Scroll To See More Images
If there’s one habit we’re carrying with us into 2019 and beyond, it’s a skin care routine that doesn’t skimp on exfoliation. This probably isn’t the first or last time you’ll hear about the benefits of chemical exfoliation, but it may be an introduction into body exfoliation that goes beyond your standard loofah or body brush. Because while physical scrubbing does your arms, legs and everything in between a whole lot of good, it needs a more clarifying cleanse, just like your face.
The good news is there isn’t much new information to take in here. According to Dr. Ellen Marmur, dermatologist and founder of Marmur Metamorphosis Skincare, chemical exfoliation for the body is an often overlooked, but necessary part of ensuring your knees and elbows don’t get scaly and flaky.
“Chemical exfoliations go deeper within the skin than scrubs do. They tend to produce desired results with fewer problems,” she says. As you probably know, these fall into two major categories. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), or fruit-derived, water-soluble molecules that slough away top layers of dead skin. The most popular ones are lactic acid (derived from fermented fruits and veggies), citric acid (derived from citrus fruits), glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), malic acid (derived from apples) and tartaric acid (derived from grapes and apricots).
Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are the ones that penetrate deeper, eliminating debris from our pores, which in turn treat breakouts and prevent future ones. You’ve probably seen this in the form of salicylic acid, a popular ingredient in acne products. There are also enzymes, which are simply gentler versions of AHAs. The most popular types are pumpkin and papain (derived from pineapple). You’ll find these in a lot of body scrubs and polishes.
So which ones are best for your body specifically? Dr. Marmur recommends salicylic acid and glycolic acid especially for back acne and chest acne because they “work to exfoliate the skin plus dissolve the proteins that clog pores and lead to acne.” She adds, “We also love lactic acid for dry skin.”
With that being said, here are some top-rated body exfoliators to get started with.
Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment
$28 at Paula’s Choice
REN AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum
$42 at Sephora
DERMAdoctor KP Duty Body Scrub
$46 at Sephora
Cane + Austin Retexturizing Body Pads
$70 at Amazon
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub
$13.94 at Sephora
Amlactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
$23.93 at Amazon
SkinFix Renewing Scrub
$30 at Ulta
Credit photo. StyleCaster