Pharrell Williams — both literally and figuratively — wears many hats. Singer, rapper, film producer, artist, music producer, fashion designer, style icon . . . and proud owner of a flawless complexion.
Speaking in New York in August, the smooth-skinned superstar revealed the key to his skincare regime: “I exfoliate like a madman.”
“When you exfoliate and you drink a lot of water, that does good for you. To me, the key is just exfoliating, like a monster. There’s a lot of dead skin. All the time. Like a narcissistic madman.”
What is exfoliating?
Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin from the face, done in one of two ways: with an abrasive exfoliant that physically scrubs away the old cells, or a chemical formula that dissolves the dead skin. Even though you might cleanse and moisturise every day, if your skin feels itchy or looks flaky, or the skin tone is uneven, or your skin appears dull and lifeless, then there’s a layer of dead skin cells that you need to exfoliate.
Why is it important?
A build-up of dead skin cells is as gross as it sounds. For one, it clogs your pores and makes fertile soil for pimples. And in general, it leaves the face looking dull and rough, or flaky and dandruff-like. Exfoliating produces a smoother skin tone and softer texture — and if that sounds too girly, removing that extra layer of skin is conducive to a closer shave because there’s no excess skin clogging the razor. Exfoliating is particularly important as you age, because your skin doesn’t replace old skin cells as quickly as it one did — so let an exfoliant give you a little help. How do you think Pharrell looks so fresh at 44 years old?
How often should you do it?
Although Pharrell advocates exfoliating like a madman, you might want to go easy, especially if you’re new to it — exfoliating too aggressively can leave your face a red raw mess. A scrub — which works better on non-sensitive, normal skin types — can be used two or three times a week max, whereas a chemical solution — containing hydroxy acids, better for tackling dry or pimply skin — should be used less frequently.