Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway. Every week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.
There is a longstanding yet unsubstantiated myth that exfoliation is an effective means to improve one’s complexion. But are exfoliating scrubs actually safe to use? The opinions on this matter range widely, so I reached out to the nation’s skincare experts to get to the bottom of this debate once and for all!
“I’m personally not a fan of harsh scrubs, as the friction on the skin can lead to irritation and micro cuts compromising the skin barrier,” states dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi. “Chemical exfoliation is a more effective, safer method. I suggest using an alpha/beta-hydroxy acid, such as glycolic and Salicylic acid, found in ClariFY Pads. They are easy to use and improve both texture and tone!”
“Harsh exfoliating facial scrubs are a bad idea, but gentle scrubs, when used properly, can be a healthy addition to a skin care routine,” teaches dermatologist Dr. Angie Koriakos. “My favorite product is the Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off. Using this product a few times a week leaves the skin feeling fresh, smooth and revitalized!”
“Let’s be honest, some form of regular exfoliation is key for helping prevent dull, lackluster skin! Plus, exfoliation can help improve the effectiveness of your skincare products, but one size does not fit all and exfoliating face scrubs are often too harsh,” notes skincare expert Camille Morgan. “My recommended type of gentle, chemical exfoliation comes via retinols. They are great for overall skin health, as they help target discoloration, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and minimize the appearance of pores! If you want glowing, brighter skin try My Hero!”
“Physical scrubs with fine particles are OK with me as long as they aren’t overused and you aren’t scrubbing with too much pressure,” finds dermatologist Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson. “My personal favorite is Modern Dermatology Green Tea Scrub and I recommend using it just once or twice per week at the most!”
“Definitely avoid daily use of harsh scrubs, but gentle scrub washes used infrequently are totally fine,” explains dermatologist Dr. Tejas Desai. “By gently removing the dead skin at the surface you can absolutely improve skin texture. I recommend using Skinmedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser twice a week!”