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.