I think we all know it’s important to exfoliate; it slays the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin, promoting more glow and luminescence, (which I’m sure we all want!) and helps other ingredients in serums and creams penetrate better. (Over exfoliating can irritate, and though sensitive skins should err on caution they do still need it.) I am religiously using a retinol every day at the moment, (more to come on this,) so I cut back on exfoliating initially and have gradually reintroduced as my skin tolerance has built with the retinol, something to bear in mind if you’re also using. This week are some of my favourite scrubs, broken into different categories so you can choose the best one for you and to make sure you don’t use too many, they ALL exfoliate!
The quickest of exfoliators to use, best after a cleansing in the same way you would use a toner and really good for oilier or congested skins. All of these three have appeared in many Beauty Halls of Fame and for good reason. The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant uses BHA, (Beta Hydroxy Acid,) which helps with the treatment of blackheads and breakouts, so if clearer skin is your objective and blemishes are your issue, this is the one for you. (I have used literally just over my nose on occasions when I feel congested and it’s great). The Pixi Glow Tonic uses AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids,) with Glycolic acid to gently stimulate cell renewal and also has aloe vera to hydrate, better suited I think to normal to dry skins. The Dr Dennis Gross Pads are a joy. I first used them in December as they came in the Selfridges Beauty Box I bought. Each sachet has two sections, containing both alpha and beta acids with squalane and hyaluronic to soothe and hydrate. You wipe the first pad over your face until it’s dry, wait two minutes before you apply the second and you’re done. They are quite expensive, but helpfully come in a box of five for £18 which is not too bad if you just want to try them. All of these they can say can be used daily, just see how your skin tolerates them and be cautious if you’re also using any of the below alongside them.
For those that may have used and liked an Aapri apricot face scrub in the 80’s, (anyone?) physical scrubs fell out of fashion a little as they were deemed too harsh with big irritating particles, and a lot were made with plastic beads which caused massive damage to oceans. Thankfully now, most have been changed to have different particles and reformulated to refine skin without irritation. The Beauty Pie Wonderscrub I’ve talked about a lot before, so I won’t dwell, but is a good one. The Daily Microfoliant from Dermalogica is one of my all-time favourite products in general which I think has a magical effect on skin. You mix the rice based dry powder with water to create a paste, then massage on, skin feel so smooth afterwards and make up goes on like a dream. La Roche Posay is a brand I love and they have a scrub specifically for sensitive skin which is also really reasonable. Once or twice a week is enough for these ones, thicker male skins may be able to take more often.
A more decadent form of exfoliation! These are all great pre an event, (roll on 21st June for the UK!) The first two I have mentioned before but are both amazing. The Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask you apply and leave for ten minutes, then wipe away with a warm face cloth and rinse well. There is a tingly sensation when it’s on and possibly not for very sensitive skins, but I love it because as well as radiance, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines. The Origins Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay is a hybrid, goes on as a mud mask and dries so feels quite tight, you then use warm water to massage and exfoliate and rinse off, it’s great for pore reducing and clarity as well as brightening. The Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel uses pineapple and papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate, (the ‘peel’ sounds scarier than it is). I used to use it a long time ago and had forgotten how lovely it is. Perfect to use in the morning for an instant glow.
So, get slathering, your skin will thank you in return with glow and brightness. As we return to hopefully a more ‘normal’ world that is definitely something we all need!