Whether you’re an exfoliation junkie or consider double cleansing your form of exfoliation, you could be harming your skin if you’re not using the right type of skin-sloughing agent. We turned to the pros to give us all of the details on where most of us are going wrong. Thankfully, Dr. Vermén Verallo-Rowell, dermatopathologist and founder of VMV Hypoallergenics, and Rianna Loving, esthetician and founder of Orgo, were more than happy give us skin-type-by-skin-type breakdown.
Keep reading to find out what kind of exfoliation is best for your skin!
If you have oily skin, look for a physical exfoliator, like a scrub or a cleansing device. “You can control them by using lighter pressure, finer grains, or lower settings as needed,” Dr. Verallo-Rowell says. It’s easy to go overboard with physical exfoliators, that’s why Loving also prefers scrubs that are not too abrasive. She recommends choosing light granules, like jojoba beads, to avoid damaging the skin.
Flip through for a couple of oily skin exfoliators!
Clarisonic Mia ($99)
Renée Rouleau Mint Buffing Beads ($42)
“Dry skin types can benefit from exfoliators that remove dead, dull skin, but also provide hydration,” Loving says. Try something with the finest grains in a creamy, lotion texture, one that contains moisturizing oils, or one that’s honey-based. “Scrubs that contain honey are perfect not only to exfoliate, but moisturize as well,” Loving says.
Keep reading to see the best exfoliators for dry skin!
VMV Hypoallergenics Moisture Rich Mild-Mannered Cleansing Scrub ($22)
Combination skin that’s normal-to-oily can stick with a physical exfoliator or try a light chemical exfoliator. If you prefer to a product that will treat the oil, use a cleanser with alpha hydroxy acid (or AHA). “Using cleansers with AHA will gently exfoliate, preventing pores from getting clogged with oil and dead skin cells,” Loving says.
Flip through for the best products for normal-to-oily skin!
Sibu Beauty Exfoliating Scrub ($20)
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Buff Beads For Face And Body ($36)
If your combination skin is more on the normal-to-dry side, you also have options. Dr. Verallo-Rowell says, “You’re lucky enough to be able to use any exfoliator of your choice.” Since your skin type is less sensitive to exfoliation and you won’t be irritating any acne lesions, Dr. Verallo-Rowell recommends bumping up the exfoliating power with a medium-grade scrubbing particle.
Flip through for a couple of scrubs for normal-to-dry skin types!
Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula ($20)
Claudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator ($35)
“Acne lesions are inflamed, so they need extra care to minimize further irritation,” Dr. Verallo-Rowell says. Avoid abrasive physical exfoliators with harsh grains, sugar, or salt, and facial brushes as much as possible. “If you have breakouts, use a chemical exfoliator to fight oil and acne from a deeper level in the skin,” says Loving. “AHA and BHA acids (like salicylic, lactic, and glycolic) will be most effective. These will not only fight oil and remove pore-clogging dead skin cells, but also improve skin's texture and repair acne scars.”
Keep reading for the best picks for acne-prone skin!
Ren Micro Polish Cleanser ($30)
DDF Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash ($39)
Older skin tends to be sensitive and dry, but Dr. Verallo-Rowell says it still should be exfoliated, in order to increase cellular renewal and allow active ingredients to penetrate the skin. Try a physical exfoliator with super-fine particles, like a microdermabrasion scrub, and aim to work in chemical exfoliation as well, “Chemical exfoliators can penetrate skin deeper to improve the appearance of fine lines,” Loving says. Products that pack a combination of AHA and BHA acids will be your best bet.
Flip through for a couple of exfoliators that are perfect for aging skin!
Dr. Brant Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant ($78)
Rodial Glamoxy Exfoliating Pads ($60)
Sensitive skin types should avoid chemical exfoliation and most physical exfoliators too. Loving says that light powders, like rice and oatmeal, are the safest option. Dr. Verallo-Rowell also points out that if you have truly sensitive skin due to a medical condition, you should skip the scrubbing all together.
Keep reading to see the best exfoliators for sensitive skin!
Province Apothecary Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator ($14)
Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder ($36)
Have you been using the right exfoliator for your skin type? Let us know in the comments!