Gommage Exfoliators: The Most Satisfying Way to ‘Erase’ Dead Skin
It seems like there are as many types of exfoliators as there are sheet masks. There are traditional grainy scrubs, facial peels, exfoliating sheet masks, microdermabrasion kits and exfoliating pads. We haven’t even touched on the professional methods. But there’s one extremely effective method that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. We’re talking about gommage exfoliators.
Francophiles may recognize that “gommage” is French for “to scrub or erase.” Tiffany Andersen, medical esthetician and CEO of Tiffany Andersen Brands, says that gommage exfoliation is akin to using an eraser at the end of a pencil. A gommage peel is formulated with enzymes that aid in chemical exfoliation. Once the product is applied, it requires back-and-forth rubbing to remove.
Gommage peels are super effective. That’s because they combine chemical exfoliation (enzymes) and mechanical exfoliation (rubbing). Plus, they are fun to use. Gommage exfoliation can be as satisfying as pore strips or peel-off rubber masks. To apply, rub the gommage exfoliator around your skin and little pills will form. Which take dead skin cells with them when they go.
Professional gommage peels have been around for a while. They’re usually applied in a thick paste. Once set, the paste is vigorously rubbed to remove the product along with the dead skin cells. At-home versions utilize the same principles.
Katherine Tomasso, national director of education for Yon-Ka Paris, adds that gommage exfoliators are particle-free. So they eliminate dry, flaky patches without irritating or scratching. Making them beneficial for all skin types. That being said, Andersen cautions those with sensitive skin, broken capillaries and/or acne against using them. Applying a gommage peel to acne could actually spread bacteria.
You only need to apply once or twice a week to “erase” dead skin cells. Try the satisfying technique with one of these best gommage exfoliators.
Koh Gen Do Soft Gommage Gel, $51 at Macy's
All it takes is a nickel-size amount of product for the gommage gel to remove dead skin cells. Massage it on dry or damp skin in circular motions until the product begins to pill. After exfoliating, rinse away the residue and go admire your refined complexion in the mirror.
Skin&Co Truffle Therapy Gommage, $26 at Ulta Beauty
Think of this easy-to-use facial scrub as a spa treatment. Rub product on the face and neck to slough off dry, flaky skin. Use it once or twice a week to keep that complexion looking its best.
Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel, $34 at Boscia
This exfoliating peel works in three ways. First, it exfoliates on a physical level to gently remove the outer layer of dead skin. Then the chemical formula goes deeper to banish flakes. Lastly, it works as a treatment to soothe and brighten skin.
Arcona Cranberry Gommage Exfoliate, $48 at Nordstrom
Put down the sugar scrub and pick up this gommage exfoliant. It's just as enjoyable because of the way it seems to magically pick up and carry away dead skin cells. Bonus: The antioxidant-rich formula also boosts circulation and reduces free radical damage.
Chanel Le Gommage Anti-Pollution Exfoliating Gel, $47 at Chanel
In French, we would describe this exfoliating gel as magnifique. It's all in the way the face scrub effectively refines skin for a smoother, more radiant complexion. The chic minimalist packaging earns it extra points.
Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel, $48 at Sephora
In today's world, we're all about instant gratification. This innovative peeling gel plays right into that thanks to the way we can see the product rolling, lifting and even sweeping skin cells away. Warning: You will be tempted to Snapchat the entire process.
Guerlain Gommage de Beauté Skin Resurfacing Peel, $64 at Guerlain
Does just looking at grainy scrubs turn your complexion bright red? This granule-free resurfacing peel is a better option as it relies on naturally derived exfoliating acids to lift away dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more even skin.