While the wintertime has its upsides, (the holidays and hot cocoa among them), it isn’t always kind to your complexion. As the air outside gets cold and dry, without the proper care, your skin can quickly follow suit. We’re sure you know the feeling of waking up on a chilly morning with dry skin that’s uncomfortable and worst of all, flaking.
Throughout the coldest season, dead skin cells can build up on the skin's surface, resulting in a complexion that feels dry and looks dull. That’s where adding exfoliation into your winter skin care routine comes into play. During the winter months, make sure a face scrub or another type of exfoliant is part of your routine to help remove surface skin cell buildup and reveal softer, smoother-looking skin. Below, the best exfoliants, from face scrubs to masks, along with a few tips for the most effective exfoliating routine.
The Best Facial Cleansers for Exfoliating
If you’re interested in a cleanser that works double duty, consider one that also exfoliates for a deep clean that will also shed dead skin cells.
This pick is formulated with both glycolic acid and salicylic acid to help resurface your skin and prep it for any serums or treatments you wish to apply afterwards. This formula also contains aloe extract so it’s soothing, non-drying and designed for daily use.
This face scrub-cleanser hybrid, which contains micro-pearls and glycolic acid, exfoliates away dullness to reveal visibly brighter, more radiant skin. Over time, your skin tone looks more even and texture becomes smoother.
The Best Face Scrubs for Exfoliating
One of the best and easiest ways to exfoliate your complexion is by using a gentle yet effective face scrub a few times a week.
If your skin’s feeling tired, then this scrub, which is made with real Kona coffee grounds, is the formula for you. Dirt, oil, and impurities are removed and your skin will feel energized and smooth after just one use.
If your biggest skin care concerns are clogged pores, this is the scrub to reach for. This sugar scrub is made with real kiwi seeds, which effectively remove dead skin and purify pores.
The Best Face Masks for Exfoliating
Exfoliating face masks are an amazing way to show your skin a little extra pampering, and since they’re on your skin for longer than a scrub or cleanser, you’ll get even more exfoliating power.
This mask has clay and charcoal in it, and the ingredients act like a magnet to draw out deep impurities like dirt, oil, and pollution. This creamy and non-drying charcoal mask leaves skin feeling clean, rebalanced and brightened.
Formulated with red algae extract, this mask will refine your skin in just a quick ten minutes. After one use, pores will look smaller.
The Best Chemical Serums for Exfoliation
Chemical exfoliators do not need any rubbing to work, and they also have the ability to penetrate the skin for deeper exfoliation.
This daily peeling toner uses glycolic acid to smooth skin texture to reveal smoother and brighter skin, and the formula also contains aloe vera to soothe and moisturize as you exfoliate.
Use this serum to even dark spots and reduce the look of wrinkles. If you’re not sure how your skin will react to the pure glycolic acid, start by using face serum 2-3 times per week and build up to nightly use.
3 Exfoliating Tips to Keep in Mind This Winter
1. Don’t Forget About Your Body
Your face isn’t the only spot that’s dying to say goodbye to dead skin cells. Your body wants in on the action, too. Suds up a loofah or break out a body scrub to pay your body the same attention as you do your face.
2. Always Follow Up With Moisturizer
You know that you should always moisturize after cleansing, and the same goes for exfoliating. Once you’ve finished removing dead skin cells, apply a gentle and hydrating moisturizer, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream, which nourishes and replumps skin.
3. Find the Right Frequency
While some skin types can handle daily exfoliation, others may be better suited to only exfoliating their skin once a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds to determine what works best for you.
Edited by: Témi Adebowale, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Production Assistant: Jason Parigian, Digital Tech: Sam Kang, Photo Assistant: Hannah Lewis-Lopes, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Prop Stylist: Katrina Rozeville, Prop Assistant: Zach Molina, Model: Avery McMahon
Discover more tips & tricks
Shop Featured Skin Care products