The Regimen

Should You Exfoliate in Winter?

Smiling pretty woman using mirror

In the face of harsh winter weather, do you find yourself seeking soothing, moisturizing skin care and avoiding exfoliation? What if we told you that no matter how much moisturizer you slather on, your skin will remain dry and dull if you leave out that one critical component?

Here’s why exfoliating in winter is not only okay, it’s essential.


Winter skin is dry.

You know that. But what you may not know is that dry skin has more dead cells. As cold weather and dry indoor heat pull moisture from the skin, cells die off quicker, creating a skin-dulling buildup of cellular debris. These dead cells act as a barrier that keeps moisture and other beneficial skincare ingredients from entering the skin.

To get skin back to a soft, hydrated, glowy condition, you’ve got to get rid of that layer of dead cells. The way forward is exfoliation.

Shedding cellular debris skin clears the way for moisture to enter the skin and enhances product absorption to optimize performance. Exfoliation also accelerates the skin’s natural renewal process, regenerating fresh new cells more rapidly and revealing a brighter, healthier complexion.


Should everyone exfoliate?

To maintain skin health, revive radiance, and ensure optimal product absorption, exfoliation is critical for all skin types, especially in the dry winter months.

If your skin is sensitive or easily irritated, opt for gentle formulas like Vivant’s Skin Nourishing Toner with mandelic acid, niacinamide, green tea extract, and rosehip oil. Sensitive types should dial down physical exfoliation to once or twice a week.

For all skin types, it’s important to avoid over-exfoliating. Scrub gently when using a physical exfoliator. For chemical exfoliation, choose acids that harmonize with your skin type. 

Glycolic acid is great for normal or oily skin. Mandelic acid is the gentlest AHA, making it excellent for sensitive skin.

Vivant’s Daily Repair Pads, steeped in a healing and hydrating blend of mandelic acid, niacinamide, lactic acid, and salicylic acid, provide chemical and physical exfoliation in one for the best of both worlds. They’re gentle enough to use every day, and they help with everything from breakouts to clogged pores to dark spots.

Remember that exfoliation leaves your skin more sensitive to the sun, so don’t forget the SPF. You need sunscreen, even in winter, because you’re exposed to UV, whether it’s cloudy or sunny.


Exfoliate everywhere. 

Don’t forget your body. Heavy winter clothes add to winter dryness. To help keep the skin on your body soft and smooth, use our Buffing Grains in the shower to help slough off dry, dead skin anywhere it’s a problem. You can even turn your favorite body wash to turn it into a scrub by mixing it with Buffing Grains.

If body acne is part of your skin equation, Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser ups the ante with antibacterial properties to banish breakouts.

Pair either with our Clear Body Therapy. The vitamin A and lactic acid formula resurfaces and softens cracked, dry, and incorrigibly rough skin.   


Our top picks for winter exfoliation: 

Daily Repair Pads

Heal, hydrate, and decongest pores with this glow-boosting mini-peel in a pad.

Buffing Grains Exfoliating Cleanser

Can be used on its own or added to any targeted cleanser for maximum radiance.

Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser

Clears cellular debris, kills acne bacteria, and promotes even tone without drying or irritating.

Clear Body Therapy

Resurface and soften rough, cracked, calloused skin and clear body acne with the ultimate smoother.

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