Chances are you're neglecting one of your most important body parts when it comes to beauty: your hands. Not anymore. The next time you plan an at-home manicure, start with Julep's Glycolic Hand Scrub ($23). This product includes both physical and chemical exfoliants to clear rough patches. The apricot seeds and glycolic acid work together to reveal smooth skin and brighter hands. You can even use it all over on rough elbows and knees, yet it's gentle enough for your face. And whatever your age, well, your hands won't be the ones to tell it.
Last week we switched things around by updating our weekly Beauty Mark It feature. Instead of asking you to go out there and find products that correlate to a specific topic, I asked you to go to our ever-fabulous Product Review Site to give your honest opinions instead. The subject matter this time around? To tell me what you think about your fave/not so fave Body Scrubs and Exfoliants.
I loved reading everybody's opinions, and the following three reviews really stood out:
- Stooped reviewed Victoria's Secret Stimulating Body Scrub ($9) — "I usually prefer scrubs with bran or finely ground seeds, as the sugar scrubs I tried dissolved too early to be effective on the body. VS scrubs don't dissolve right away so you can work in some scrubbing without irking your skin. The fragrances are a bit too sweet at first, but soon wear off to a subtle, pleasing smell. Plus, you can't beat the price. They are also often on a bogo sale in stores."
To see the other two reviews, read more
This product from Cornelia Day Resort is perfect for clearing out your blocked pores and getting rid of dead, dry, flaky summer skin. Cornelia Essentials Retexturizing Thermal Exfoliator ($45) launched in August and is perfect for achieving a fresh looking, flawless fall face. What makes this exfoliator just a little bit different is that it is made with calcium chloride to warm your skin upon contact.
Not only does this instantly open up your pores, but it increases oxygen flow to your skin, dissolves impurities, removes toxins and—supposedly—it feels amazing!
Using it is pretty simple: Gently massage a thin layer over a damp, clean face. Don't focus on one area only. Instead, use large circular motions so you don't scratch and irritate your skin. Rinse with warm water, and follow with a serum or moisturizer. It's safe to use once or twice a week.
Doesn't this sound great? It's like having a spa experience right in the comforts of your own home! I am anxiously awaiting mine in the mail and I'll be back with a product review soon.
An excellent facialist once told me that she uses only Dermalogica products, and so I decided to try out a few samples. Like any other line, Dermalogica is hit or miss. The Special Cleansing Gel wasn't all that special, for instance—at least, it didn't do anything better than Cetaphil cleanser does. Skip that one, but save your pennies for Daily Microfoliant ($47.50). It's not only a soap-free product, it's a non-liquid one, too. It's actually a rice-based powder that you start using by adding the dry product to damp hands. After working it into a paste, you just massage it into skin in small circular motions.
This might sound like a mere novelty, but this paste is actually an excellent exfoliator. It's gentle enough to use every day, and I like the fact that it contains salicylic acid—so it's ideal for dull or acne-prone skin. Another plus is that it's easy to bring along on vacations and trips, because you don't have to worry about the three-ounce rule at airports. My only problem is the packaging. After about a month, the holes of the shaker became clogged, and I had to take a needle and poke through the buildup. So I'm taking a half-star off for that, and another half-star because, well, $47.50 is more than I would normally spend for an exfoliator. Otherwise, this is fantastic stuff.
Judging by the name, you might expect 5th Avenue Bath Co. to hail from Manhattan's tony Upper East Side. Instead, the bath- and body-product company comes from suburban Columbus. I've been using its Exfoliating Body Polish with Shea Butter ($17.95) for about a month.
First, the good: I love the scent, Black Vetiver Cafe. 5th Avenue Bath Co. describes it as "a woody and ambery blend with a hint of citrus followed by notes of red cedar, sandalwood and musks." My nose isn't sophisticated enough to parse these notes, but lemme tell you, it has the "expensive and fancy, but natural" thing going on. Another plus is that because of the shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil, this scrub leaves a soft protective, moisturizing barrier on skin well after the shower. If you have dry skin, this stuff is a lifesaver!
For the rest of my review, read more
The cheapskate in me has been inspired by an Ayurvedic spa treatment I recently had. Before beginning the massage, my esthetician used a stiff brush to briskly go over my dry skin. Not only did it exfoliate dead skin cells, it also increased circulation, and the herbal oil she used left me feeling luxuriously moisturized.
I was so impressed by how good the dry skin brushing felt that I've pulled a MacGyver and have started doing something similar at home. Before stepping into the shower, I gently buff my body with the rough side of a regular kitchen sponge. You can buy these patterned O-Cel-O sponges at your local drugstore for about a dollar, and as long as you use a light touch, you'll be able to get rid of dead skin. They're too rough for your face, so don't think about using this on your complexion; instead, use it on feet, elbows and any other tough, rough skin. After the shower, follow with moisturizer and you'll have the "aah" of the spa—without the "eek" of a high price tag.
We all know by now that exfoliation is important for healthy skin and many folks use Alpha-hydroxy Acid (AHA) products, which are essentially fruit acids. These acids loosen the "glue" between dead skin cells so the cells fall away, leaving your face very smooth and soft.
Why not skip the middle man and the processing and go straight to the source? If you are looking to exfoliate you might not need to walk any further than your fridge for your next treatment.
Lemon juice, strawberries and grapes are common fruits with acids that can benefit your skin. Just applying a little of these on your skin every other evening can make your skin so much softer. Just dab some of the liquid on your face with your fingertips, let it set for ten minutes or so, then rinse with cool water. Don't forget to moisturize after you pat your face gently dry.
Remember, don't exfoliate in the morning since it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. And don't forget the sunscreen the next day and everyday for that matter.
Fit's tip: This is a great thing to do with fruit that looks just a little too funky to eat. When the grapes feel a bit soft, I just use 'em on my face.