Scrubbing away winter with the right exfoliator
Coachella’s right around the corner, you’ve probably been doing some sandal shopping, perhaps perusing swimwear and planning your beach days -– summer or at least the feeling of summer is here. And one way to start getting into the warm weather groove is by buffing away the yucky skin that the super dry winter months have left on your face. You may not be able to see it, but it’s there and possibly obstructing the shiny, gleaming new skin underneath.
“Exfoliation is a year-round event,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer “But in the spring and summer is when people should exfoliate more because humidity starts to build and skin is going through its molting phase. And there’s been more of a dead skin buildup from the drier winter months.”
Lancer says that the frequency of exfoliation depends on a person’s sensitivity. Redheads and people with fair and sensitive skin should try once a week and those with non-sensitive skin should do it every other day. But the most important thing is to find an exfoliator with small, consistently-shaped particles that scrub away the dead skin and stimulate the new skin.
Products that use seeds or shells as the exfoliating particle can sometimes be rough and unevenly shaped, which could lead to cuts on the face or an overly aggressive scrub. Formulas with smooth beads or particles that are uniform in size won’t be as aggressive. “The process is normal and important because it’s how you convince the skin to rev up its metabolism and produce more fresh skin cell proteins,” says Lancer. “Collagen and elastic tissue revs up when you’ve removed the sludge."
Dr Lancer recommends using the fingertips to scrub all areas of the face in a circular motion. “Between the fingertips and the skin on the face you have a pretty good indicator of pressure,” he says. You don’t want to go too hard -- beauty can hurt, but it doesn’t have to.
Here are some great exfoliating products for most skin types.
(Top left) Olay Regenerist Detoxifying Pore Scrub, $9.49
(Top center) Biore Skin Preservation Even Smoother Microderm Exfoliator, $14.99
(Top right) Lancer RX Face Polish, $50 for 2oz tube
(above right) Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $85 for 2oz tube
(left) Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub, $24
-- Melissa Magsaysay