How to Exfoliate, Without Damaging Your Skin
Few beauty practices are embraced as enthusiastically as exfoliation — dermatologists have long said that a good polishing can banish dullness, clean pores and reveal fresh, glowing skin in a matter of minutes. It’s a deeply satisfying ritual. And yet, it’s easy to get carried away. Buffing too often with abrasive scrubs, sponges and facial brushes can obliterate everything — dead skin cells, yes, but also healthy oils and enzymes — leading to inflammation, redness, irritation and even “profound hyperpigmentation,” especially on darker skin tones, says Sumayah Jamal, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
Other professionals recommend the next generation of toners that, in fact, don’t look like exfoliators at all. They pair exfoliating acids with soothing ingredients — and represent a major shift away from “scrub brushes or coarse scrubs,” says Dr. Jamal. These hybrid liquid formulas sink in easily, don’t require any rubbing and deliver a calming dose of hydration.
Many of the latest exfoliating toners contain a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids suited to different skin types, says Mattioli. For oily skin, Glossier Solution ($24) combines a mixture of lactic, glycolic, gluconolactone and salicylic acids with calming aloe vera. For darker tones and acne-prone complexions, Dr. Jamal likes lactic and azelaic acids, which are “gentle and very effective at correcting dark spots and blemishes” and can be found in Ren Ready Steady Glow ($35). Omorovicza Acid Fix ($115) delivers a trio of balancing glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids along with healing thermal water, making it well-suited to all complexions.
Source: The New York Times Style Magazine – How to Exfoliate, Without Damaging Your Skin By, Kari Molvar