What is the difference between all the types of exfoliation and why do you need to exfoliate? First I’ll start by telling you a little bit about what the skin does. As the skin naturally renews we get what we call keratinization on the surface of the skin. These are little dead skin cells and what happens is if we strip the skin too much or we over exfoliate with the wrong type of exfoliant we start to get a condition called hyper keratinization.
Hyper keratinization is when the surface of the skin starts to get stressed or feels threatened it produces extra dead skin or little ‘ant mounds’ to protect it and then what happens during that process is bacteria will sit on those little ant mounds, oil that we produce gets stuck and then we start to breed bacteria and that could be why we start getting breakouts, so a good exfoliation technique is very important for skins that break out but also for aging or dehydrated skin.
It’s incredibly important that we exfoliate to help remove that keratinization or dead skin build up because the facts are if we don’t exfoliate properly and then we’re using a good treatment serum or cream it won’t actually penetrate as it creates a barrier, so it is important to exfoliate approximately once – twice per week.
Let’s talk about the different types of exfoliant, the first type and probably the most common is what we call mechanical exfoliation, which is large granular beads that literally slough away dead cells. Many of them can be quite sharp and really irritate the skin even when they’re not large so it is very important to avoid mechanical exfoliation if you have a thinner skin, are more sensitive or if you have lots of breakouts.
The next type of exfoliation is what we call enzyme exfoliation, which is generally activated by water and probably the most popular form of exfoliant as it is suitable for any skin type. The GDC Silky Scrub in our Excel O2 range is an enzyme powder and lasts 12 to 18 months so it’s not something you need to be replacing all the time. How it works is it “gobbles” dead skin cells and helps to lift them up and out like a vacuum. It contains rice extract so it helps to even out skin tone and colour and leaves the skin nice and bright and there’s no stinging or irritation with this product so it’s perfect.
The third type of exfoliation is a peel. There are many different peels but the most common peels are alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acid (AHA or BHA) The most popular AHA is glycolic acid and the most popular BHA is salicylic acid, it just means different molecular structures that work at different levels within the skin.
Peels are deep skin renewal, so it’s like you have an old timber table and you want to sand the top off it to remove the paint and condition the timber. Peels are ideal if you have a skin that has uneven skin tone, thickened/sun damaged skin or open pores. You would not use this if you have sensitive/thinned skin as it will create inflammation which can trigger your melanocytes which is what causes darker patches or pigmentation on the skin.
At Germaine de Capuccini, we have professional use (in-salon) Enzyme and AHA Peels as well as a deeper Peel containing Lactobionic and Ferulic Acid. We also have homecare products, the Glycocure Retexturising Booster that you can use every day under your moistusirser for gentle daily exfoliation and Glycocure AHA Mask (used once to twice weekly). The mask is applied and left on for 5-8 minutes and then you roll it off over the skin. It acts like a mini micro dermabrasion or a mini peel on the skin so if you’re having micros or peels you could use these products at home to continue that peeling process.
To sum up the difference in exfoliation, we have physical (mechanical) which is little beads working away, we have enzymes which is gobbling away and giving the skin a good vacuum and then we have your peeling product which is your AHA or BHA’s. I hope that helps to clarify the different types of exfoliation and if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Head Office team on 1300 432 100.