If you had some fun in the sun this Summer, you may be left with some unattractive souvenirs: dull, dry, flaky patches and tired-looking skin. To give it back its glow, try using a powder exfoliator. As a young girl, I remember seeing my grandmother use powders from Japan to cleanse her skin, and now they’re available in the US.
What is a powder exfoliator? It contains tiny grains that buff off dry patches and dead skin cells to reveal plump, new cells underneath. Traditionally, women used pure rice powder or finely ground dried red “azuki” beans. Modern versions contain a variety of powdered ingredients.
How do you use it? Mix a small amount with water in your palm to form a paste, then massage into wet skin and rinse off. You can also add to your favorite cleansing liquid or oil to make your own custom polish. Can be used daily or as a once or twice-weekly treatment, depending on how sensitive your skin is.
How is it different from a scrub? The particles are smaller than most scrubs, so they tend to be less abrasive.
Who would benefit? It’s a good option if your skin is too sensitive for chemical exfoliants such as glycolic and salicylic acids. Be sure to read the label, since some contain acids, enzymes, and other active ingredients. Others contain plastic polyethylene beads that pollute the water and are eaten by fish.
Try Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder ($65 at Sephora and tatcha.com) or Josie Maran Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder ($40 at Sephora and josiemarancosmetics.com), or make your own all-natural exfoliator by mixing food-grade rice flour with water, face wash, or your favorite cleansing oil.