What is it?
Exfoliation is the removal of the dead, keratinized skin cells sitting on the skin's surface. And just FYI: Normally, our skin naturally exfoliates itself every 30 days.
How does it work?
There are two types of exfoliation: Mechanical and chemical. If you use scrubbing beads or an ultrasonic bush, then you're team ~mechanical.~ On the chemical side, we have salicylic acid, which not only dissolves dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, but it also decreases oil production. There's also Glycolic acid, which is great for tackling hyperpigmentation.
How often should we exfoliate?
Dr. Karp doesn't recommend mechanical exfoliation more than once a week because it is too harsh. Chemical exfoliation with alpha and beta hydroxyacids is better for daily use. According to Dr. Karp, a gentle alpha or beta hydroxy acid face wash can be used daily. You can also use a serum as an alternative.
Who should exfoliate?
Everyone can exfoliate except those with rosacea or very sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin should only use a gentle face wash once daily. No one should be scrubbing their face daily (mechanical exfoliation), because it is more damaging than beneficial.
There are Dr. Karp's favorite products:
"I like using Neutrogena Salicylic Acid Face Wash as my once daily face wash. A nighttime exfoliant I like is Sunday Riley's Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. For targeting dark spots, I like The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid Serum which should also be applied at night. In-office chemical peels are a great way to achieve effective exfoliation more quickly."