For all of my US readers and friends, I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and are enjoying the long weekend with family and loved ones! In case you all need to take a break mid-Thanksgiving feast or need some shopping inspiration, here’s a beauty post just in time for the fall and winter seasons 🙂
This week, I’m rounding up all of my favorite exfoliators that truly deliver and sharing why each one has been a consistent winner in my book. As someone who suffers from combination skin, finding a good exfoliator is rather difficult. A product that won’t exacerbate dryness while effectively fighting acne and skin congestion is a godsend, if not a holy grail. Over time, I have tested countless masks that promise the same amazing results, yet time and time again, many fall short – except for these five amazing products.
Gentle yet Strong: Jouviance Soft Peel Mask 5% Glycolic Acid
For those who have never heard of this brand, I feel you! Jouviance is actually an award-winning Canadian brand sold only in select CVS stores in the USA. This is basically your drugstore’s best kept secret : a prestige-brand quality product available just at your fingertips in your local CVS store. The 5% Glycolic Mask in particular stands out. At a mere fraction of the price of other less-effective exfoliators, this mask goes on with a liquid consistency, dries quickly, and washes off to reveal soft, radiant skin. The 5% concentration of glycolic acid ensures effective results, but it’s gentle enough that you can use it almost every night. If you’re browsing your nearest CVS, make sure to pick up this mask! Plus if you don’t like it, you can always return it because of CVS’s amazing 100% satisfaction guarantee on beauty purchases. You can’t go wrong!
For a Subtle Glow: TULA Exfoliating Treatment Mask
TULA has become one of my favorite brands lately, and for good reason: they use topical probiotics (read: all the healthy stuff in yogurts) and other great ingredients to promote healthy skin. Plus, their signature blue packaging is so relaxing to look at, that I inevitably reach for it again and again.
Their Exfoliating Treatment Mask in particular uses lactic acid to exfoliate dead skin and Bentonite clay to draw our impurities in pores. The mask itself is also a calming, blue hue and contains microbeads that are round (a.k.a. not jagged and won’t scratch your skin) and environmentally friendly. After using it, my skin never feels dried out or sensitive, and on weeks when I apply this product, I never develop any whiteheads!
One Stop Shop: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
I always love products that use fruit-based enzymes for a gentle, chemical exfoliation, and Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask does not disappoint! It has a subtle, fruity and herbal scent, and the clear, goopy mask goes on smoothly and dries quickly. After leaving it on for 20-30 minutes (the recommended time) and washing it off, all that’s left is clear, radiant skin. While the mask dries, it did pull at my skin a bit, but upon removal, my skin actually felt plumper and more elastic. Because it spreads so easily, a little goes a long way, so don’t balk at the price. It is well worth the investment!
Skin Transformation: Biologique Recherche P50 1970
If you’ve never heard of this product, you’re in a for a treat. The Biologique Recherche P50 exfoliating lotion is a legendary, cult classic skincare item. OK so this product is the one exception in this list, because it isn’t a mask per se, but rather a toner lotion that is applied with a cotton pad to exfoliate your skin. Sold exclusively at select spas, this product is not for the faint of heart. It has a strong, medicinal smell and the original “P50 1970” formulation stings upon use. Don’t be scared off just yet: upon consistent use, you will be guaranteed smaller pores, smoother skin texture, and reduced breakouts if any! They also have variations of this original formula so you can find one that suits your skin type perfectly. There’s a reason why this product has been around for decades, and it’s definitely a must-try on your beauty bucket list.
Total Pore Detox: Kate Somerville Exfolikate
I’ve written about the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment before in my 10-step Korean Skincare post, and there’s a reason I’m writing about it again: it TRULY WORKS. Whenever I have stubborn blackheads or clogged pores that refuse to budge, one treatment of this mask makes extraction a breeze. Flaky, dry winter skin? Use this product, and your skin will be flake-free, smooth and flawless.
A fair warning: this is intensive, just as the name states. For those with sensitive skin, I would recommend using its sister product, Exfolikate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment. If you do try the original Exfolikate, follow up with a calming mask such as Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque, which is wonderfully hydrating and won’t dry out as quickly as similar products do.
As the temperature drops and our skin becomes dehydrated, it may seem counter-intuitive to exfoliate your skin and potentially dry it out more. However, the right products will actually increase skin cell turnover and help scrub off the dead cells that are preventing your moisturizers from fully hydrating your skin. The end result? You’ll find clear, luminous skin that will more readily absorb all beauty products. And this weekend, you’ll find many retailers offering discounts and coupons, so make sure to pick up some of these during the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sales. Happy shopping everyone!
As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!