From cold air and low humidity outside to dry heating systems inside, winter wreaks havoc on your skin.
Winter conditions exacerbate the effect of dead skin cells, which build up on the surface of your skin year–round. This leads to a dull complexion, along with clogged pores, fine lines and hyperpigmentation. The severity of these problems may vary depending on your age and skin type.
A winter skin care routine should include exfoliation to slough off dead cells and other debris. Exfoliation renews your skin and repairs damage for a healthier appearance. It also helps your skin to absorb moisturizer for greater effectiveness.
You’ll want to become familiar with different exfoliation methods to select the one that’s best for you. These include exfoliating scrubs, manual tools and chemical exfoliants, also known as chemical peels.
Manual Exfoliating Scrubs
An exfoliating scrub can be applied directly to your skin. Massage with a gentle, circular motion, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a towel before applying moisturizer. Apply gently to avoid irritation. Common ingredients include particles like walnut, apricot pits, poppy seeds, bamboo or rice bran. People with sensitive skin may choose an exfoliating lotion with gentle ingredients like lactic acid.
Mechanical exfoliation offers another option for achieving healthier skin. An electric cleansing brush with soft, rotating bristles can be used at home to gently remove debris from the surface of your skin. Other items for home use include exfoliating gloves and washcloths.
Other exfoliation methods are available at Cayce Medical Spa. Microdermabrasion using the DiamondGlow system reduces fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, sun damage and acne. It works well on dry or oily skin.
Dermaplaning is another manual exfoliation technique that prepares the skin for a chemical peel solution. It uses a specially designed blade to remove dead skin cells and vellus hair.
Chemical exfoliants or peels contain acids which clear up dead skin cells and debris for an improved complexion. They are a good option for people with oily skin or those dealing with frequent breakouts. Different types of chemical exfoliants include alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) gently loosen the outer layer of skin and reveal a smoother surface underneath. AHAs improve the appearance of pores, even out rough patches and reduce hyperpigmentation. An AHA can be applied alone or after mechanical exfoliation. Mandelic acid is one type of AHA that helps to avoid dryness. Glycolic acid is ideal for mature skin, as it penetrates deeply and helps to stimulate collagen.
Oil-soluble beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) penetrate deeper than AHAs to clear excess debris and sebum. Salicylic acid penetrates deep into pores for a more even skin tone. Azelaic acid is another BHA that kills bacteria, reduces redness and is helpful in treating acne and rosacea.
At Cayce Medical Spa, patients can receive a SkinCeuticals Micropeel that combines dermaplaning, chemical peeling and cryogenic therapy. This three-step procedure addresses a number of skin concerns including fine lines and wrinkles, laxity and dullness, hyperpigmentation and other imperfections.
How often should you exfoliate at home? That depends on a number of factors including skin sensitivity and can range from two or three times per week to daily. For best results, avoid harsh ingredients or aggressive scrubbing which could strip away essential moisture and cause irritation.
If you’re new to exfoliation and aren’t sure how to get started, reach out to Cayce Medical Spa for an appointment. Our team looks forward to answering your questions and helping you develop a personalized skin care plan that helps you put your best face forward!