Lately I’ve revisited facial exfoliation.

Why, you may wonder? Well, I had gotten a tad lazy and consequently my skin had gotten a tad droopy. So I put on my thinking cap and realized I had cut out a very important step in my skincare regimen. It’s easy to do because we are all time challenged and think we can get away with doing less. However, doing the best for your skin requires time and dedication. Not to mention a bit of jack too.

I am a Retin-A devotee. I’ve used it every night for the last 30 years and if I could only use one product, this would be the ONE! Retin-A is the product that changed my life. Yes, it treats acne, so no more breakouts. It is also anti-aging because it accelerates cell turnover. This means that your skin is constantly and continuously growing a new and fresh layer of skin. Pretty cool because you surely do not want a layer of skin you’ve had for years, right?

Retin-A is a prescription product so you do need to see a cosmetic dermatologist. This is always a good idea anyway because your doctor is the best person to analyze your skin and recommend a protocol that will give you the best results.

Something was missing.

What I had inadvertently eliminated in my morning routine was my Obagi Exfoderm Forte. This is a medical grade product with glycolic and lactic acids that removes dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover. It also diminishes hyperpigmentation and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles.

Within days of restarting use of this great product I noticed flaking in the lines and wrinkles in my lower face and jawline with an overall tightening of these areas. Who doesn’t want that! The flaking can be managed with a hydrating moisturizer or you can use the product ever other day and slow the exfoliating process. Eventually, with regular use, your skin adjusts and the PH balances and the flaking stops. It’s a small price to pay for smoother, brighter, tighter skin.

Exfoliation is essential.

Exfoliation is a very important step in good skin care. There are two main ways to achieve it: Mechanical and Chemical. Mechanical exfoliation is achieved by the use of a tool such as a brush or a sponge or an abrasive substance. You can also go to an aesthetician or other professional and get a microdermabrasion which removes the dead skin cells.

Chemical exfoliation is achieved through the use of various at-home products that contain hydroxy acids like the ones mentioned above: Lactic, Glycolic, Retinoic, and Azelaic. These are the acids that need to be in the products you are using morning and night for chemical exfoliation.

You can also do a chemical peel with a  stronger concentration of acids at home or you can go to a dermatologist. There are various types of peels depending upon how much down time you are willing to have. The stronger and deeper the peel, the more downtime and discomfort.