Let it Go: Exfoliate Gently and Naturally

Exfoliate gently to keep skin soft and supple

Every day, we shed almost a million skin cells. According to the BBC, about once a month, our body produces a totally new epidermis. So why is it so important to exfoliate?

“As we age we lose the ability to slough off dull surface skin cells as effectively as in our youth,” says Charlene Florian, chief creative officer of Kerstin Florian International. “Gentle exfoliation helps to slough [dull cells] away and helps to reveal healthy, vibrant skin.”

When exfoliating delicate facial skin, it’s important to use gentle products that stimulate renewal—harsher scrubs may do more harm than good and can leave skin looking raw and blotchy. But exfoliating doesn’t just stop at scrubs: masks, peels and serums can help the skin’s ability to absorb other nourishing products and improve its overall health and appearance.

Here are some of our favorite natural exfoliants—none containing plastic microbeads, of course—that will leave you with smoother, more radiant skin.

Yum Gourmet Banana Leaf Enzyme Exfoliant

Rich in exotic tropical ingredients, Yum Gourmet Banana Leaf Enzyme Exfoliant is as delicious to use as it is effective. Banana, rich in antioxidants and minerals, nourishes and softens the skin. Pineapple and papaya enzymes gently exfoliate. Perfect for all skin types, and especially those who are sensitive to manual scrubs or alpha-hydroxy acids. yumskincare.com

Fleur’s Gentle Scrub

Perfect for sensitive and delicate skin, this eco-friendly organic exfoliant combines cherry and Gascony plum powders to gently scrub away dead cells. Blueberry extracts decongest skin, while anti-inflammatory chamomile soothes. We love the creamy, light texture and soft, fruity fragrance. lespausa.com

 The Glacial Facial from Alaska Glacial Mud Co.

This purifying mineral mask, made from sustainably harvested mud from the pristine Copper River Delta on Alaska’s Pacific coast, has micro-fine clay particles that absorb toxins and exfoliate dead skin. The mud, derived from mountains and glaciers, retains more than 60 trace elements that promote healthy cell regeneration. The lavender-peppermint version is both relaxng and invigorating. alaskaglacialmud.com

Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum

Leave behind damaged skin with this revitalizing serum, which contains white tea, goji berries and Swiss apple stem cells. Glycolic and lactic acids exfoliate and help reduce wrinkles and discoloration while moisturizing. It’s so gentle you can use it every night. madhippie.com

Astara Skin Care Exfoliating Marine Treatment

If your skin feels parched and out of balance from the wicked winter, try this quick and effective at-home peel. Buffered glycolic and lactic acids gently exfoliate dead, dry skin and allow for better nutrient absorption. Red and brown seaweeds and marine extracts remineralize skin while hydrating glycerin and soy encourage renewal. astaraskincare.com

Kerstin Florian Rejuvenating Spirulina Masque

Give a boost to your skin with this nutrient-packed mask, newly reformulated with Chlorella—a super food—and Laminaria, which has powerful anti-aging properties and helps reduce inflammation. Get your greens and brighten your complexion for a fresh face forward. kerstinflorianusa.com

Neal’s Yard Remedies Rehydrating Rose Facial Polish

Neal’s Yard Remedies began in a small depot in central London with the belief that health and beauty should be more natural. This 84 percent organic polish has a divine rose scent: it combines gently exfoliating wild rose seed powder with antioxidant milk thistle and aloe vera, leaving skin fortified and renewed. us.nyrorganic.com

Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush

The Mia 2’s gentle yet powerful oscillating cleansing technique works with the skin’s natural elasticity to remove impurities. The brush increases the efficacy of your favorite facial washes, and, thanks to the handy travel case, it’s easy to take Mia with you when you’re on the go. clarisonic.com

ULTRA ORGANIC Washcloths

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Photography by Robin Jolin

Made by Tokyo artisans, these absorbent, eco-friendly Japanese cloths—great for gentle exfoliation and made with 100 percent organic cotton—just keep getting softer every time they are used. abchome.com

 

Kristin Vukovic

Kristin Vukovic

Kristin Vukovic’s writing has appeared in BBC Travel, The Daily Beast, Wall Street Journal India, Forbes India, Condé Nast Traveller India, Culture, Wine Enthusiast, foodandwine.com and afar.com, among others. During Columbia’s MFA program, she was Editor-in-Chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and held an editorial internship at The New Yorker. She is working on a collection of short stories that take place on Pag, a divided island in Croatia.
Kristin Vukovic

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