3 Microbead-Free Ways To Effectively Exfoliate Skin

Image courtesy of Patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Microbeads, the tiny round plastic “exfoliating” beads commonly found in face and body washes, have been a beauty mainstay since the early 70’s. And though microbeads don’t cause any real harm to skin, they are horrible on the environment – waterways and fish to be exact.

In December 2015, President Obama signed into law a ban to end the use of microbeads in all beauty products by mid-2017.

It’s time to seriously consider alternative ways to effectively exfoliate skin. Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and founder of the Renee Rouleau Skin Care collection, shares the three top methods women are using to exfoliate and why they are loving the results.

Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants, like enzymes, Glycolic Acid, AHA’s and BHA,s are highly effective alternatives to using a face scrub containing microbeads. “These acids have multiple skin benefits such as smoothing the skin, reducing clogged pores and breakouts, increasing collagen production, reducing brown spots, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and removing dry skin cells,” says Rouleau. “When using exfoliating acids, you apply it, leave it on the skin, and it works to dissolve the dry skin cells, instead of the physical manipulation needed with facial scrubs.”

Female Face Shaving

Some women are opting to shave their faces to remove the super fine hairs while exfoliating skin. “Simply put, shaving [a form of physical exfoliation] is another form of exfoliating that removes surface dry cells,” says Rouleau. “This is a method of exfoliation with which you need to be very careful. There is a chance of nicking the skin if you aren’t careful so be sure to use gentle pressure and move slowly to eliminate the risk.”


Dermaplaning is a professional way to physically exfoliate skin and remove peach fuzz. “A trained esthetician or skin care professional holds the skin taut and uses a 10-gauge scalpel held at a 45-degree angle to gently exfoliate the skin by scraping off the top layer of dead cells. This procedure also removes vellus hair (peach fuzz),” says Rouleau. “An esthetician will also often combine dermaplaning with a salicylic, lactic, or glycolic acid peel (depending on skin type) to enhance the treatment’s exfoliation, help reduce acne scars, brown spots from sun damage, and clogged pores.