Exfoliating: The Missing Link to Great Skin?

You wouldn’t think that Christie Brinkley and Pharrell Williams have that much in common, but the fact is that both attribute their great skin to exfoliating. Genetics and a healthy lifestyle can’t be discounted, naturally, but both the legendary model and stylish musician have been open about how exfoliating has contributed to their youthful looks.

When you exfoliate, dead dry skin cells that sit on the skin’s surface are cleared away. Although harmless, these skin cells can make skin look dull and dry. Remove them and healthy new skin shines through. Additionally, when you exfoliate, you get rid of the barrier that may impede the absorption of subsequent active ingredients.

You can exfoliate in one of two ways – chemically or mechanically. Mechanical exfoliation relies on pressure – a washcloth or a scrub will help to whisk away dead, dry skin cells. Results from mechanical exfoliation depend on the skill of the practitioner. Rubbing too lightly may be ineffective. Rub too harshly and you risk causing irritation. That’s why we prefer to exfoliate chemically by incorporating ingredients that will do the work for us in as simple a way as possible.

Here are our two favorite ways to exfoliate:

  1. With a Cleanser: Why not let your daily cleanser do double duty? Many cleansers now include extra-value ingredients like antioxidants and hydrators. Look for soap-free cleansers that include alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, malic acid from apples and other fruit acids. Our favorite is Apothekari AHA-Mazing Gel Cleanser with its triple combination of lactic, malic and tartaric acids.
  2. With a Vitamin C Serum: Although vitamin C is mainly known for its free radical fighting properties, this skin care workhorse can also be used as a way to exfoliate on a daily basis. Our Apothekari Bespoke vitamin C serum in either 10% or 15% concentration is formulated with a low pH to help remove dead skin cells. By allowing the serum to penetrate the skin for 30 minutes prior to applying other treatments and products, the L-ascorbic acid will help to “dissolve” the glue that holds skin cells together, very much like AHA’s, thus revealing the newer, fresher skin underneath.

Here’s a bonus tip you may not be aware of: retinoids are a great partner in the exfoliating process. As cell communicators, retinoids increase cell turnover, pushing the old cells to the top for quicker and easier removal. Maybe that’s why fans of Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging retinal serum say it makes their skin glow!

Unfortunately, exfoliating the face is most likely the one thing that gets cut out of your skin care routine when you run short of time, but we’re hoping to convince you that it’s quick, easy and worth the tiny bit of extra effort to accomplish this step, all without having to give up what little leisure time you have.