With the multitude of serums, oils, overnight masks, and every kind of cream out there, it can be tempting to slather anything and everything all over your face in hopes that something will work, or forgo all frills entirely and stick to simply washing your face. Whether you fall at one extreme or the other, or somewhere in between, one thing is universal: the importance of exfoliation.
Exfoliation is key to any skincare routine. It smooths away dead skin cells, unclogs pores and stimulates cell turnover, according to Livestrong. By removing the dead cells on the surface of your skin, your skin care products are able to better penetrate the skin and therefore act more effectively.
There are two types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators smooth the skin by mechanical means, such as sugar, seeds or a washcloth. Chemical exfoliators, such as salicylic acid, citric acid and malic acid break down dead layers of skin.
As with anything else, exfoliation is best done in moderation. One to two times a week is typical, but consulting a dermatologist on the best action plan for your skin is of course ideal.
Check out our product recommendations below:
Buy It: CosMedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser, $39
This cleanser has been a staple in my routine for quite some time, and I find myself going back to it again and again. The peppermint essential oil in the product gives it a nice scent and feels refreshing, cooling and calming on the skin. It contains tea tree oil, which helps to balance my combination skin, and chirally correct L-Lactic Acid acts as a chemical exfoliator
Buy It: Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser, $7.99
An oldie but a goodie. It’s the first exfoliating product that I can remember using, and the scent of it definitely brings me back. It uses micro beads to gently exfoliate the skin, and its alpha-hydroxy formula deep cleans to remove dirt, oil and makeup.
Buy It: CosMedix Purity Detox Scrub, $48
This scrub gets. the. job. done. Using both chemical (poppy, jojoba and date seeds) and physical (salicylic acid) exfoliators, this super-charged exfoliator removes dead skin cells, dissolves impurities and detoxifies the skin. Mix with water or your favorite cleanser and gently buff into skin.
Buy It: Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub, $5
Packed with skin-soothing ingredients (soybean oil, vegetable oil and panthenol) and utilizing natural rice granules to smooth away dead skin cells, this cleanser is a great choice for any skin type, not just sensitive.