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As we age, skin can start to look dry or dehydrated. It may also lose the vibrancy we enjoyed in our youth. One of the  reasons why this might happen is due to the accumulation of dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin's surface. These dead cells lay on top of your epidermis and can cause skin to look dull.

Exfoliation helps to remove these dead cells, allowing younger skin cells to replace them. There are a number of ways to exfoliate and we'll explore them further so that you can enjoy the glow of healthy skin.

Removing Dead Cells

When we are younger, skin cell turnover is higher. That is, new skin cells are produced more quickly. As we grow older, cell turnover declines. New skin cells take longer to produce resulting in dead skin cells remaining longer on our faces and bodies. This can sometimes leading to clogged pores. Because of this, skin may begin to appear lifeless and faded. Regular exfoliation removes the dead skin cells and may also quicken the rate at which new cells are produced. Skin recovers by looking more vibrant and radiant.  

Aside from removing dead skin cells, exfoliation can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Widely used exfoliants include:
• Alpha hydroxy acids as found in topical solutions like [Link Removed]
• Manual exfoliation as with washcloths or scrubs. Performing manual exfoliation doesn't allow for penetration as deep as can be achieved with chemical exfoliants such as alpha hydroxy acids or salicylic acid. And you should exercise caution with the type of manual exfoliant that you use as some can actually tear or damage skin.  

Exfoliants help to remove the top layer of dead skin, improving skin texture and color, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and allowing moisturizers to penetrate more deeply.

Choosing The Right Exfoliant For Your Skin

Because each person's skin is different and has varying levels of sensitivity, it's important to select an exfoliant that's well-suited for your particular skin type. This may mean trying several before finding one that works for you. Also remember that exfoliants may cause some irritation at first, but your skin will eventually tolerate the formulation. Apply small amounts to begin with and follow directions closely.

Discontinue any product if you develop a rash or severe skin irritation and consult your physician. Exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight so always wear a well formulated sunscreen, daily, year round.  

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 


Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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