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Is Exfoliation Necessary Every Day for Anti-Aging Skin Care?

by
author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Is Exfoliation Necessary Every Day for Anti-Aging Skin Care?
Daily exfoliation can be too harsh for an older person's thin skin. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

After the age of 35, you may begin to notice changes in your skin. It is likely to become less oily and get a bit drier over the years and develop some fine lines. Your skincare routine may require adjustments as your skin changes. Exfoliation is the process of gently buffing off the top layer of dead skin cells. Generally, exfoliating four or five times a week is fine if you have oily skin, or once or twice a week if your skin is sensitive or dry. However, you may find you should exfoliate less often as you age.

Significance

As you age, your skin becomes drier and less elastic, which can result in wrinkles, according to Care Fair. You also may find your skin is more rough in texture than it used to be. This is because the top layer of skin becomes thicker as you age, according to SmartSkincare.com. Exfoliation is beneficial, but changes that make your skin more sensitive as you age may mean you should exfoliate less frequently.

Function

Your skin is composed of layers of skin cells. Some dead skin cells remain bound to the skin. This can cause your skin to appear dull or damaged if excess dead skin cells build up. Exfoliation is the mechanism by which you can remove the dead skin cells. To exfoliate the face, you apply a scrub or gentle brush to the face in order to remove the dead skin cells. This reveals new skin cells that help the skin appear more glowing.

Frequency

Exfoliating frequently can remove the skin's natural oils that help to keep your skin soft. Because your skin naturally becomes drier as you age, exfoliating every day can be harmful. Instead, you should exfoliate no more than twice a week, according to Care Fair. However, if you have adult acne, you may be able to exfoliate more frequently without experiencing excess dryness.

Considerations

Be sure to apply a moisturizer to the skin after you exfoliate, according to Care Fair. This helps to keep the skin moist and supple. If your skin feels tight after exfoliation, it's a sign that you may have overdone it. Applying moisturizer will help.

Topical Treatments

Exfoliating scrubs are not the only treatments that encourage cell turnover, according to SmartSkincare.com. Topical treatments can be applied for an exfoliating effect. Examples of ingredients include alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid. When applied to the skin, the acids loosen the "glue" that binds dead skin cells to healthy cells. Other topical treatments that have exfoliating properties include tretinoin cream, according to the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. This cream is especially beneficial for aging skin, as it has been shown to treat wrinkles and fine lines. Unlike exfoliating scrubs, these creams can be applied every day.

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