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How to Select the Right Exfoliator

Personal care products on table

Almost every skincare expert will tell you that exfoliating is one of the most important steps in your skincare regimen. Without it, your skin will accumulate dead skin cells and the active ingredients of your treatments and moisturizers cannot penetrate through to the fresh layers of skin. But how to choose?

There are three main categories of exfoliators to choose from:

  • Physical / Manual – Choose a physical scrub carefully. If the granules are rough or sharp, they could end up doing more damage than good for your complexion. If the particles are smooth and rounded, these can feel great and give you a satisfying scrub.
  • Gommage – This type is a unique product. They apply as a gel or cream, and then after the product has dried on your skin, you gently buff it off with your fingertips. You can literally watch the dead skin roll off your face. This is one of the more gentle types if you have sensitive skin or are new to exfoliation. These are rarer but you can find them, such as Koh Gen Do Soft Gommage Spa Gel.
  • Chemical – This category includes products that contain ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids or retinols. They help dissolve the ‘glue’ that holds the dead skin cells to your complexion. One of the gentlest yet most effective products available is the Treatment Enzyme Peel by AmorePacific.

If you have combination to oily skin, the granular scrubs are well-suited as long as you do not have active breakouts. Dry and sensitive skin types usually fare better with the chemical options since they are generally gentler.

One of the more recent trends in exfoliating are the devices that can be used with your regular cleanser, such as the Foreo Luna™ devices.

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