You'll Never Guess What I Found Out About Exfoliators...
Updated: Sep 2
Written By: Alysia Gabriel - Contributing Writer
Most of us can agree that finding a good skincare routine is basically a full-time job ----
because...our skin changes every day. Basically, anytime the weather shifts, our pores burst open...grease forms... and blemishes pop up when we least expect it. Because of this, finding the perfect skincare regimen can be...well...tricky. Luckily, with so many options out there, finding something I love (well --- want to love) is relatively easy!
The problem is... finding one that loves me back.
Let's Talk About Exfoliators
Over the years, during my quest to find a routine that works, I started using exfoliators.
I mean, the idea of scrubbing away the impurities and leaving my face clean? Sign me up!
Here’s the thing, despite operating under promises of glowing, acne-free, even-toned, skin ---- most of the time, we’re harshly scraping away all that “dirt” and “dead skin,” in a way that would make a dermatologist’s heart palpitate. Contrary to our beliefs, in reality, our skin prefers to be handled with care.
According to Shen Beauty aesthetician Carrie Lindsey: "Over time, [exfoliating] can actually thin the skin and cause it to wrinkle more easily." While a little exfoliating is okay, Washington D.C. based dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., warns that "Over-exfoliating can cause chronic skin irritation and inflammation, which can lead to accelerated aging." Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas agrees and further suggests that "Exfoliating every day can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause breakouts."
Finding A Scrub That Works
Despite the warnings, I couldn't give up on scrubs just yet. Thus, I began my journey to find a scrub that wasn’t too harsh and didn't scratch my skin but still gave me the satisfying feeling of that grainy texture moving in circular motions along my face.
I needed something that made me feel like the blood was circulating in my skin, all while improving its texture, and leaving it smooth, sparkling and of course clean.
I wanted a product that was both good to my skin and left me glowing.
The Garnier SkinActive 2-in-1 Exfoliating Scrub
I want to start off by saying, I’m convinced that Garnier is coming for all my coins. Their SkinActive line consistently surpasses my expectations. Their toner makes me feel like I'm a real adult because it leaves me believing that I have everything in life. It allows my skin to breathe and leaves it clear --- not just feeling wet, like most toners. Their line is actually what made me believe that my perfect exfoliator was out there.
That's why I was so excited when I came across their 2-in-1 scrub and mask --- even though, let's be real here... St. Ives did this ages ago.
Initially, it checked all my boxes. Because it also functions as a mask, mentally, I was able to say, "Hey, this must be good for my skin if it not just a scrub." So, I abandoned my already over-extended drugstore budget and threw it in my cart. That night I got the skincare party started and was...
Sorely. Let. Down. Basically, Janet Jackson described the experience perfectly when she sang, “Thank you for the ride nowhere”.
Even as a mask --- it really didn't have much of an effect. It definitely didn't leave me glowing.
At the end of it all, I had to call a spade a spade. Their scrub is just a pricier St. Ives replica with a slightly different texture. This journey taught me that it’s all about changing our mindset when it comes to skincare and feeling clean. Finding the perfect skincare routine means listening to your skin. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good scrub, but I had to accept that for me, its “positive” effects were more wishful thinking than anything. In my mind, I was scrubbing away the problem areas... but in reality, my skin was begging me to stop.
Just like in a relationship, you need time apart to see if things are meant to be. So, this is my official break up with scrubs.
I am accepting that they will never function the way I expect them to.
So, what's the alternative?
They've done more for my pores than a scrub ever has. Once I found out about this well-kept secret, I threw out the remaining scrubs I had while singing along to Janet's “What have you done for me lately?"
Of course, sometimes, I still want to scrub and scrape the greasy feeling of my skin, (what can I say? Old habits die hard) but, nothing beats the magic of a light oil cleanser, a gel, toner, and a cream.
While I never found my perfect scrub, I learned a very important lesson about skin-care:
Just let go of the fantasy and listen to your skin.
Written By: Alysia Gabriel -- Contributing Writer
Catch Up With Alysia on Twitter - @Alysiag