Gentle, Effective Exfoliators for the Winter Bride-to-Be
If you ask almost any dermatologist to prescribe a pre-wedding skincare regimen that will make your complexion radiant, exfoliation is bound to be a main step. Your skin can't glow if it's hidden underneath a layer of dead skin, after all—and products are more effective when you've exfoliated. This is a pretty easy step to work into your skincare regimen during the warmer months when your skin is naturally more hydrated and durable. In the fall and winter, however, when it becomes more sensitive and prone to dryness, traditional exfoliating scrubs can be too rough. That doesn't mean that you have to stop exfoliating altogether. Instead, use a gentler, less abrasive exfoliator that remove dead skin cells without leaving the skin more sensitized and irritated.Sound like a tall order? Not so—we set out to find gentle yet effective exfoliators that are the perfect addition to a winter skincare regimen. In our search, we were pleased to identify six that work like a charm. Whether you like easy exfoliation (so easy, in fact, that you don't even have to wash the product off!), a unique powder process, or a more traditional scrub, there's a product here you're sure to love. If you're ready to get your skin in its softest, best shape ever, click through here to see the exfoliators we love to use all winter long.
The main ingredient in this product, Japanese rice bran, has a long history: After it was discovered to have kept the hands of sake masters youthful, women starting using it as a mainstay in their skincare regimens. It's a fine powder that you mix with water and massage over your face, at which point it takes on a creamy consistency. We love that it exfoliates your skin gently, thanks to its rice and papaya enzymes, and that it contains antioxidant superfoods, like green tea and algae, to counter the aging effects of free radicals.
Tatcha Polished Rice Classic Enzyme Powder, $65, tatcha.com
For lazy—but incredibly effective—exfoliation, use this serum. You don't even have to wash it off! It's super gentle because the ingredient it uses to exfoliate—baby salmon enzymes—only hold onto the skin cells that are already dead, leaving the rest of your complexion intact. (Don't worry, no animals are harmed during the process.) It works wonders at reducing pigmentation, evening skin tone, and reducing fine lines.
Restorsea Renormalizing Serum, $195, restorsea.com
This one has tiny granules in it that are use to exfoliate, but as the name implies, it's very delicate, very creamy, and feels very luxe. The best part is that it immediately gave our tester brighter, smoother skin.
Shiseido Waso Soft & Cushy Polisher, $32, shiseido.com
Allies of Skin
Try this one before bed—its lavender scent is so calming. It's a multipurpose product that not only exfoliates, but also contains probiotics and natural antibacterials to keep problematic skin clear without drying it out. In short, it's a game changer.
Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Facial, $120, dermstore.com
This cleanser contains alpha hydroxy acids, fruit enzymes, and botanicals so you can exfoliate gently each day without stripping your skin—a huge bonus if you live in a city, where free radicals and environmental pollution can make daily exfoliation a must.
Zelens Z Detox Clarifying Foaming Cleanser, $80, zelens.com
The Seaweed Bath Co.
This one has super fine granules—hence the name "micro-scrub"—and softens skin while containing algae (which all of the brand's products contain) to promote collagen production and radiant skin. We've heard Kim Kardashian is a fan of the line, and say what you want about her, but her skin looks pretty good.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Purifying Micro-Scrub, $25, seaweedbathco.com