Exfoliating your skin is one of the most crucial steps in any skincare routine. It’s been practiced since ancient times and is being adapted to recent times with endless options of scrubs, liquids, and cleansers. By including this one step in your skincare routine, you can find your skin to be transformed with an even-tone, smoothness, and diminishing scars and dark spots. But the promises of smooth skin and quick results can be halted depending on what goes into these formulas. We’re sharing our 3 least favorite and worst exfoliating ingredients and our 3 favorite and best exfoliating ingredients.
3 of the Worst Exfoliating Ingredients
Micro-beads are small plastic particles that are made from synthetic ingredients. Being already banned in places like the UK and US, they are extremely harmful to not only your skin but also the environment. These small plastics can dissolve in water and find their way into the oceans, rivers, and our supply of water, harming both the wildlife’s health as well as your own. As for your skin, these micro-beads can be rough and jagged, causing micro-tears in your skin. While these micro-tears cannot be seen clearly, over time they can add an uneven texture to your skin and make it weaker and more susceptible to environmental damage.
While many have sworn by salicylic acid as a favorite exfoliating ingredient, it just isn’t safe for all skin types, especially those with already dry skin. Due to its extreme drying properties, salicylic acid can irritate and further dry out already thirsty skin, leading to peeling and redness. Although it is recommended to exfoliate around 2-3 times per week, salicylic acid can easily be overused. Those who are over 50 should especially avoid the use of salicylic acid because it can off-balance the moisture levels in your skin and make it challenging to regulate again.
Although it is rich in minerals and deeply cleansing, sea salt is merely far too harsh for most skin types. The jagged texture of the salt particles can also cause micro-tears in your skin and further damage the skin. Due to the purifying properties of sea salt, it is extremely drying and can lead to cracking and dull skin appearance. While it can be safe to use sea salt on the rough areas of your body, like your feet and elbows, it is not an all-around good exfoliating ingredient.
3 of the Best Exfoliating Ingredients
Alpha-Hydroxy acids are one of the safest and most effective exfoliating ingredients. These acids come from milk, typically in the form of lactic acids. By lifting off the dead skin cells from your skin, the alpha-hydroxy acids reveal new radiant skin. These water-soluble acids can diminish the look of wrinkles, improve collagen production, and even hydrate your skin. One of the best things about alpha hydroxy acids is their friendliness to all skin types, being one of the most gentle exfoliants possible to use.
AHA’s are abundant as a lactic acid found in camel's milk, the main ingredient in our Camel Milk Exfoliating Shower Cream. This special ingredient speeds up cell turnover, revealing radiant skin in a matter of time. The lactic acid form of AHA’s is extra special because of its ability to improve the skin’s moisture retention level, giving your skin a chance to keep itself hydrated for longer periods of time.
Apricot Seed Powder
Commonly a misconception, people typically stray from using crushed seeds due to their harshness on the skin. However, apricot seed powders can act as fine particles that physically slough away dead skin cells. With a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, apricot seed powder can also boost hydration to your skin, helping it look more vibrant and plump. Only powdered forms of these apricot seeds are safe and gentle on your skin, with coarser granules making it easy to damage sensitive skin.
Both apricot seed powder and sweet almond shell powder can be found in the Camel Milk Exfoliating Shower Cream. These particles are ground up so fine in our formula, that they are able to gently remove the dead skin without causing abrasions in your skin. While these both work to lift off dirt and residues that lie in your pores, the added bonus of vitamins and minerals truly makes them irresistible exfoliating ingredients.
Lemon Peel Oil
Lemon peel oil can treat your skin in a number of ways, clarifying, gently exfoliating, and fighting off signs of aging. With the clarifying properties of the lemon peel oil, it can reach deep into your pores, removing any buildup of bacteria or dirt that could’ve been stuck prior. Lemon peel oil is commonly added to exfoliants because it can promote exfoliation and loosen dead skin cells that need to be removed. The high antioxidant levels in lemon peel oil make it a strong fighter against wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots, keeping the skin looking young and smooth.
Lemon peel oil in Camel Milk Exfoliating Shower Cream is an underrated yet superstar of an ingredient that we chose for our versatile formula. Able to both remove grime and loosen dead skin cells, it can brighten the skin and decrease signs of pigmentation, even being known to prove effective at treating acne breakouts. The lemon peel oil is diluted and paired with other natural ingredients that improve and strengthen its various skin exfoliating abilities.