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Best Facial Scrubs, Microdermabrasion and Peels


An important part of your weekly skin routine is exfoliation. You can use facial scrubs, microdermabrasion kits or peels. Peels work to brighten skin by removing dead skin cells with lactic or juice acids. Scrubs work to manually remove dead skin. Make sure to follow with moisturizer after exfoliation. See "How to Exfoliate" for more information.

More tips:

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream

This is a universal tried-and-true favorite exfoliator. It's an Allure Magazine 2010 Readers' Choice Award Winner and it gets 4.8 out of 5 stars on Clinique's Website based on 258 reviews (as of the time this was written). Users love this facial scrub because it's gentle enough to use every day, leaving skin feeling polished and thoroughly cleansed, without stripping skin. Some reviewers report the scrub leaves a bit of a "greasy" film on skin afterwards, so I recommend trying it out and returning it if you don't like it.



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Fresh Sugar Face Polish

It smells like strawberries, but will work wonders on your face removing impurities, obliterating whiteheads and leaving skin feeling soft and supple. A beauty editor and junkie favorite, Fresh Sugar Face Polish is pricey, but you use very little at a time so it could last for a year or more. Gets almost 5 stars on all the review and buy sites I checked.
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MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Peel

Skip the costly peels at a dermatologist and use this instead. It's like a chemical peel in a box that you give yourself over the course of a month. According to Gross, using these pads once a day is better than getting a professional peel once a month because the skin reacts better to the more gentle approach. About $75.

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Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub

I learned about this scrub from Eva Chen, beauty editor at Teen Vogue. Eva is a product junkie, her bathroom looks like a mini Sephora, so when she said this was her favorite beauty scrub, it made this list. Just like that. Kiehl's is an excellent brand and this scrub is suitable for all skin types. It's made up of small pieces of actual pineapple and papaya fruit as well as finely ground scrub grains to exfoliate the skin gently and naturally. 

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Plain White (or Brown) Sugar From Your Kitchen

One of the best facial scrubs can be created from ingredients found in the average kitchen. Use plain white or brown sugar to create a scrub for the face. There are many recipes out there, but here are some suggestions:

1. Mix in a teaspoonful of sugar with your cleanser (I love Purpose -- it's cheap and works great) and scrub into skin for a couple minutes. Rinse with a warm washcloth.

2. Mix sugar with honey and massage into skin. Rinse with a warm washcloth.

3. Mix sugar with olive oil and a couple drops of honey.

4. Mix a tiny amount of brown sugar with olive oil in your palm. Once it turns into a paste, massage into your face. You can also cure chapped lips by mixing brown sugar with honey and massaging into lips.

Lancome Resurface-C Microdermabrasion Skin Polishing System

I bought this skin polishing system years ago and have been using it ever since. This is a 2-step process that begins with a scrub made up of aluminum oxide crystals. Using circular motions, you rub it into your face for about 2 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Follow up with the Vitamin C serum which can sting, but quickly absorbs into skin. You're left with brightened, glowing skin. It's pricey, but will last a long time. $88.

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Plantogen Gentle Facial Scrub

A great basic facial scrub that's affordable (about $18). Contains jojoba beads which are less irritating to sensitive skin. Also contains apricot and green tea. 

Phytomer Purifying Gommage Exfoliant Gentle Scrub

Scrubs away whiteheads, blackheads and dead skin flakes to leave skin feeling soft and glowy. After massaging into skin, you can leave it on for 10 minutes because the ingredients act as a mud mask as well as a scrub. $33.

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Philosophy Microdelivery Peel Pads

These peel pads contain both lactic and juice acids which work to exfoliate dead skin. Unlike scrubs, these pads aren't messy and don't require scrubbing or rinsing off. Simply peel off a pad and swipe over face for best effect. $35.

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Queen Helene Mint Julep Natural Facial Scrub

One of the most beloved srubs on the Makeupalley.com Website, Queen Helene is the cheapest scrub on my list. At under $4, you won't find a more basic, solid scrub. At time of publish, it got 4.4 "lipsticks" out of 5 from 187 reviewers. Why they love it? The scrub works as a good exfoliant and the mint (Queen Helene's Mint Julep is the No. 1 favorite) leaves skin feeling tingly and fresh. Also try the Oatmeal 'n Honey scrub.

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