Welcome to the Skincare Series! A bi-weekly blog series where I chat to you about different skincare steps and run through a couple of my favourite products, what they do and why I love them.
Today I’m chatting exfoliants. Without a doubt, these super skin-transforming beauties are my favourite step in my skincare routine. No other product offers up such instant results, and I just love to see my skincare doing its job. It’s also been the most effective step since discovering these products over the last year or so. Before then I was an exfoliating noob, afraid to exfoliate for fear of aggravating my sensitive skin and now I have a mini panic attack when I run out of my beloved FAB pads (they are so darn tricky to get hold of where I live). And for me, my skin has never looked or behaved better.
I’ll start by telling you a bit about my skin. I have sensitive, oily skin, prone to breakouts, blackheads, redness and dehydration and can be easily irritated by harsh ingredients.
First-up, the masks. Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant is described as a:
“Two-in-one masque/exfoliation treatment. Non-abrasive formula contains Lactic Acid and Hydroxy Acid to help detach dead skin cells, increasing cell renewal while improving texture for dramatically smooth skin. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colours.”
Now if you ask me, this does exactly what is says on the tin (uhuum..tube). I do get a slight tingle when I use this product but it's not unpleasant and if anything just gives me little poke as to say…”I’m working, I’m eating all your dead skin cells..yum!”
It leaves the skin soft and supple feeling and ready to soak up all that lovely serum or oil or whatever your next skincare step is.
Next up in the mask category we have Ella Bache Revitalisant,
“A dual-action exfoliant that dissolves dead cells and buffs skin texture to reveal a more youthful, brighter, clearer complexion”
Another deliverer. As stated above, this is a dual-action product, its firstly a BHA exfoliant, with salicylic acid to get deep down into those pores and dig out all that dirt and dead skin. It’s secondly a manual exfoliant as when the product is dry you buff it off the face with fingertips and the gentle bits of almond manually sweep that skin and dirt away. What you are left with is glowing, soft revitalised skin.
Now on that subject lets chat about manual exfoliants, it’s a bit of a taboo subject as we are told they’re damaging for our skin, that they break the capillaries if scrubbed too hard and that there’s no need for them. I say, if you works for you, do it. I love nothing more than a gentle scrub once in a while, but I must say I’m careful about the ingredients used in the scrub. Nothing too sharp or abrasive, just gentle and natural. I use the St Ives scrubs and I personally do not have any problem with them. I use these scrubs much less frequently than the my other exfoliants though. Maybe once or twice a month and I’m very gentle with application.
Lastly in the exfoliation skincare series lets address daily exfoliation. Another taboo! I’ve been told countless times, don’t exfoliate every day. Once or twice a week max. And for my high grade arsenal (exfoliants mentioned above) I do stick to that rule. That is, after all, what Sunday nights are for isn't it? But I love nothing more than knowing these little beauties, First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, are “hi-ho-ing” away (sing it, you know you want to) daily under my makeup and while I sleep. FAB’s pads claim they:
“Contain just the right amount of lactic and glycolic acids to make them safe and effective for daily use. Cucumber and Indian gooseberry tone the skin, while lemon peel and licorice root leave the skin bright and glowing. FAB’s facial radiance pads are free of parabens, harsh chemicals and colourants.”
*Cue angels singing*. I love these effortless, highly effective little pads. A simple sweep over the face after cleansing and you're good to go on with the rest of your routine knowing the acids and gentle brightening ingredients are clocking in with your skin and you're left with a smoother, brighter more glowing complexion.
So that wraps up our first edition of the skincare series, but not without mention of my final favourite exfoliation expert…the lowly face cloth/ wash cloth/ flannel depending on where you originate. Doesn't need to cost the earth, doesn't need to be hand stitched from the finest Egyptian cotton, just bog standard, basic everyday face cloth. Add this is to your routine to gently wipe off your cleanser or cleansing balm and trust me, you will notice the difference. Switch it up for a clean one every one or two days.
I hope you enjoyed the first edition of the skincare series. Be sure to check back for future editions and let me know your top exfoliation products.
Thanks for reading
I am by no means a skincare expert, what works for me may not work for you so where possible always test products on yourself. All information provided is based on personal experience and learnt when researching products for myself online.