Annnd another one bites the dust. This week we hear from our Senior Editor, Annie, on the exfoliating treatment she used till the bitter end.
It was a woman by the name of Oprah Winfrey that got a 12-year-old me hooked on facial exfoliation, specifically baking soda combined with Cetaphil cleanser. I would press and mush and violently massage the grainy mix into my skin until I turned the rawest shade of red—because that's exfoliation, right? Kids, you see, are stupid. Exfoliation shouldn't feel like a DIY cabinet resurfacing project. But I can't deny the gratification I get from a grainy texture—I'm still trying to accept the way some brands call a watery liquid a "lotion;" it's hard enough without having to factor in the revelation that exfoliators do not need to be tactile, physical scrubs, but come in the form of gentler, chemical versions as well.
And that's why I love love love Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate, which marries both physical and chemical exfoliation into one asparagus-colored, herby pineapple-scented paste. The physical exfoliator comes in the form of tiny beads that feel like fine grains of sand, and it contains everything from fruit enzymes to lactic acid which rep the chemical side of things. After washing, I pat dry, mist my face with Evian water, and gently massage a two pea-sized amount of ExfoliKate around my face in small circular motions—concentrating on any areas where I'm a bit flakey, like where a zit has healed and the scab is hanging on for dear life. This part doesn't last any longer than about 20 seconds. Then I just let it sit for about a minute, so the enzymes and acids can get to work. I rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry, and glow. I really like using it when I need perfect makeup application—the smoothing results are instant and I guess you could say similar to a resurfacing project, leaving to fresh and ready to paint. Or just ready for moisturizer—your skin will soak it up.
It's pricier than your run-of-the-mill facial exfoliator—$85 for 2 oz.—but those 2 oz., used two to three times a week, lasted me an entire year. I hurt myself trying to squeeze the last little bit from the tube. Worth it.
Photos by Kim Johnson.