To Peel or Not to Peel? That is the Question.

(OR QUITE POSSIBLY THE ANSWER)

When I ask people to tell me about their skin care regimens, the one step most often missing is exfoliation. Everybody understands the importance of cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreening…but exfoliating? Why bother? Well, exfoliation is probably the most important thing that you can do to keep your skin healthy.

Teens. When hormones start ramping up, both oil and cell turnover go into overdrive. And it takes time for the skin to figure out what the heck to do with it all. The result is a face full of oil trapped under layers and layers of dead skin cells, A.K.A a fun-fest of bumps, blackheads, and pimples. Exfoliation helps keep dead skin from building up so pores remain open, oil flows freely, and no bacteria can grow.

20s-30s. College, jobs, kids…the 20s and 30s truly define the term, “stress.” And with stress comes hormonal fluctuations that create an unbalanced ecosystem of oil production alongside dehydration. Additionally, our busy lives often lead to a lack of self-preservation. Exfoliation can help our products penetrate better in order to protect healthy cells from environmental damage.

40s-50s. As our skin ages, cell turnover slows way down. What used to take 21 days now takes 35 days or more. Meanwhile, time has left lots of dead, damaged skin cells sitting around making pores look larger, sun spots darker, and fine lines less “fine.” Just like a snake, we need to shed that outer layer to reveal the beautiful skin beneath. Exfoliation triggers the underlying tissues to produce new, healthy cells so that old, damaged cells will take a hike.

What are my exfo options?
From at-home scrubs and enzymes to in-spa peels and microdermabrasion, there are many options to choose from. All options come in different formulations and intensities, so let your esthetician pick the best one for you. It just might be the answer you’re looking for.

Top 3 Skin Care Myths Debunked

Myth #1: If you have oily skin you don’t need moisturizer. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but moisturizers are not just for dry skin. Every skin type–oily, acne-prone, normal, or dry–needs some sort of moisturizer to keep it hydrated, balanced, and nourished. Also, oily skin can be dehydrated (lacking water) just as commonly as dry skin. So if you don’t moisturize, your skin will just produce more oil to try and compensate.

Myth #2: If you don’t wear makeup, you don’t need to wash your face before bed. I hear this excuse a lot. So here is a little illustration from my personal life: Today I did not wear any makeup. I did put my moisturizer and sunscreen on after my shower, like a good esthetician. I ate three meals, sneezed and blew my noise several times, touched my keyboard and many bathroom doors, itched my nose countless times (4 in the last 2 minutes), touched my face at least 100 times, rubbed my eyes, went outside into the sun and pollution, pet a dog, held my neighbor’s baby (who also touched my face), drove and put gas in my car, and so on. Even though I washed my hands numerous times, it’s pretty clear that my face is anything but clean. And now I’m going to get into bed and rub all of this into my drool-soaked pillow for the next 8 hours. Sleep is the time for your skin to rest and rejuvenate, and it can’t heal if it’s busy fighting off the effects of the day.

Myth #3: Anything marked “natural” or “chemical free” is best. I have been an esthetician for 15 years. And more often than not, when I see someone on my table complaining of acne, redness, and inflammation they’re buying their skin care from Whole Foods. In their minds, “natural” is better. But the truth is that organic skin care just doesn’t deliver results. In fact, a lot of these “natural” ingredients can cause inflammation and allergic reactions if not formulated with lab-derived delivery systems. Read more on this topic in my previous blog: http://ritual-spa.com/the-truth-about-organic-skin-care/