Fact: sloughing off dead skin gives any so-so complexion a serious makeover. Dull skin looks brighter, oily skin less greasy, combination skin more balanced, and mature skin firmer and more youthful. Performed with delicacy, it even helps reduce acne and eczema in troubled complexions! Even normal skin types get the bonus of a good-looking glow.
Why? Because exfoliating speeds up the regeneration of fresh new skin cells—and that brings your best and most beautiful face to the surface. Below, we’ve organized a list of celebrated exfoliators according to the skin types they suit.
Oily skin tends to be coarser than other types, so you can exfoliate up to three times a week, leaving a day in between each session. St. Ives’ Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub is oil-free and gives you a good buff with corn kernel meal and walnut shell powder. Mizon’s Honey Black Sugar Scrub is laced with grapeseed oil, which effectively controls shine.
Exfoliate once a week only—and avoid coarse scrubs like salt or sugar. Instead, look into microbeads, peels, and even microdermabrasion. Lumiere Organic’s Nutri-Perfect Exfoliant gently polishes the skin with rounded jojoba beads, while Clarins’ Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads is pretty much the most-recommended product we’ve come across for dry skin.
Focus your attention on the oiliest parts of the face, most likely the T-Zone, when you exfoliate. Do this twice a week. Our reco: Elizabeth Arden’s Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser, which is specially formulated for combination skin types.
If you’re neither too oily nor too dry, you may exfoliate every other day, up to three times a week. A chemical exfoliator like Laneige’s Multiberry Yogurt Peeling Gel or a physical one like Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub are both suitable.
Exfoliate once a week, twice at most. Avoid scrubs with large grains, which can tear inflamed and exposed skin so common to this skin type. Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is made with powdered rice grains that very gently slough off dead cells. Plus, it’s laced with salicylic acid—a renowned anti-acne ingredient.
So as not to aggravate your skin, exfoliate once a week—or every other week. We recommend the ultra-mild, natural fiber sponges by Kuu Konjac, which are godsends for delicate skin. Start with their 100% Pure All Natural Konjac Sponge or Natural French Red Clay Sponge.
The process of skin-aging renders mature complexions very delicate as well, so exfoliation should be limited to once a week. Nelly de Vuyst’s Exfoliating Gel-Mask diminishes age spots while removing dead skin, while Lumiere Organic’s 24K Gold Organic Peeling Complex tightens and smoothens with a gentle emulsion.