Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lady J Approved Exfoliants

'What is exfoliation?  How often should I exfoliate?  I'm using the St. Ives Scrub.'  I hear these questions and statements often at work and online.  Exoliation is a must in every skin care regime.  It removes dead, dull skin cells on the surface of the skin revealing new, fresh, brighter skin cells underneath!  It also reduces the occurrence of clogged pores by sweeping out the accumulation of dead skin cells, debri, and oil.

Here are my top picks for exfoliating dead skin cells.  Sensitive skin exfoliate 1-2x a week.  Normal/Dry/Combo/Mature skin exfoliate 2x a week.  Oily and acne prone skin exfoliate 3x a week.  I let all my clients know that gritty/abrasive scrubs do more damage to their skin then good.  For example, St.Ives Scrub or it's generic sister.  I do not suggest using this product or anything similar-the 'grit', apricot shells cause micro tears in the skin and irritates skin.  Beware of any scrub with crushed shells or scratchy particles.  Here are safe, gentle, effective exfoliants.  AHA's and BHA's can reach down into the follicle, exfoliating deeper then just the surface. Typically a scrub cannot do this, which is the reason I don't favor scrubs.  Scrubs can also dehydrate skin.  DO NOT USE A EXFOLIANT OR SCRUB AS A CLEANSER.  It's not meant for cleansing the skin, even if it says for 'daily' use.  Scrubs and exfoliants are also not meant for removing makeup.

1) Clarisonic Mia: The amazing cleansing brush uses sonic technology to deep clean pores as well as exfoliate!  Buy it sooner then later, you won't regret it! $119 @ Ulta & Sephora

2) Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: Super gentle but effective enzyme exfoliant dissolves dead skin cells for a brighter and even skin tone.  Activated by water, a little goes a long way. Contains papain enzyme, rice bran, rice extract, salicylic acid, licorice extract & bearberry (for brighter skin).  Excellent for ultra sensitive skin!  Tip: Use in warm shower when skin is moist and pores are more open.  Leave on skin for a couple minutes to dissolve dead skin cells.  $50 @ Ulta or

3) Murad Vitalic Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask: Natural fruit enzymes & AHA's dissolve dead skin cells for brighter, clear and smooth skin.  1 pack can be used 2x.  A Murad favorite-see the reviews!  $22.50 @ Ulta, Sephora & Massage Envy.

4)  Origins Modern Friction:  Microdermabrasion without the crystals or expensive bill!  Avoid eyes and make sure your eyes are sealed shut when using this scrub.  A little goes a long way, just a dime size is enough for your face.  May not be suitable for sensitive skin & active acne (add a pea size amount to cleanser for sensitive skin or first time users).  $37.50 @ Origins

5) Murad Intensive C Peel: Instant radiance for sun damaged skin and hyper pigmentation.  Evens the skin tone and exfoliates!  Contains stable Vitamin C, Glycolic acid, myrtle extract and Indian Fig.  My family and clients noticed a immediate glow and even skin tone when I use this miracle peel! $49.50

6) Murad Pomegranate T-Zone Pore Refining Gel-: For normal, combo, dry, acne prone skin.  Clears pores, balances dry/oily areas, dissolves dull/dead skin cells, treats/prevents breakouts.  Apply to skin after cleansing and toning and do not rinse.  This gel remains on the skin. Contains Glycolic acid, Retinol, Salicylic acid & Pomegranate extract.  $40

7) Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel: Wipes out breakouts and acne bacteria!  Exfoliates and penetrates skin effectively.  Contains 1% Salicylic, hydrogen peroxide, retinol, glycolic.  Only for very oily skin.  Gel remains on skin, do not rinse off.  I use this on my face, neck, chest and back!  $54

*Exfoliants listed are safe for all skin types & conditions unless otherwise noted.

Use the Mia with your exfoliant for amazing results!

Look for:
-Fragrance free
-AHA's & BHA's (acne prone skin)
-Creamy or gel consistency rather then gritty
-Powder formulations activated with water
-Read reviews!


  1. do you think that using a handheld, manual face brush would work like the clairisonic? Or do you think it's not as good, or too harsh etc?

  2. There's no way to get the same results with a manual face brush. I've tried manual brushes, it depends on the bristles, but I would not recommend one. Some bristles do nothing and others are too harsh, or people can become over eager and try and scrub the heck out of their skin with it. I saved up for the Clarisonic and haven't looked back. It's fantastic, the results cannot be duplicated with a manual brush.