Ever wonder why a baby’s skin is so soft? It’s because babies naturally replace their skin cells every few days. As you grow older, however, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin renewal process, improving the tone and texture of your skin.

The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows other health-promoting agents such as moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

Discover the differences in Physical vs. Chemical exfoliating agents: 

Chemical: 

Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA (which are Lactic acid, Glycolic acid and the Fruit acids) is used as a facial exfoliator and is an excellent choice for people with sun damaged skin, aging skin and normal to dry skin types. AHA does not cause sun sensitivity and comes in many forms. AHA’s come in the form of lactic acid which is derived from milk, glycolic acid which is derived from sugarcane and fruit acids which are derived from fruits (citrus and apples/malic acid). AHA can also aid in thickening the lower layers of the skin thus delivering firmness.

Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA (also called salicylic acid) comes from acetylsalicylic acid which is the same source as aspirin. In general, beta hydroxy acid is a more effective treatment for acne prone skin. BHA also can cause sun sensitivity and must always be used in conjunction with a sunscreen.

– AHAs are water soluble and are preferred for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin due to their ability to enhance natural moisturizing factors within skin.

– BHA is oil soluble and preferred for normal to oily, clog-prone and bump-prone skin, and enlarged pores, and can clear pores deeply, even those with hard, tiny, white bumps on the cheeks and face. BHA is even suitable for those prone to milia.

– AHAs and BHA work on skin’s surface; but BHA also works inside the pore lining, where clogs begin.

– BHA has natural skin-calming properties, which make it preferred for sensitive, redness-prone skin. It’s great for sensitive skin, even for those with rosacea.”

Physical:

In general, choosing the right exfoliating scrub from all the commercial products on the market today depends a great deal upon the thickness and sensitivity of your skin. It’s important to remember that all kinds of particles can be used for exfoliation, and mainstream products encompass a wide and varied selection. People with oilier complexions have larger sebaceous glands which makes their skin thicker and better able to tolerate larger, more abrasive particles such as pumice or magnesium oxide crystals. Those with drier, sensitive skin should generally use products with smaller granules such as jojoba beads or ground oatmeal. 

It’s important to realize that certain ingredients, although natural, may not be appropriate for your skin type. Some natural products, such as crushed nutshells, sea shells, pumice, ground fruit pits and seeds, have uneven edges and irregular shapes that can damage sensitive skin. 

The best exfoliating scrub is the one that effectively removes your stratum corneum but, at the same time, is gentle to the rest of your skin.  Over the course of many years in private practice, I’ve conducted dozens of clinical studies in an effort to discover the perfect combination of particle type, size and density that would consistently yield the best overall results for patients with different skin types. After numerous experiments I finally found an exfoliate that I consider ideal for personal use which offers similar results to machine-administered microdermabrasion without incurring the time and expense of going to a dermatologist. However, in order to achieve my objective of creating an exfoliating cleanser that was gentle enough to be used daily, I had to incorporate a very unique type of crystal particle in the formula. I chose Ruby Crystals – they are perfectly round in shape and finite in size to allow for all surface dead skin cells to be polished without causing any tearing or abrasion to the skin. 

Dr. G’s Tips: 

DON’T OVER EXFOLIATE- This is perhaps the most important thing to remember so that you can avoid any damage and/or irritation of the skin. It’s safe to assume that exfoliating twice weekly can achieve great results and refrain from irritation or over exfoliating. Of course, there are the people who enjoy exfoliating daily, but this is personal preference and heavily based on your skin type. If you notice a burning sensation or it your skin becomes very sensitive and/or red after using a product, stop it. Ultimately, you should stay in tune to what your skin needs, feels and looks.

DO EXFOLIATE ALL OVER- Exfoliation does not store at your face. Work your exfoliation routine down into the neck and décolleté area, even your lips too as these areas can greatly benefit from exfoliation too as it removes dead surface skin cells, brightens overall skin tone and improves texture. Other areas to exfoliate: your elbows and knees.

DON’T GO SUNBATHING AFTER EXFOLIATING- Exfoliating reveals a baby-fresh layer of skin, you could be more susceptible to the

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sun’s rays. Use caution when heading outdoors. Use a higher SPF in your sunscreen, wear a hat, carry a sun umbrella and try to stick to shady spots whenever you can.

DO EXFOLIATE AT NIGHT- Skin renews itself overnight so the perfect time to exfoliate is right before bed. Use a good sunscreen with high SPF during the day, especially if your skin has recently been exfoliated. While we all want smooth and clear skin, it’s we also want to protect against sun damage.

DO CONSIDER CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS- Physical exfoliants aren’t the only want to slough off dead skin to reveal a brighter complexion. Ingredients that chemically exfoliate the skin include glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic acid and various enzymes.


We are always connecting with our community to find out the best detox, self love, and overall rejuvenation tips, so it was only fitting that we enlisted one of our favorite gals, Kirstin Kelliher, to break down how she’s sticking true to her New Year’s detox and tips along the way.

It’s 2019. And as I’m writing this, it’s the end of January. I love January. January is my time to take stock. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a constant gardener. I weed all year long. But January is when I really put my pruning shears to work. It’s when I ask: What’s out of integrity with the way in which I’d like to live my life? Where am I stuck? What’s not working for me? And how can I flush those things out in a graceful way in order to create space for the new kinds of prosperity I’m calling in? It’s when I form really specific intentions—not resolutions. Never resolutions. As resolutions can go where fax machines go for all I care. So to the Jurassic Period. Not that I don’t find the Jurassic Period interesting. The growth of vegetation was unhindered and lush, and life was abundant, so I’m sure it was earth at her most dazzling self—like the colors must have been absolutely amazing—but that’s beside the point. January. It’s when I set a new foundation for a healthier me to build upon throughout the year. And I’m talking about a healthier me in a multitude of ways. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually. And in the context of the space in which I live, the places I choose to go, and the faces I want and hope to see. So, hello 2019. Goodbye 2018. Here are three leftovers from you I’ve been detoxing out:

ON MY PHONE

Time is the most precious thing we have and I have no intentions of squandering it. The world revolves like a machine and it’s asking us to participate in its data gathering ways more and more every day. But you know what? You do not have to be a part of it. Well, of course in a way you do. *Unless you want to live like a hermit. Which has its own worth, lessons and rewards—but isn’t for everyone. I mean you’d have to give up all your skincare products were you to choose a cave-like existence. And who here wants to do that? No, the life of a hermit is not for us.* As there’s great value in being an active member of society, and tremendous opportunities to find personal fulfillment in contributing to the communities and the environments in which you live, and most of all to know you’re making a difference in the world (even if it’s just making a difference in one person’s world—that can be enough). But you do not have to be a participant in the machine-like parts of the world 24/7. You can close the kitchen doors. In fact, it is your responsibility to do so, as you are the chef of your own world. And where this particular chef has gone awry is in scrolling through Instagram whenever she finds herself eating dinner alone.

No more of this. No more Instagram during dinner. Dinner during dinner. Being present in my body during dinner. Looking at my food during dinner. Trying to chew each bite 32 times during dinner. But usually only making it to 16 chews per bite during dinner. Doing all of this to set my body up to properly digest the food I’m putting into it during dinner. That’s the new me. I’m actually ultimately building towards no social media after 7pm, but that’s going to take some time as my nightly schedule fluxuates, I hardly ever check anything during the day, and the images I find do bring me a small but still certain amount of satisfaction. By the way this isn’t a new theme—me and my relationship with my phone. In 2018 I worked on not looking at my phone in the morning until after I’d seen the sun (or the dark morning sky), moved my body, and drank at least one full glass of water. And in 2017 I worked on not looking at my phone while waiting in line in public spaces. What I started doing instead is what I used to do, before I ever had a smartphone: which is to keep my head up, tune in, and look at the world around me. Which incidentally now is mostly comprised of a lot of people with their heads down scrolling through their phones. Which is exactly what I still do at dinner when I’m eating alone. Only, not anymore.

IN MY SPACE

It’s important to get clear on what and whom you want in your personal space. I’m great with the what. In my early 20s all I wanted to own were piles of read books, a choice amount of well-made shoes & clothes, art to put up in a future home, and light backpacks & smooth-rolling durable suitcases to take me all over the world. I lived by this motto: own less, own better. And I still live by it. I invest in quality, not quantity. I’m not one for retail therapy. When I do buy I rarely (if ever) make a return. And when the time comes, I’m great at getting rid of things. Do I need it? Is it purposeful? Does it bring me joy? If I were to move would I pack it up and take it with me? And in the most extreme cases of all, what if I died tomorrow and this was still here? This might seem like a really dark way to look at things, but I don’t want anyone having to wade through any more than what’s necessary if that were to be the case. Each day is a gift. You never know what could happen. So I consistently set aside time to purposefully take inventory while I’m alive. I curate my life. I lighten my load. And I encourage you to do the same. And if at the end of your purge you’re still left with a lot of stuff that’s okay. Having lots of stuff may be your aesthetic. One wo(man)’s trash could be another wo(man)’s treasure. It’s building an awareness around what you own in life that’s the key here—and making sure that your possessions in life are not filling a hole that relationships instead could is THE key—as relationships are what ultimately give us as humans a sense of well-being, happiness, and our lives meaning.

But the faces. What I’m improving upon this year is the faces. I know my worth and I know what I value, and within my inner circle are only people and situations that honor that. But with people in the near outskirts of my circle, I’m not always great at setting boundaries. I could put in more of a ruthless effort here. I’m not talking about being an asshole. That’s an entirely different behavior. Being an asshole is rude, unacceptable and ugly—and we are here for beauty gosh darn it! What I’m talking about is setting boundaries with my time in a kind and respectful way, as everyone deserves kindness and respect. So I’m going to remain kind to everyone. I’m going to remain respectful of everyone. But I’m also going to be more effortful when it comes to drawing a line. Again, time is the most precious thing we have. And it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it and with whom you’d like to spend it. In 2019, it’s top shelf level only for me.

IN MY BODY AND ON MY FACE

I said before that I’m working on paying more attention to my body when I find myself eating dinner alone. I think in general it’s something everyone can benefit from as we don’t typically have enough mindfulness in the body. We’re constantly being pulled away from our awareness of our own bodies. This is not the case when it comes to me and my skin. I am always aware of my skin. And taking care of it by nurturing my gut is of paramount importance to me as a healthy gut is the foundation of healthy skin. They are bound together in their relationship to bacteria, your skin is constantly telling you what’s going on inside your body, and the health of your gut relies entirely upon what you choose to put into it from the outside world. So I’ll say it again. You are the chef of your own world. And as the chef of my own world, I avoid modified foods, synthetic sugars, soy and processed vegetable oils—these are my basics. I eat seasonally and shop at my local Farmer’s Market—these are my if I cans. Which, living in Los Angeles, I am so lucky that I can. I eat real food (i.e. it comes from the earth) and many, many plants—these are my essentials. But most of all, I pay attention to how what I’m putting into my body makes me feel. This is nothing new. This is part of a complex wellness journey in gut health that has been going on for me since 2010. What’s unique for me about 2019 is having the wherewithal to consolidate a handful of useful tips I’ve learned along the way. I mean, you’d think I’d be able to right? I’ve lived nine lives since then. Anyway:

  1. When I replace a bad habit without filling the void with a good one I sink.
  2. When I try to eliminate something without getting to the root cause of it, it’s bound to come back to me again.
  3. Understanding who I am, what fills me up, and what I can digest well is a constant study.
  4. While detoxing is great, true change for me comes from being diligent in my approach to my health but not dogmatic. As dogma boxes you in. While trusting yourself, and being fluid between the energies of diligence and flexibility, opens you up.
  5. Ultimate health is about knowing what makes you feel your best so that you always have a lane to which you can return when you get off track.

And as I recently wrote in a postcard to my 49-day-old niece, when it comes to overall health, keep in mind that all you have at the end of the day is how you treated yourself and how you treated others. So make the most of your days. Make room for love so that more of it can walk in. And speaking of love, when it comes to detoxing your skin from a topical level, here are some products worth falling for:

  1. my Sunday special: Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay mask followed by Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask
  2. my weekly mask: Goldfaden MD’s Facial Detox
  3. my daily cleansers: Goldfaden MD’s Detox Clarifying Facial Wash & Odacité’s Green Ceremony Cleanser
  4. my daily moisturizers: Goldfaden MD’s bright eyes + Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Water Cream
  5. my nighttime routine: Arcona’s Gentle Solution + Goldfaden MD’s Wake Up Call

HEYLA HEBA HELLOA

And that’s it. Those are the leftovers from 2018 I worked on flushing out this January. And uh oh now it’s February. And I’m writing this one month too late. No I’m kidding. I mean it is February, but it’s not an “uh oh” for being so, and for me to be sharing this now. Because the great thing about January is that it can happen at any time. It’s just that January usually happens during January for me, and in 2019 that was the case. So once more, hello 2019. Goodbye 2018. I hope you find your personal January. I hope you take stock and flush things out. And after you do, I hope you feel freer and more beautiful as you go get em tiger.