Slough Your Skin: 4 Liquid Exfoliators to Try Now
Beyond cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin with SPF, one of the most important steps in any skin care routine is exfoliating. Build-up of dead skin cells can result in a dull-looking complexion with uneven texture, hence why sloughing that away is a step you shouldn’t skip. Since exfoliating is a must, it’s worth finding the best exfoliation option for your skin. You’re likely familiar with face scrubs and even exfoliating washcloths or tools, but have you ever considered swapping out your current exfoliator for a liquid formula? Liquid exfoliators, powered by acids and other exfoliating ingredients instead of beads and grains, have taken the skin care world by storm, which should be enough to make you keep reading.
Why You May Want to Consider a Liquid Exfoliator
Are you trapped in a love affair with your face scrub or exfoliating tool? Even if you are, you’ll want to consider using a liquid exfoliator. Liquid formulas are typically gentle, and there’s nothing not to like about that.
Our Favorite Liquid Exfoliators
Ready to pick your product? Here are a few of our favorites from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent
One thing we know to be true is that practically every person out there is seeking smaller-looking pores—that is, if they’re not trying to get rid of their pores completely. In reality, it’s not possible to bid farewell to your pores, but with the right product you can minimize their appearance. Those with large pores should consider replacing their 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 micro-exfoliating LHA.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
When 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 need. Rather than use a face scrub that might risk aggravating your skin, turn to an exfoliator that’s meant for acne-prone skin. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution fits the bill. Formulated with an AHA and a BHA, glycolic acid and salicylic acid respectively, the clarifying solution gently exfoliates to clear clogged pores and smooth skin texture.
SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator
Don’t forget, your exfoliating responsibilities don’t stop with your face. Keep things simple by choosing a liquid exfoliator that can be carried down to your neck and chest, 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. In fact, instead of causing irritation, the Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate 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
If you choose to use a liquid exfoliator over a face scrub, you’ll clearly have to make a change or two to your skin care routine. Here’s how to use a liquid exfoliator:
1. Find the right frequency. While most steps in your skin care routine are safe to do once or twice a day (in fact, it’s often very strongly encouraged), that isn’t always the case with exfoliation. Different skin types can handle exfoliating different amounts—it could be everyday 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 your liquid exfoliator of choice 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.
2. 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 to get completely clean with a cleanser. Once you’ve successfully accomplished that step, you’re free to move on to exfoliating.
3. Saturate a cotton pad and sweep over skin or smooth on with your hands. 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.
4. Follow up with moisture. No matter how gentle and non-drying your exfoliator pick may be, you aren’t excused from moisturizing afterwards. Give your liquid exfoliator a moment to absorb—if you chose one of the exfoliators recommended above there’s no need to rinse off—then follow with a layer of your favorite moisturizer.
5. Apply Broad-Spectrum SPF. 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 seeking shade when possible.