Dry, dead skin is our summer glow’s kryptonite. From the sticky gym to grimy subway rides, we run our complexion into the ground. When our faces are nearly as flaky as our mom’s apple pie crust, we turn to exfoliators to reveal young, radiant skin. We hit up Beverly Hills dermatologist Debra Luftman to give us the scoop on how to safely slough during sunny months.
New Skin + Sun = Damage Exfoliating reveals a brighter complexion, but you can actually do more harm than good if you’re not cautious about staying out of the sun. “One needs to be careful during the summer after using peels and scrubs,” Luftman says. “Skin can often be inflamed or more sun sensitive.” She warns that because it is new, previously unexposed skin, permanent hyper pigmentation and/or scarring may occur.
Physical (And Chemical) Education There are a couple of ways to smooth your skin. Dr. Luftman breaks down the options:
Physical exfoliators: Srubs that physically remove the dead skin with beads, salt, sugar or a granular material. Choose a scrub with rounded, non-irritating beads, which won't tear or abrade the skin. Luftman’s pick: Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
Chemical exfoliators: These contain acids like glycolic, salicylic, lactic and malic. These ingredients loosen and lift dead cells, leaving new, vibrant skin behind. Editor’s pick: Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel
Make A Weekend Of It “It's best to do a peel when there is an opportunity to stay out of the sun for at least two days, like on a weekend,” Luftman says. “Even after the wait period, it’s important to continually protect the skin with sunscreen.” She recommends slathering a broad spectrum SPF 30 or above on all exposed areas daily. You can't overdo it!
—By Cody Marick, beauty intern