An Introduction to Exfoliation

Exfoliation is the removal of the dead skin cells that reside on the outermost layer of the skin. This practice is often recommended because it reveals a fresh layer of skin that is softer, more radiant, and more accepting of product ingredients. Exfoliation can be achieved through physical, chemical, and mechanical methods. Because each of these approaches have different depths of exfoliation and levels of efficacy, not every method is ideal for every client.

When the top layer of the skin is removed, the new layer is more susceptible to sun damage and hyperpigmentation, especially when extremely deep exfoliation treatments are performed. Therefore, clients should be particularly diligent about using sunscreen on a daily basis, remaining aware of reapplication times, and avoiding the sun as much as possible immediately after an exfoliation treatment.


With the wide variety of exfoliants on the market, clients should remember to always be gentle with their skin. They should avoid aggressively scrubbing their skin or overusing exfoliation products in order to avoid redness, irritation, and microscopic skin tears; harsher exfoliation methods should be executed by skin care professionals.

When performed correctly, exfoliation is a beneficial skin care step that can help to improve a wide range of skin concerns, including clogged pores, keratosis pilaris, ingrown hairs, and dry skin.

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