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If you crave the smooth, glowing skin seen all over the models in beauty and fashion magazines--yet don't have a professional photo retoucher to follow you around--regular exfoliation is the next best thing. According to esthetician and skin care expert Renee Rouleau, exfoliating is considered one of the most important steps in a skin care routine, because it helps clear up skin issues like flakiness and acne, while helping you get your healthy glow on. Exfoliating regularly with a scrub or cream can do everything from help your moisturizer work better to diminishing those first few fine lines you don't want to admit are actually there.
Fresh Sugar Face Polish
This natural and nourishing facial exfoliation polish receives top marks from the editors at "In Style," because it wipes out all traces of flakes. It also has a delicious strawberry and brown sugar scent. Hydrating oils keep your freshly exfoliated skin soft and glowing, all without the use of potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, petrochemicals and phthalates.
StriVectin-SD Instant Retexturizing Scrub
You may be thinking,"isn't that the brand for stretch marks?" Even though it was originally created to reduce unsightly areas on the body, it was quickly discovered that StriVectin is a great facial care line. The brand's Instant Retexturizing Scrub is named a Best Beauty Buy by "Real Simple" magazine for its ability to turn flaky skin into silk with sugar and jojoba beads. It's even gentle enough to be used three times per week.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate
This creamy exfoliator was created by famed celebrity esthetician Kate Somerville; it features a blend of salicylic and lactic acids, combined with pineapple and papaya to smooth away dry, flaky patches and unclog pores. The formula also contains microbeads for even deeper exfoliation. Still not convinced? It's named one of the five fantastic exfoliators by "Allure" magazine.
If your skin is beyond repair, head to a pro for a prescription retinol cream, which deeply exfoliates and improves the appearance of skin with severe sun damage, according to Renee Rouleau. Prescription retinoid products include Retin-A and the generic form, which is tretinoin.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
By now it's clear that exfoliating skin is a key part of any perfect-skinned girl's routine, but can you have too much of a good thing? You may love how your skin feels after being freshly exfoliated, but Renee Rouleau recommends using your scrub or cream no more than twice a week, combined with a serum containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids worn under moisturizer. This routine ensures your skin looks so flawless, you will stop considering retouching your Facebook photos.