Radiant skin is actually skin so smooth and supple that it reflects light. But once we hit our thirties, our skin cell turnover gets really sluggish, and dead skin cells make skin look dull.
The quick solution: exfoliation. The trick is to not overdo it – twice a week is fine – because overexfoliating can dry out your skin and hasten wrinkles. (A celebrity facialist tells you the best way to exfoliate.)
For extra dull skin: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
Its rice-based enzymes, salicylic acid, and papain break down skin cells far more efficiently (and gently!) than harsh scrubs. Brightening ingredients like grapefruit and licorice can even out skin tone and even lighten acne scars over time. Got sensitive skin? Green tea and gingko calms inflammation. It’s pricy, but five-star reviews from both teenagers to moms show it’s worth spending the extra $$$ — especially if struggle with exceptionally flaky and lackluster skin. Several reviewers say it’s also helped pores look smaller.
For oily skin: Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
This is like microdermabrasion in a bottle: aside from smoothing out the skin, it helps minimize sunspots and fine lines. The grains are very fine and won’t irritate your skin (unless you have very dry, sensitive skin). We’d recommend this to someone who has oily skin and wants that freshly-scrubbed, squeaky clean feeling.
For blackhead-prone skin: Mario Badescu Kiwi Face Scrub
Kiwi seeds, seaweed, and AHAs in a wonderfully creamy formula make every exfoliating session feel like a luxury facial. It’s perfect if you have oily skin or are prone to blackheads and acne, since it goes deep to clean out any residue that’s clogging up your pores. Use just twice a week, or concentrate it on your oiliest parts of your face.
For sensitive skin: The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliator
If you have dry or sensitive skin, this scrub’s for you. It gently removes dead skin cells and then soothes away any possible irritation with extra-moisturizing aloe. Reviewers say it works best with damp (not wet!) hands, so the very small exfoliating beads can work their magic on any dry and flaky areas.