Over Exfoliation and Dehydration

Most new clients come in with problems that stem from one condition - dehydration.

Learn what causes dehydration, what problems come from skin dehydration and how you should exfoliate.

exfoliation and dehydration

Acne, rosacea, large pores and wrinkles

When skin is dehydrated, you'll experience more acne, more blackheads, larger pores, worsening rosacea and wrinkles.  Dehydration also plays a role in pigment problems.  The reason why is because for most repair processes moisture and protection are necessary.

The American Way

Its seems to be part of our culture to exfoliate often and extensively.  I'm not sure how this got started but it seems to stem from the feeling of wanting to be "squeaky clean".  New clients are often puzzled and nervous when I ask them to stop the never-ending array of acids, scrubs, rotating brushes and other home exfoliating machines.  Most rotating brushes even go as far as telling you to use their machine every day!  No wonder I see so much skin dehydration.

Clean enough

My Grandmother was a wiz at keeping everything clean while simultaneously making holiday dinners for her large, multigenerational family, and preparing dozens of pierogies and stuffed cabbages for us to take home.  She always recruited us girls for dish drying (there was no "dishwasher" other than Grandma).  While drying dishes, we always saw the homespun sign in her miniscule kitchen - "clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy".  

Same thing goes for skin.

Un-cringe your pretty little face and hear me out.  Squeaky clean is damaging to your skin.  Here's why...

Skin Barrier

Skin has a barrier called the acid mantle.  It's pH is somewhere between 4.5 and 6.2.  This range keeps skin slightly acidic and therefore healthy.  This barrier is a combination of skin cells, good bacteria, and sweat.  Yes, this combination keeps our skin healthy.  It fights bad bacteria and viruses, works to keep other contaminants out.  Its protective.  

The acid mantle also keep moisture in.  Keeping moisture in is what allows proper skin repair and renewal functions to proceed in an efficient manner.

Over exfoliating this barrier lessens its effectiveness, making the skin more alkaline and therefore prone to more skin problems that you thought you were working to eliminate - acne, blackheads, large pores, rosacea, wrinkles and more.

How often to exfoliate?

Its best to work with your esthetician because she or he will be able to assess the level of dehydration and advise you how often to exfoliate and with what sort of exfoliant.

If you don't have an esthetician (now might be the time to find a good one!), then start out with a gentle enzyme or low level lactic acid once per week. 

This will eliminate that "squeaky clean" feel, which you may have to get used to since that's all you've known.  It will take a few weeks, but this, plus proper moisturizing, will yield much softer, much cleaner, much better functioning skin.


joanna tringali

calm beauty brooklyn 

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