How Do I Choose the Best Exfoliating Cream?

Anna B. Smith

To choose the best exfoliating cream, consumers should look for products based on primarily organic ingredients which can moisturize skin as well as remove the top layers of damaged cells. This type of product may be formulated for use on the face or the body, though many of the key ingredients will be similar. It can be purchased in local grocery or drugstores, and individuals with severe skin conditions can benefit from first consulting with a doctor primary to using a new product.

An exfoliating cream.
An exfoliating cream.

One primary ingredient found in all types of exfoliating cream is an exfoliating agent. Organic ingredients are often more gentle on the skin than man-made chemicals, and can sometimes be used on sensitive and dry skin types. Lactic acid, fruit enzymes, and salicylic acid are excellent examples of exfoliating agents that may be used on the face or body to remove rough patches and slough away the top, damaged layers of the epidermis. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient found in many types of acne cleansers, and can also reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines. Individuals with moderate to severe acne on the face, arms, or back, however, should consult a professional dermatologist prior to trying creams containing these ingredients to avoid experiencing a negative reaction.

Exfoliation is the removal of the top layer of skin by using an abrasive material.
Exfoliation is the removal of the top layer of skin by using an abrasive material.

Antioxidants are also key ingredients contained in those kinds of exfoliating cream which hydrate and improve the look of skin in addition to removing dead cells. Vitamins A and E act naturally to reverse damage that can be caused to skin cells by free radicals in the environment, such as UV radiation and air pollutants. These nutrients improve the cell wall and rehydrate and plump the cell interior. Pumpkin is an organic ingredient that is high in these types of antioxidants, found in many types of exfoliating skin products including creams, masks, and cleansers.

The best exfoliating cream will also contain ingredients designed to soothe skin and reduce redness or irritation. Many consumers begin the search for the best type of cream based on an area of skin with which they are not happy, whether that area is rough and scaly, red and inflamed, or prone to acne. Exfoliating creams can remove much of the damage caused by these conditions, but also can work to improve the look of the skin underneath once it is revealed. Lavender extract, honey, and aloe vera can provide much needed moisture to new layers of skin, and increase the skin's ability to hold that moisture in. These ingredients can also reduce any irritation caused by exposure to the cream's exfoliating agents, and smooth skin for future treatments.

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