As you may know, most exfoliation products are textured with fine particles. This is because that somewhat rough (you don’t want to go overboard) surface creates a light friction to remove the dead skin cells.
Perhaps the most popular types of exfoliation products are scrubs, many of which now are formulated with natural, eco-friendly substitutions to microbeads. And while you may think your facial cleansing brush exfoliates like a pro, our experts tell us that scrubs are ideal and the best tool for this job.
Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and the founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, tells us that scrubs are extremely flexible and can be curated for your skin type.
“If a scrub is to intense, you can thin it with a little water or a pea size of your moisturizer,” she says. “If it’s too fine, you can scrub for longer or do longer in the t-zone and scrub very lightly on the cheeks.”
When it comes to facial scrubs, we are big fans of Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub ($6, target.com). Vargas says to work your product into your skin in circular motions for no more than three minutes. She also recommends upwards motions for dry skin and downwards motions for oily skin.
So what if you have sensitive skin? Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Founder and Director of Capital Laser and Skin Care and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center, who also mentions that scrubs are great for exfoliation, says to be mindful of the formula you’re using.
“People with sensitive skin should stay away from those that are anti-acne scrubs since the salicylic acid is too harsh,” she says. Another exfoliating option if you do have sensitive skin is to grab your cleanser and a wash cloth. “I love a wash cloth for sensitive skin exfoliation,” notes Vargas. “I also like the fact that one can wash the washcloth after every use.”
So what about all those handheld and electric facial brushes? We’ve long wondered if our beloved Clarisonics were doubling up as exfoliators when we use them. But take note! Just like they are advertised for intense cleansing, our experts tell us that electric are indeed better at cleansing rather than exfoliating.
“Physical scrubs do a better job of exfoliating dead skin cells, rather than dirt and debris from pores like the Clarisonic does,” explains Dr. Tanzi. The popular product’s blog even notes that it is a deep cleansing product that has mild exfoliation benefits.
Sounds like we’ll be sticking to scrubs when it comes to exfoliation.
However, we should note that there are electric and even hand-held brushes on the market for microdermabrasion and exfoliation, like Dermalogica’s Exfoliating Facial Brush ($18, dermalogica.com). Because these can be quite intense for sensitive skin types, check with your dermatologist before you begin one of these regimens…and then brighter skin is officially on the way!
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