A radiant, glowing complexion is something we all aspire to have. However, the accumulation of dead skin cells on the face can often hinder our skin's natural luminosity. Exfoliation is the key to saying goodbye to dead skin cells and hello to gorgeous, glowing skin.
Here’s how to get started with removing dead skin on the face to reveal your best skin.
What Causes Dead Skin?
Dead skin is a natural part of skin regeneration. New skin cells form in the deepest layers of the epidermis and are pushed up to the skin barrier (the outermost layer of skin) in about four weeks. Ideally, the dead skin cells on the skin barrier are sloughed away naturally, but it doesn’t always work that way.
Skin cell turn over slows with age, making it even more critical to give your skin a boost with exfoliation. Makeup, skincare products, and age can affect how you naturally “shed” your skin. If the process seems sluggish, there are ways to help speed it up.
How To Get Rid of Dead Skin
Underneath that layer of dead skin cells is healthy and radiant skin. Revealing it just takes a little know-how. There are three ways to exfoliate your skin; one way may work better for your skin type.
1. Chemical Exfoliation
Not all chemicals are bad. Chemical exfoliation is the process of loosening the bonds between dead skin cells and healthy skin cells so they can easily be rinsed away.
The most common chemical exfoliants are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs):
- AHAs: You can find AHAs in cleansers and at-home chemical peels. The most common forms of AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid. These are known as water-soluble acids, meaning they dissolve in water and can only work on the skin's surface.
- BHAs: Unlike AHAs, BHAs are oil-soluble, which means they can dissolve into oil. This allows them to penetrate deeper into your skin and reach the pores. The most common BHA is salicylic acid, which you can find in numerous over-the-counter products that address breakouts.
These acids loosen bonds between dead skin cells and your healthy skin and remove unwanted dead skin from your skin’s surface. Chemical exfoliation may irritate sensitive skin, so be sure to spot-test them on an inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire face.
2. Mechanical Exfoliation or Physical Exfoliation
While you can perform gentle mechanical exfoliation at home with a washcloth or facial cleansing brush, most intensive exfoliating treatments are done at a dermatologist’s office or by an aesthetician. This kind of mechanical exfoliation involves using a machine or laser to remove the skin's top surface layer.
The most common type of mechanical exfoliation is microdermabrasion. This involves a series of treatments that use a machine to remove the top layer of skin. Most people will experience redness that takes a few days to go away.
Gentle mechanical exfoliation, or physical exfoliation, can be performed with face scrubs, washcloths, or dry brushes. This type of exfoliation requires buffing off the dead skin manually and is the preferred exfoliation method of most people. For easy, gentle exfoliation, consider using Prep-N-Glow® Facial Wipes. These dual-sided wipes feature a micro dot texture to buff away dead skin cells and reveal a glowing complexion.
Physical exfoliation is a good solution for most skin types. It’s gentle enough for everyday use but powerful enough to prevent dead skin buildup and keep it looking healthy. It’s essential, however, to remember to take it easy on your skin. Being a little overzealous with your scrubbing or brushing can cause tiny microtears in your skin, leave it red and irritated, and even increase sebum production or lead to excess dryness, depending on your skin type.
How To Physically Exfoliate Your Skin
Dead cells get an eviction notice with physical exfoliation, revealing radiant, healthy skin. It’s easy to incorporate it into your daily skincare routine, too.
Before you exfoliate, it’s vital to cleanse the skin thoroughly to remove excess sebum, dirt, and makeup. Once your skin is clean, pat dry.
Both oily skin and normal skin types should exfoliate daily. Dry and combination skin types may exfoliate daily, but skip a day if your skin becomes irritated. Use your preferred method of physical exfoliation. Apply a cloth, brush, or scrub, and gently apply pressure in circular motions. Rinse your skin with warm water.
Pro tip: You can streamline cleansing and exfoliating with NuFACE Prep-N-Glow® Exfoliating & Hydrating Facial Wipes. These dual-sided towelettes are the easiest way to cleanse and exfoliate in one fell swoop. One side easily removes dirt, oil, and makeup, while the other has micro-dots to exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Moisturize and Protect
Once you’ve completed your exfoliation, apply your favorite hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that holds 1,000 times its weight in water, helping your skin stay hydrated all day long.
Protecting your skin from external stressors like UV rays, blue light, and pollution is also essential. You can apply broad-spectrum sunscreen and an antioxidant-loaded serum, like NuFACE Super Antioxidant Booster Serum. This serum is loaded with antioxidants and plant-based ingredients to help shield your skin from the barrage of daily external stressors that threaten it.
What Are Some Tips To Help With Skin Rejuvenation?
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and helps rejuvenate skin, and minimizes the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Another way to support skin rejuvenation is with red light therapy.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Red light therapy helps to enhance skin cell turnover and increase collagen production for fresh, radiant skin. Look for a red light facial device with a combination of red, amber, and infrared light to target multiple layers of the skin for your best results, and make sure you’re selecting a red light that has been FDA-Cleared to ensure it is safe to use on skin. We recommend the Wrinkle Reducer LED Red Light Attachment for TRINITY+, which uses red light to rejuvenate skin and reduce full face lines and wrinkles.
Exfoliation is key to removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface and revealing fresh, glowing skin. Chemical, physical and mechanical exfoliation are all proven methods to help slough away dead skin cells and improve the appearance of skin. For even more radiant skin, consider using red light technology to help skin cell turnover for skin you’ll love.