It's starting to feel like summer!
Here in Vegas, it's already pool season. We're busting out the bikinis, wedges and stunna shades for another bonanza of beverages, boys and besties. But the one thing we're not bringing to the party? Dead skin from our winter, pale, pasty faces.
We know you'd never actually sit in the sun without sunscreen to get a glow, so we're pretty sure you're familiar with the ins and outs of self-tanner. As in, always prep your skin with an exfoliator to remove dead cells and let your polished, fresh skin shine through. Exfoliation also helps to increase circulation and collagen production, while reducing bacteria, blemishes, dark spots, clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, dry skin and aging. Keeping those dead cells around can cause your skin to look dull and lifeless. So not cute.
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Hold the Loofa
But you've got to watch what you're using to get that glow. The problem with most products is that their exfoliating granules are way too big and harsh for your delicate lil' mug. Scrubs made with apricot pits or walnut husks are far too rough for the thin skin on our faces. With sharp edges, these grains can lacerate skin, causing ugly scarring. Some conventional scrubs are even made with tiny plastic grains; these also have hard, sharp edges that cut into your skin instead of gently buffing. They scrape off a layer of living skin, which irritates your face and accelerates the aging process. (Note: If the exfoliant in your shower contains bits of strange colors like purple or blue, it's probably plastic.)
War on Oil
Other conventional scrubs can irritate skin or dry it out so much that your body produces even more oil to compensate -setting you up for a dangerous, addictive cycle of using too much product, yet not getting the results you need. Instead of alleviating it, overuse can aggravate your condition. Over-exfoliating can also cause skin to weaken and contributes to wrinkles, as skin becomes damaged, thinned and rough. Consistently thinning the top layer of skin can also lead to milia (hard white granules under the skin), age spots, rosacea, broken capillaries, perioral dermatitis and allergic eczema.
To stay on the safe side, exfoliate no more than twice per week, using a natural product that contains particles that soften and dissolve when they're exposed to water, or a gel. Try some of our favs:
Sprout Exfoliant. All-natural, vegan and sustainable, it contains only Maine sea salt, organic almond flour and organic oats. Hand-made in small batches once a week in Brooklyn, using ethically sourced, whole, high-potency ingredients sourced from small farms. No synthetics or fillers; packaged in glass jars. $28 for 4 oz. at www.sproutskincare.com
Exfoliating Minerals Exfoliating Facial Cleanser. Soap-free and non-gritty, this gel cleanser uses fruit and plant-derived AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) to smooth and balance skin. No parabens, animal testing, petroleums, or artificial colors or fragrances. Can be used on wet or dry skin. $24 for 4 oz. at www.exfoliatingminerals.com
Pros: Healthy, radiant skin without long-term damage.
Cons: The products are hard to find in stores. Both are available at www.abesmarket.com
Want to know the deets on what else to buy? Click here to browse through our "What Do I Buy" category on the website!
Image sources: Martina Rathgens