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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exfoliation 101 with Clinique's Guiding Dermatologist

I'm a big fan of exfoliation and when I came across this I just had to share.

Q. What are the benefits of daily exfoliation versus exfoliation treatments?

Generally we recommend relatively gentle exfoliation twice a day with the appropriate Clarifying Lotion. Keep in mind that it's better to adjust the strength of the exfoliation than to change the frequency. In other words, it's better to exfoliate twice a day using mild or moderate exfoliation than to exfoliate once a week with an extremely harsh process, like a very rough scrub, for example. Exfoliation is comparable to exercise; it's better to follow a custom fit, moderate program on a regular basis, than to overdo it, randomly. If your skin is accustomed to daily exfoliation, it's OK to exfoliate more aggressively on occasion, either at home or at the dermatologist's office (daily training versus an occasional marathon).

Q. How can exfoliating daily help your skin look younger?
Daily exfoliation improves the surface appearance and function of the skin. Studies show that exfoliation increases epidermal turnover rate, resulting in a clearer, smoother, more even-toned skin which has greater translucency, 
than skin which is not exfoliated on a regular basis
Q. What are the benefits of chemical vs. physical exfoliants?
Chemical exfoliants may have an additional beneficial action, such as acting as an anti-bacterial. Chemical exfoliation is also easier to control. However, both types will benefit the skin.
We have found salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliant, to be the absolutely best exfoliator for over-the-counter use. There are so many benefits to salicylic acid: it is a gentle, effective, non-allergenic exfoliator. It has anti-microbial properties. Salicylic acid slows down or interrupts the mechanisms that contribute to the skin looking aged. It's time-proven. Another advantage of salicylic acid as an exfoliator is that it's not a photo sensitizer. Some exfoliators can make your skin a bit more sensitive to sunlight, salicylic acid will not. In 40 years, we have never 
seen an allergic reaction to salicylic acid.