Exfoliators for All Skin Types
What you need to know about this revitalizing beauty regimen.
Do you want to give your skin a boost, and make it look clearer and more radiant? The quick and easy fix can be found in an exfoliator that removes dead skin cells. But how often should you exfoliate? And what product should you use? We turned to aesthetician Ileana Moreno, whose clients have included Jennifer Lopez, for advice. “Exfoliation is a tricky thing,” she says. “If you don’t exfoliate, you can get a lot of dead skin buildup, but if you overdo it, you can disrupt your skin’s lipid barrier which helps retain moisture.” Speaking of hydration, don’t forget to moisturize after exfoliating to keep skin soft and supple.
The way and how often you exfoliate depends on your skin’s condition, but here’s the kicker: Your skin can change from season to season, and even month to month. So exfoliation guidelines depend more on your skin type than how old you are. Try exfoliating once a week, and depending on how your skin reacts, you can increase or decrease the frequency.
“Normal skin is characterized as generally clear, smooth and unblemished. Pores are small and unblocked and pH, oil and moisture are balanced,” explains Moreno. Light, manual exfoliation will help keep skin this way. The Clarisonic Mia Skin Care Brush ($149, clarisonic.com) leaves skin squeaky clean, tingly and refreshed. For a less pricey alternative, check out the Neutrogena Wave Duo ($14.99, target.com).
Stress, nutritional deficiencies and your environment (eg. central heating) can contribute to dry skin. Moreno advises, “You want to stimulate the skin’s turnover without further disrupting the skin’s barrier while adding moisturizing ingredients.” Her suggestion: Enzyme-based exfoliation, which dissolves the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. Moreno recommends a nightly treatment that won’t irritate skin, such as StriVectin Overnight Facial Resurfacing Serum ($59, sephora.com). Another enzyme-based product that’s a little more wallet-friendly is the Babor Biological Enzyme Cleanser ($32, babor.com), it’s a cleanser and exfoliator.