Updated: Jan 11
Whether you are 15, 30, 60 years old or older, we all care about the health and appearance of the largest organ of our body, our skin! In this post we'll provide you with the basics on skin anatomy, what happens over time to our skin, and the benefits and types of skin exfoliation.
What is skin?
Your skin consist of a few layers which stack up as follows:
The innermost layer is the hypodermis also known as the subcutaneous layer. It's about 3 cm thick or less and is where fatty tissue resides. The dermis, only about 2-4 mm, is the middle layer of skin that provides skin structure and contains cells that produce elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid. Finally, the outer layer of skin that we see is the epidermis which is the thinnest at only about 1 mm thick.
Importance of Skin Renewal
Our skin requires continual renewal in order to stay healthy and look it's best. We regularly grow new skin cells that develop within the innermost layer of the epidermis and slowly migrate in about a month's time until they appear flattened and dead at the visible outer surface of our skin. There, skin cells are naturally shed during the renewal process.
There is also melanin pigment developed within the epidermis which is distributed to the skin cells that migrate up to the surface. Sun exposure causes an increase in melanin, whose job is to absorb harmful UV rays, and this is what makes the skin darken or tan. Melanin pigment determines skin color and can also cause hyperpigmentation known as uneven dark spots.
Over time, our skin becomes photo-aged by regular sun exposure and this is what happens:
our skin cell turn-over slows down (relative to healthy skin)
damaged cells stick together more which causes irregular shedding of the dead skin on the surface
irregular shedding of our skin cells leads to less protective skin function
irregular shedding causes our skin to have dry patches and uneven texture
damaged surface skin can also look sallow, yellow, gray
less protective skin results in more irritant penetration which can cause redness
sun damaged skin also has overactive and uneven melanin production which results in areas with too much pigment (hyperpigmention dark spots) and areas with too little pigmentation (hypopigmentation light spots)
in the dermis collagen is degraded which causes fine lines and wrinkles
abnormal dilation of blood vessels can occur and this can cause skin reddening and spider veins to appear
Needless to say, sun protection in your everyday life is very important to slow skin damage over time.
Exfoliation for Skin Improvement
As we saw above, improper shedding of our skin cells leads to a dull complexion as well as rough, dry skin and other problems. In order to improve our skin's appearance we need to accelerate cell shedding (exfoliation) and encourage cell renewal.
Therefore, a simple way to improve our skin appearance after it's been damaged is to perform proactive and regular exfoliation. Exfoliation, which is superficial skin resurfacing, removes the outermost layer of skin which stimulates cell renewal and turn-over and leads to newer, healthier skin.
Exfoliation accomplishes all of this:
speeds skin’s natural renewal process
stimulates production of collagen
evens pigment & skin coloring
improves skins protective function
provides skin improvement such as:
increased skin thickness with production of collagen
increased skin hydration
less fine lines
decreased pore size
decreased visibility of acne scars
less acne occurrence
more even toned skin
Methods of Skin Exfoliation
How is skin exfoliation done?
Skin exfoliation can be performed by means of mechanical and chemical methods. Common types of mechanical exfoliation include microdermabrasion & dermaplaning while methods of chemical exfoliation include topical cosmeceuticals as well as more aggressive chemical peels.
Both mechanical and chemical exfoliation are effective in providing increased skin renewal.
So, which is the best type of procedure for you?
Let's take a look at the different types of facial skin exfoliation procedures
Microdermabrasion is a mechanical exfoliation procedure for the epidermis. To perform this service, your professional service provider will use a machine with tube which has a wand end. The diamond tip of the wand end has an abrasive element that is used to scrape across and loosen dead skin cells. At the same time, a vacuum and attached tube draws the dead skin cells away from the skin surface. Utilization of the microdermabrasion device can remove dead cells on the outer layer of your skin and can accomplish similar results as a light chemical peel. Microdermabrasion can even be combined before a light glycolic peel for excellent results.
Microderm may not be a good option for you if you have:
- open acne lesions with pustules
- rosacea and inflamed red skin
- hyperpigmentation with pregnancy mask
- clients with diabetes, Herpes I or II or HIV
Benefits of microdermabrasion include reducing pore size, evening skin tone, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and reducing acne scars. Microdermabrasion can be done as frequently as every week to up to 8 weeks apart depending on your skin tolerance and desired cosmetic effects. It is typically beneficial to plan a series of 6 to 12 sessions every 2 to 4 weeks to see significant results.
Dermaplaning is another mechanical exfoliation procedure for your skin. To perform this service, your service provider uses a sterile surgical blade to gently scrape and eliminate surface layers of dead skin cells and unwanted vellus hair (peach fuzz). This will leave your face instantly polished, smooth, and radiant without the potential for redness or irritation that can sometimes happen with microdermabrasion for sensitive skin. This procedure can also be combined with a light glycolic peel for excellent results.
Dermaplaning can be a good alternative for those who should not have a microdermabrasion technique. Benefits of dermaplaning are also similar to microdermabrasion with an added benefit of getting rid of "peach fuzz" vellus hair on your face. Dermaplaning your face creates a perfect smooth canvas for applying makeup and allows your skinceutical products to absorb more easily. Dermaplaning is typically safe for all skin types and skin tones and can be done as frequently as every two or three weeks for good results.
Next, we'll learn about chemical resurfacing for deep exfoliation.
The term 'chemical peel' refers to a facial treatment which uses a mixture of acids and other ingredients that are designed to create a controlled wounding or burning of the skin. The depth of the wound or burn is determined by the chemical peel composition and by how many layers are applied to the skin by the technician in order to create the desired effect. Depending on the extent of the burn, recovery can vary from no downtime, to a few days, to two weeks or more.
Manufacturers of chemical peels for facial rejuvenation create various strengths and types of peels in order to customize the solution for the client. At Glosshouz, we use Jan Marini Skin Research Marini Peel System for safe and effective results.
Glycolic Resurfacing Peels, made by Jan Marini Skin Research, are endorsed as a good alternative to stronger peels for the client who wishes to avoid discomfort and a recovery period. While glycolic resurfacing peels do not replace deeper peels, they can produce dramatic results by dissolving the "mortar-like" substance in the skin that prevents appropriate shedding, and this allows dead thickened layers to lift away without wounding the skin. When the glycolic acid enables surface layers to separate, the skin appears noticeably smoother, softer and firmer.
A glycolic resurfacing series provides cumulative benefits in the skin such as increased production of collagen, increased firmness, and lessening of deeper lines.
Glosshouz offers a Glycolic Peel series (called Level 1 Peels) of 6 treatments to provide gentle, yet optimal results in your facial skin appearance once the series is complete. See Chemical Peels menu to read more about our offers.
If you'd like faster results and do not mind a little downtime while your skin is healing (from a few days up to two weeks typical), then stronger peels may be a good option for you.
There are three other peels offered at Glosshouz, also made by Jan Marini Skin Research, that are indicated for specific skin types and to address specific skin conditions. See below.
The Refine Chemical Peel by Jan Marini Skin Research which Glosshouz terms a Level 2 Peel, is good for individuals seeking a more significant rejuvenation than progressive gel peels but with less downtime than the Transform Peel. Refine Peel incorporates use of lactic, salicylic and citric acids. Peel application is followed by application of peptides and antioxidants to enhance recovery and overall result.
Refine Peel - Typical 2-5 days of downtime can be expected. For rejuvenation, acne, and pigment concerns for all skin types, we recommend a series of 3, 3-4 weeks apart (1 to 2 layers).
The Clarify Peel by Jan Marini Skin Research which Glosshouz calls a Level 2 Peel, is for anyone seeking a serious solution for acne and oily skin. Lipid soluble salicylic acid and mandelic acid dissolve oil to penetrate into and clear follicles for maximum results. Clarify peel is also a great solution for resurfacing and rejuvenating of ethnic skin (instead of Transform Peel). Peel application is followed by a highly concentrated peptides and antioxidants to enhance recovery and overall result.
Clarify Peel - Typical 2 – 5 days of downtime can be expected. For acne treatment all skin types, we recommend a series of 3 to 6, 2 weeks apart (1 to 2 layers).
For darker skin rejuvenation, we recommend a series of 3, 3 to 4 weeks apart (2-3 layers).
The Transform Peel by Jan Marini Skin Research which Glosshouz calls a Level 3 Peel out of the Marini Peel System, is the most aggressive of the three stronger peels. It is an excellent solution to address pigmentation and advanced sun damage while providing overall skin rejuvenation including primarily pigmentation improvements and also fine lines, texture, acne. The peel application utilizes lactic acid and salicylic acid and is followed by highly concentrated peptides and antioxidants to enhance recovery and overall result.
Transform Peel - Client can expect 4-7 days of downtime. Transform Peel is not recommended for darker skin. Transform Peel is for addressing advanced sun damage and pigmentation concerns, also fine lines, texture, acne. We recommend a series of 3, 3 to 4 weeks apart.
Now you know all about your skin layers, the importance of proactive skin exfoliation, as well as some common and good exfoliation techniques, procedures, and treatments and the benefits of each.
Ready to get started with your best skin ever?
See our full list of Facials and Skincare Menu.
See our list of Chemical Peel treatments offered.
Book online your dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel at Glosshouz today.
Or call us 303-459-4210 and we'll help you book or schedule your no-charge skin consultation today!