Main content

How to Choose the Right Exfoliator

30 Mar 2020

Consider the following scenario: you have 30 seconds to pack your skincare essentials in a limited capacity bag for a month-long trip. In goes your daily cleanser and moisturizer, followed by eye cream and, hopefully, sunscreen. But what do you grab next? The answer is an activated, acid-based toner aimed at evening your complexion and smoothing your skin’s texture, plus a solution targeted at sloughing away dead skin cells that you can use as a more intensive exfoliation treatment a few times a week. 

Healthy skin requires chemical, physical, and enzymatic exfoliation to look and feel its luminous, dewiest bestand by alternating between the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner and Youth To The People’s just-launched Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial, you’ll get all three.

When to use what? Who better to turn to than an expert for advice: Laura Cline is Youth To The People’s Director of Education and she’s the brains behind the official best-use policies that factor into every single YTTP product. She also loves to bust skincare myths. Simply put, three types of exfoliation are better than one when used at the right time, and the easiest way to fast-track yourself to a land of happy, smooth skin. 

So there's chemical, physical, and enzymatic exfoliation. What's the difference?

“Each refers to different methods of exfoliation. Chemical and enzyme-based exfoliators are in leave-on products. Physical exfoliants require a manual method with granules to slough away dead skin cells. Enzymes can be chemical, but enzyme exfoliants mean that the product breaks down the bonds that hold onto dead skin cells. Some chemical exfoliants break down live and dead skin cells.” 

Do I really need all three?

“Used correctly, and in the right formulas, the three definitely complement each other to benefit skin. If you’re new to exfoliating, start with whatever method feels most comfortable to you in your current routineor look for a multi-tasking product like the Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial that has both physical and enzymatic exfoliants within it. If you’re already experienced, you can incorporate all three types from the get-go.”

How do the Power Toner and Energy Facial complement each other?

“The Kombucha Power Toner contains chemical exfoliants derived from lactic and glycolic acids to synergistically reduce the appearance of pore size and smooth and hydrate the skin, while the facial is a dual-action, triple-powered microdermabrasion treatment that breaks down dead skin cells via two enzymes called papain (derived from papaya) and bromelain (from pineapple). It also contains bamboo and diatomaceous earth to manually polish the skin’s surface and sweep away lackluster skin. Concentrated caffeine from yerba mate and guayusa amplify product performance, so you’ll get instantly retextured, buttery-soft skin within two minutes.”

Should I use them both at the same time?

“All skin is unique, so we recommend navigating exfoliants with care. The facial is designed to be like a caffeinated boost, so for best results, we typically advise using it in the a.m.although if you prefer nights, that’s great too. If you have sensitive skin, start by using it once a week on wet skin, diluting the product in the palm of your hand with water before application. To avoid irritation, always use the Power Toner and Energy Facial on alternate daysand always apply sun protection.”

Is there a danger of over-exfoliating?

“Yes, there is. Like most things in life, exfoliation should be done in moderation. Enzymes are the gentlest form as they only target skin cells that are already dead. As a guideline, avoid using physical exfoliants on open blemishes and always look to enzymes if you have very reactive skin. A patch test can also be a good idea in more extreme sensitivity cases. For anyone with acne or rosacea, I’d recommend consulting your dermatologist for the best incorporation of exfoliating products.” 

Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device