Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Exfoliations and Gentle Peeling Products for home use




As a child I read about Cleopatra’s milk baths and Marie Antoinette’s red wine baths. I found it extremely peculiar, but it was only during my time at Beauty College that I realised they were not mad after all! They were probably the pioneers for fruit acids treatments.

We get lactic acid from milk and tartaric acid from red wine, so their baths had a wonderful exfoliation effect and I’m sure they were as smooth as butter afterwards.


Before I get carried away about their ingenuity, let me get back to basics.

Basics on skin cells
Our skin has five different layers and each layer has a specific purpose and lifetime. New skin cells are created in the lower or first skin layer and thereafter all the cells move upwards through the different layers while changing shape and eventually die and fall off.  This whole process is called desquamation.

The cell-life from birth to death usually takes 28-32 days.  As we grow older, this process slows down and it can then take up to about 45 days.  As the dead skin cells take longer and longer to shed, the skin starts to look dull and lifeless.  This is then when a good exfoliating product is a lifesaver.

Loofah to use on body

What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells on the outermost surface of the skin, without causing trauma.

Until about 15 years ago the most popular exfoliating products on the market were granular-based. These granules were usually obtained from apricot pips or walnut shells, which were finely ground and then added to a cream or gel base.

The formulators for the beauty products then started to use different kinds of plastic micro-beads as well as finer granules obtained from various plant-based materials.

However, these micro-beads were found to be extremely harmful to marine life, and will be banned in the UK and US during 2017 as per this article
(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/02/uk-government-to-ban-microbeads-from-cosmetics-by-end-of-2017)

Due to newer technology, the latest offering from the beauty industry is fruit enzymes in gel and cream bases. These products are much gentler on the skin and my preferred products, with the exception of Wesson Therapeutics’ Micro Exfoliant, see comments below). The ingredients that are used in these formulations are for example, pineapple enzymes or bromelain, papaya enzymes or papain and tomato enzymes.  These enzymes only need gentle friction or heat to activate it so it is a good idea to use it while relaxing in the bath tub.

The granular formulations tend to be a bit harsh on the skin, especially in the hands of clients with oily/acne skin, as they tend to overdo the process a bit

What does it do?
A good exfoliator gently removes dead skin cells to reveal a smoother and more refined complexion. It should stimulate cellular activity while enhancing firmness, radiance and younger looking skin.

One should never exfoliate more than once a week in the case of oily/acne skins, and once every two weeks for all other skin types. This is probably not the advice that you have read, or heard all your life, but trust me, this is the way to go. If you exfoliate too much, you irritate the skin and overstimulate the oil glands in your skin and it then just produce more oil. You exfoliate again and the vicious cycle begins…….

Any exfoliating product should be removed with lots and lots of water.

Exfoliation for sensitive skins
Clients with sensitive/reactive skins usually are very wary of exfoliators. However, there are some product ranges specially formulated for sensitive skin like Wesson Therapeutics. I am in love with the Micro Exfoliant as it contains cactus saccharides (sugars). These granules are gentle on the skin and dissolve with the application of water and then wash away.


A Bit More Punch………..Fruit Acids please

Fruit Acid mask being applied

If your skin is still looking dull and lifeless, even if you are following a good skin care routine, it is time to look at the role that different fruit acids can play in getting that glowing, youthful looking skin.

Fruit acids are classified in two different categories; Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids.

Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA’s) that are normally used in cosmetics and cosmeceutical products are glycolic acid (derived from sugarcane or grapes), lactic acid (derived from milk), malic acid (derived from apples or beries), citric acid(derived from citrus fruit or from fermented sugar solutions),  as well as a myriad combinations with other ingredients.

There is only one Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), namely salicylic acid and its related substances, esters and salts, salicylate, sodium salicylate.

All these fruit acids may be used alone or in combinations in beauty products, depending on what the formulation will be used for.

In fruit acid exfoliators these ingredients will act as follows:
Decrease the cohesion between surface skin cells-dissolve the”glue” that hold the cells together.
Increase superficial skin exfoliation
Increase cell turnover (the skin cells will move quicker between the layers)
Stimulate collagen production-exceptionally good for anti-ageing results.

A word of caution
Fruit acid exfoliators give better and quicker results as those mentioned earlier, but come with a couple of cautionary notes:
Please follow your beautician’s instructions on how to incorporate this into your daily skin care routine.
Please do not overuse as it can cause skin sensitivity.
Please do not use it if you skin is sun burnt or show any other sings of damage.
Please use a SPF 30+ everyday, no matter what the weather looks like.
Please stop using it if you experience any adverse effects

In spite of the caution, these are highly effective ingredients that will deliver on its promise.

Be gentle with your skin


The following exfoliators and home care fruit acids treatments are available from the Beautique:

Vitaderm Skin Polishing Cream R 285/60ml

Active ingredients-Extracts of peppermint, lavender and sandalwood, apricot seed powder.
 This product is suitable for all skin types except ultra-sensitive. It stimulates circulation and revitalise the complexion.
Vitaderm Skin Polishing Cream

Vitaderm Enzymatic Gel Exfoliator R295/60ml
Active ingredients-Papaya and pineapple enzymes, citrus fruit extract.
This product is suitable for all skin types except ultra-sensitive. It revitalise a dull complexion by gently and effectively remove dead skin cells, enhancing the skin’s radiance.

Vitaderm Enzymatic Gel Exfoliator

Vitaderm AHA Active Gel 465/50ml
Active ingredients- lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid.
This AHA Active gel is rich in fruit acids which work actively to smooth the skin’s surface and flush excess pigment. It restores radiance to all skin types and assists in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. In the case of oily/acne-prone skin types, the gel encourages fewer breakouts by replenishing the acid mantle of the epidermis. By restoring the natural acidity, the skin is able to protect and heal itself more effectively.

Vitaderm AHA Ative Gel

Wesson Therapeutics Micro Exfoliant R 180/50ml
This product contains an ultra-fine grade of cactus sugar ( trehalose) to gently polish away dry epidermal cells. It is fragrance free and hypo allegenic.

Wesson Therapeutics Micro Exfoliant


Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy R890/50ml

Active ingredients-
A powerful one-step resurfacing cream that can be used every day. The continual renewing action of powerful poly0hydroxy acids, works 24 hours a day like a time-released peel, continually shedding the epidermal layer. Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy can be used to achieve instantly glowing skin with long term results on the appearance of wrinkles, freckles, age-spots and even acne scarring.

Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy

TheraVine™ Grapeseed Exfoliator R286/50ml
Active ingredients-Crushed Grape Seeds, Walnut shell beads, Neroli, Sweet orange
A gentle cream containing crushed Pinotage grape seeds, which sloughs off dead skin cells and makes skin look younger.

TheraVine™ Grapeseed Exfoliator

TheraVine™ Pinotage Exfoliating Enzyme R307/50ml
Active ingredients-Grape seed extract, pineapple and papaya extract, Sweet Orange.A highly effective deep cleansing serum based gel which effectively exfoliates the skin.

TheraVine™ Pinotage Exfoliating Enzyme
Please feel free to look at our website at AGBeautysalon for more information on these and other products.

Prices correct at time of publication, but may change without any notification.

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