Summer-Ready Skin: Non-Abrasive Exfoliant Options

By: Brittany VanDerBill

The warm days of summer are already here, and we’ve got weeks of wonderfully sunny days ahead of us. If this knowledge has you panicking because your skin doesn’t quite feel summer-ready, don’t worry! 

Winter can take a toll on skin, leaving it dry, rough or bumpy and in dire need of some exfoliation. But some exfoliant options are way too harsh, especially products with gritty particles. 

Non-abrasive exfoliants do exist, and they’ll be your go-to skin smoothers this summer. Read on to explore some non-abrasive exfoliant options. You’ll be ready for shorts and swimsuits in no time!

What Does Exfoliation Do for Me?

If you’ve ever exfoliated, you know that your skin feels silky smooth afterwards. But if you haven’t yet added exfoliation to your summer beauty routine, let’s pause a moment to review why it’s beneficial. 

Put simply, exfoliation can whisk away skin cells that have died. This is a good thing because dead skin cells can contribute to clogged pores and can make your skin feel rough to the touch. 

Be sure you exfoliate in moderation though. This will help stave off irritation, which is no fun when you want to rock that new bikini you scored online.

Five Non-Abrasive Exfoliant Options

Okay, so now you know that exfoliation can help smooth your skin and clear away some of those dead skin cells. There are tons of products out there with gritty particles that do the work of exfoliating. However, some of us have more sensitive skin that might not love those harsher options. Fortunately, non-abrasive products exist. Let’s explore five of them.

1. Chemical Resurfacing

When it comes to exfoliation, don’t neglect your face. Chemical exfoliants, or peels, will help your facial skin look and feel a bit softer and smoother. 

Something that promises to peel or ‘resurface’ your face may sound a little (okay, a lot!) scary at first. But at-home chemical exfoliant options can be a great way to smooth your facial skin. 

Newer product options can help minimize redness that could occur when using chemical exfoliants like alpha- and beta-hydroxy (AHA and BHA) acids. For example, try out this Drunk Elephant AHA/BHA mask; it’s a great excuse to take 20 minutes for a little self-care as you wait for it to work its magic.

2. Leave-On Facial Serums

If chemical resurfacing just isn’t your thing, consider a leave-on facial serum. Paula’s Choice created a liquid exfoliant with two percent BHA that can be used daily because of its gentler formula. They do caution that you should start slowly just in case your skin may be sensitive to the ingredients. 

3. Dry Brushing

Now, for some options to exfoliate the rest of your body. 

Dry brushing is essentially just as it sounds: you (gently) rub a dry brush or even a loofah over your body. As an added bonus, some people use this exfoliation method as a way to help their bodies detox. Try out this brush from goop which features biodegradable bristles for an eco-friendlier exfoliant.

4. Body Lotion

Some body lotions are wonderful multi-taskers. If you’re want to exfoliate but also have dry skin, then take a look at some lotions that are specifically designed for skin that’s a little rough and needs some hydration. 

These lotion options are also great for people with keratosis pilaris, which makes skin feel really bumpy. CeraVe actually has a product which says right on the label that it’s made for “rough and bumpy skin.” (Isn’t it nice when the label is so obvious?) Smooth it on for a hydrating and exfoliating powerhouse combination.

5. Body Wash

You probably shower pretty often. Why not exfoliate as you wash? Body washes can help clean and smooth your skin without those harsh abrasives. Just make sure you look for something with the AHAs or BHAs noted earlier. This option provides both glycolic and salicylic acid in one fabulous formula.

Easy Exfoliation is Possible

Exfoliating doesn’t have to irritate your skin and it doesn’t have to be scary. Give a non-abrasive exfoliant a try this summer to show off that newly smooth skin in the season’s trendiest rompers!

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