4 Liquid Exfoliators to Add to Your Skin-Care Stash
Aside from cleansing, moisturizing and protecting your skin with sunscreen, one of the most important steps in any skin-care routine is exfoliating. A buildup of dead skin cells on skin’s surface may result in a dull-looking complexion with uneven texture, which is why sloughing them away is a must for brighter, glowing skin. You’re probably familiar with gritty face scrubs and exfoliating tools (hello Clarisonic Sonic Exfoliator!), but there’s another exfoliation method you should consider, and it’s trending in a major way: liquid exfoliation. Powered by acids, enzymes and other exfoliating ingredients, liquid exfoliators have taken over the skin-care world and subsequently our bathroom cabinets. They’re often gentle on the skin and an easy add to any skin care routine. Keep reading for our favorites.
OUR FAVORITE LIQUID EXFOLIATORS
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent
In our endless pursuit of small pores and flawless, glass-like skin, an exfoliator is a must. If you happen to also be on this quest (and have larger-looking pores) consider replacing your current exfoliator with the La-Roche Posay Effaclar Astringent. The micro-exfoliation lotion helps unblock and reduce the appearance of pores, thanks to a formula that combines cleansing agents and LHA, a derivative of the more commonly known salicylic acid.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
If you experience frequent breakouts, figuring out how to exfoliate can be tricky. Scrubbing can easily irritate blemishes and make your complexion look worse, which is (obviously) the last thing you want. Rather than use a face scrub that might aggravate your skin, turn to a liquid exfoliator that’s meant for acne-prone skin like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution. Formulated with an AHA and a BHA, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, the clarifying solution gently exfoliates to help clear clogged pores and smooth skin texture.
SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator
For exfoliation all over (you should be bringing your skin care down to your neck and chest!) try a multi-tasking liquid exfoliator like the Skinceuticals Retexturing Activator. The resurfacing and replenishing serum promotes exfoliation to visibly diminish surface lines and transform skin — from the chest up —into a smoother, softer, more radiant complexion.
Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate
A peel may sound scary, but that doesn’t have to be the case.The Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate is one such product. It helps reveal fresher-looking skin. The micro-peel helps accelerate surface skin cell turnover to give skin a more radiant appearance, while visibly evening skin tone and refining the feel of rough texture over time.
How to Incorporate a Liquid Exfoliator into Your Routine
Find the right frequency. While most steps in your skin-care routine are meant to use once or twice a day, that isn’t always the case with liquid exfoliation. Different skin types can handle exfoliating in different amounts — it could be every day or only once a week — and different liquid exfoliators are meant to be used at different frequencies. Before you dive into using a liquid exfoliator, make sure you read up on how often it should be used and take note of what your skin can tolerate. If you aren’t sure, you can always start slow and build up to exfoliating more frequently.
Cleanse beforehand. A liquid exfoliator won’t take the place of your facial cleanser, even if it helps to remove lingering makeup and oil. The first step of your skin-care routine should always be a cleanser to create a fresh base for exfoliation.
Apply. How you apply your liquid exfoliator will depend on its form. If you’ve settled on an astringent, toner or essence, go ahead and saturate a cotton pad with the liquid, then sweep it across your face. If you opted for a serum or concentrate instead, place a few drops of product in the palms of your hands and apply directly to your skin.
Follow up with moisture. No matter how gentle and non-drying your exfoliator may be, moisturizing is always a must. Give your liquid exfoliator a moment to absorb — our faves above don’t need to be rinsed off — then follow with a layer of your favorite moisturizer.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen. The acids that are often found in liquid exfoliators can make skin more sensitive to the sun. While SPF is already a daily necessity, be sure to pay extra attention to sun protection if you’re using a liquid exfoliator. This includes wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, reapplying at least every two hours, covering up with protective clothing and skipping direct sun exposure.