Since the days of the ancient Egyptians, we’ve been exfoliating our skin: with rough abrasives like salt, makeshift loofahs, or almond shells. In medieval times, people used wine as a chemical exfoliator. With an abundance of modern options, don’t waste your Saturday night’s Pinot. There are plenty of exfoliators to choose from, and when your skin starts to dry out and flake during the Fall, you’ll want to reach for one of these.
There are two ways of exfoliating – physically and chemically – with the former being a tactile scrubbing of the face to remove dead skin, and the latter achieving the same effect with natural or synthetic chemicals. In either case, the goal is to lift off dead skin cells without doing undue harm to the layers of living skin beneath, leaving a smoother, more youthful you. Because online retailers like b-glowing will test and curate their products rigorously, you don’t have to leaf through a thousand articles to find the best products – they offer a whole suite of top quality brands for any skin type in one place.
The four basic skin types are: oily, dry, sensitive, combination. There is an exfoliator that is specifically made with each of these needs in mind to mitigate any damage these types cause and to improve the healthy condition of the skin.
Oilier skin tends to harbour larger pores, which means that an exfoliator that can manage your skin’s sebum situation is ideal. You want to avoid a harsh chemical exfoliator that will exacerbate the problem. If you over-exfoliate, you’ll strip your skin of its natural sebum, causing it to overcompensate by producing more. Instead look to a kind exfoliator like Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, that contains nourishing seaweed and green tea extracts.
A soft touch is key for dry skin, and you’ll want an exfoliator that’s also adept at moisturizing. Normally, it’s advisable for dry skin types to avoid over-treating, especially with products that contain drying alcohol. Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel by Dr. Dennis Gross are pads that can be used each day to gently hydrate and reduce the appearance of pores. They’re perfectly suited for dry skin types because the pads won’t strip your skin of its natural moisture.
California dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm advises to avoid products with aggressive ingredients, synthetic acids, and physical scrubs if you have sensitive skin. Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose gently swoops in to save the day – it’s an exfoliator (as well as a toner, moisturizer, and serum) specifically designed for sensitive skin that clarifies, hydrates, and works out imperfections. Note that some skin types are too sensitive for frequent exfoliation, so try out Erno Laszlo soap for your daily routine, and use the occasional light exfoliating products in addition to this. And don’t rub too hard!
It can be tricky getting rid of that pesky dry skin while still treating an oily t-zone, but there are certainly products up to the challenge, like the Deep Cleansing Exfoliator from Caudelie, which exfoliates and cleanses pores without drying your skin out – no small feat. It’s also great for oily types, too.
Here we’ve only scrubbed the surface — there are many more great products from top brands that suit every exfoliator’s needs.