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The downside to too much exfoliation
Over-exfoliation is the drawback and downside to having such great ingredients at our disposal. We know this has head to more environmentally sensitized skin and possibly aging. We may tell our clients to exfoliate 2-3 times a week, but they don’t listen to us because they like the way their skin feels after exfoliation. As a consumer we love how our skin looks after exfoliation – “I don’t care if my therapist says only 2X a week, I want to do it every day, even if you tell me not to!”
But what happens if we are looking under a magnifying lamp? Have you looked at your skin in a magnifying lamp? We sacrifice the integrity of the epidermis which leads to sensitized skin. Chemists are aware of the problem so the latest research has been concentrating on looking for exfoliating ingredients to use that will exfoliate but can be used every day without compromising the integrity of the skin.
Dangers of excessive exfoliation (less wrinkles today could mean more wrinkles tomorrow). Removal of the outermost layer of the skin stimulates the cells in lower layers to grow and divide, causing the skin to thicken and thus diminishing visible signs of aging. The more you exfoliate the more cell divisions will occur in the lower skin layers. There is one problem though.
Normal human cells cannot divide indefinitely. Fibroblasts (a key type of cell in the skin) would divide about 50 times and then enter a so-called stage of senescence This “theory” of cell division is called the Hayflick Limit (after it’s discoverer Dr. Leonard Hayflick). His studies show that in this stage the cell is sluggish, inefficient, unresponsive to various signals from the body and unable to divide. Skin with many senescent cells is usually fragile, blotchy and easily wrinkled. Exfoliation remains a valuable tool but if you overuse it, your skin may hit the Hayflick Limit. In recent years, researchers have discovered the molecular mechanism of the Hayflick Limit (it has to do with the area at the tips of the chromosomes called telomeres).