Friday, March 27, 2015

Exfoliation might not be for everyone

What is exfoliation? Basically it means rubbing off your top layer of skin. Supposedly these are the dead skin cells--leaving fresh new skin underneath, all glowy and fantastic. This also allows topical ointments to penetrate better.

The problem--according to Mary P. Lupo, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane--is that that this approach is not optimal for all skin types.

You may benefit if you have damage from excessive sun exposure or have or had non-inflammatory acne.

But you need to proceed with caution. Individuals with inflammatory acne (cysts and pustules) need to talk to a board-certified dermatologist before scraping away. The more aggressive chemical or mechanical treatments can make you skin worse.

Also, if you get dark spots after burns or bug bites, aggressive forms may not be for you.

Exfoliation can also aggravate herpes simplex or molluscum contagiosum and warts.

--If you have dry or sensitive skin, stick with milder chemical options, such as salicylic acid peels in a doctor's office. Those with thicker, oilier skin may be able to use strong things--such as 2% salicylic acid wash or a motorized brush.

--How often? Thicker oilier skin types may do it once a day. More sensitive--maybe once a week.

--Be careful buying your own products. No higher than 10% glycolic acid or 2% salcylic acid.

In other words, you can definitely overdo a good thing.

Remember that apricot pit sand people used to scrape their faces with? Do they still make that? I also remember Buff Puffs--barbed wire in a sponge.

No comments: