Growing New Skin:the Use Of Exfoliants Out with the old, in with the new. That’s the job of an exfoliant: to remove old and dead skin, allowing new and healthier skin to resurface. Exfoliating is a great way to achieve radiant skin that is soft and smooth,like a baby’s bottom, because it allows the new skin to retain moisture, which also slows the aging process.

Although exfoliants can help your skin look amazing, if you’re not careful, they can also damage skin that is sensitive, dry, or acne prone. Ingredients in exfoliants can contain fruit seeds, shells, botanical extracts and alpha hydroxyl acids. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to find a product that has small granules so as not to break the skin. Other types of exfoliants are salt or sugar-based scrubs.

Here are the three most common ingredients in acid exfoliants:

1. Alpha hydroxy acids include Glycolic Acid (Origin:Sugar Cane), Lactic Acid (Milk), Tartaric Acid (Grapes), Citric Acid (Citrus Fruits), Malic Acid (Apples), and Mandelic Acid ( Almonds). These ingredients are good for treating dry skin, acne and sun spots, and improving skin texture, reducing fine lines, and increasing skin thickness. The most effective alpha hydroxy acid is glycolic acid because it increases cell exfoliation and replacement, and reduces surface oils.

2.Beta hydroxy acids are more effective in treating blemishes. Salicylic acid treats acne, dandruff, psoriasis, and dermatitis. This product is good for more sensitive skin.

3.Tretinoin (Vitamin A acid, Retin-A, Renova) treats acne and aging, sun damaged skin. This product can cause irritation within the first few days.

I recently tried an oil-free apricot scrub with salicylic acid (for blemish control). Although after using this product my skin was extremely soft and smooth, the next day my face really broke out despite the salicylic acid. I later discovered that many experts recommend that people with sensitive skin should not use scrubs with ground fruit pits. So I continue the search for the perfect scrub for my skin type.

Exfoliants don’t necessarily have to be a facial or body scrub, they can also come in the form of cleansing accessories. The newest trend are the easy to use facial cleansing cloths that contain small fibers to gently exfoliate the face. Loofah sponges and exfoliation brushes in combination with your favorite cleanser also help exfoliate the skin. For rougher skin, such as the heels of your feet or elbows, an exfloliation brush is probably best.

Shoulsd everyone use a scrub? Well, that depends. If you have oily skin, yes. If you have sundamaged skin, yes. But individuals with sensitive skin might want to avoid it.

By pauline