A Breakdown on How to Use an Exfoliating Powder in Your Skin-Care Routine

Well People
Well People
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Gritty facial polishes and acid-soaked peel pads aren't the only options for effectively exfoliating your skin. Powder-based products can also get the job done — and gently, at that.

While some facial scrubs or exfoliating polishes are made with larger or textured particles that might be too harsh when rubbed against the skin, powders tend to have a finer, softer consistency. In other words, you might not need to worry quite as much about having them irritate or scratch your skin. Still, it's always a good idea to get your dermatologist's approval before trying one, or to slowly incorporate it into your routine, since every skin type is different.

So, how exactly do powder exfoliators work? That depends on the physical and chemical exfoliating ingredients in the powder.

The new dermatologist-developed Well People Plant Powderfoliant Renewing Charcoal Exfoliating Powder ($18) uses ingredients like charcoal, kaolin clay, and lactic acid to exfoliate the skin, sweep away dirt, and absorb excess oil. It's also made with aloe extract to provide calming, hydrating benefits to the skin. Read on to learn how to incorporate it into your routine.

Consider Your Skin Type and Needs

While this product is designed to be gentle enough for daily use, not everyone can handle such frequent exfoliation. If you're not sure what your skin can handle, try using the product once or twice a week to see how you react. You can also reach out to a skin-care expert, like a dermatologist, for personalized advice.

Activate the Powder With Water

The formula needs to be activated by water in order to work its magic. You'll want to use the right water-to-powder ratio to get the proper exfoliating consistency and not waste product.

In the case of the Well People Plant Powderfoliant Renewing Charcoal Exfoliating Powder, the brand recommends pouring a quarter-size amount of powder into your hands, along with a few drops of water. When you work your hands together, the powder should become a creamy lather that you can apply to your skin.

Gently Massage the Product Onto Your Skin

The next step is to gently massage the product onto your skin with your fingertips. The brand recommends using circular motions for about 15 seconds.

In general, you'll want to avoid over-exfoliating the skin, since this can lead to irritation and redness. Be mindful of how long you're using the product, and try not to aggressively scrub or rub your skin.

Rinse and Moisturize

After you've finished massaging the product onto your skin, thoroughly rinse it off with lukewarm water. You'll also want to follow up with a gentle, nourishing moisturizer, such as the e.l.f. Cosmetics Pure Skin Moisturizer ($12), to replenish any lost moisture. If it's daytime, follow the moisturizer with a sunscreen.