Trust the French to transform a rather grubby beauty ritual into something très chic. Luxuriating in gommage to reveal soft, glowing skin sounds much more appealing than rubbing dead skin cells off your face, oui? Both practices are, however, the same. Gommage is the treatment that delivers gentle but fast results for an at-home spa day. Here’s how to release your inner French-girl beauty with this trending indulgence.
What is Gommage?
Gommage takes its name from a French verb meaning ‘to erase’ and is a classic form of exfoliation. This gentle method was trendy before most salon estheticians started using stronger, faster, and more effective chemical exfoliants such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) during professional facials.
Gommage is an excellent at-home treatment that quickly gets rid of dull, dead skin, and hydrates while leaving your face smooth and soft.
How does Gommage Work?
Apply a thin layer of gommage cream or gel to the skin and then allow it to dry. The drying process can take anywhere from five minutes to 10 minutes, depending on the product formula. When you rub it off, the product picks up dead skin cells as it rolls up. Most of what you see that flakes off the skin is the product itself; the dead skin cells are (thankfully) microscopic.
Stabilizing the skin of the face when you rub off the dry crust of gommage is essential. Create a peace sign with the index and middle fingers of one hand and gently rub the skin between the ‘V’ with your other hand’s fingers.
What Precautions are Necessary?
The goal of gommage, as with any form of exfoliation, is to be gentle and not overdo it. A soft touch is all you need, and you should feel no discomfort as you massage. You don’t want the skin to be inflamed, irritated or sensitized. The aim is to strengthen and reinforce the skin’s protective barrier.
You can comfortably use gommage gel as often as any other exfoliator, such as two or three times a week. These exfoliators work best for those with normal to oily skin, and those with seasonal rough patches will find this method especially effective.
Who should avoid Gommage?
Avoid this method if you have sensitive skin, broken capillaries, or pimples. If you’re prone to redness and irritation, exfoliate only when your skin is exceptionally rough and dry.
How Fast will I see Results?
Improvement is visible immediately. Gently exfoliating the outer layer of dead cells leaves skin’s appearance more luminous almost instantly. You will notice softer, more radiant skin after the treatment.
How should I Follow up with Skincare?
Only use a moisturizer after gommage without adding any other form of exfoliation. Protect your newly exfoliated skin by avoiding the sun, and remember to use SPF. Don’t use gommage exfoliants with body washes or chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or if you have thin facial skin. Avoid products with ingredients like retinol, chemical AHAs or BHAs, and mechanical cleansing brushes.
Here are some 5 star or near 5 star favorites to check out:
Gommage Yon-Ka ($46; dermstore.com)
Arcona Brightening Gommage Exfoliator ($52; nordstrom.com)
Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel ($48; sephora.com)