Exfoliation 201: Physical Exfoliation + Gommage Peels

Exfoliation is arguably the most crucial step in your skincare routine, as emphasized by our co-founders, the entire Glow Recipe team, and even our skincare guru friends. We are always talking about how exfoliation preps your skin and removes skin build up, clearing the path for your skincare to work even better. While Sheryll shared her love for chemical exfoliation and sang its praises for all types of skin in the previous blog post, we’re giving you the low-down on the travel-friendly instant exfoliation treatments that don’t fall under chemical exfoliation: physical exfoliation and gommage peels.


Can Physical Exfoliation Be Gentle?

The perhaps more familiar style of exfoliation is physical exfoliation – you know, that super scrubby feeling where you know you’re removing skin, but only because your skin is rubbed completely raw? (By the way, we in no way condone putting your delicate face skin through such harsh treatment.) Thankfully you can get that same squeaky clean feeling in a much more gentle and portable way!

If you recall, last year microbeads were banned in health and beauty products, resulting in many facial and body scrubs to be reformulated. We covered our favorite alternative exfoliators, which included chemical exfoliators and physical ones too! Sometime, you just can’t help but to scratch that itch for a good, deep scrub. Time and time again we return to Wish Formula’s Squish-and-Bubble Mesh Mask for its little scrubby side, and super soft velvet side for both our face and body exfoliating needs. The perfect travel companion, just toss the package into your carry-on with no worries and emergency exfoliation situations.

Gommage Peels for Sensitive Skin

The second exfoliation method is the gommage peel. It is one of our favorite ways to exfoliate since it is super gentle and great for sensitive skin. Gommage is French for eraser, which alludes to the fact that the peel ‘erases’ away dead skin and the residual pebbles that are left behind resemble eraser shavings.


There is a reason Dr. G’s Brightening Peeling Gel is a cult hit – the tiny pebbles of skin that gather are grossly fascinating and satisfying, and skin is another level of bright immediately after using. Cellulose in the gel rolls around the surface of the skin, gently picking up excess, flaking skin so the little ‘noodles’ or ‘pebbles’ you see collecting aren’t fully comprised of your dead skin cells, but it sure is gratifying to watch it in action.

Another gommage option is Christine’s holy grail exfoliator: the Salon de Tte Exfoliating Mitt. This slim envelope contains your entire cleansing routine in one. The gentle gommage action of the mitt buffs away your makeup (even lip stains that refuse to budge), cleanses, exfoliates, and hydrates with 20 tea extracts. Flip the mitt around to the green mesh side to deep clean and tone your pores in more trouble-prone areas like the nose, chin, and forehead.


With the Lunar New Year around the corner, there’s another opportunity for a fresh, new year start! Regular exfoliation has never been easier with these on-the-go treatments that fit in any and all of your bags.

Let us know in the comments which exfoliation method is your favorite!

Get your glow on,
The Glow Recipe Team

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