I've worked in sales my entire working life, and the majority of that time has been in the beauty industry, where I was fortunate enough to get quite a bit of education on many subjects. One of the most fascinating to me is exfoliation.
What's exfoliation, you ask? Well, simply put it's getting rid of the dead skin that's sitting there. (Be it on your face, your body, your scalp, etc.) Dead skin sitting on your face can cause clogged pores, which can cause breakouts, dead skin siting on your scalp can cause dandruff and dead skin sitting on your body can cause body breakouts, as well as rough, flaky skin. No one wants any of those. There are two types of exfoliants - chemical and mechanical. Chemical is usually a type of peel, liquid or gel where mechanical is usually something cream-based with little beads of something that you physically scrub around.
My skin likes to go crazy with any sort of weather change (hot to cold, cold to hot), and with any sort of life change (hello, stress acne!) I've found that the best way to combat acne, and keep my skin looking good is with gentle, daily exfoliation.
Here are some of my favorite facial exfoliators:
Paula's Choice Resist BH9. This for me is a once a week product. It's a super thin gel, that you lightly apply after all of your other skincare products. I originally got a sample of this, back when I subscribed to Birchbox, and I'm so glad that I did, because this seems to be a miracle product. Use it on areas you really have some damage (for me I like to use it mostly on my nose, where blackheads tend to hang out.)
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. This is my everyday exfoliator. Just put a drop on a cotton pad, and swipe on your face.
Paula's Choice Pore-Refining Treatment with 2% BHA. I tend to have more acne-prone skin, so BHA exfoliators (betahydroxy acid) are what really work for me, though if you tend to be dry, you'll prefer an AHA (alphahydroxy acid) I love this super strong exfoliant right before I know I'm going to get my period. I always, always get acne right around my chin around my time of the month, if I don't use this.
If you have dry skin - give the Paula's Choice 8% AHA gel a try. It's gentle enough to be used daily, but removes those dead skin cells, while smoothing and soothing dry skin.
Glamglow Tingle Exfoliate treatment is incredible! I use it maybe twice a month, and my skin always looks better afterwards. The only downside is it's price.
Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache body scrub is one of my all-time favorites! LM is a company I used to work for, and I was lucky enough to take home this stuff practically by the gallon for free (those were the days!) It is a chunk of change, but if you feel like splurging, do yourself a favor and do so with this. The scrubbing elements are crushed up almond, pistachio and hazlenut shells, and I guarantee after you this your skin will be so soft that you can't stop touching it!
Softsoap Crushed Coconut Body Wash - if you're crazy for anything coconut, like myself, do yourself a favor and snag this double pack from Amazon for only six bucks. I can only ever find it at Rite-Aid, and that's only once in a while, and there one retails for about the same as you can get two on Amazon. This yummy, cheapie gets its exfoliating properties from crushed coconut shell bits.
HERE is also a great list of 25 body scrubs you can make yourself! Someone feel free to make me up a batch of this one ;)
Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo. This stuff is great, but it is expensive!! It exfoliates the scalp with wintergreen and salicylic acid. Pop into a local Aveda and see if they have a sample you can try before you buy.
BIG Shampoo by Lush. This shampoo is truly amazing! It's packed with sea salt, which gently exfoliates your scalp as you lather up.
THIS DIY recipe is one that I've tried, and it works incredibly well! I just swap out the patchouli (because I really, reeeeeeallllllly dislike the smell of patchouli), and instead use a drop of lavender or rosemary (sometimes both!)
....and I can't write a whole post about exfoliation without mentioning one of my all-time favorite products, the duo of Paula's Choice lip exfoliators and balm! I've given this as a gift SO many times, but especially love gifting it to myself! I have the balm in my nightstand, my purse, and one in my desk drawer, and I've got the scrub in my bedroom bathroom and in my shower! The combination of the two is so powerful, and guarantees to give you kissably smooth lips!
So, now that I've written this long-winded post (anyone still reading?) I would love to know how often YOU exfoliate, and what you exfoliate with?? What has worked for you in the past, and what hasn't? I'm always happy to learn more, and would love your feedback!