Skin Tips from the Skin Nazi (Part 2: Exfolation Fan Club)

CleansingIf you have badass acne and need serious oil control, go with the store brand of Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne wash. If you’re in the middle, L’Oreal 360 Clean makes an exfoliating formula that’s really good. If you’re over 30 (drier skin) or broke (360 Clean is 6 bucks when not on sale), just get a bar of Dove. Yep, plain old Dove. This is what the dermatologist told me to use 18 years ago, and I’ve come back to it recently because my skin has dried out a little with age.

Another part of cleansing that’s even more important than your cleanser is how you exfoliate. YES, you must exfoliate. You. Must. Really horrible zits, the ones that are huge and feel like they’re rooted in your spine somewhere, are caused by pores getting clogged by layers of skin. Skin clogging ITSELF. Diabolical, no?

If that’s what you’re working with, you’ll need to take your exfoliating pretty seriously, by scrubbing with a body scrubber or Buf-Puf. If you have normal skin or a few flaky areas, you can buy little exfoliating pads in bags at Target. Each pad is good for about a week before it starts to lose its roughness, and you can always bump up the exfoliation factor by coupling the scrubber with table salt.

If you need/want an astringent between washings, use witch hazel (in the first aid section) instead of some 5-dollar astringent made by Clean and Clear. Most of the name brand astringents are 70% alcohol, which will just dry out your skin and prompt your skin to be greasier than it was in the first place, as opposed to witch hazel, which is usually about 14% alcohol.

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