Usually, you might think whether exfoliating removes pigmentation or not. This article is all about pros and cons of exfoliation for pigmented skin. The skin has a natural tendency to form new cells by removing the dead skin cells. Exfoliation help get rid of dead epidermal skin cells (the top most layer of skin cells), improving its glow and elasticity. Gentle exfoliation opens the clogged pores filled with oil or dust particles and enhance skin’s natural glow.
However, the American Academy of Dermatology Association states that harsh exfoliation can damage your skin and deteriorates its softness or juvenility. Keep reading to know the facts!
Why Should We Exfoliate on Pigmented Skin?
The dead skin cells and toxins keep accumulating and clog the skin pores leading to acne, pimples, and pigmented spots. However, skin takes around 30 days to reform cells but, the process can delay up to 40 or sometimes above 70 days to synthesize new cells.
For this reason, the skin needs a regular exfoliation to help remove flaky and dull skin. Normally, you should exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week depending on your skin type. But, ensure gentle scrubbing to avoid skin roughness.
Can Exfoliating Treat Hyperpigmentation?
Exfoliation can help get rid of some major signs of hyperpigmentation however, it’s better to consult your dermatologist for complete guidance and treatment. Sometimes, exfoliation alone can’t treat pigmented skin and you need some topical medication and supplements to speed up the process.
Can Over Exfoliation Triggers Pigmentation?
The answer is yes! It is quite possible because excess exfoliation may stimulate melanocytes (cells responsible for melanin production). Other side effects may include rash, bruising, skin sensitivity may also result.
Moreover, exfoliating every day may also deplete the skin’s natural oil hence causing acne breakouts. This is because, you are removing the upper skin layer before recovering the already peel off skin and might cause inflammation.
How Exfoliation Works to Remove Pigmentation?
Exfoliation breaks and removes the excessive melanin pigment in the skin and increase collagen protein synthesis. Melanin is a skin’s natural pigment that defines the color of your skin, hair and skin. Excessive melanin accumulation may cause pigmented spots on the skin. Collagen is an amazing protein that provides extreme benefits for your skin, nails, and hair. It rejuvenates skin and fades the pigmented spots thus making skin fresh and glowing.
Types of Exfoliants
Usually, 2 types of exfoliants are used to treat dull, damaged and pigmented skin cells. These are:
They fade the dark spots by using coarse particles or granules. Cleansing scrubs, brushes, loofahs or pumice stones are the physical forms of exfoliants that are used to gently scrub and slough off the dead skin. However, harsh exfoliation can irritate the sensitive skin and triggers inflammation or bruising.
Chemical exfoliants help resurface the dead and pigmented skin areas leading to enhanced cell renewal. Unlike mechanical, chemical exfoliants penetrate the deeper layers of the pigmented skin and clears all the toxins, bacteria, dust and dead cells. They break down the bonding in dead skin cells and help their shedding.
Some best ingredients used in chemical exfoliants are:
- Retinol– a derivative of vitamin A is an amazing skin care ingredient that magically transforms dull skin to juvenile. It reduces oxidative damage in the skin by fighting free radical stress and minimizes the risk of pre-mature aging signs like fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and pigmentation on the skin.
- Salicylic Acid deeply exfoliates the skin and fades the dark spots or pigmented areas. It also reduces excess melanin production; hence, helping to lighten the skin tone.
- Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids are most effective skincare ingredients for deeper exfoliation. They help hydrate the skin by retaining its natural moisture, prevent premature aging and lighten the skin tone.
- Glycolic Acid accelerate cell turnover by replacing the dead skin, boosts collagen production and rejuvenates the skin.
Benefits of Exfoliation for Pigmented Skin
Improved Skin Texture
Exfoliation stimulates skin cell turnover, which enhances skin texture and tone. That’s why, over time, your skin gets more uniform. It makes your skin smoother and younger by allowing it to retain a large amount of moisture.
Exfoliation’s principal function is to unclog pores that have become clogged over time due to excess oil, dirt and toxins. Consequently, deep cleansing aids in the restoration of your complexion and the prevention of freckles or blemishes. Furthermore, the likelihood of producing whiteheads and blackheads is also reduced.
Enhanced Blood Circulation
Mild exfoliation can help to improve blood flow in the skin’s cells. As a result, it aids in the nourishment of skin cells by supplying adequate oxygen and nutrient content. Exfoliation can also protect the skin from free radical damage, reducing the risk of pigmentation, skin lesions and acne.
Boosts Collagen Production
Exfoliation on a regular basis boosts collagen formation, which enhances skin elasticity and radiance. As a result, collagen’s anti-aging qualities aid in skin rejuvenation and pigmentation prevention.
The success of exfoliation for reducing pigmented skin problems depends largely on the way of treatment and ingredients used in skincare products. Ensure taking a top quality skin product as you can’t compromise on your skin health.