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Exfoliating: Key Part of an Anti-Aging Skin Care Program

Posted Nov 03 2008 9:02pm
There are many causes of sagging, wrinkled skin: aging and its ensuing hormonal decline and loss of skin elasticity, glycation from excess glucose (sugar) in the blood, sun damage and free radical damage from the environment. While you can't turn back the clock completely, exfoliating your skin on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do to get brighter, softer, more youthful looking skin—and yes, reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Beautiful woman
Beautiful Woman

The process of exfoliating sloughs off rough, old, dead cells to reveal the softer, smoother new skin below. It deep cleans your pores, helps fade age spots and skin discolorations, makes dry, dull skin look fresh and radiant, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There are several degrees of exfoliation, some you can do at home; and others that require professional care.

At-Home Exfoliation

Glycolic Acid

One of the best ways of exfoliating is with alpha-hydroxy acids. AHAs gently exfoliate old skin cells of the outer layer of skin (epidermis) over time and help stimulate your body's own collagen production. Using an AHA like glycolic acids, a fruit acid, in the recommended strength of 8-10% on a daily basis will help reveal fresher, healthier, more even-toned skin.


Microdermabrasion can be done at home using a kit. Typical at-home products consist of a cream with fine mineral crystals to gently sweep away dead skin cells. Over-the-counter microdermabrasion products can be used once or twice a week.

Anti Aging treatments - Microdermabrasion

Professional Exfoliating and Skin Peels

Superficial In-Office Peel

Skin care professionals and dermatologists can provide stronger exfoliation of the epidermis.

This is helpful for uneven pigmentation and reducing fine lines. Common methods include:
  • Glycolic acid peel - using a glycolic acid solution of 20-70%. Your skin may sting a bit and there may be some mild pinkness that goes away fairly quickly. For best results, glycolic peels should be done every few weeks for several months.

  • Microdermabrasion - the dermatologist uses a using a small devise that looks like a mini sandblaster that expels tiny crystals onto your skin. They loosen dead skin cells which are then removed by a small vacuum. More than one treatment may be required for best results.
Microdermabrasion- before and after
Microdermabrasion- before and after

Medium-depth Medical Peel

A chemical such as Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is applied to the skin, causing a stinging sensation. Then the acid is neutralized with water. Your skin will have a "frosted" look for up to two hours afterward. Your skin will tighten and turn brown by the second day, and start to peel the third day. It will continue to peel for 7-10 days. Medical peels are good for fading age spots and reducing light lines and wrinkles. They can really help regenerate the anti aging skin care.

Laser Resurfacing

Anti Aging Treatments - Laser Resurfacing

Laser Resurfacing

Sometimes referred to as a "laser peel," this fairly new procedure should be done by a doctor and under local anesthesia. It is commonly used to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth and forehead, and it may also be used for reducing acne scars and uneven pigmentation. A carbon dioxide laser is used to remove areas of damaged skin. Either the whole face may be done or just portions. There is 10-21 day's recovery time, during which you will probably want to stay inside and out of sight as your skin heals. Redness can last up to six months.

Anti Aging treatments
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