So, you heard it from the aesthetician’s mouth. Exfoliating really does work because it smooths the skin and allows your skincare products to do their job by penetrating more deeply.
But given the fact that exfoliators are so popular right now, there are way too many products on the market to choose from. We consulted a few more skincare experts and came up with the short list of our favorites:
Being a salon owner and all, Kelly recommends getting a professional skincare treatment regularly to provide a deeper exfoliation of the skin, like a facial or a gentle peel every 4 to 6 weeks. But at home, Kelly practices what she preaches and uses the Lira Bio Enzyme Cleanser, which she also recommends to her clients. Kelly describes the Bio Enzyme Cleanser as a gentle exfoliator with potential anti-aging benefits. (Amazon, $29)
Because rough elbows and crackly feet need love too, this exfoliator can be used from head to toe. Becky Sturm, founder and president of Storm Sister Spatique, recommends using this soothing body scrub once or twice a week, along with a full body brush to remove dead skin once a week. (Storm Sister Spatique, $43)
You know it’s a good thing when the head of a company is a user of their own products. Sherri McMillan, National Manager of The Jojoba Company Australia, says she uses the Jojoba Bead & Bamboo Facial Exfoliant two to three times a week for a deeper exfoliation, made with a fusion of Australian clays, bamboo and 100% natural beads of pure golden jojoba to restore the skin’s natural glow. “While it gently exfoliates, opening up the pores, it leaves your skin renewed, refreshed and beautifully hydrated. Your skin is rebalanced and glowing,” McMillan says. (The Jojoba Company, $40)
This one goes out to all the basic bitches — this product may just have been made for you. A combination of pumpkin enzymes and malic acid, this dual action peel deeply exfoliates and also happens to smell amazing. "This gentle enzyme exfoliant envelops the nostalgic warming fall scents of pumpkin spice and sweet apple, leaving your skin smooth and supple," Janae Muzzy, VP Research & Development at Epicuren, says. (Epicuren, $61)
Cheap and easy to pick up at the drugstore, would you believe that this scrub was also dermatologist-recommended? Dr. David Bank, board-certified dermatologist and founder and director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York, recommends this exfoliating apricot scrub to his patients.
“Most people don't understand that our skin sheds its dead skin cells on a daily basis, even while you sleep, so it's not necessary (or even good for your skin) to exfoliate everyday with products. However, sometimes you may feel like your skin needs a little extra glow — enter exfoliating!” Dr. Bank says. To exfoliate, he suggests lightly rubbing the mixture around your nose, cheeks and chin — these are areas that tend to become irritated when pores are clogged. Rub skin for about 10 seconds but no longer than to three minutes to avoid irritation. Rinse with warm, tepid water until you don't feel any more grains from the scrub, then gently pat your face dry. (Amazon, $4)
The name of this product alone is enough to make you feel like you’re hanging out in a spa for the afternoon. Sabon CEO Hezi Rotem says you can maximize your exfoliating benefits by using the Lemon Face Polisher twice weekly — to stimulate circulation and maintain an even skin tone. “The mint oil, a natural antiseptic, combines with lemongrass to refresh and recharge the complexion, while glycerin protects the skin from moisture loss.” (Sabon, $40)
Last but not least, this rice enzyme powder is kinda unexpected because it’s not your typical exfoliant. Vicky Tsai, founder of Tatcha, says, “One of the most surprising rituals the geisha taught me was gentle daily exfoliation. I had always thought of exfoliants as abrasive scrubs you limited to weekly use, but they use a beautiful enzymatic exfoliation to polish away debris and dead skin cells every day, leaving skin glowing like a jewel.” With this inspiration, Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder is made with rice bran, papaya and a propriety anti-aging HADASEI-3™ Complex — and without harsh abrasives, so it’s gentle enough to exfoliate and tone for daily use. (Tatcha, $65)
Originally published Nov. 2012. Updated Sept. 2016.
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