Next to cleansing and moisturizing, exfoliation is one of the most valuable steps in any skincare routine. This quick guide has everything you need to help your clients discover their perfect exfoliating product — and reveal their very best skin.
Exfoliation is the process of shedding the layer of dead cells that accumulates on the skin’s surface. Although our bodies do this naturally, the process slows down as we age, leading to buildup that causes dullness, rough or flaky texture, clogged pores, and more.
Removing this layer of dead skin with exfoliating products helps unveil the fresh young skin underneath. Clients will see and feel dramatic improvement with regular exfoliation, including:
- Brighter, more radiant complexion
- Skin that’s smoother to the touch
- Less noticeable pores, lines, and wrinkles
- Improvement in the appearance of breakouts
- Significantly better absorption of moisturizers, serums, and other products
Ways to Exfoliate
PHYSICAL EXFOLIANTS - These products typically take the form of scrub cleansers, which contain small particles that manually lift away dead cells. Generally an excellent option for the resilient skin of the body, they may sometimes be too aggressive for use on the face, depending on skin type and sensitivity.
TRY: ResurFACE Crème, a botanical skin-buffing cream infused with algae particles which can be used as an at-home microdermabrasion treatment.
CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS - Gentle, yet effective, chemical exfoliation uses mild acids or enzymes to effectively dissolve the bonds holding dead skin in place. As the bonds “unglue”, the cells shed on their own, leaving the surface of the skin smooth and flake-free.
TRY: Dual Action Toner & Pads, an alcohol-free daily toning formula that combines two types of acids (glycolic and salicylic) to perfect and clarify skin.
Choosing Between Active Ingredients
There are three types of chemical exfoliating ingredients — alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and fruit enzymes. All three essentially work in the same way, but each offers its own unique benefits suitable for different skin concerns.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
Water-soluble exfoliating acid that works mostly on the surface of the skin. Includes glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids.
Recommended for: Normal, dry, or dehydrated skin
Ideal uses: Anti-aging, minimizing the look of wrinkles and sun damage, overall rejuvenation, moisturizing
TRY: Glycolic Gel & Pads, a 10-minute clarifying micro peel with 10% glycolic acid that targets the appearance of fine lines, pores, and uneven skin tone.
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
Oil-soluble exfoliating acid that can penetrate into pores and unclog buildup. Includes salicylic and citric acids.
Recommended for: Normal, oily, and acne-prone skin
Ideal uses: Targeting acne and blackheads, minimizing large pores, calming and purifying
TRY: Salicylic Face and Body Wash, a daily allover cleanser with maximum strength 2% salicylic acid to prevent and treat the appearance of acne, flaky skin, folliculitis, and razor bumps. Sulfate-free.
Extra-mild exfoliant commonly derived from pineapple, papaya, and pumpkin that gently resurfaces skin without causing irritation or reactivity.
Recommended for: Skin that is very sensitive, reactive, or otherwise does not tolerate acids well.
Ideal uses: Smoothing, brightening and refreshing the complexion
TRY: Papaya Mint Body Scrub with papaya enzymes and skin-polishing jojoba beads to clear pores and smooth the look of rough, bumpy skin (including keratosis pilaris and razor bumps).
Better Skin for Anyone and Everyone
Encouraging your clients to exfoliate will help them open up a whole world of benefits. No matter what their goals are — preventing aging, fighting acne, complexion perfecting — a suitable exfoliating formula will enhance the results they already enjoy from your branded skincare line.