A 5-Step Guide to Your Smoothest Face Ever

Updated 05/13/19
smooth skin texture

No one wants to hear that they have a problem they didn't even know existed—a truth I experienced firsthand during a recent facial appointment. After years of familiarizing myself with my complexion, I'd really gotten into a good groove with my skincare and knew which products to rely on when any of my usual issues arose.

But I was wrong: As the esthetician pampered my face, she made an observation that threw me for a loop. "You have uneven skin texture," she said. "Tone?" I responded, confused. "No, texture," she repeated. "Your nose is a little bit rougher than the rest of your face. It's normal!"

A 5-Step Guide to Your Smoothest Face Ever

Was it, though? I had never heard of it before, and at the risk of sounding completely pompous, I consider myself pretty well versed in all manner of common skin problems, particularly my own (a hazard of the job). But it turns out that having an uneven skin surface really is run-of-the-mill. It's just not talked about too often.

"Uneven skin texture is commonly a result of excess dead skin cells that build up on the surface of the skin," explains cosmetic dermatologist , MD. "This can make areas of the skin feel rough or bumpy to the touch and can also give the skin a dull appearance." As for how it happens, there are a number of potential factors.

Meet The Expert

Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank is a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and owner of PFRANKMD. Frank has published a book on aging, consults for Madonna's skincare line, and sits on many dermatology advisory boards.

How to Make Your Skin Look Smoother

"In addition to dead skin cell buildup, chronic sun exposure can also play a big role in uneven skin texture and pore-size irregularity," he says. "Natural aging of the skin will also make the skin look duller. Factors such as smoking may also contribute, and other skin conditions such as eczema and dry skin can severely affect skin tone and texture."

Frank guesses that the reason uneven texture isn't as buzzy as uneven skin tone (which deals with pigmentation, to be clear) comes down to the ability to treat it—those who deal with chronic texture issues will see the best results with laser treatments. But there are a few ways to get a more even skin surface at home. Keep reading for a five-step guide to smoothing out your face once and for all.


Farmacy New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains
Kypris Deep Forest Clay $88

If skin cell buildup is the issue, remedying the situation could be as simple as sloughing those dead cells away. Make sure you're exfoliating once a week with a dedicated scrub, sonic cleaning brush, or chemical exfoliant, and target the areas that feel uneven.

This all being said, it's worth noting that using scrubs that are too abrasive—or scrubbing too often, for that matter—, which will only exacerbate your texture issues. Stick with formulas that use gentle ingredients like jojoba beads and natural grains and make sure you abide by that once-a-week rule. (I'm partial to this clay mask by Kypris, which doubles as a gentle scrub and smells like the Pacific Northwest. The alternative is to —more on that next!

Try a chemical peel

European Wax Center® Reveal Me Face Exfoliating Gel Mask
European Wax Center® Reveal Me Face Exfoliating Gel Mask $21.50

If you don’t have time (or the funds) to get a peel at your dermatologist’s office, this at-home mask will do the trick. Not only is it naturally derived from fruit extracts, which eliminates dry skin, but it’s lightweight and gentle. The non-abrasive exfoliating mask helps remove dull skin and will leave your complexion looking radiant.

Apply oil to the problem area

Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil
Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil $72

This piece of advice came from the facialist who pointed out the problem in the first place: In keeping with the philosophy that for regulating sebum production, she guessed that my rough, blackhead-speckled nose would experience less buildup with a facial oil. She dabbed a bit of the Herbivore Botanicals oil pictured above on my T-zone, a practice I've adopted at home since that fateful appointment, and I have to admit that my nose is much smoother since doing so.

Stock up on vitamin C

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic $165

"Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine will help improve skin texture by providing a powerful antioxidant to repair and defend the skin from environmental damage and restore suppleness while reducing pigmentation, scar tissue, and age spots," says skincare guru Ling Chan. That defense is key if you want to avoid more texture problems down the line.

Meet The Expert

Ling Chan is a holistic esthetician and founder of the skincare line Ling New York. She specializes in the mind, body, and spirit connection through her practice and products.

Wear SPF (always)

Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen $65

Add this to the endless laundry list of reasons protecting your skin from the sun should always be your first priority.

Bonus: Reduce the Appearance of Scars

Scar Gel
Derma E Scar Gel $20

Now that you have your five-step routine down, it’s all about maintenance. Whether you have a new or existing scar, it’s important to diminish its appearance—especially those pesky ones that have a raised, discolored texture. With regular use, this refreshing, oil-free gel that’s filled with good-for-skin botanical extracts actually helps soften, smooth, and diminish the appearance of scars—but you have to be diligent to see results! Use a small amount two to three times a day and you’ll notice an improvement in as little as two months.


This post was originally published on an earlier date and has been updated.

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