Medical Esthetician Jordana Mattioli Shares Her Essential Exfoliation Rituals
You cleanse, you moisturize– but are you exfoliating regularly? This necessary step in your personal care routine is a major step towards radiant, healthy skin. Confused about the millions of options out there? You’ve come to the right place!
Exfoliants come in two categories: physical and chemical. They both slough off dead skin, treat a variety of skin issues, and make your other skincare products sink in much better– the benefits are truly endless! But the two kinds of exfoliants do, however, work very differently: physical exfoliants work on just the surface of the skin; chemical exfoliants will penetrate much deeper and operate on a cellular level to go beyond what a scrub can do. All skin types can benefit from both methods, and I absolutely recommend having one of each. Here’s a simple breakdown of each method and how to pick the right exfoliants for your skin type.
The word chemical can sound intense, but most chemical exfoliants are derived from very natural sources- for example, gycolic acid is derived from sugar, lactic acid is from milk, and enzymes often come from fruit sources. There are many different acids available that all fall under a general term: Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or AHA’s. Another type of acid used for chemical exfoliation is a Beta Hydroxy Acid, which is more commonly known as Salicylic Acid (it’s derived from Willowbark). All these acid ingredients can also be made synthetically, but the natural versions are just as active and effective. Chemical exfoliation can be done with many kinds of products, from liquids to creams to at home peels. (But don’t worry– using them won’t actually result in peeling or flaking– just glowy skin!)
The Best Plant-Based Exfoliants
Gentle Scrubs For All Skin Types:
One Love Organics Brand New Day Scrub
- One Love Organics Brand New Day scrub comes in a powder form, and a few drops of water turn it into a deliciously-scented, frothy paste made from pineapple enzymes. This is a unique product because you not only get a mild scrub from the organic sweet pea flour, but if you leave this product on, the pineapple enzymes give you additional enzymatic exfoliation. Try mixing the powder with equal parts greek yogurt for a clarifying mask, or with raw honey for a hydrating mask.
Farmacy’s New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains
Daily Chemical Exfoliation
For Every Other Night:
Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a cocktail of 12% AHA/BHA (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids) that helps refine and resurface skin to reveal a smoother and more radiant-looking complexion. Since this serum is also loaded with skin antioxidants like cactus and raspberry fruit extract (just to name a few), its truly an all-in-one serum. This serum goes on after cleansing, and is gentle enough to use nightly– but every other night is fine too! You can follow with moisturizer if you have dry skin.
Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum
Weekly Chemical Exfoliation (With At Home Peels)
To Be Used Once or Twice a Week:
Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask
Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask is a delicate, herbal-smelling mask leaves skin so supple and soft. The two exfoliants used are fruit-based enzymes (to gently exfoliate) and white willow bark (which is naturally high in salicylic acid) to decongest pores. The aloe base and blue tansy oil (which gives this mask its blue color) are powerful skin soothers. Expect a slight tingling in the first few minutes of use!
Derma-e Overnight Peel
Jordana Mattioli is a medical esthetician and sought-after beauty expert based in New York City. Previously, she penned a guest post for Garden Collage about her favorite natural skincare essentials, which you can read about here.
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