There are many ways to exfoliate, which is the the number one way to get that covetable glow
, even in winter. Physical exfoliants (also called manual exfoliants) are the most common, and they work by mechanically sloughing off the dead cells that make skin look dull. They include loofahs, granular cleansers (like sugar scrubs), a sonic brush, and microdermabrasion, as well as plain old washcloths—basically anything with a texture that you use to manually scrub your face. Physical exfoliants are not inherently bad; it's how we use them, or abuse them, that presents problems. "People use physical exfoliates for too long, or they press too hard, and they exfoliate their skin away. That's like giving yourself a first or second degree burn," says dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD
. "People make the mistake of thinking that if a little is good, more must be better, but that's not the way exfoliation works," he explains. When you're too rough, or when you apply intense pressure, you can actually cause your blood vessels to break under the skin. If you're bent on using a physical exfoliant, apply it with a tender touch, and don't use it longer or more often than directed.