Alternatives to Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedures

Over time, dead skin cells build up and clog your pores, leading to a dull and tired-looking complexion. Laser skin resurfacing removes these dead cells effectively; but the procedures are harsh on your skin and can leave you red and irritated for hours or even days. If you are looking for skin resurfacing alternatives, there are other ways to remove the skin's dead outer layer to reveal a more youthful and fresh appearance.

A woman gets a microdermabrasion in a spa. (Image: robertprzybysz/iStock/Getty Images)

Scrub Away Dead Skin

You can exfoliate your skin at home to remove these dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth while boosting circulation. There are three types of exfoliation: chemical, enzyme and mechanical. With mechanical exfoliation you'll use scrubs to remove dead skin. Chemical exfoliants include: creams, lotions and gels; while powers, cleansers and masks are used in enzyme exfoliants. When applying an exfoliant to your skin, gently scrub in a circular motion to remove dead skin, pat dry and follow with an oil-free moisturizer. You don't need to spend a lot of money to find an effective exfoliator; loofahs or even brown sugar will be effective at revealing younger, brighter skin.

Microdermabrasion Makeover

Microdermabrasion, while not as harsh as laser resurfacing, should still be performed by a professional such a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Microdermabrasion uses a small device to blow fine crystals onto your skin, polishing the surface. A vacuum then removes the crystals along with the dead skin cells, resulting in unclogged pores and professional exfoliation. The over-the-counter microdermabrasion kits that are available, while more cost-effective, won't produce the same results as having the procedure performed professionally.

Pamper Skin With a Peel

Chemical peels also resurface the skin and, like microdermabrasion, should be performed by a professional. The skin care provides places the chemicals on your skin, causing it to blister and eventually peel off. Although not extremely painful, you may experience a warm sensation lasting between five to 10 minutes after the chemical application. This is often followed by brief stinging when you remove the peel. The goal of a chemical peel is to remove the dead, outer layer of skin to reveal a fresh and brighter complexion. Depending on the strength of the chemicals used in the peel, you may need medication or time away from work to recover.

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