Why exfoliate? Your skin is a clever, responsive organ, and will naturally shed dead cells by itself. If, however, this process is uneven or unpredictable, these redundant cells can clog pores, leading to breakouts and dull, rough-textured skin. That’s where exfoliating comes in.
Typically classed into ‘physical’ formulations, which contain ingredients that lift cells off the skin through rubbing, or chemical, which employ acids or enzymes to dissolve skin cells, they help regulate the natural skin-sloughing process along to create glowing, softer skin. This smoother skin is better at retaining moisture, allowing skincare and makeup products to layer on and blend in more easily.
If you’re not sure what kind of exfoliating is right for you, go by your skin type. Oily skin typically loves plenty of exfoliation, and responds well to biweekly or triweekly product use. More sensitive skin types might need just a Sunday night treatment with a gentler formulation. Either way, your skin will tell you what’s best. If it starts to tingle or feel overly red or dry, dial back your exfoliation until you find the frequency that’s right for you. And in the daytime, always smooth on an SPF afterwards to protect your newly-revealed skin from UV damage.
Ready to add some exfoliation to your routine? Here’s our pick of the products we love, all from Positive Luxury-approved brands.
The Exfolactic Cleanser from 111Skin
This chemical-based exfoliant uses alpha-hydroxy acids to gently cleanse and remove those dead cells, while rosemary hydrolats keep the skin feeling balanced and comfortable.
Polishing Facial Exfoliant from Grown Alchemist
A blend of antioxidant-rich pink grapefruit, glucomannan (an exfoliant derived from the roots of the konjac plant) and corn starch, this creamy polish lifts off dry and dead skin cells to reveal more healthy skin underneath.
Gommage de Beauté Skin Resurfacing Peel from Guerlain
Guerlain’s Gommage is best spread onto your face as a five-minute mask. During that time, it clears pores, and then rinses off to reveal more luminous skin. White tea-scented, it boasts seed and root extracts, and a mix of three naturally-derived exfoliating acids.
Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub from Kiehl’s
If you’d prefer something a little more physical, Kiehl’s scrub has small pieces of actual pineapple and papaya fruit, as well as finely ground scrub grains, to remove any ready-to-go skin cells.
Metamorphose Mallow and Bamboo Peel Powder from Sepai
This powder formula utilises both mechanical and chemical methods to gently buff your skin, with added clay to absorb excess oil from pores, making it ideal for skin that over-produces sebum.
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Written by - Olivia Gagan