Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Best exfoliators {for all skin types & budgets!}

Can you feel that? The season is changing and the weather is getting colder, which means it's a good time to start thinking about switching up your beauty routine. I know fall has only just begun, but here in the Pacific Northwest it means winter is just around the corner- fall doesn't usually stick around for too long. For me, the winter months usually bring with it dull, dry, flaky skin, which doesn't look so cute when you're trying to apply makeup over it. 

This year I'm determined to stay on top of my winter skincare problems, so that means I'm slowly transitioning out from my normal face wash and moisturizers to some more heavy duty scrubs and creams to keep the flakes at bay. I put together a list of some of my favorite tried & true exfoliators for all skin types and that fit every budget, so whether you want to spend a lot or a little, I've got you covered. I'll follow up later with some of my favorite moisturizers to pair with these too.



The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion | $22 {$15 on Amazon.com}

This yummy smelling microdermabrasion contains micro-sized garnet exfoliating particles that stimulate cell renewal, and are great for sloughing off rough, dull, dry skin without being too harsh or "scratchy." I love the smell and the fact that it has uses Community Fair Trade shea butter in it, which never leaves my skin feeling too dry or tight afterwards. The vitamin C in it helps to brighten the skin and can be used once or twice a week. Plus, it's vegan and paraben-free, 


This one is NOT intended for daily use. It's an intense microdermabrasion that should be used on a bi-weekly, or even tri-weekly basis for some people, and a little bit goes a very long way. At $41 this one is a bit spendy, but one tube will last you a long time. I use maybe a dime-sized amount and apply it in the shower, using circular motions and use very, very little pressure with my fingertips. 60 seconds of exfoliating with this stuff is all that's needed every other week on my face, neck, and chest. My skin feels so soft and smooth afterwards! Over time, skin will start to appear smoother and clearer, with fine lines reduced and pore size diminished. 

Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub | $9.99 {$6.32 on Amazon}

Another yummy smelling one! This one uses grapefruit, which is high in vitamin C and is used to brighten and even out the skin tone, This scrub is gentle enough to use every day to slough away dead skin cells. It also contains lemon balm, which helps calm and repair damaged skin. Acne sufferers- this one is great for acne scars, as well as sun damage and age spots. It's also 99% natural, petroleum free, paraben free, and cruelty free, making it a good choice for the eco-friendly beauties on a budget.


This 30 second "mini peel" is a great exfoliator that is gentle enough to use every day, and is great for dry skin. It has a unique, sulfate-free formula, and is rich in antioxidants, which helps condition the skin and helps it retains its moisture level while gently exfoliating away the dead skin cells. This one is really rich feeling and never makes my skin feel tight afterwards. Plus, Philosophy is a brand I always trust.


This gentle, daily scrub is great for all skin types, even if you have acne (it won't clog your pores!) It doesn't have a lot of smell to it, which is great if fragrances bother you. I also love that it's from the Neutrogena Naturals line, which is much more eco-friendly. It's 94% naturally derived, doesn't test on animals, uses recycled plastic (for packaging), recycled paper, supports clean water, and uses renewable energy. Plus, it's one of the cheapest ones on my list!


Anything that says "microbeads" on the packaging. These are tiny, man-made plastic beads that are put into the product to exfoliate the skin. I've heard horror stories of these tiny beads being embedded in people's skin and pores (yuck...and ouch). Plus, they are polluting the water, environment. and are killing off wildlife in a huge way. Just say no to microbeads, and go for something that uses a natural exfoliants, like ground nut shells, salt crystals, and sugar. FYI- microbeads can also be found in some toothpastes- I had to throw out the last tube I bought after I discovered little plastic bits (used for an extra "whitening boost") stuck in my gums. 

Abrasive exfoliators. There's one particular apricot scrub that comes to mind (and I'm sure you've all heard of it, and may or may not love it). Don't feel bad- I've used it in the past too, but these types of scrubs can wreak havoc on your skin because they are just too abrasive and sharp. Stick to products with super-fine, natural particles, or a peel (that's a whole 'nother blog post!) Over-exfoliating your skin can lead damage, sensitivity, and redness, and make enlarged pores appear even bigger. Stick to a gentle exfoliator and skip the harsh, abrasive ones.

Whether you've got normal, dry, oily, or combination skin, these exfoliators should have your skin feeling silky smooth, looking bright and glowy, and flake-free during the winter months or year-round. 

What's your best tip for battling dull, dry skin?
Next up, moisturizers! Stay tuned :)


*This post contains affiliate links.

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