Winter is Coming…it’s Time to Up Your Exfoliation Game and Avoid These Pitfalls


When it comes to skincare advice, “exfoliation” is on nearly everyone’s list. Most of us have a general idea of what exfoliation is—the removal of dead skin cells to reveal healthy, new skin cells—but that’s often where certainty ends.

Before you go ahead and start exfoliating, knowing why it’s important and how best to approach  the process will help you get results and avoid problems. If you are a little fuzzy on the concept, this guide to exfoliation from StyleCaster is a good place to start.

Intense scrubbing weakens the skin’s barrier, leaving your tissues vulnerable to bacteria. There are better options.

It details the benefits of exfoliation, as well as the dos and don’ts to safely slough and enjoy smoother, softer skin. We highly recommend a read-through, as the author reiterates many of the points we tell our own Reading dermatology and skincare patients. A few key points are  worth repeating here:

  • Adding exfoliation to your skincare routine gets more important as you age. Did you know that it takes new skin cells almost twice as long to make their way up to the top layer of your skin in your 50s as it did in your teens? This means that dull, dead cells and debris are also sitting on top of your skin much longer. Exfoliation treatments, such as peels and facials, help speed this process along.
  • Exfoliation is NOT just scrubbing. Over-the-counter scrubs and loofahs are popular and they can help loosen dead cells and dirt, but proceed with caution: too much or too harsh abrasion can cause inflammation that leaves skin more sensitive. Rough scrubbing can also weaken the skin’s barrier, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria (which is especially problematic for acne-prone skin). A chemical peel, such as a fruit acid or lactic acid peel, can actually be gentler and often is more effective at removing dull, damaged outer skin layers.
  • For best results, get professional guidance. Drugstore shelves are overflowing with exfoliating products, but not all are suitable for everyone and, as we stated above, overly enthusiastic exfoliation can do more harm than good. A qualified skincare professional can help you select safe, effective products and treatments for your skin type and show you how to use them correctly, saving you time and money in the long run (and potentially saving you from skin disasters).

Now is the perfect time of year to boost your exfoliation efforts

Achieving and maintaining a youthful, glowing complexion requires high-quality skincare year-round, but autumn is an ideal time to book a more in-depth exfoliation treatment, such as a chemical peel. While these treatments require little to no downtime, they do temporarily make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation.

The cooler, shorter days of autumn and winter make it easier to stay protected post-treatment, as we have fewer hours of sun each day, the sun is lower in the sky, and you’re likely spending less time outdoors. That said, you should still apply SPF to exposed skin no matter what season it is!

Explore your options for exfoliating skincare treatments in Berks County

Upping your exfoliation game starts by finding the right treatments and products for your needs. A great way to start? Contact us for a free skincare consultation! We’ll not only go over the Reading chemical peels and facials that will best match your skin type and goals (you’ve got dozens of choices), we’ll also explain our recommendations, so you can make more informed decisions about skincare going forward.

Why come to Berks Plastic Surgery? Our Licensed Aesthetician, Donna Erb, is one of the most knowledgeable skin care professionals you’ll find. Not only does she have over 20 years of experience in medical aesthetics, she’s also President of the Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists, a national organization devoted to excellence in aesthetic skin care. She’s helped thousands of men and women transform their skin from so-so to stunning, and she can help you too. But don’t wait too long—winter is coming! 😉

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