Derm DMs: What Is an Exfoliating Powder?
Cleansers come in all textures, bottles and sizes. Every week, we like to switch up our routines with a good face scrub, creamy foam wash or even a wash off mask. There is one lesser-known cleanser, however, that has been making its rounds in the skin-care-verse and piqued our interest. Enter: exfoliating powders. These loose powders are a departure from your typical wash, so we tapped dermatologist Jennifer David, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group to explain what they are and how to use them.
What Is an Exfoliating Face Powder?
First and foremost, Dr. David notes that exfoliating powders are dry scrubs. “These powders are usually made up of ground rice grains, oats, turmeric, or ground nuts/ seeds,” she says. Their formulas are often infused with essential oils, glycolic acid or antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E or green tea. This makes them physical exfoliators because they are used to mechanically exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells on your skin’s surface and improve skin texture.
What Skin Types Will Benefit From an Exfoliating Face Powder?
Dr. David notes that many different skin types can benefit from cleansing with a dry face powder. “A person who has a known allergy or sensitivity to preservatives such as parabens, formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers, or anyone looking to brighten a dull complexion through exfoliation could benefit,” she says. If you have sensitive skin, on the other hand, or are currently using a topical retinoid, you’ll want to stay away from oil exfoliating powders unless your dermatologist gives you the green light.
How to Incorporate Exfoliating Face Powders Into Your Routine
“Focus on exfoliating with a powder every one to two weeks,” says Dr. David, “and you want to make sure that your face is already wet before applying the product.” It’s important to note that the amount of water you add will determine the thickness or consistency of the exfoliator formula you’ll be making — and 1 teaspoon per use should suffice. “Be sure to store the bottle in a cool, dry place to avoid adding any unwanted moisture prematurely to the container.” Ready to give an exfoliating powder a try? Some of our favorites include the Tatcha Rice Polish, Nyakio Chinese Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder and the Josie Maran Exfoliating Powder.