Flaky Skin Be Gone

1/6 Chayo Mata
A Soft Touch

A good work ethic can be the worst enemy of good skin. On the job, we're rewarded for putting in effort, but laboring over your complexion with harsh scrubs and intense peels can backfire. "The mistake people make with exfoliation is being too harsh," says dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D. Using too strong products on a little bit of rough skin can create problems like broken capillaries, irritation, or acne." Consult our guide to the best exfoliating cleanser and treatment for your skin type and you won't need to put in overtime to get gorgeous, glowing skin.

 

Get anti-aging beauty tips. Take a look at "Beauty and the Heat" for tricks to beat the summer heat and check out WH's Perfect Skin Guide.

2/6
Oily
How Often? Use peels twice a week and exfoliating cleansers every other day. Frequent scrubbing can increase oil production and lead to more breakouts. See more WH acne- and blemish-fighters.

Ingredients to look for... Salicylic and glycolic acid, which slough off the upper layer of skin cells, dislodge acne-causing grime, and dry up oil.

Wash you face with... Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, which contains chamomile extract to stifle inflammation and glycolic acid to sweep away pore-clogging flakes. ($15 for 6 oz, mariobadescu.com)

Treat your skin with... Prescriptives Instant Gratification Skin Renewal Peel, a self-heating treatment that plows through pore blockage and safely scrubs away surface dullness with round pumice beads. ($45 for 2.5 oz, prescriptives.com)
3/6
Normal/Combination
How Often? Exfoliate two or three times a week at the most. Daily scrubbing can turn your calm complexion into a raging mess.

Ingredients to look for... Naturally derived acids, like alpha hydroxy (from sugar cane), lactic (from milk), malic (from apples), citric (from oranges), and tartaric (from grapes), which gently dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells so they come off.

Wash you face with... Gentle, round synthetic beads like those in Clean & Clear Soft Purifying Cleanser. The scrub is also packed with glycerin to help your skin retain water. ($7 for 5 oz, drugstore.com)

Treat your skin with... Kinerase Instant Radiance Facial Peel, which comes in single-serving wands loaded with lactic and fruit acids. These suckers magically unveil glowing skin. ($75 for 15 treatments, sephora.com) See WH's Beauty Guide to Perfect Skin.
Dry
4/6
Dry
How Often? Pick one flake-sloughing option--either scrub or mask--to use once a week on dry, flaky skin. Do it more often and you risk sending precious oils down the drain.

Ingredients to look for... Microbeads made of wax or jojoba. Avoid almond shells and apricot kernels--their jagged edges scrape and irritate.

Wash you face with... Laboratoire Remède Sweep Gentle Refining Exfoliant, which gives skin a porcelain finish with clay and finely milled marble powder. ($44 for 2.5 oz, blissworld.com)

Treat your skin with... Yes To Carrots Exfoliating Soothing Mask, which contains carrot seed oil and Dead Sea minerals whipped together with mega-moisturizers like olive oil and glycerin for a facial smoothie. ($15 for 1.7 oz, walgreens.com) Also see "Super Soakers" for the best skin-quenching mists and "Acid Test" for alpha-hydroxy-kissed, anti-aging moisturizers.
5/6
Sensitive
How Often? By nature, exfoliators cause irritation, so it's best to use a night treatment once a week and scrubs every other week so you don't make your skin really angry.

Ingredients to look for... Mild products like gentle chemical peels containing retinol, salicylic acid, or pliable scrubbing beads coupled with a soothing, hydrating ingredient like allantoin.

Wash you face with... Ole Henriksen New Beginning Scrub, which contains soft, round jojoba wax beads as well as healing tea tree oil for a gentle rubdown. ($24 for 1.7 oz, olehenriksen.com)

Treat your skin with... DDF Ultra-Lite Peel, which includes allantoin to ensure skin is coddled with moisture and salicylic acid to dissolve dulling layers. ($40 for 1 oz, sephora.com)

6/6
Dynamic Exfoliation Duo
Forget the idea that exfoliation has to sting, burn, or otherwise hurt to be effective. Experts love the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush System ($195, blissworld.com). It uses painless sound waves to loosen dead skin.

Mix in a packet of smooth Wei East Pomegranate Exfoliating Grains ($26 for 24 packets, weieast.com) to any cleanser for a pleasurable polish. This duo offers proof you don't have to be cruel to be kind to your face.

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