After so much fun in the sun (yes, even if you SPF), fall is the time to peel and reveal.
Lucky for us, everyday skin clearing methods have become quite diverse. Meaning, some exfoliators also plump during the process, while others do extreme lifting, and still others perform advanced smoothing and brightening simultaneously. Yes!
I have a lot of favorites in this category, and all are worthy and cover a wide spectrum of brands, cost and luxury.
Let’s start with the daily scrubs, ramped up a notch. Then the Enzyme Exfoliators, which often come in weekly or daily treatments, and then the more assertive, targeted topical microderm products – followed by DIY gadgets we can actually apply and use at home.
First, scrubs. Not only are scrubs effective at circulation, they help clear blackheads, push debris (often just layers of heavy cream applications in the t-zone that have not been thoroughly cleansed), and slough skin that is on its way out—or should be. Every brand has one, so I’m not going to elaborate here.
This is one category where men are at an advantage—their scrubs are more dense and (I believe) more effective. Clinique’s Exfoliating Scrub is a good value and is quite dense, which is necessary to really polish skin (if your skin can take it, I think the Clinique For Men Face Scrub is terrific). When people say it’s too harsh, I say use a stronger scrub product and scrub with less pressure. Important: Let the scrub do the work, not your biceps. Philosophy has a handful of results-oriented scrubs, micro-derm cleansers and multi-product treatment regimens including the following you will love as much as I do: The Microdelivery (In-Home Vitamin-C Peptide Peel), Miracle Worker (Miraculous Anti-Aging Lactic Acid Cleanser and Mask) or Oxygen Peel (In-Home Oxygen Peel). Incidentally not a scrub but a daily powder that mixes with a drop of water or serum, their Turbo Booster C Powder is highly effective at continual smoothing, brightening and overall daily youth glow booster (I use twice a week in place of a liquid C serum). It’s great!
Although gentle, the following pack quite a punch: Enzyme activation is a more “bio” way of eliminating surface layers gently, but effectively. You must use one to really feel the difference. They are also a nice way to exfoliate more frequently without getting the redness from a scrub (if you’re prone to that). AmorePacific’s Treatment Enzyme Peel not only was one of the first enzyme powder skin peels, it is still considered one of the best. Dermalogica ‘s Daily Microfoliant is in the same class using rice-based powder that releases salicylic acid and enzymes when mixed with water. Followed by their Skin Renewal Booster (works great on crows feet, forehead wrinkles and overall light peeling) If you’re prone to sensitivity, Natura Bissē’s Tolerance Enzyme Peel is a rich super-exfoliant cream of active enzymes that works without irritation, but delivers smoothness you can really feel. SUKI Skincare is an organic powerhouse brand that offers many options for reversing skin issues, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. From their “Skin Crisis Intervention” series comes the Hardcore Clarity Kit. A trio of serious correctives includes Resurfacing Enzyme Peel, Transforming Purifying Mask and Purifying Acne Serum (which works well as a detox where acne is not present). I love their Bio-C 10% Formula Face Serum, which has a distinct formulation and texture.
One of my favorite enzyme scrub peels (many dislike the sensation, but this one works!) is 24K Gold Deep Peeling by Orogold. 24K Multi-Vitamin Deep Peeling and 24K Bio-Brightening Complex Peeling are also capable of heavy lifting. The line is a little pricey, but the results delivered on the Orogold Peeling line—and they are concentrated – are pure gold. Live a little!
If you’re more of a naturalist, then K6 Skincare’s Reveal is a 100% vegan, natural, and organic active enzyme peel that really does what it says.
For those who love what they love, let’s face facts. La Prairie never disappoints. I was recently in Zurich, Switzerland doing a story on the Dolder Grand Spa. And although I’ve tried most every La Prairie productout there, their Cellular 3-Minute Peel soft peel resurfacing mask was new to me. Well, it was just tingly enough to slough those lines and freshen any dull or lackluster skin – anyone’s skin! I left it on for about 20 minutes as I was running around, realizing this was a real deal ACME strength skin renewer. To top it off, even though there is no sloughing or rewind action going on, the Cellular Hydralift Firming Mask is one decadent way to get intense lifting and plumping, due to the extraordinarily rich moisture cream lift.
Another one of my favorite ways to spell awesome is Hydro Peptide’s Anti-Wrinkle Polish & Plump Peel, a two-step kit that’s often referred to as the “date night peel” because it puts your best face forward. I like it because it does polish away wrinkles then plumps up the remaining lines and skin to diffuse them further. Another secret weapon is their Pre-Treatment Toner, which uses Lactic Acid, Triple Action Peptides, and Orange Stem Cells to help this age-defying toner exfoliate while brightening and evening out skin tone.
There you have it. Now you have no excuse. Any one of the above will lift your skin right out of its post-summer slump and rewind your topical layers to pre-sun soft goodness.