Cleanser or scrub first?
Cut the confusion and go for an exfoliating cleanser. Like the name says, they’re cleansers with exfoliating acids thrown in the mix.
Exfoliating cleansers give you the best of both worlds: they melt away dirt and grime and get rid of dead skin cells, all while saving you time in the morning.
Here’s why you should make the switch…
Why You Should Use An Exfoliating Cleanser
Exfoliation is a game-changer for skin. Once those dead cells are off and away, your complexion glows and breakouts slowly disappear. The extra cellular turnover helps fade away dark spots and wrinkles. You look younger. Healthier.
The catch? Daily exfoliation is usually too much for skin. It can cause irritation. Redness. Stinging, even.
Enter exfoliating cleansers. In a cleanser, exfoliating acids stay on the skin for only a couple of minutes before they’re rinsed off down the drain. That’s just enough time to slough off dead cells and unclog pores - without irritation.
The only question now is: how do you choose the right exfoliating cleanser for your skin type? I’ve put together this quick guide about exfoliating cleansers to help you out:
Best For Oily & Acne-Prone Skin: Salicylic Acid
Got acne? A skin so oily, a breakout is always around the corner? Salicylic acid is your new BFF.
A member of the Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) family, salicylic acid is an exfoliant that does triple duty:
- It exfoliates skin: it works by dissolving the “glue” that holds skin cells together so they can slough off.
- It unclogs pores: because it’s oil-soluble, it penetrates inside your pores, removing all the extra dead cells, sebum and other grime that’s clogging them up and giving you blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.
- It soothes inflammation: BHA has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the redness that always comes along with pimples.
In other words, salicylic acid is key to preventing and treating breakouts of any kind.
Leave-on exfoliants that stay on the skin for hours rarely use more than 2%. In a cleanser, you can triple the dose without irritating skin.
Our Salicylic Acid Face Wash with Activated Charcoal has a whooping 6% salicylic acid! It removes dirt and grime, exfoliates skin and pores and reduces inflammation. Bye bye, acne!
Best For Dry & Mature Skin: Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an antiaging superstar. The smallest member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family, it penetrates skin (but, not the pores!) better than all other exfoliating acids. Better penetration = faster results. Here’s what glycolic acid can do for you:
- It exfoliates skin: it dissolves the “glue” that holds skin cells together, leaving skin smoother, brighter and more even-toned.
- It hydrates skin: it has humectant properties that draw moisture from the air into the skin, keeping it hydrated for longer.
- It boosts collagen production: it helps skin stay firm and younger-looking for longer.
Glycolic acid’s superpowers make it a powerful ally to treat sun-damaged and dry skin. It stimulates the skin’s renewal process, fading away fine lines and dark spots, and hydrates it to boot.
The downside? Glycolic acid can irritate skin. That’s why it’s smart to get your fix from a cleanser, like Glycolic Acid Clarifying & Resurfacing Facial Cleanser. The smaller dose gives you all the exfoliating benefits without any of the side effects. It’s gentle enough, you can use it daily!
The Bottom Line
Oily, acne-prone skin needs salicylic acid like pizza needs cheese. It unclogs the pores, soothes redness and keeps breakouts from coming back. If you’ve got sun damage or dry skin, glycolic acid is your best bet. It hydrates skin, fades away fine lines and wrinkles and give you a beautiful glow.