I know. You’re sitting on the edge of your seats pondering this amazing little thing we call exfoliation. What is it? How does it work? And why should you bother?

Simply put, exfoliation is the process that helps get rid of dead surface skin cells. Normally this might seem… gross. Icky, even. But when the result is fresh, gorgeous, glowy skin, you gotta love it. Go exfoliation!

Regular exfoliation not only leaves your face feeling and looking silky smooth, it also increases your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, reduce fine lines, lighten hyper pigmentation and diminish acne. Sounds good, right? So here’s where you come in: the great exfoliation machine needs your assistance. There are many ways to exfoliate and they’re all pretty great. Here are our faves:

Scrubs

We’re not referring to the drugstore scrubs with apricot kernels and beads, we’re talking about pulverized pumic and diatome algae. A scrub should physically and mechanically remove dead skin. It’s a great treatment for home care in between facials unless you have active acne or exceptionally sensitive skin. Our pick: Tu’el’s Peeling Cream and Valmont’s Exfoliant.

Enzymes

Your dead skin is made up of protein. And the best way to break it down? Enzymes like papaya and pineapple. It’s an exceptionally gentle and effective exfoliation for all skin types. Skin by Marywnn includes an enzyme treatment in all of out facials.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids/Beta Hydroxy Acids

These are derived from naturally occurring fruit sugars like grapes (tartaric), milk (lactic), citrus (citric), apples (malic) and sugar cane (glycolic). AHA’s work by dissolving the intercellular “glue” that holds your dead skin cells together, which helps increase cell respiration and turnover. We fancy Glycolic Acid (sugar cane) because it has the smallest molecular weight of all AHAs. This makes it very effective for anti-aging and acne treatments. We mix enzymes and glycolic in our treatment rooms. Our pick for home use: Glyco-A-Gel from Tu-el’s.

Microdermabrasion

Attention ladies: this is a professional treatment, only. It’s a gentle “sand blasting of the face” using aluminum oxide crystals. So why do it? It provides a superior exfoliation that refines the surface of the skin. Microdermabrasion also promotes the production of new cells and stimulates collagen networking to help improve skin texture. Hands down, this is our favorite professional treatment. It’s included in the Love My Skin Facial and it’s great for reducing fine lines, acne scars and hyper pigmentation.

Now that you know all about the exfoliation thing, how do you know what’s best for you? Honestly, what you use and how often you should exfoliate depends completely upon on your skin type and your skin care goals. Make an appointment today and we’ll talk about exfoliation as well as its important friends, hydration and sun protection.