repair the 'damage' caused by the acid, harsh abrasive or microdermabrasion. This repair process has 4 phases and if the process is interrupted yet again with another exfoliation before completion guess what happens? You got it, you are right back to square one of the repair process. So constant daily or weekly acid, abrasion or micro-dermabrasion type exfoliation methods leaves your skin in constant 'repair' mode rather than 'renewal' mode and those are two very different processes in the skin. To sum it up, the normal repair processes that renew and keep your skin and it's structures like collagen and elastin healthy and strong must divert to concentrate resources on repairing specific areas where exfoliating damaged our skin. If you are aggressive enough with your skin eventually it will develop pigmentation which is the skin's response to repairing an area it considers 'wounded'. And it goes crazy trying to protect that vulnerable spot! And the craziest thing of all is that we repeatedly do this to our skin because we think it's good for our skin! Did you know that Cellular inflammation internally and externally is the second biggest aging factor after cumulative unprotected sun exposure! We accelerate the aging effect when we essentially 'attack' our skin repeatedly through exfoliating harshly and excessively. I know you get the craziness of this outdated skin care logic!! As they say...knowing is half the battle!
While it is true that our skin's turnover rate slows as we age, as do many other bodily functions. the really great news about our skin and bodies is that science now shows we can stimulate both to do a more efficient job of healthy aging throughout our lives with the use of products that nurture and nourish rather that damage and deplete it! Through the use of non inflammatory skin care products and facial treatments you are truly are never to old to rejuvenate your skin in a healthy and natural way that will leave everyone wondering what your 'secret' is and bring out your skin's best potential! Of course we are all inevitably aging so there is no stopping that process no matter how much we wish we could, that's where you see the face that's been so Botoxed or Filled that it looks cartoonish and unreal and that isn't the least bit healthy. I'm talking about doing what we can to naturally slow down the aging process in order to be, look and feel as vibrant as possible for as long as possible! Is there a good and safe way to exfoliate? There is! Using an enzyme that only removes the dead skin cells is great for the skin and won't harm your skin and will make it look brighter and fresher and feel smooth and soft. The key is never too often or aggressively and always very gently. Of course never use anything harsh or aggressive on a sunburn or other skin irritation. Be good to your skin and preserve it by being gentle with it!! As a skin care professional I have access to incredibly sophisticated medical grade products in the Osmosis skin care line that create and encourage natural exfoliation in the skin from the dermis up...the way our skin was designed to do it while nourishing the skin to it's healthiest and most vibrant potential!
This discovery about the damaging effects of exfoliation were as a result of Dr. Johnson (creator of Osmosis Pur Medical skin care products) observing many years ago as the owner/operator of Medi-Spa's, that his clients skin did not improve as expected even when using what is still today considered cutting edge technology, things like lasers and state of the art acids for example. He decided to find out why. His journey led to his making amazing scientific discoveries about the skin and how it functions that were truly ground breaking and revealed that modern skin care was creating more aging through the use of methods that were well meaning, but very misguided . In fact he discovered that current inflammatory skin care practices were actually advancing aging on the very skin it was supposed to be preventing premature aging in! Dr. Johnson got rid of the Medi-spas and got busy creating the skin care line he has today. Once I learned the science behind this radical approach to skin care, how current exfoliation standards and products were causing more problems than they solved, I immediately ceased using any and all the acids and peels began approaching skin care as an internal AND external issue. Osmosis products are synergistic when applied externally and taken internally. This new information I had and Dr. Johnson's skin care line revolutionized my skin care practice as powerful tools I could utilize to create healthy vibrant skin from the inside out without harming a client's skin to achieve change. I've never looked back. Neither have my fabulous, always ready to experiment clientele who have taken this fantastic journey with me only to end up with really fantastic results and skin they love!
I now practice what I refer to as 'transformation' skin care. If you want to transform your skin I can show you how by providing you with professional skin care care and home skin care recommendations that will support your goals. And I can do it without burning, wounding or inflaming your skin but rather through naturally 'stimulating' your skin to do what it was created to do with amazing effectiveness utilizing skin care products and services that truly do...transform skin!
If you have questions about how the kind of skin care I practice can benefit your skin please contact use our Book Appointment tab to book a skin care treatment or consultation appointment! I love working with clients to help them achieve the healthiest most vibrant skin possible for them and I'd love to help you love yours!
Cindy, owner, Spa Joli Belle