Cleansing is important, so is exfoliation to remove older or dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. Both the process of removing and the removal of the dead skin cells are beneficial to our skin and health because the former helps to improve circulation (its like massaging your skin and relevant acupuncture points along with it); while the latter improves the absorption of skincare products and enables the skin to breathe more easily.
My Essentials – Exfoliation
Exfoliation is important. It supports the renewal cycle of our skin as the renewal process becomes sluggish as we age. Removing the old skin helps to maintain that renewal process, brightens our skin and enables the skin to perform at its best. You can find out more about exfoliation here. Most skincare experts and aestheticians will tell you that exfoliations should not be carried out too frequently. Depending on what you use, ranging from acids, to scrubs to dermabrasions, exfoliations can be as infrequent as once every month or twice a week. Exfoliation may be more frequent if very diluted compound is included in your facial wash – hence its important that you read the labels and monitor your skin condition closely before and after each exfoliation.
I know I’ve blogged about Abidis Peeling A recently. It has helped to smoothen my skin and allows me to use it in the day time like a normal cleanser. However, considering the price, I still prefer to use Dr. Wu Special Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid or Cure from Japan. These two products are mild and they only remove the dead skin cells. I will post a review of Cure soon, but this has been a trusted product that I use when I find my skin to be rough or dry. I do not need to worry about it over exfoliating my skin because the product (which is water based) only reacts when it comes into contact with dead skin cells. I can use this product twice in a day without causing irritation to my already sensitive problem skin.
There are many reasons for my skin outbreak, and I did notice that my skin renewal is not as efficient after I turn 30 and many times the acne will come out red and painful. I counteracted the problem with Clarisonic which provides some form of exfoliation whenever I use it. I also make it a point not to use Clarisonic when I have used or plan to use Cure to help remove the dead skin cells – to ensure I am not over exfoliating due to Clarisonic’s more abrasive tendencies depending on the amount of pressure exerted on the equipment. I will, however, use Dr Wu’s Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum if I find that my skin is still rough after using Clarisonic, to enhance the exfoliation.
As for frequency of exfoliation, I only do it when my skin feels rough despite the use of Clarisonic. However, I will not use the products every day or every alternate day because I do not believe in regular exfoliation even when the skin is in good condition. A bit of an overkill, don’t you think?
In any case, I do not use Mandelic Acid products in the day, but more at night. The next day, my skin will look brighter than before and smoother too. Nope, I do not have pieces of skin falling off like some AHA or BHA peels. :p
About Mandelic Acid (杏仁酸)
In an article published by Mark B. Taylor M.D in 1999 issue of Cosmetic Dermatology, mandelic acid is “an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) named after the German mandel (almond) and derived from the hydrolysis of an extract of bitter almonds has been studied extensively for its possible uses in treating common skin problems such as photoaging, irregular pigmentation, and acne.” In an open trial investigation, it was “shown that mandelic acid is useful in suppressing pigmentation, treating inflammatory noncystic acne, and rejuvenating photoaged skin. Moreover it has proven useful in preparing the skin for laser peeling and in helping the skin heal after laser surgery.” I would recommend that you read this article for more information on Mandelic Acid before you go grab a bottle to try.
What about your exfoliation routine? Did it help you address your skincare concerns?