Right about now is when the concept of “transitional” products starts to float, that seasonal search for skincare to carry you from spring to summer without an unanticipated bout of breakouts and suffocated pores. But really, the transition is pretty simple—exfoliate your face, and routinely. “Exfoliating year-round is key,” says celebrity aesthetician Alexandra Wagner, whose skin-sloughing White Tiger Signature Facial is now available not only in her LA spa, but bottled (in jar form) for on-the-go brides who can’t make it to the west coast in time for the big day. But why the need for the extra step? “After about the age of 26, cell turnover is much slower, and cells that would have shed easily tend to sit on the surface of our skin causing breakouts and dullness,” Wagner explains. “Serums and other hydrating formulas will have difficulty penetrating skin, and makeup will look cakey and like a coating on the surface.” So aside from clearing your pores, exfoliating actually gives your other products the chance to perform at their peak.
Wagner encourages both physical exfoliants that gently move away debris, as well as chemical, like Shiffa Tri-Acid Radiance Peel. Westport-based dermatologist Dr. Deanne Robinson agrees. “Chemical and physical exfoliation are two methods to take the dead top layer off the skin and clear out our pores,” Dr. Robinson explains, introducing a gentle warning. “Remember not to over exfoliate, as it can lead to irritation—just one to times per week is perfect.” Melanie Moreno, and Esthetic Educator at Mario Tricoci’s Spas, seconds the logic of keeping at-home exfoliation to just a couple of times per week in order to maintain balanced pH and help products do their best. “Exfoliation is essential to keeping your skin tone smooth, plus assists with getting all of your lovely ampoules, serums, and peptide moisturizers deeper into the skin,” Moreno shares. “One of my personal favorites is Glymed’s Anti Aging Exfoliating Masque, which has a beautiful blend of Glycolic, Salicylic, and Lactic Acids to boost cell turn over and even skin tone while working in conjunction with gentle jojoba beads to polish away the dead cell to leave your skin brighter, more hydrated, and better prepared to tackle the hot summer months.”
For Violet Grey’s chic customers, Tatcha’s Classic Rice Enzyme Powder is their best-selling formula. For the Nordstrom girl, Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask is consistently selling out (but luckily available on Net-A-Porter.com), while Jouer’s limited-edition Microfiber Towelis surfing the latest wave of soap-free, eco-friendly facial cleansers. Below, a dozen options to help spring clean your pores before the solstice: