What Is Skin Exfoliation?

Does skin exfoliation mean I must rub a coral sponge on my face until it’s raw? Does it mean I must plaster my face night and day with creams so I don’t get blackheads the size of dimes!? What is skin exfoliation!? I’m confused!

It’s hard to look through a magazine, turn on the TV, or read any lifestyle/health and beauty blog without hearing/seeing the term “skin exfoliation” at least a few times as companies try and hock their products and skincare solutions. It’s a hot term for marketing firms, and at this point, it’s almost hard to understand what it means. Does it mean I must rub a coral sponge on my face until it’s raw? Does it mean I must plaster my face night and day with creams so I don’t get blackheads the size of dimes!? What is skin exfoliation!? I’m confused! 


If you can relate to these questions/frustrations, well then, this blog is perfect for you! In this piece, we’ll review what skin exfoliation (actually) means, dispel some rumors, and explain how you can enter into a routine that will keep your skin happy, healthy, and looking great!

So, What Is Skin Exfoliation?

In completely basic and understandable terms, skin exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin's surface. These deceased cells accumulate over time, leading to a dull complexion, clogged pores, and skin issues like acne. At some point, advertising agencies decided skin exfoliation was a hot term to sell all types of skincare products, but at its root meaning, it’s the process of cleansing skin of dead cells.

Why Is It an Important Process?

Skin exfoliation is one of the foundational processes of almost all types of aesthetic facial services and general skincare routines. It’s pretty simple: You cannot work on your skin and promote healthy new skin growth without getting dead skin first to vacate the premises (your face/body). It’s like starting with a clean canvas instead of something that has remains of someone else’s old work on it. 


Skin exfoliation will help with:


Cell renewal: Our skin naturally sheds dead cells from birth, but this process slows down as we age. Exfoliation accelerates cell turnover so new, healthier skin cells can get their time in the spotlight. 


Unclogging pores: Dead skin cells can clog pores, leading to blackheads, acne, and generally unhealthy-looking skin. Exfoliating can prevent and alleviate these issues.


Skincare solution absorption: By removing the barrier of dead skin cells, exfoliation allows skincare products to penetrate deeply/more effectively, hence maximizing the potential for great results.

How is Skin Exfoliation Done?

what is skin exfoliation

Skin exfoliation can be broken down into two main categories - physical and chemical. While there are many different approaches, techniques, and philosophies under each category, all treatments will stem from one or the other. 

Physical skin exfoliation:

Physical skin exfoliation involves using abrasive surfaces/tools, such as scrubs or brushes, to remove dead skin cells (remeber back to my coral sponge joke). Some people associate negatively with this method, as excessive scrubbing can damage the skin's protective barrier and lead to irritation, especially for sensitive skin.

Chemical skin exfoliation:

Chemical exfoliation is usually recommended for people with sensitive skin who are more cautious about abrasive scrubs. Most chemical exfoliants use a variety of acids, such as alpha hydroxy acid, in very light amounts mixed with other solutions to gently dissolve dead skin cells, allowing them to wipe off the skin, not be removed with force.

We Can Help Reduce The Appearance of Scarring

At Elevation Massage and Spa, we offer a variety of skincare treatments that incorporate some form of skin exfoliation. From quick and refreshing facials like our Diamond Microdermabrasion or Dermaplaning facial to TCA chemical peels, collagen induction therapy, and even microneedling, there’s a service for all skin types and needs. 


Even for those with the most sensitive skin, there’s a treatment/solution that can help to rejuvenate and promote healthy cell growth without risking bad irritation. Seasoned experts can tailor an exfoliation routine to your specific needs. Remember, achieving healthy, glowing skin is a holistic journey that requires consistent care and attention.


Just click the links to book a facial or massage in Houston!

***Disclaimer: results vary from individual; there is no guarantee that you will get the same results as other clients have from these treatments. Results vary. Best results happen in a series - recommendation is a series of 3-4 appointments. For best results, sun exposure must be limited in the first 48-72 hours after treatment; no direct sun exposure 24/7 SPF is required during the post-treatment recovery time.  Consultation is required prior to a microneedling appointment. -  Elevation Massage and Spa.


Maria Elevation
Maria Elevation
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