The Gentle Exfoliator Your Skin Needs This Winter

Exfoliating is an important part of any skincare routine. But when the temperature and humidity drops, finding the perfect exfoliator to keep winter skin soft and smooth without causing irritation is not only critical but can also be difficult. Especially because not all exfoliators — or skin, for that matter — are created equally.

Regardless of what skin type you have though, exfoliating is a must. Not only does it help improve the texture of your skin by ridding your face of dead skin cells (a buildup of which can cause a rougher, drier, texture; and can even mix with your natural oils to clog pores, causing breakouts), but it also prepares the skin to better absorb, and therefore reap the benefits of, any products you choose to use.

Because we change up, and even intensify, our skincare routines for the winter months, it's important that we give our skin the chance to actually make use of what we put on it. So instead of our extra-hydrating serums and moisturizers just sitting on the top layer of skin, by exfoliating, we allow our skin to really drink up those beneficial ingredients. To keep your skin soft, smooth, and properly hydrated this winter, here's the first step you'll need for your skincare routine. Just remember to exfoliate sparingly — once or twice a week is plenty.

Oily Skin

GLAMGLOW Youth Cleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, $32, Sephora

Oily skin does well with gentle-physical or chemical exfoliants, but look for one that will help control sebum as well. An ingredient like clay will help keep oil at bay.

Acne-Prone Skin

DDF Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash, $39, DDF Skincare

If you're prone to breakouts, stay away from physical exfoliants as they can further irritate your skin. Instead, opt for a chemical exfoliant like an AHA or BHA wash that will more gently clear pores while brightening, softening, and smoothing the skin.

Normal Skin

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, $14, Amazon

If you have normal skin, the exfoliating world is basically your oyster. Whether you prefer a physical or chemical exfoliant though, make sure it isn't too rough, and that it has balancing properties.

Dry Or Sensitive Skin

St. Ives Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Scrub + Mask (Pack of 2), $11, Amazon

Dry or sensitive skin should be treated similarly to acne-prone skin — avoid rough, physical exfoliants to keep skin from becoming irritated. Gentle-chemical or natural exfoliants, however, are just the ticket. Try to find an exfoliator with calming or hydrating properties to keep the skin from feeling stripped after use.

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