Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Worthy Investment: Exfoliators

No matter what sort of products you apply to your skin, from foundation to anti-aging serums, it won't do a bit of good unless your face is exfoliated.  Simply washing your face isn't effective enough at removing the top layer of dead skin cells that settle on your face and dull your complexion.  I write a lot about cheap versions of products you can find at the drugstore, but exfoliators are one product on which I think it's okay to spend  extra money.  While these products are definitely an extravagance (and so far have pretty much been Christmas gifts from my generous mother), the results are truly incredible.  Until recently, exfoliating systems such as those discussed here have been available only at spas and your dermatologist's office.  So yes, these are pricey, but are even more expensive when done by an aesthetician.  Think of these as bargain versions of spa facials or microdermabrasions you can do in the privacy of your own home without the hassle of appointments and inconvenient business hours. 

The first exfoliating system I fell in love with was Clarisonic.  This incredible gadget was developed by the man responsible for Sonicare toothbrushes.  Clarisonic is a cleansing brush that rotates 300 times per second!  It deep cleans your skin, removes up to six times more makeup than washing your face alone, and reduces the appearance of pores.  I've been using mine about a year now, and I can definitely see a difference.  My skin is smoother, my pores look smaller, my foundation goes on better, and my skin has never felt cleaner.  It sounded gimmicky at first, but the hype is to be believed.

Credit: Clarisonic.com

Another exfoliator I adore is Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate.  First, it smells AMAZING.  The scent is fruity and spicy and for some reason makes me think of Christmas (weird, I know).  ExfoliKate was developed by skincare expert Kate Somerville herself, and the results are purported to be exactly like getting a facial at her L.A. spa, but in less than a minute.  That's how long it takes for the fruit enzymes in this product to break down those dead skin cells and leave your skin looking polished and smooth.  ExfoliKate has improved my complexion possibly even more than Clarisonic.  I use it two or three times a week and leave it on for about a minute (sometimes two if I'm feeling really hardcore).  But therein lies the danger: don't be tempted to go all "more is more and therefore better!" with this stuff.  My mom left it on for about ten minutes and it took a couple of days for her sensitive skin to recover.  Seriously, about one minute is all you really need to get amazing results.  It's that powerful..       
Credit: KateSomerville.com

What do you think about exfoliators?  Do these really seem worth the money to you?  What sort of extravagant beauty products are you willing to spend more money on?

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