Exfoliators are the unsung heroes of skincare. Ask any aesthetician for a professional tip for non-pros to do at home and she most likely will say “exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.” Exfoliators come in two major categories; mechanical (as in a loofah or a wash cloth) and chemical (as in a scrub or peeling pad). Composed of a lotion or gel base with an exfoliating granule or microparticle, topical exfoliators remove dead skin to let radiant new skin cells shine through. Using an exfoliator helps dry skin absorb moisturizers better, while oily skin types can benefit from a deeper cleansing that removes dirt and cleans pores. With a host of products to choose from – exfoliators range from everyday use to once a week – the beauty makers have guaranteed that there is an exfoliator just right for you.
TWO FOR ONE
Sephora’s Smart Dual Action Exfoliator ($24) is a jar with two textured creams. This smart exfoliator effectively cleanses and lifts away dead skin cells with two targeted products. The white gel gently scrubs and exfoliates the face; the special green cream provides deep cleansing to the forehead, nose, and chin. Ideal for combination skin, this product leaves the face with a glowing radiance without feeling tight.
Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator leaves skin silky soft to the touch and fills the room with the aroma of Moroccan Rose and Jojoba. This subtly fragranced scrub is gentle enough to be used daily. It’s ideal for all complexions, including the most sensitive.
Ahava Facial Mud Exfoliator ($26) removes excess surface skin cells for a thorough yet gentle cleansing experience. The granules clarify and even skin tone. Only a dime-sized amount works wonders. Massage over your wet face and rinse with warm water for a velvety smooth complexion and a more radiant look.
CREAM SORBET FOR THE FACE
For sensitive skin, Thalgo Softness Exfoliator ($36) may be just what you need. Rich in Jojoba oil microbeads, it removes impurities and dead cells while providing much-needed moisture. It smooths skin to reveal a fresh and luminous complexion. Available at www.Nordstrom.com.
MY PERSONAL FAVE
Here is my absolute personal favorite. Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash ($8), a mild exfoliating facial skin cleanser is gentle enough to use twice daily! You can feel the gritty texture removing old cells while stimulating regeneration of new softer skin.
HYDRATE AND REFRESH
NARS Hydrating Refreshing Lotion ($36) promotes hydration and renewal using active phytoseed complex and grape seed oil along with aloe. The exfoliating properties help remove and gently smooth away dullness to reveal a brighter more luminous you.
FOR A GORGEOUS COMPLEXION
Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($35) polishes away dullness and locked-in impurities to leave skin hydrated and smooth. A trio of exfoliating acids – salicylic, lactic and glycolic – improves clarity and brightness while improving cell turnover. Jojoba beads add a special finish by polishing and smoothing the skin. Find it at www.murad.com.
HEAVEN IN A JAR
Ole Henriksen Rub n’ Buff Salt Scrub ($48) is ideal for all skin types, Now you can enjoy spa strength body exfoliation at home with this energizing sea salt scrub. Perfect to use prior to self tanning, this lightly scented product will leave your skin feeling ultra smooth and soft from lemongrass, lavender and powerful natural exfoliators like sea salt.
Clinique Exfoliating Scrub ($18) is water-based for gentle cleaning. It de-flakes and refines while softening fine lines. Because it’s water-based, it’s excellent for oily skin and blemishes. High quality from a brand you can always trust.
GET WITH THE PROGRAM
Modern Family may be TV’s hit show, but Origins Modern Friction for the Body ($35) is what you need for age-smoothing exfoliation. Using corn cob extract and shea butter, this all-natural scrub could be called nature’s dermabrasion. Leaves skin sleek and satiny with the lingering aroma of bergamot and lemon.
GET THAT OH-LA-LA FEELING
Vbeaute Rub Off Gentle Facial Exfoliator ($18) whisks away your cares along with accumulated debris, dull cells, dirt and oils. The fine particles are nestled in a coconut-infused cleansing foam that lets rosemary extract cleanse and purify so you feel renewed, refreshed and invigorated.
Round magnesium crystals in ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish ($75) remove dead cells and increase epidermal turnover to create a cleaner, smoother, more even-toned complexion. The addition of vitamins A, C and E provide powerful anti-oxidant protection. Penetrates deeper to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and preserve a more youthful appearance. Available at www.zoskinhealth.com.