My esthetician friend is constantly lecturing me (with only the best intentions in mind, of course) on the perils of over-exfoliating. Here are some common phrases that are typical of our discourse:
- You're thinning out your skin.
- You're causing tiny tears.
- You're actually speeding up the aging process.
What have I done? How can exfoliating be so wrong when it feels so right? My friend suggested I try gommage, which literally means "to erase." A gentler kind of exfoliator, gommage is a cream or paste that is applied to the face and/or body. After drying for a few minutes, it is massaged away. Typically formulated with some type of enzyme, the rubbing action of the massage gently helps slough off dead skin cells, and is less aggressive than certain exfoliators like alpha hydroxy acids and body polishes.
Although this spa treatment has been around for a while, it seems to be taking on a resurgence as of late. Unlike other exfoliating treatments, which require the use of a shower to rinse off, there is no need to remove the product after use. To unleash your radiant skin, check with your local spa for available services. Otherwise, here are some great at-home products:
- From Decleor: Purete Exfoliant Natural Micro-Smoothing Cream ($38)
- From Laura Mercier: Face Polish Gommage Facial ($30)