As the summer hues make way for the crisp autumn air, it's time to help your patients transition their skin to the new season. Seasonal changes call for adjustments in skincare routines, and one technique that stands out during this time is exfoliation.
Fall is time to let go of the old and welcome the new, and exfoliation helps to shed away accumulated dead skin cells, revealing a fresh and rejuvenated complexion of youthful skin underneath.
In this article, we'll dive deeper into the benefits of seasonal exfoliation, which are particularly pronounced during autumn. We’ll also explore the usage of acid-based exfoliating products for optimal results.
Exfoliating Promotes a Healthy Skin Barrier
The outermost layers of skin are called the stratum corneum, also known as the skin barrier, which contains dead skin cells called corneocytes that are separated by a water-retaining lipid membrane.
The skin barrier prevents water from leaving the skin and environmental aggressors from entering; however, it can break down with time, age, dryness, and environmental damage. These cause corneocytes to become less dense, the skin produces less moisturizing lipids, and overall sensitivity to dullness, dryness, and damage increases.
Exfoliation helps reverse this process and restore the skin barrier. Applying an exfoliating product removes some of the outer, decaying layers of dead cells in the stratum corneum. In response, the skin begins to make more healthy new cells from the inside.
Why Exfoliation is Essential in Fall
After exfoliating, the outermost layer is composed of younger, healthier cells than before. This leads to several important benefits in fall:
Enhanced Absorption: As temperatures drop and humidity levels change, patients' skin is especially prone to dullness, dryness, and damage. Refining the skin barrier through exfoliation helps it to better absorb moisturizers and serums, resulting in a more vibrant complexion.
Preventing Breakouts: The transition between seasons can lead to imbalances in the skin's natural oil production, potentially causing breakouts. Regular exfoliation minimizes the risk of clogged pores and breakouts by clearing away debris and impurities.
Diminished Appearance of Hyperpigmentation: Sun exposure during summer can lead to hyperpigmentation. Exfoliation gently encourages the shedding of damaged skin cells and improves cell turnover, gradually reducing the appearance of uneven skin tone and dark spots.
Revitalization: Increasing cell turnover literally makes the skin younger, and it appears more youthful as a result. The skin retains moisture more effectively, has greater elasticity and firmness, brightens, and is more resilient against environmental aggressors.
How Exfoliation Works: Types of Acids
There are two types of exfoliating ingredients: acids and natural fruit enzymes. Both help to dissolve the outermost layers of the stratum corneum, removing dead cells and debris, and achieving the benefits mentioned above.
Acid-based products can vary greatly in strength. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid tend to be stronger at dissolving skin than beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid, but BHAs are usually more oil-soluble and better at penetrating pores. CosMedical’s products contain a wide range of AHAs, BHAs, fruit enzymes, and blends to serve different purposes.
AHA-containing products provide deeper exfoliation that refines the skin’s surface, promoting smoother texture and radiance. Glycolic acid helps to hydrate and firm the skin, making it perfect for the drier fall weather. Our AHA products include:
BHA-containing products are especially effective at penetrating pores, making them a good choice for clarifying the skin and treating acne, especially as patients head back to the office and classroom. Our BHA products include:
- Salicylic Face and Body Wash
- Pink Clay Purifying Mask
- Acne Spot Treatment
- Overnight Spot Treatment
- Clarifying Moisturizer
Last but not least, Dual Action Toner and Pads contains a pH-balanced blend of both glycolic and salicylic acid that clarifies acne, exfoliates, reduces inflammation, improves hydration, and smooths. It’s the perfect choice for more sensitive, acneic, dull, dry, and irritated skin and a great introductory product for patients new to exfoliating.
Four Quick Tips for Exfoliation
To help patients get the most from their exfoliation this fall, make sure they:
Choose the Right Product: Select an exfoliating product formulated with the appropriate acid concentration for your patients' skin type and concerns. Always perform a patch test before applying it to the entire face.
Start Slow: It takes time for cell turnover to increase, so patients should ease exfoliation into their routine if they aren’t already doing it. Start with 1-2 times a week and gradually increase as the skin gets accustomed to the exfoliation. Avoid over-exfoliating, as it can lead to irritation.
Apply at Night: Removing the outermost layer can sensitize the skin; therefore, it’s best to advise patients to apply acid-based exfoliants at night to minimize sun sensitivity and allow the skin to recover.
Follow with Care: After exfoliating, recommend that patients follow up with a hydrating serum and moisturizer to replenish the skin's moisture barrier, and always wear SPF during daylight hours.
Seasonal exfoliation is a valuable addition to your patients' skincare routines, particularly during the autumn months. Encourage the power of acid-based exfoliation to reveal radiant and healthier skin. As the leaves change outside, let your patients' skin transition beautifully with the help of well-chosen exfoliating products.