Daily gentle exfoliation is a very important step in any highly effective skin care regimen. As we age, our skin’s natural exfoliation process becomes very inefficient leading to dull, dry, sensitive skin and clogged pores. The outer layer of skin, the epidermis, is comprised of dead skin cells and as this thickens, the skin’s natural oils are not able to penetrate and moisturize the surface. With proper exfoliation, your skin will become healthier and more radiant.
There are 2 forms of exfoliation, physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation consists of scrubbing the skin with abrasive substances such as salt, sugar or apricot seeds. Physical exfoliation is not recommended on the face because the skin is very delicate and this type of trauma causes the skin to form a grainy, bumpy texture. Chemical exfoliation is the most effective, but be careful to choose a non-irritating product.
Chemical exfoliation can be achieved with certain topical ingredients. My favorite is topical Vitamin A in the form of Retinaldehyde (Retinal). These work by increasing cell turnover allowing for the body to remove the dead skin cells and replace them with new healthier skin cells. Retinaldehyde is a potent alternative to Retin-A. Retin-A can be a great exfoliator, but for many it is too irritating and drying. Retinaldehyde is a must for everyone because not only does it exfoliate the skin, it stimulates collagen and prevents sun damage and acne.
Other effective topical exfoliation ingredients are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA). These have been a part of skin rejuvenation for centuries. AHAs and BHAs work by loosening the glue-like lipid bonds of the dead skin cells of the epidermis. The most common AHAs are lactic acid and glycolic acid. These are gentle exfoliators that can be used for all skin types. The most common BHA salicylic acid is also highly effective. BHAs are oil soluble and are best for acne prone, oily skin.
My favorite Mikel Kristi exfoliation products:
Rejuvenating Swipes with:
At this point, your basic skin care regimen should include the following:
Stay tuned for Step 4: Collagen Stimulation
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Hello beauties!! Let’s have a little skin care education today and talk about a popular ingredient many of my patients have been asking me about lately. It’s called niacinamide, pronounce (ni-ah-cin-ah-mide). It can be found in many foods such as meat, fish and milk, green vegetables and beans. But the real craze is its presence in lotions, creams, sunscreens and facial serums. It comes with a lot of tout and patients are all too excited to tell me they have purchased products with this ingredient, even if they don’t know just what properties this ingredient has! So, let’s discuss.
The truth about sunscreen!
Facts and Myths about one of the most important products you use should be using EVERYDAY!
There are some very popular truths and misconceptions about sunscreen. Let's clear some of those up today!!!
1. Sunscreen is not always necessary
Many people think sunscreen is only needed on very sunny days. If I can't see the sun, do I really need sunscreen?? The answer is yes. If you are outside, you are being exposed to UV rays. Wear that sunscreen. And don't forget about your body. The tops of your shoulders, arms, and chest need just as much sun protection as your face.
Safety & Sun Protection
Living in Arizona means that we are in the sun almost every day of the year, and summertime activities, vacations, picnics and pool parties mean we are in the sun even more. But regular exposure to the sun can wreak havoc on the skin, leading to unsightly brown spots, redness, broken capillaries, large pores, saggy skin, wrinkles and skin cancers. To prevent these changes, a broad-spectrum sunblock needs to be applied daily.