Flawless, poreless skin may be one of the biggest myths of the beauty industry (right up there with “lifting” neck creams), but the idea of poreless skin still has the power to sell myriad skincare products—from primer to powders—that ultimately leave us less than impressed. A better approach? Embrace the fact that skin has pores and natural texture. Instead of trying to camouflage texture, optimize your natural texture by exfoliating, which you can do from head to toe!
Adopting an exfoliation routine will boost your skin on multiple fronts—clearer skin (fewer clogged pores), softened signs of wear-and-tear, improved skin tone, reduced dullness. By assisting skin with cellular turnover (a.k.a. its natural shedding process), exfoliation prevents the buildup of dead skin cells. (Buildup of dead skin cells leads to less-than-ideal skin texture—from bumps to misshapen pores.) Bottom line: exfoliation helps minimize the appearance of pores and texture while giving skin an all-over glow and smoother feel.
A Quick Note on Timing Your Exfoliation
Because exfoliation can be sensitizing, it’s important to be careful about how often you do it—and the strength of the exfoliant. Always start slow and perform a test patch before committing to regular use. You may want to stick with exfoliating once a week with a regular-strength product if your skin tends to be sensitive. Otherwise, using a regular-strength exfoliating product twice a week or a more intensive mask product once a week is probably an appropriate routine. Experiment (cautiously), and see what works for you! I like to time my exfoliation on days when I don’t plan to spend much time outdoors because exfoliating can make skin more sensitive to UV rays. Always use SPF—even on days when you don’t exfoliate.
Let’s Get Exfoliating!
This potent jelly mask is formulated with two types of exfoliants to combat dullness, enlarged pores, acne, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and dullness. The mask also includes rose water and aloe vera to soothe and hydrate skin while the active ingredients go to work. (Also, for every jar sold, Herbivore is donating $1 to The Trevor Project for the entirety of 2020.)
Designed to specifically target hyperpigmentation from age spots and acne scars, this serum combines vitamins C and E with exfoliating fruit enzymes, bearberry, turmeric, and kojic acid for a naturally radiant glow. This powerful skincare cocktail also helps prevent future acne outbreaks by gently resurfacing the outermost layer of skin (thank you, fruit acids!). This serum is so popular it’s on backorder (but don’t despair, it can be preordered.)
Readers, I’ve used Paula’s Choice BHA for five years! I’ve repurchased this countless times—it’s effective, thoughtfully formulated, and relatively affordable (plus, it lasts a long time!). I’m especially excited because PC has released an additional BHA product: Regular Strength Anti-Redness Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid. Not only does it pack a pore-refining BHA (salicylic acid), it’s also formulated with sodium hyaluronate (a form hyaluronic acid) to soothe and hydrate skin. This treatment can be used on acne-prone skin (including cystic acne).
The body needs to be exfoliated, too! Fortunately, we usually have a little more leeway with how we exfoliate the body, meaning manual exfoliation is on the table! (Generally, anything rougher than a soft washcloth is too rough for facial skin.)
This multitasking body exfoliated is formulated with organic sugar, Himalayan pink salt, dead sea salt, lychee extract, and vitamin C. Lychee extract, a natural source of vitamin C, helps fight free radicals and fade hyperpigmentation. This luxurious scrub is just the thing to polish your body, especially if your skin has been feeling dry and looking dull. And just look at that packaging!
Used in West Africa for generations, mesh exfoliating cloths help make skin its smoothest. The LuvScrub is the perfect way to experience the amazing smoothing effects of a mesh cloth. It increases soap lather, sloughs off dead skin cells, lasts a long time and can be reused countless times, and is large enough to reach every square inch of your back. Each piece is hand-cut, and there are several pretty colors to choose from.
For extra soft skin, couple your manual exfoliating with an exfoliating body serum like REN’s. Formulated with AHA at a 10% concentration (effective but not too intensive), this exfoliating serum combats dullness, uneven texture, dryness, and uneven skin tone. Lactic acid and xylitol draw water molecules to skin’s surface to keep it hydrated and supple. Also, this multi-tasking moisturizer features probiotics to help boost skin’s defensive barrier.
Craving more info about body care? Check out these tips for preparing your skin before wearing backless clothing!
What’s your favorite way to exfoliate?
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