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Exfoliation et points noirs.

Exfoliation: a solution for getting rid of blackheads.

Blackheads are one of the most common manifestations of acne. Although individuals with oily skin are more susceptible to blackheads, anyone can get them. Blackheads form when pores are blocked by a combination of dead cells and excess sebum from the sebaceous glands. Unlike whiteheads, where the pores are closed, blackheads have open surfaces, which creates a dark-coloured oxidation. Exfoliation is a preferred option for removing blackheads and preventing their recurrence.

The two types of exfoliation.

There are two methods: themechanical exfoliation or scrubbing and thechemical exfoliation or peeling. The difference between the two lies in the mode of action of the detachment of dead cells on the skin's surface:

  • Generally, a chemical peel involves substances known as AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids), BHA (beta-hydroxy acids) and PHA (poly-hydroxy acids). These molecules eliminate keratinocytes by breaking the ionic bonds, thereby destabilising the horny layer and causing its gradual detachment.

  • Mechanical exfoliation or scrubbing lifts dead cells from the epidermis through friction. There is no "chemical" action on the surface of the epidermis. Depending on the size of the solid particles present in the product for abrasion, mechanical scrubbing can be more or less aggressive for the skin. Micro-grains such as powders derived from fruit kernels are often favoured for exfoliating the face and chest. Larger grains, on the other hand, allow for the exfoliation of parts of the body where the skin is thicker and less sensitive, such as the feet or legs.

Mechanical exfoliation, a practice to be carried out once or twice a week.

To rid yourself of blackheads, the daily skin cleansing is crucial but not sufficient. Regularly, at a rate of once to twice a week, perform a scrub on clean, dry skin to unclog pores, remove surface dead cells and smooth imperfections. It allows for gentle exfoliation of the skin and unclogging of pores through a mechanical action. Your skin will be both refined, smoothed, radiant and nourished. It is suitable for all skin types.

However, excessive exfoliation can irritate the skin. When this happens, the skin may produce excess sebum, which can further clog the pores. That's why mechanical exfoliation should be done once or twice a week depending on your skin type. Moreover, blackheads do not only appear on the face. Certain areas of the body can also harbour open comedones.

Tip : To facilitate exfoliation, consider doing asteam bath (or facial sauna) beforehand to "liquefy" the sebum. To do this, boil some water. Once the water has reached boiling point, position your face above it, covering your head with a towel. Let the steam work on your skin.

Chemical exfoliation or peeling, treatments to be applied daily.

The AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids), BHA (beta-hydroxy acids) and PHA (poly-hydroxy acids) are chemical exfoliants to adopt for eliminating blackheads. However, to avoid any skin discomfort, it is appropriate to choose the right acid according to your skin type.

  • AHAs are water-soluble acids. They are generally recommended for dry skin as they exfoliate the surface while keeping the epidermis hydrated. Even though it's rare for dry skin to have blackheads, it's still possible! In skincare, there are several AHAs, includingglycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid. Glycolic acid is the most sensitising, as its small size allows it to penetrate deeply into the epidermal layers.

  • In comparison to AHAs, BHAsact on the surface of the skin and within the pores. In skincare, the main BHA used issalicylic acid, a fat-soluble acid.This active ingredient, originally extracted from willow bark, has interesting properties for the care of oily skin prone to imperfections. Thanks to itsantiseptic action, it prevents thegrowth and proliferation of fungi, viruses, and bacteria, such asCutibacterium acnes, a microorganism responsible for the inflammatory reactions ofacne.

    It also exerts akeratolytic action and purifying effect. It promotes the removal of dead cells on the surface of the epidermis and stimulates cellular renewal. Furthermore, itssoothing virtues help to reducesymptoms related to inflammation. Thesalicylic acid plays a role in the arachidonic acid cascade and inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins E2, molecules responsible for inflammatory and painful effects. In the treatment of acne, it thus soothes painful spots and visibly reduces redness. Finally, itssebum-regulating propertiestarget the formation of comedones and prevent the clogging of pores that leads to blackheads.

  • With a larger molecular size than AHA and BHA, thePHA penetrate less deeply into the epidermis and are more suitable for atopic skin and/or skin with cutaneous conditions.The three main PHAs used in cosmetics are the gluconolactone, anantioxidant that effectively combats inflammation; the galactose, whichstimulates collagen production and thelactobionic acidknown for its moisturising properties.

It should be noted, these compounds can be used every day. Often found in serums, they do not require a rinsing step. However, caution is advised, as AHAs are photosensitive, they should only be applied in the evening while ensuring to protect the skin from the sun's UV rays the following morning.


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