Willow’s Guide to Proper Exfolation

Exfoliation is one of the best ways to achieve smooth, glowing skin. Regular exfoliation (2-3x/week) removes surface dead skin cells, unclogs pores, promotes circulation within the skin, and allows for better absorption of creams & serums. This benefits the skin on all areas of the body; from your face to your feet. All skin types require an exfoliation process whether they are dry, oil, sensitive, or acneic. The difference is choosing the proper treatment method for your skin type & concerns. As we move towards the colder months, our skin certainly becomes dryer and the need to slough off extra dead skin cells increases.

There are many different types of exfoliants:

Mechanical: scrubs (non-hazardous micro-beads and small grains) that physically lift and break down surface dead skin cells through manual manipulation (jojoba beads, guarana seeds). Best for: thick, oily skin. Keep an eye out for products containing plastic beads. These are now banned in Canada for their harmful environmental impact. Willow recommends: Vivier Vitamin C Scrub.

Soft Peel: non-abrasive gel/cream that attaches and gently lifts dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Best for: all skin types. Willow recommends: Yonka Gommage.

Enzymatic: enzymes that work to break down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together (Pumpkin, pineapple, papaya). Best for: sensitive, dehydrated skin. Willow recommends: One Love Organics Brand New Day Scrub.

Acid Peels: concentrated acid extracts that penetrate deeper into the skin and remain active after initial application to aid in cell regeneration and speed up cellular turnover (AHAs, BHAs, Glycolic, Lactic). Best for: all skin types dependent upon the acid, particularly mature/aging. Willow recommends: a professional peel treatment.

For exfoliation of the body we recommend a more abrasive exfoliator (as long as it is not irritating to sensitive skin). Try an exfoliating glove (like the Renaissance glove), or a sugar/salt scrub (like LoveFresh). Scrubs that contain hydrating oils are an excellent way to remove dead skin cells while also providing the skin with some extra moisture. Exfoliation of the feet can also be done with a scrub or mitt but tough calluses should be treated with a foot paddle.

Be aware of over-exfoliating the skin; when this happens the skin tends to produce more oil or can become irritated or chaffed. And of course, wherever you are exfoliating be sure to apply moisturizer, lotion, and/or serum to achieve silky smooth hydrated skin. All facials & skincare treatments performed by a skincare therapist include exfoliation. Some of Willow’s best “re-surfacing” treatments include the Vivier Brilliance Facial, Oxygeneo treatment, and IPL Skin Rejuvenation. Expect brighter, smoother, and more radiant skin with all of these services!

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