Exfoliating regularly is important to maintaining your skin’s overall health. Without it, the buildup of dead skin cells stuck in the natural oils of your skin can end up causing various issues. Breakouts are the most common problem, but it can also lead to a general dulling of your skin if you’re particularly lax in remembering to exfoliate. The good news is that it isn’t that hard to remember to properly exfoliate your skin. You can easily incorporate it into your regular routine and most of us do. You’ll generally be exfoliating your skin roughly twice a week unless you have a skin type closer to an extreme. Excess oil production and a bare minimum oil production both impact how often you should exfoliate with the former being more often and the latter meaning you need to exfoliate less frequently. Regardless of this, the question comes up occasionally on whether of not exfoliation can actually brighten your skin. The answer is yes, but it requires a few more details to understand what exactly is happening when the skin is brightened.
Peeling Back The Layers
The most common form of brightening you can experience from exfoliating is directly related to the outermost layers of your skin. These layers are composed purely of dead skin cells. Their purpose is to protect the layers below with a barrier against damage from the outside world. These layers help to prevent UV rays from reaching your innermost skin as well as ensuring particulate matter and other more directly physical problems don’t hurt your skin. These dead skin cells are also shed at a fairly regular rate to keep the area refreshed and your skin smooth. Unfortunately, the process isn’t always smooth and the dead skin cells can end up building up in such an area that your skin tone dulls. Exfoliating helps by removing these extra layers to help your natural skin tone be apparent without the dulling. It creates an overall brighter look for your skin complemented by a healthy, natural glow provided from blood flow.
Out Darned Spot!
We all experience instances where some parts of our skin darken a little more than the rest. This is slightly more common among the Latinx population, but it can strike people regardless of their generalized skin tone. Sun spots are a particularly common form of this where the melanin in one area of our skin is being overproduced. It leads to obviously darker spots that throw off our complexion. Many of us find this disagreeable as it damages our view of our own appearance. Strangely enough, you can exfoliate to help reduce the appearance of these issues as well. Treating spots of darker pigmentation does require using other compounds to suppress the further production of melanin in the area. Exfoliation can then naturally remove the darker skin cells over time and lead to a general brightening on the area. It is typically best to discuss options with your dermatologist when pursuing this kind of approach, though.
Lighten It Up
It is possible to use one method of exfoliation to provide a relatively uniform brightening of the skin. This does come with potential risks, though. The most potent chemical peels available are capable of providing this benefit. These supervised peels are frequently at least marginally uncomfortable but are capable of brightening the skin all around when done properly. You’ll need to consider that a large amount of aftercare is necessary when looking for a peel this potent. You’ll need to protect your skin from the sun while giving it time to physically heal from the peel. Those who use this kind of peel as a method for brightening their skin tone are typically satisfied, but it is worth noting that the results are only mostly uniform. Some spots can end up brighter than the others and there is always a chance of being left with brighter patches of skin that create a splotchy look. We do need to stress this is only for the most potent forms of peel though.
It is possible to brighten your skin with exfoliation. The main factors to consider are how much you want to brighten and how much brightening you desire. More mundane methods of brightening the skin through exfoliation are things we tend to take for granted. They are, after all, what exfoliation is meant to do to a degree. The most powerful forms of brightening your skin with exfoliation require extra consideration before you take them simply because of the potential issues. Figuring out what you want and discussing it with your dermatologist is the best way forward in any instance where you want to brighten your skin though.