We all love to use a good, inexpensive body scrub like St. Ives Apricot Scrub (read review) from our chest down, but don't think that you can get away with using it on your entire body. It's really important to think of the skin on your face as much more sensitive and delicate than the skin on your body.
We include the neck and chest area as part of the face when it comes to skin care products. Breakouts, aging and other common face issues are very common on the neck and chest area, so keep that in mind when it comes to moisturizing, using serums or even facial sunscreen, but most especially, exfoliators.
How to Exfoliate Your Face
- Start by Washing: You should always exfoliate on freshly cleaned skin. On the days that you exfoliate, use a gentle face cleanser like Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Gel Cleanser (read review) as to not irritate your skin before exfoliating.
Pick an Exfoliator Made for the Face: This is important. When it comes to body scrubs like the Apricot one mentioned above, many times they use large pieces natural ingredients like shells and seeds to exfoliate. These ingredients make for great exfoliators, but they are jagged pieces and can wind up really causing irritation to the sensitive skin on your face. You can use a manual exfoliator or a chemical one.
For manual ones, try looking for a facial cleanser that uses uniform exfoliating particles like jojoba beads or finely ground natural ingredients. These will exfoliate without causing tiny scratches in your skin. If you want to use a chemical exfoliator, these will be more like facial wipes that you use after you cleanse. You just wipe the cloth over your face and let it dry. The cloth contains AHA's that will evenly exfoliate with little to no work from you.
- Stick to a Schedule: You should only exfoliate your face one to three days a week, with three being the very most. The exception to this rule is if you use an exfoliating facial wash like Kiss My Face: Jumpstart. Exfoliating facial cleansers are mild, gentle exfoliators and are safe to use daily. Exfoliating any more than the recommended one to three times is excessive and can cause your face to show signs of peeling and redness. Definitely not the look you're going for.
- Rub in Circular Movements: And use a light hand. Simply rubbing the exfoliation, if you're using a manual one, in circular motions is going to give you great results. Try to take about two minutes on your face and make sure to move past the cheeks and forehead where you can get stuck sometimes. Remember to bring it down to your neck and chest. If you're using an AHA wipe, a simple swipe across your entire face, neck and chest is all you need to do! Can get any easier than that. Some of these wipes are OK to work up to daily use so make sure you read the directions.
- Stay Away from the Eyes: The delicate skin around your eyes should be avoided when exfoliating.
Our Favorite Facial Exfoliators
Manual Face Scrubs We Love:
- Befine: Exfoliating Cleanser: (compare prices) For only $15.99, this is like an amazing exfoliating facial cleanser and is one of those "rock star" products we should all try. It is OK for daily use. (read review)
- Origins: Never a Dull Moment Skin Polisher: (compare prices) Reviews are almost all positive for this bi-weekly scrub from Origins. Exfoliators include finely ground Apricot and Mango seeds.
Chemical Face Scrubs We Love
- Somme Institute: Transport: One of our more recent reviews, Somme Institute's Transport revived our lack-luster skin quickly and easily. (read review)
- St. Ives: Scrub-Free Exfoliating Pads: (read review) If you love your St. Ives scrub and were down about me telling you not to use it on your face, cheer up! St. Ives makes facial exfoliating wipes, too! So much better for your face. (compare prices)
Exfoliating Tools Worth Checking Out
- Clarisonic: The gold standard in exfoliating tools, if you want to splurge for great results, check out this brush. You simply put your facial cleanser to work and the brush cleanses and exfoliates your skin. Definitely worth the splurge. (compare prices)
- SpaSonic: A Clarisonic knock-off that doesn't quite do all the things the Clarisonic does, but is a good tool none-the-less, with a lower price tag. We compared the two tools to show you what you'll miss if you buy this brand.