Exfoliation and the Skin
Skin care advice from the experts at UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care:
You're in the grocery store and you see a variety of grapes to choose from. The green ones seem to be calling your name (OK, some of us are partial to green grapes). The outside appears a bit shiny and feels soft to the touch, yet firm, with a slight jelly-like feel when you press one between your fingers. Of course you squeeze them… you don't want to buy overly ripe, mushy, rotten ones, do you?
You pluck one off the bunch and pop it in your mouth. Mmm… sweet, moist and juicy.
Our new skin cells at their birth could visually be compared to that of a fresh grape. As they make their way through the five layers of our epidermis, they begin to lose moisture and dry out. Once they reach the top outer layer, known as the stratum corneum, they have become hardened through a process called keratinization and retain less than 9-15 percent moisture.
Now, they can be compared to a raisin. Eventually, they dry out and naturally slough off from the skin. In your lifetime, you will lose enough dead skin cells to fill an extra large suitcase!
When we are born until about the age of adolescence, we shed and regenerate new skin cells roughly every 10-14 days. Through our teenage years this process happens about every 14-20 days. In our 20s, it starts to slow down to between 28-35 days. And then we hit 30 and above... It can take 6-8 weeks and beyond for our skin's cells to rebirth, rise to the top and naturally shed and slough off.
Maybe as of late you look in the mirror and notice that your skin seems more dull and lifeless. Possibly your skin seems more sallow and ruddy looking. Fine lines and wrinkles seem to appear and become more prominent.
HELP!! What can I do?
Exfoliation to the rescue! This can be achieved by a variety of methods and your choices are either a manual, mechanical means of removing the buildup of dead skin cells or a chemical means.
Physical options include things like a Clarisonic rotating brush system (available at UW Health Transformations), which sonically vibrates the dead skin cells off using ultrasonic waves (think of how a sonic toothbrush works). There are physical cleansing scrubs with gentle microbeads that can be used 2-3 times a week in place of your regular cleanser, such as the SkinCeuticals MicroExfoliating Scrub (available at UW Health Transformations).
Or maybe you prefer a chemical process with hydroxy acids that "eat" the dead skin cells (think of the game Pac-Man). They work by gently dissolving the glue-like substance in our skin that holds the dead skin cells together. This can be achieved with products such as SkinMedica's 15% AHA/BHA cream or SkinMedica Retinols in .025%, 0.5% and 1.0% strengths, Prescription Retin-A (the strongest topical preparation) - both available at UW Health Transformations.
Additional choices include professional chemical peel treatments such as our popular micropeel service. For others, maybe a laser treatment called a laser micropeel is a suitable choice. Learn more about our Jeune Skin Care peels
So, step it up and start incorporating some sort of exfoliation into your routine. After all, don't we all want our skin to feel smooth as a baby's bottom?
Need more help?
Call (608) 836-9990 or (866) 447-9990 (toll-free) to request a free UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care consultation or to schedule an appointment. You may also request a consultation online: