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Over time, dead skin cells build up and clog your pores, leading to a dull and tired-looking complexion. Laser skin resurfacing removes these dead cells effectively; but the procedures are harsh on your skin and can leave you red and irritated for hours or even days. If you are looking for skin resurfacing alternatives, there are other ways to remove the skin's dead outer layer to reveal a more youthful and fresh appearance.
Scrub Away Dead Skin
You can exfoliate your skin at home to remove these dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth while boosting circulation. There are three types of exfoliation: chemical, enzyme and mechanical 1. With mechanical exfoliation you'll use scrubs to remove dead skin 1. Chemical exfoliants include: creams, lotions and gels; while powers, cleansers and masks are used in enzyme exfoliants. When applying an exfoliant to your skin, gently scrub in a circular motion to remove dead skin, pat dry and follow with an oil-free moisturizer. You don't need to spend a lot of money to find an effective exfoliator; loofahs or even brown sugar will be effective at revealing younger, brighter skin.
- You can exfoliate your skin at home to remove these dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth while boosting circulation.
- When applying an exfoliant to your skin, gently scrub in a circular motion to remove dead skin, pat dry and follow with an oil-free moisturizer.
Glycolic Acid & Dark Skin
Microdermabrasion, while not as harsh as laser resurfacing, should still be performed by a professional such a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Microdermabrasion uses a small device to blow fine crystals onto your skin, polishing the surface. A vacuum then removes the crystals along with the dead skin cells, resulting in unclogged pores and professional exfoliation 1. The over-the-counter microdermabrasion kits that are available, while more cost-effective, won't produce the same results as having the procedure performed professionally.
- Microdermabrasion, while not as harsh as laser resurfacing, should still be performed by a professional such a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
- The over-the-counter microdermabrasion kits that are available, while more cost-effective, won't produce the same results as having the procedure performed professionally.
Pamper Skin With a Peel
Chemical peels also resurface the skin and, like microdermabrasion, should be performed by a professional 2. The skin care provides places the chemicals on your skin, causing it to blister and eventually peel off. Although not extremely painful, you may experience a warm sensation lasting between five to 10 minutes after the chemical application. This is often followed by brief stinging when you remove the peel. The goal of a chemical peel is to remove the dead, outer layer of skin to reveal a fresh and brighter complexion. Depending on the strength of the chemicals used in the peel, you may need medication or time away from work to recover.
- Chemical peels also resurface the skin and, like microdermabrasion, should be performed by a professional 2.
- Depending on the strength of the chemicals used in the peel, you may need medication or time away from work to recover.
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- She Knows: Exfoliation
- Cleveland Clinic: Chemical Peels
- Elle: Peels vs. Scrubs: What's Best for Your Skin
- Neill US. Skin care in the aging female: myths and truths. J Clin Invest. 2012;122(2):473-7. doi:10.1172/JCI61978
- Rodan K, Fields K, Majewski G, Falla T. Skincare bootcamp:the evolving role of skincare. plast reconstr surg glob open. 2016;4(12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp):e1152. doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000001152
- American Academy of Dermatology. How to safely exfoliate at home
- Soleymani T, Lanoue J, Rahman Z. A practical approach to chemical peels: a review of fundamentals and step-by-step algorithmic protocol for treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(8):21-28. PMID: 30214663
- Fox L, Csongradi C, Aucamp M, Du plessis J, Gerber M. Treatment modalities for acne. molecules. 2016;21(8). doi: 10.3390/molecules21081063
- Lee CM. Fifty Years of Research and Development of Cosmeceuticals: a Contemporary Review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2016 Dec;15(4):527-539.
- Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin. Molecules. 2018 Apr 10;23(4). pii: E863.
- Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, et al. Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2016;74(5):945-73.
Angela Stokes received her Master of Science in health promotion management from the American University in Washington, D.C., focusing her studies on health policy and corporate health, including prevention and wellness. Stokes also holds a Bachelor of Science in human resources management with a minor in economics.