With summer heat and humidity on full-blast, there's something less than appealing about slathering on an AHA cream--or even a serum--for exfoliation. Add on a layer of sunscreen and any makeup and...forget it. One way to avoid feeling like you're on product overload in such heat is to switch up your exfoliation routine from a chemical-based one to a physical one.
Physical exfoliators, as the name implies, involve some physical action to slough away dirt and any dead skin cells. You can find physical exfoliators as either part of a skin care formula, or not. When they're in a skin care lotion, they're those fine granules that make the lotion feel a bit gritty. The level of 'grittiness' varies--some physical exfoliators are super-fine to the point where you don't think they'll do anything at all, others may have the texture of sea salt. Either way, the goal is to exfoliate with them by gently rubbing them onto skin in a circular motion and then rinsing.
The other option for skin care exfoliation comes in the form of a hand-held device--such as the Spa Sonic Skin Care System Face & Body Polisher. It's similar (though not exactly the same as) to the one put out by Clarisonic--minus the price tag (the Clarisonic Mia, at the lower end of the Clarisonic line, comes in at $99 at Sephora; Spa Sonic runs $55 at Target, and you can find it for less on Amazon).
If you're looking for basic cleansing and exfoliation that takes you beyond cleanser, water and a washcloth, the Spa Sonic is a great choice. According to the company, the brush head attachments, of which there are four--a small facial brush, a larger body brush, a facial sponge, and a pumice stone--were designed by dermatologists. The small facial brush is the one to use for facial exfoliation.
If you haven't used a facial hand-held cleansing device, it can take some getting used to--you might feel a bit of a tingling or even tickling sensation when you start, or a slight tugging action if you're putting a bit too much pressure on the device as you're cleansing. But the brushes are soft to the touch and work gently to effectively remove dirt and slough skin--so there should not be any irritation.
The result is a fresh, clean, clear feeling that's much more evident than if you'd used a washcloth--and skin is primed for any skin care formulas you do want to apply afterward. Of course, you do still need to wear some sunscreen...but given how hot it's been, the Spa Sonic is a great option for getting your exfoliation in, without having to slather (and sweat off!) on a lotion or cream exfoliator.
The Spa Sonic runs on 4 - AA batteries and is available in a few colors. Find it at Target, Walgreen's, Drugstore.com and Amazon.