collection_title | Beauty and Skin by Claudia Flynn

Physical Exfoliation – what is it, which type should I use and how often?


Exfoliation is the removal of the outer layer of dead skin cells from the face and body using physical or chemical means. It leaves skin feeling soft and glowing, increases circulation and cell turnover. It gets rid of the dull, lackluster, and uneven texture of the skin revealing a fresh complexion underneath.  It also helps remove impurities and pore-clogging matter reducing acne breakouts. 

Mechanical or Physical Exfoliation:

This includes products like face scrubs or skin polishers.  They contain micro particles that gently scrub off dead skin cells.  Often they contain AHAs or BHA (alpha/beta hydroxy acids) which work to dissolve the oils holding the dead skin cells in place.  Devices like Clarisonic skin brushes and Konjac sponges are also a type of physical exfoliation.

In the spa room, services like dermplaning and microdermabrasion are popular facials. Dermaplaning is a skin treatment that uses an exfoliating blade to skim dead skin cells and hair from your face.  It is also called microplaning or blading.  Dermaplaning aims to make your skin’s surface smooth, youthful, and radiant. It is also used to remove “peach fuzz,” the short, soft hairs on your face.  Your makeup will sit beautifully on your face after this treatment!

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure used to renew overall skin tone and texture. It can improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, and other skin-related concerns and conditions.  The procedure uses a special applicator with an abrasive diamond tipped surface to gently sand away the thick outer layer of the skin to rejuvenate it.  A more advanced version of this treatment is hydrodermabrasion which incorporates tiny jets of liquid exfoliation along with the diamond tip, to infuse products, vacuum extractions, and oxygen infusion of serums. 

Your esthetician-prescribed homecare routine will normally contain some type of exfoliating products to be used a few times a week. They can vary in intensity but will leave your skin smooth, soft, and better able to absorb serums and creams.

Over-exfoliation can be an issue for some people who are a little addicted to that scrubbed-skin feel!  If you feel like your forehead is shiny, wax-like, and tight – more than likely you have over-exfoliated.  Other signs include dry patches, sensitivity, redness, and irritation.  To combat this, you can apply Aquaphor or Vaseline to the affected area, hydrate with sheet masks and cold rollers like Image Skincare Hydrating Hydrogel Sheet Masks, lather on the moisturizer, and lay off any retinol or active ingredients until your skin has healed. 

Some of my favorite physically exfoliating products are:

Image Skincare Iluma Brightening Powder: This water-activated, micro-exfoliating cleansing powder gently polishes and buffs away radiance-impairing dead skin cells to brighten and illuminate the skin. Gentle enough for daily use and perfect for all skin types, it smoothes uneven skin texture and preps skin to better absorb active ingredients. Suitable for all skin types 

Image Skincare Ormedic Skin Polisher: This gentle daily polisher refines and balances the skin. Pomegranate enzymes, olive pit powder, and bamboo spheres smooth away dullness to reveal a newfound radiance. Caviar lime extract, a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids, helps to leave the skin feeling soft, smooth and refreshed.

And if you have any questions, send me a message and let's talk!


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published