Exfoliating Powders: The Gentler Way To Fight Flaky Skin

Publish date:
November 13, 2014
exfoliation, boscia, amorepacific, skin care, tatcha, facial cleansers, exfoliating powders

Exfoliating powders are new to the western skin care scene, and like their Korean siblings, such as sheet masks and snail slime, they are popping up everywhere these days. What’s so great about them?

Well, they’re kind of a revelation in terms of daily exfoliation. They have finer grains than traditional scrubby cleansers (finer grains means less irritation) and they’re packaged dry so you can easily incorporate them into your routine. The best part? There’s one for every skin type. Dry skin? Oily skin? Delicate, reaction-prone skin? Yes, yes, and yes. The trick is in finding the right formula and the right application, and for that I am totally here for you.

Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder

Boscia claims the rice used to make this powder is coated in their ultra-soothing Tsubaki oil for the gentlest cleanse--perfect for dry, sensitive skin.

After using my Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, I took a teaspoon of powder into my palm, added a little water, and formed it into a paste. Thinking it was too thick, I made the mistake of adding more water to my concoction, turning it into a less grainy version of pancake batter. I had much better success using a thicker mixture, which actually felt like it was doing something. Massage gently (tender loving care is the difference between treating your face like a plum and treating your face like a potato, friends) for 20 to 30 seconds all over the face, and presto!

RESULTS: My skin felt softer and more hydrated, true, but being an oily/combination gal myself, I didn’t get the “oomph” results I was looking for.

Nude Skincare Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash

Infused with vitamin C, rose hip seeds, and something called Inca gold oil, this powder is all about brightening the skin. I noticed this one immediately began to fizz and bubble when it came in contact with water.

RESULTS: While fascinating to watch, the powder disintegrated after a couple of minutes and didn’t give me too much of an exfoliation. Thanks for the bubbly fun, Nude, but I already have a cleanser that foams.

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel

This one works like the other two, but it has the added benefit of papaya enzymes. After washing my face, I mixed the powder into a thick paste and spread it evenly over my skin. Because this powder also claims to be a peel, I let it rest on my face for two minutes and let the papain enzyme do its thing. I felt a definite tingling sensation after about a minute.

RESULTS: When I washed the paste away, I noticed my skin looked less splotchy. Even the area around my nose didn’t have its usual beetroot hue. While this isn’t a powder I’d use every single day, I may have found a new treatment to rev up my Friday nights.

Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder

This product comes straight from Japan, it contains our old friend papaya as well as real pearl extract, and it’s apparently based on a formula that was used by Geisha for hundreds of years to create their perfect porcelain faces. Fancy!

RESULTS: I mixed a teaspoon of it directly into my face wash and was surprised by how, well, pearlescent it looked. Like Nude’s powder, it foamed up on contact with water, but not as much. After toweling off my face I could already tell my skin was smoother and tighter than I’m normally comfortable with, but hey, I chose the powder designed for “normal skin”. They have three kinds (normal skin, dry skin, and oily skin), so I might have to give the dry skin version a go.

Bye-bye, uber-granular cleansing scrubs! So long, jagged apricot bits! I’ve got exfoliation covered and it feels considerably better than walnut shells.

  • Have you used any exfoliating powders?
  • How do you incorporate exfoliating powder into your routine?

All photos by Caroline Hunton