Buffing Basics

By Christen Brummett

Regular exfoliation is key to keeping the skin looking radiant and young. However, not all exfoliation is the same, and deciphering through which one to use is hard enough, let alone choosing the right in-treatment exfoliation. Here is a brief outline of what you need to know about exfoliants:

•Mechanical Exfoliation- uses scrubs to slough off dead skin cells. Common ingredients are nuts, seeds, or crystals.
•Chemical Exfoliation- uses acids to eat away dead skin cells. Most common ingredients are Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic Acid, Bromelain, and Papain.

At Home:
•Should be exfoliating once or twice a week at home
•Light mechanical is recommended for normal, combo, dry or mature skin
•Light chemical exfoliation, such as low percentages of Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic or enzymes are great for oily and acne skin

In Treatment Room
•Deeper forms of exfoliation such as Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion should be avoided on clients using Retin-A, Renova or other forms of Tretinoic Acid (prescription Vitamin A), recent waxings, sunburned skin, or overly sensitive skin
•Microdermabrasion uses suction and crystals to mechanically sandblast the skin and is recommend for anti-aging and scar reduction
•Chemical peels use higher percentages of the at-home treatments, and are recommended for skin that has acne, chronic dryness, or hyperpigmentation (darker spots)

Your esthetician can recommend the proper in-treatment and at-home products to use for your skin type.