This Facial Exfoliant Is Like a Time Machine in a Tube

I try not to spend too much time lamenting the passage of my youth. In fact, I’ve been told by therapists, astrologers, and an ill-advised one-night stand I had in 2018 that the key to healthy longevity is staying in the present. Still, every once in a while, I’ll see a photo of myself at 25 (I’m 35 now) and think to myself, “Where did my gloriously hydrated, glowing, smooth baby skin go, and how can I get it back?”

Don’t get me wrong: Working in beauty, and just generally being a skincare enthusiast, I take very good care of my skin and regularly use products that help me maintain a somewhat plump, dewy visage, but until I discovered Aesop’s Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste, nothing quite took me from “decently healthy skin for a 35-year-old” to “Hey, I wonder if I’ve stepped into a glitch in the time-space continuum and have just reversed in age by 10 years.”

Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste

Shop now: Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste, $53;

The exfoliant is a cream-based cleanser that has both fine-ground quartz (a physical exfoliant) and lactic acid (a chemical exfoliant). You might think that combination sounds rough on the skin, but I was shocked at how gentle it felt — and I was also surprised at how soft, smooth, and hydrated my skin felt afterwards, especially considering that most exfoliants dry my face all the way out. 

Aesop says the product is suited for all skin types, but recommends it for shaved faces and cold climates. In other words, the rosemary leaf, lavender, rose canina fruit, and evening primrose oils add hydration and protects even the most sensitive of faces. 

The product can be used as a cleanser on its own, but I typically use an oil cleanser and then follow up with the exfoliant. I don’t use it every day (two or three times a week is enough), but I almost wish I could, because as soon as I rinse it off and pat my face, that pesky time-space continuum opens up and I’m 25 again — it really does restore that much luster, smoothness, and shine. 

If you’re looking to do a bit of time-traveling yourself, head to Aesop’s website and check out the exfoliant paste for yourself. 

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