Thick Skin

Thick skin on the face can be classified as having a rough texture. The epidermis, too, can have more buildup. The pores appear to be larger and more compacted with sebum, or oil, and dirt. With thicker skin textures, extractions of closed and open comedones (commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads) can be more complicated because of the tough consistency of the skin.

Thicker skin tends to be more resilient, but it can also be very oily. This congests the pores. In some cases with thicker skin types, the pores on the forehead, cheeks and chin area have an "orange peel" texture. The pores appear free of congestion, but they look larger and have the same consistency of an actual orange peel. Genetics and ethnicity are factors in whether someone has thicker skin.

Thick/oily skin does have an advantage, though, as it tends to age less quickly. The oil production keeps the skin hydrated and prevents it from wrinkling as quickly as people with thinner and drier skin often experience.

Treatment for thick skin usually entails chemical peels, exfoliation, microdermabrasion and, in some severe cases, lasers to assist in breaking down the epidermal layer to smooth out the skin's surface. In some medical skin conditions, a dermatologist will prescribe specific medications, especially if acne is an issue. This will help break down the rough skin texture and provide an antibacterial surface for the acne lesions to heal. These professional treatments also help minimize that "orange peel" look, giving the skin a more refined and even texture.

An at-home regimen with professional grade skincare products that contain AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, and/or retinols, is often recommended for people with thick skin conditions. These ingredients assist in increasing the skin's cellular-turnover rate as well as provide appropriate exfoliation and smooth the skin's surface.

There are very gentle AHAs, such as mandelic and lactic acids, that come in lower concentrations. These can be used daily to eliminate progressive buildup and help break down the skin tissue and control sebum in the pores. With thicker skin, pores seem to be enlarged. Using AHAs with the exfoliation will reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.

Combining professional-grade skincare products with professional treatments with an esthetician will also greatly improve the texture and overall health of the skin, keeping it smooth and ultimately radiant. 

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