I commonly get mistaken for being at least a decade younger than I am. I’m 52, but don’t look it. I’m sure that I need to thank my parents for the DNA, because they both look(ed) younger than their years. Those that know I am in the beauty business ask what I use, advice, tips and I’m more than willing to spill the beans. I can’t shut-up about cosmetics and beauty stuff. With regard to my skin care routine, it’s pretty simple. I do the basics — cleanse, moisturize, use SPF, diligently use eye cream and I diligently EXFOLIATE. I’m an exfoliating junkie. A day without scrubbing is like a day without sunshine for me.
So what is exfoliation? It is the chemical or mechanical removal of dead or non-functioning skin cells. This process also aids in improving circulation through stimulating blood flow. Chemical exfoliants include Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s) and Retinol. Mechanical exfoliants are ones that have crushed or powdered nuts or seeds, jojoba seeds, or polyethelene (man-made) beads, to name a few.
As we age, our natural desquamation (skin shedding) cycle slows down. When skin cells shed, it signals lower cell to start making new ones. That’s why it is so important to exfoliate as we age. Have you ever seen someone with dry, flaky skin? Well, all the mosturizer in the world won’t help until they get rid of that dry stuff. So exfoliation is key.
I use both manual and chemical exfoliants. Here are my favorites. My top 5 exfoliators:
1. Exfoliating Cleanser Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 6.75 oz $35
Exfoliates dull, dry, uneven texture. Leaves skin smooth and hydrated. Smoothes texture while cleansing impurities with a trio of gentle exfoliating acids. Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic Acids provide clarity, brightness and improve cell-turnover by dissolving dead skin cell buildup. Jojoba beads further polish and smooth skin
2. Chemical Exfoliant Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads 60 Pads $45
What it is:
A daily hydroxy acid and peptide facial peel.
Convenient and easy to use, these peel pads are formulated with alpha, beta, and gamma hydroxy acids (which act as exfoliators) and amino acids (the building blocks of peptides). The result: tighter pores, clear skin and disappearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Leaves skin soft, smooth, firm and revitalized.
3. Budget Exfoliant St. Ives Apricot Scrub for Oily or Acne Prone Skin 6 oz $3.99
Blemish and Blackhead Control
2% Salicylic Acid
Gently exfoliates to remove dirt, oil and dead skin cells that can clog pores.
4. Body Exfoliant Jones and Rose Brown Sugar Fig Salt Scrub $28
Skin nourishing olive, soy, and almonds oils combine to deliver silky, smooth moisture to soften and nourish rough spots. moisturizes while mineral rich sea salts gently smooths and softens rough spots. No need to use lotion afterwards.
5. Lip Exfoliant Laura Geller Lip Strip Cooling Sugar Scrub 1 oz $16
Lip Strip gently buffs dry lips to renewed smoothness. Historically, sugar is one of the safest natural exfoliants and humectants, and because the skin of the lips is so delicate, pure organic sugar from Brazil was chosen to use as the base of this scrub. In addition, peppermint and spearmint oils were added for a beautiful, refreshing sensation.
Try these exfoliators and you too can be a smooth operator!