BeautyRx by Dr. SchultzBRX REWARDS
BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz

Did you know you can earn points for signing up, making purchases and more?

Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | What Is the Best Exfoliant?

What Is the Best Exfoliant?

When you’re ready to finally transform your skin, you want it to happen right away and you want it to be easy. You may hear a lot about magic formulas and the latest trends, but to truly transform your skin, snake oil and other gimmicks won’t do the trick. You need science and proven ingredients in your corner to see a real difference in how your skin looks. Whether you’re facing increased lines and wrinkles, or discoloration left over from acne scarring, or you just feel like your skin is dull, tired, sagging, and lifeless, you want ingredients that are proven to work. And that’s exactly why Dr. Schultz uses the next generation of exfoliation, his proprietary and award-winning formula called Tetrafoliant®, to help transform your skin from older-looking, matte, discolored skin to the best skin you’ve ever had, no matter your age.

The Tone and Texture Transformation You Want

What does transformed skin look like? It looks fresh, vibrant, and glowing. It’s the kind of skin you can feel confident in whether you’re running your kids to school in the morning, or smoothing on makeup that sets with an airbrushed finish for a night out. It’s the kind of skin that causes people to stop and ask, “What’s your secret?” That kind of transformation only happens when you improve your skin’s tone and texture. That’s because dulled tone and uneven texture account for 95% of older-looking skin. Most people focus on their wrinkles, and while smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles does account for the reduction in the appearance of some skin aging, it won’t take care of all of it. Dr. Schultz puts it this way, “If a 55-year old woman comes in to see me and wants to fix her wrinkles, we can do that. But then she’ll look like a 55-year old woman without wrinkles. If she wants to look younger, we’ll treat her tone and texture issues—things like brown spots, discoloration, dulled, tired, and matte-looking skin—along with the wrinkles, and that’s when she’ll look ten years younger.” And, you guessed it, daily exfoliation is the number one way to even out skin tone and smooth your texture issues to take decades off your skin’s appearance.

How Do Exfoliants Work?

Starting as early as your twenties, dead cells begin building up on the surface of your skin. When dead cells build up on the surface of your skin, they cause uneven mounds and clumps, which is what causes your issues with tone and texture. But a good exfoliant will gently remove the glue holding those dead skin cells together, which causes the mounds to fall off and reveals the smoother, brighter, younger-looking skin underneath. Dr. Schultz recommends starting at a lower strength exfoliant to get your skin used to daily exfoliation—he calls this progressive exfoliation. Think of this technique like going to the gym. You wouldn’t start with a 50-pound weight. You’d start with five pounds and work your way up. For example, in BeautyRx's Progressive Peel, you begin with a starter-strength 8% serum, then progress to the 10% pads, and then finally move up to a 15% cream when you’re ready for maximum at-home exfoliation. The daily progressive exfoliation removes the mounds of dead cells on your skin’s surface to reveal fresher, younger-looking skin that glows, all without any irritation, redness, or downtime.

What is the Best Exfoliant?

Throughout his four decades of treating patients at his Park Avenue dermatology practice in New York City, Dr. Schultz has used many types of chemical exfoliants: salicylic, phytic, lactic, retinoids, and more. He remembers, "In the late 80s, I used to prescribe tretinoin (the only retinoid available then) to my patients because it was the best exfoliant available at that time. But the problem was it caused a high incidence of irritation and side effects. And the other exfoliants I mentioned weren’t effective enough for tone and textural facial rejuvenation.”

Then glycolic came on the scene. Glycolic acid has often been considered the gold standard of chemical exfoliants due to its wide therapeutic range—unlike salicylic acid, which has a narrow therapeutic margin and can only be used in a 1–2% concentration, glycolic acid’s strength can range from 1–70%. And while strengths above 15% should only be administered by a professional, that at-home range of 15% or less makes glycolic acid exfoliants versatile and effective. Dr. Schultz used this form of glycolic for years, and in the 90s he was even dubbed “The Father of Glycolic.”

But just as Dr. Schultz evolved from using retinoids to glycolic acids, he’s now taken what’s been considered the gold standard and developed it even further into a premium level of smart skin care. Tetrafoliant® is based around Dr. Schultz’s perfected glycolic technology, combined with synergistically enabling ingredients that collectively deliver the next generation of amazingly effective yet gentle exfoliation. Because Tetrafoliant® is pH-adjusted and buffered properly, it’s gentle enough that it won’t cause redness, downtime, or even visible peeling. But while it’s gentle on your skin, it’s also incredibly effective. You’ll see your tone and texture issues improve significantly in as little as two weeks.

Tetrafoliant® Works for All Skin Types

Tetrafoliant® is appropriate for all skin types, and all skin types can receive the vast array of benefits from using this incredible formula. For oily skin that tends to have clogged pores, this kind of exfoliation is particularly helpful in removing the dead cells that clog those pores. For dry skin, Tetrafoliant® allows moisturizers to penetrate the skin better and removes the flakes of dry, dulling, dead skin. For normal skin, it creates a smooth surface and a youthful, luminous glow. For sensitive skin, Tetrafoliant® can be paired with moisturizers to maintain softness. The key, as with any skincare product, is to ensure that the vehicle (e.g., cream versus serum) is skin type–appropriate. A light serum tends to work the best for every skin type.

Tetrafoliant® Works for All Ages

Exfoliation with Tetrafoliant® is a staple of Dr. Schultz’s treatments for all of his patients, no matter their age. It should start in the early teens, around 13 to 15 years old, and continue throughout the rest of your life. In the earlier years, exfoliation helps prevent and deal with discoloration due to acne, which is common in the teenage years and through your 20s. But once you hit your forties, if you haven’t started yet, it’s imperative that you’re using daily progressive exfoliation. Using this kind of technology won’t just transform your skin into the best it’s ever looked, it will simultaneously prevent future skin-aging due to wrinkles and discoloration. In addition, as adult acne becomes more and more prevalent, Tetrafoliant®’s importance in preventing and helping discoloration due to acne often continues past your 20s. Dr. Schultz’s patients visit him for weekly exfoliating peels to help maintain their radiant, healthy and younger-looking skin, at every age.

Your At-Home Regimen

Getting started with Tetrafoliant® exfoliation is simple. All you need is one kit: The Progressive Peel. After cleansing and toning each night, apply your 8% serum. Work your way up to trading out your serum for the 10% pads. In just two weeks, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your skin’s smoothness, tone, and glow.

As you get serious about the ingredients and products you’re using, there’s so much to know about exfoliation. So to help give you the most important information about at-home exfoliation, we’ve rounded up the top questions that come up around this amazing skincare regimen. Read our FAQ on exfoliation here. And of course, when new questions come up that we haven’t answered, visit Ask Dr. Schultz and get help from the doctor himself!

Leave a Comment

Be the first to know about new
products and exclusive deals.

Sign up to get the latest news and promotions!

Trying to find something?

Your cart is currently empty Shop Now