Skin cell turnover is the natural process of shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with new ones. As we age, skin cell turnover also slows down. And when old skin is not removed and replaced, our skin becomes dull, dry, and rough.
Fortunately, there are ways to promote skin cell turnover safely through a process called exfoliation. It can be done chemically, or through the use of tools.
In this article, we are sharing different ways you can exfoliate the skin, so you can choose the right one for you.
Chemical vs. Mechanical Exfoliation
A chemical peel uses acids to improve the texture of the skin on the neck and face. You may know chemical peels as Dermapeel or chemexfoliation, but the goal is the same - to remove the outer layer of the skin and stimulate the growth of new cells. The skin that grows back is younger, healthier, and smoother.
On the other hand, mechanical exfoliation uses tools to remove the layers of the skin, sometimes including peach fuzz or vellus hair on the face. Some examples are dermaplaning, dermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing. When dead skin cells and tiny hair are removed, your skin will look instantly brighter and smoother.
How Chemical Exfoliation Works
A chemical peel uses acid to loosen the bond between skin cells, causing the top layers to slough off. It removes dead, damaged skin cells, and when your skin repairs and rejuvenates itself, you may see a smoother, clearer complexion.
Medical-grade cosmetic peels contain exfoliating solutions such as salicylic, glycolic, trichloroacetic, and lactic acids. Your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will use the appropriate strength of chemical peel depending on your skin type and condition.
The Benefits of Chemical Exfoliation
Chemical peels can treat a wide range of skin issues. It can improve the appearance of more common ones like fine lines, scars, and age spots. Chemical peels can also reduce or improve precancerous scaly skin called actinic keratosis, and dark patches or melasma.
Chemical peels are budget-friendly, which is one of the reasons why this procedure is a popular choice. Light peels are generally safe for all skin types, but it could take more sessions before you can see the results you’re after. And if you have sensitive skin, be sure to consult a doctor before trying a chemical peel.
How Mechanical Exfoliation Works
Mechanical exfoliation uses tools to remove the top layers of the skin, revealing smoother and brighter skin underneath. Some popular methods are dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing.
Dermaplaning uses a scalpel to remove fine, vellus hair, and dead skin cells. Dermabrasion uses a rotating device to spread crystals that trap skin cells and dirt. Laser skin resurfacing uses a laser to remove dead skin cells.
The Benefits of Chemical Exfoliation
Because mechanical exfoliation doesn’t use chemicals, it may be more suitable for sensitive skin. The results are noticeable almost immediately, and the skin’s appearance continues to improve over the succeeding days and weeks.
The healing process from dermaplaning, dermabrasion, or laser resurfacing is also more subtle. On the other hand, redness, scabbing, and swelling are normal parts of the healing process after a chemical peel. Some people may experience redness several weeks after treatment.
Which exfoliating procedure is right for you?
Cell turnover is a natural process of shedding and replacing skin cells. But age slows down this process, leaving our skin rough, dry, and dull. Exfoliation can prompt this process again, and there are several ways to do it - either by using chemical peels or by using tools to exfoliate the skin.