We thought it would never come, but the warmer weather is finally here. This means more exposed skin and the need for some serious exfoliation and self-tanning. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Exfoliation is key in achieving an even, streak-free tan, so today I am sharing the best exfoliators for the face & body. You can then read all about my favorite self-tanners and the best way to apply them here. Get glowing, kids!
I am not a huge fan of manual exfoliation on the face, (ie. grainy scrubs), as they can do some serious damage to the skin ( I made this quite clear on my Instagram, in a rather funny way, and it sparked quite the discussion) and much prefer chemical exfoliation and peels, but there are just a couple of manual exfoliants I love and recommend.
Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads // I was initially very nervous to try these, as I thought they would irritate my super sensitive skin. However, these are so mild I felt no irritation at all after using them. Initially, I didn’t think they were doing anything at all until I woke up to glowing skin the next day. I was sold. I think it is a common misconception that skin peels need to be irritating to work and this product proves it. I am completely addicted.
THE ORDINARY PEELING SOLUTION// I love this peel and the price tag. It is only $7.00. Say what?! I apply this to my entire face, except for my chin, and leave it on for only10 minutes to reveal smoother and brighter skin. It also works great for clearing up my teenage son’s face.
DRUNK ELEPHANT THE BABY FACIAL// Another great peeling mask, I use this regularly to keep my dry winter skin glowing. It is great for taking off the top dead layer of dead skin, revealing fresh skin underneath, hence its name. Another great non-toxic and clean option to add to your routine.
TATA HARPER RESURFACING MASK// This is a wonderful mask and I couldn’t believe the difference after I sued it for the first time. A glow-giving treatment that instantly restores radiance to the skin. Best for blocked pores, dull, or rough skin. If you are trying to clean up your beauty routine, this is a great green and clean option.
PIXI GLOW TONIC// This product has reached cult status and for good reason. Glycolic acid gently exfoliates skin to reveal healthy, glowing skin underneath, while ginseng improves circulation to keep your skin looking great. Aloe vera soothes skin as you tone, preventing irritation that can come from exfoliating. This cruelty-free skin tonic is great for all skin types, and is paraben-free so you can feel good about what you’re using. It is great for sensitive skin like mine.
DERMOLIGICA MICRO EXFOLIANT// This is one of the only manual exfoliants I recommend and use. It is a unique, rice-based enzyme powder that you mix with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid, and Rice Enzymes to smooth the skin and accelerate cell renewal. It helps to balance uneven skin pigmentation and also contains oatmeal to calm inflammation, leaving my skin fresh and clean without irritation. One bottle lasts forever. I keep mine in the shower.
BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHER P50// I saved the best for last. This stuff is my unicorn product and has literally changed my skin. I read about it in a professional makeup thread recently and couldn’t wait to try it. THANK GOODNESS I did. My skin hasn’t looked this good in years. There are different versions and it can get a bit confusing, so I urge you to do your research here and here. It is expensive, hard to find and it stinks horribly, but let me tell you, it is all worth it. Initially, I thought it wasn’t for me, but they do make a sensitive skin version and it is a miracle worker. It has helped re-balance my skin and made it look young, fresh, and dewy again. The first time I used it, my skin got bright red and I thought I had made a horrible mistake, but it calmed down quickly and I couldn’t believe the difference the next day. I use it twice a day and instead of putting it on a cotton pad, I just take a few drops on my bare hands and apply it to my face like an essence. It saves product and money this way. It is like liquid gold.
DR. DENNIS GROSS EXFOLIATING BODY TREATMENT| These are the newest addition to my body exfoliation arsenal. They are super convenient and turn my pale, pasty, and dry winter skin into youthful and glowing skin, perfect for a good self-tanner application to ward off those winter blues. This is a super convenient all-over body polishing treatment that visibly improves the look of ingrown hairs (hello bikini zone), KP, and dry skin, and helps reduce the appearance of body blemishes and uneven skin tone. they also work great and rough, dry feet, knees, and elbows. I love them.
DOVE EXFOLIATING BODY WASH// A new product to the Dove lineup, and I think it is pretty great. It smells like vacation and does a great job of sloughing off dead skin, leaving you super smooth and ready for self-tanner. It is also easy on the wallet at around $6.00 a pop.
DRY BRUSHING// This technique not only exfoliates dead skin cells, but it also helps improve circulation, drain lymph nodes, and can improve the appearance of cellulite. ( I am in!!!!) To do it yourself, start at your feet and brush upward towards the heart. Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward. Use firm, small strokes upwards, or work in a circular motion. For the stomach, work in a counterclockwise pattern. Be gentle, you don’t want to scratch the skin. It is best done in the am, as it can have an energizing effect. I like this brush because I really feel it working. I also like this one, because it has a detachable handle, but I can also use it on my back and it helps me apply self-tanner as well. (Read more about that here.)
SEXAPEEL// Another product you probably have never heard of, but should. It is gentle enough to be used on the face and body and is amazing at taking off all of the dead skin. It literally happens right before your eyes. You spray it on, let it sit for a minute, and then use your hands to rub dead skin off in circular motions. You can literally see the dead skin ball off. Gross, but satisfying. I have heard amazing things about her water balm as well. I will be trying that next.
BUM BUM BODY SCRUB // This stuff smells so GOOD! I love all of their products and I am addicted to this scent. This scrub contains sugar, which is a bit gentler and less drying than salt, and turns into a creamy lather that nourishes and hydrates skin, leaving it so soft and smelling good enough to eat. It has been a favorite for me this past year for sure.
JOSIE MARAN SUGAR SCRUB// Free from Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates, this product is also vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without gluten, GMO, synthetic fragrance, and formaldehyde. It is a very clean product and also contains a combination of coconut and argan oil, as well as shea butter, leaving the skin so soft and literally glowing. I also love the packaging – it is so luxurious and pampering. Just like a spa day at home.
These are the latest and greatest exfoliators I love. Did I miss any? Please share your favorites. I would love to know.
Stay glowing, friends.