For the beginning of the year, get a fresh start: integrate into your weekly skincare routine an essential key step that is often overlooked, exfoliation. Find out in this article what it’s used for, what types of exfoliation there are and which one will best suit your skin and its needs!
WHY EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN?
The skin naturally renews itself according to a cycle that lasts an average of one month. During this cycle, cells die and are replaced by new ones. At the end of this cycle, each cell becomes a “dead cell” and ends up on the surface of the skin to be naturally “exfoliated” (eliminated / removed from the epidermis). However, this natural mechanism tends to slow down considerably under the influence of external stress factors (such as fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, tobacco, alcohol…) but also with age. An excessive layer of dead cells can then accumulate on the surface of the skin and cause disorders:
- the skin becomes thicker, breathes less easily and the active ingredients of your skincare products have more difficulty to penetrate the epidermis,
- the pores become blocked and sebum no longer flows normally,
- the skin becomes duller and rougher,
- skin depressions (wrinkles, fine lines, scars…) are more marked as the dead cells pile up on their edges,
- pigmentation disorders (such as spots) remain visible because the pigment, melanin, stays present in the dead cells.
Exfoliation is then a real “new skin” gesture that helps the skin to eliminate more quickly the dead cells that have accumulated on its surface and thus stimulate cell renewal. The disorders mentioned above fade away, leaving the skin more accepting of the active ingredients, with fewer imperfections, more luminous, softer, smoother and more unified.
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN?
As skin cell renewal is a continuous process, with dead cells arriving at its surface every day, it is recommended to give your skin a boost by exfoliating once or twice a week. In case of hyper-reactivity or -sensitivity, a monthly exfoliation may be sufficient. If you ever suffer from certain skin conditions diagnosed by your dermatologist, it is best to ask him if he advises you not to exfoliate your skin.
Choose the day and time of your exfoliation carefully, since exfoliating your skin can make it fragile in the face of certain climatic aggressions (sun, wind, heat, cold, etc.). For example, you should avoid exposing yourself to the sun the day or even the day after your exfoliation (or else you will need to bring a sunscreen) and above all continue your skin care ritual after exfoliation to provide essential nutrients and protection.
In certain particular cases, it is recommended to put any exfoliation on standby: for example, if your skin suffers from severe rosacea, if it is hyper-sensitive (following a medical-aesthetic procedure) or if you are taking a powerful anti-imperfection medical treatment (such as Roaccutane), or if you are pregnant (because the skin is more sensitive during these 9 months), it is not recommended to exfoliate your skin.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EXFOLIATION
Skin exfoliation can be done according to three main classes of exfoliating cosmetic ingredients: enzymatic agents (gentle exfoliation), acidic agents (expert and targeted chemical exfoliation), or mechanical agents (mechanical exfoliation). Discover the ones that are made for you!
1- Chemical exfoliation of the skin with acids
The principle of chemical acid exfoliation
The acidic agents used in the chemical exfoliation of the skin have a so-called “keratolytic” action, they dissolve the lipidic cement that holds the cells together, the dead cells are thus more easily dissociated from the still “healthy” cells for a very effective accelerated desquamation. This type of exfoliation is very powerful and very targeted, it is inspired by professional methods practiced in medical-aesthetic or dermatological practices. But of course in cosmetics, the percentages of acids remain much lower and allow to offer bluffing effects in full tolerance with few irritations than those carried out by professionals.
The most well-known acidic exfoliating agents used in cosmetics are:
- AHA or Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids, such as glycolic acid (often extracted from sugar cane and particularly indicated to attenuate the signs of ageing such as wrinkles, spots or loss of elasticity because it penetrates deeper than others thanks to its small size), lactic acid (which can be found in some fruits), or citric acid (present in some citrus fruits including lemon), or malic acid (from apples), tartaric acid (from grapes) and many other fruit acids …
- BHA or Beta-Hydroxy-Acid, such as salicylic acid, is inspired by a molecule that occurs naturally in willow trees. They are particularly indicated for oily and blemished skin, as it has purifying and anti-inflammatory benefits in addition to its exfoliating action. Its lipophilic properties (it is a molecule that likes fat) allow it to be effective on blackheads and other micro-cysts that are often found in combination and oily skin or in certain forms of acne.
- PHA (Poly-Hydroxy-Acids), such as Glucono-Delta-Lactone, are the gentlest of the chemical exfoliants because their molecular size is larger, so they penetrate more slowly into the epidermis and are less aggressive.
For which skin types is chemical acid exfoliation suitable?
So-called chemical exfoliants can be suitable for all skin types, even combination to oily and/or blemished skin, and also normal to dry skin in search of radiance. The only limit to use will be the concentration present in the product and the sensitivity of the skin to this dosage, so it’s very important to always make a first test on a small area of skin before using a new product.
CODAGE products that offer chemical facial exfoliation
CODAGE offers you three products enriched with chemical exfoliating agents for an incredible “new skin” effect, two of them are lotions and the third one is a mask:
- The Peeling Lotion is very highly concentrated in acids (25.5% in total) which gives it a pH of 3.0. It is enriched with 17.5% AHA, lactic and glycolic acids and various fruit acids, and 8.0% PHA (Glucono-Delta-Lactone). This lotion is CODAGE’s most effective exfoliating product. It can be used once or twice a week in the evening. During the first week of use, it is recommended to impregnate it on a cotton disc previously moistened, so that the skin can get used to this new treatment.
- The Purifying Lotion is ideal for combination to oily skin in daily use in the morning and/or evening after cleansing the skin, it contains fruit acids and salicylic acid for an effective exfoliating action.
- The Micro-Peeling Mask is a gel-cream that combines AHA (5.5% fruit acids) and BHA (2.0% salicylic acid). It can be used once or twice a week and can be left on the face for up to 20 minutes.
2- Enzymatic exfoliation of the skin
The principle of enzymatic exfoliation
The exfoliating agents here are enzymes that accelerate the disassociation reactions between dead cells and the “healthy” cells of the skin. This technique is gentler than chemical exfoliation and gives also impressive results!
For which skin types is enzymatic exfoliation suitable?
Often much better tolerated, so-called enzymatic exfoliants can even be used by reactive and sensitive skin.
CODAGE products that offer enzymatic exfoliation for the face
A gentle enzymatic peeling has been added to our two masks that can be used once or twice a week:
- The Purifying Mask, is dedicated to combination to oily skins, it helps to regulate sebum production thanks to its matifying and anti-blemish agents. It has been infused with an enzymatic peeling to provide an ideal clarifying action for skin with imperfections. The skin, purified, regains balance, soothing and radiance.
- The Moisturizing Mask, has been designed for dry and dehydrated skin. Its nutritive and moisturising agents help to strengthen the hydrolipidic film and rebuild the skin barrier. Dry and dehydrated skins are also very often dull, the addition of an enzymatic peel provides a boost to the skin’s natural radiance in just a few tens of minutes!
Choose the one that best suits your skin’s needs!
3- Mechanical exfoliation of the skin
The principle of mechanical exfoliation
Mechanical exfoliation involves the removal of solid particles, grains, which by friction detach dead cells from healthy cells. These particles are now necessarily of natural origin and biodegradable (nuts peel, rice particles, sugar, fruit pulp spray, plants, spices, etc…), so they do not harm the ecosystem by passing through the pipes and then into the marine environment. This type of exfoliation is ideal for treating blackheads and dry areas.
For which skin types is mechanical exfoliation suitable?
Often used too abruptly, mechanical exfoliation is not recommended for sensitive, reactive skin as it can accentuate irritation. Likewise, oily skin and/or skin with imperfections should not select this type of exfoliation because rubbing the grains tends to excite the sebaceous glands and aggravate lesions (such as pimples), leaving the door open to bacterial proliferation. All other types of skin that can withstand rubbing can of course use this type of exfoliation.
The CODAGE face product which offers mechanical exfoliation
CODAGE’s Scrubbing Cream exfoliates the skin of the face thanks to its rice grain particles while soothing the epidermis thanks to its shea butter. It is used once or twice a week on dry skin, with light circular massages until the cream is absorbed. It is then rinsed off with clear water.
You now know all about facial exfoliation and the different options available to you at CODAGE: on your marks, get set, go, exfoliate!