Building New Skin via Exfoliation
Exfoliation is an age old form, dating back centuries, of wounding the skin to initiate new cell activity, producing new generations of cells for younger-looking skin. Spectacular results, are achieved with chemical peels containing all types of substances. Action of these actives is different, but the general endpoint can be seen via visual erythema of the skin showing slight to extreme inflammation. After a professional exfoliation and inflammation response, wound healing and rebuilding of the skin immediately begin to take place.
Inflammation results from a trauma and the response is seen in the blood vessels. The instant response of small capillaries in the area of injury is a vasoconstriction which lasts generally five to 10 minutes at the most, followed by active vasodilatation.
As stated previously, the epidermis is subject to constant wear and as a result, dead, horny cells of the outermost SC are constantly shed. Following a professional exfoliation, the corneocytes of the SC causes a trauma which causes the resting dermis to respond quickly to the shedding SC. This action results in the mechanism of regeneration called mitosis of preexisting cells. Mitosis occurs mainly in the cells of the basal layer and many of the daughter cells formed by cell division migrate into the upper layers of the stratum malpighi and, without further division, differentiate into keratinizing cells. The maximal increase in mitosis varies from 48 to 72 hours after injury. The main regenerative activity occurs in the basal cell layer and the dermis-epidermis junction is of considerable importance in healing of any trauma of the epidermis.
The dermis-epidermis junction is of a flat surface, but is defined by ridges known as rete ridges. It has been scientifically substantiated that alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) strengthen rete ridges worn by the aging process to help keep this junction intact. The portion of the dermis immediately under the basal cell layer consists of delicate collagenous elastic and reticular fibers, enmeshed with superficial capillaries and surrounded by viscous ground substance. Aestheticians know this dermal environment as the extracellular matrix (ECM) and professional exfoliation treatments are of great value to increase production of collagen, elastin, proteoglycans, hylauronic acid and other ground regulation substances to rebuild new skin.