It’s easy to fall into a skincare rut; cleansing, toning, and moisturising – with the occasional mask when we’re feeling guilty. But the one vital step we’re forgoing? Exfoliation – the process of removing dead skin cells to reveal brighter, softer, smoother skin. While skin naturally sheds on a daily basis, sometimes it requires a helping hand to keep it looking its best. Plus, exfoliation helps to speed up the cell renewal process (allowing healthy cells to take their place) and improves the absorption and efficacy of consequently applied products (as skin is not blocked, ingredients can penetrate deeper).
For face and body, here’s everything you need to scrub up perfectly – whatever your skintype; take your pick of the below to bring your best and brightest skin to the surface.
A gentle-action formula, super soft texture, and plant-based ingredients mean that Grown Alchemist’s Polishing Facial Exfoliant is perfect for dry skin – which shouldn’t be exfoliated on a too frequent basis (experts recommend once a week maximum). Satisfyingly gritty without being too harsh, the clever multi-action formula absorbs excess oils and impurities to detox skin, and dissolves dry and dead skin cells without stripping away valuable moisture.
When pores become clogged with oils they appear larger and more noticeable – a common characteristic of oily skin. Whilst exfoliation is the best tactic to diminish their size, when it comes to oily skin, it’s important not to over-exfoliate. Drying out oily skin can lead to an overdrive in oil production, so compensate by choosing a mild, hydrating formula. A scrub like VMV Hypoallergenics’ Spring Cleaning Anti-Bacterial Scrub is a fitting choice for oilier complexions, as it will effectively break up and wash away impurities without being too harsh. Creamy and non-abrasive, it’s at once soothing and softening, quelling redness and leaving skin feeling hydrated but matte. Above all, it feels gentle and is mild enough for regular use.
Uneven and oversized grains can damage sensitive skin, so if a traditional scrub is too much for your easily-irritated complexion, opt for Pai’s Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator to keep your skin radiant and clear. A thick gel at first, with a few drops of water the dense texture melts into a silky milk that utilises ultra-gentle jojoba seeds to lift away dead skin cells without damaging sensitive skin. What’s more, the formula is enriched with an omega-rich blend of exotic oils to soothe, comfort, and hydrate troubled skin.
With both dry and oily patches to contest with, combination skin calls for a product that is gentle enough to not damage drier skin, but also gives a fresh glow. Gritty enough to get the job done, but so rich and creamy that it will hydrate your skin whilst it exfoliates, Mario Badescu’s Kiwi Face Scrub is ideal for maintaining calm and balance in combination complexions. The ultra-fine grains really work into the pores, buffing away dull skin whilst natural AHAs break down buildup and wick away deep-rooted congestion to improve texture and clarity.
Blemish Prone Skin
Blemish-prone skin sheds more skin cells than other skin types do, but instead of falling away, the cells clog pores and cause the buildup that leads to blackheads and breakouts. The perfect antidote? Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold is an exfoliating treatment like no other; designed to keep skin clear of the buildup that clogs the pores and causes breakouts, whilst clearing pigmentation and brightening dullness. With natural fruit enzymes and gentle acids, it gently and thoroughly exfoliates skin, leaving it bright and marble-smooth. The combination of lactic and glycolic acids will help to reduce pore size, kill bacteria, dissolve excess oil, and smooth out any texture or pigmentation issues left behind by previous breakouts.
As we age, cell renewal slows down, meaning that dead cells easily accumulate on the surface, giving skin a dull, matte appearance and preventing effective product absorption. For a quick-fix no-fuss option, Peter Thomas Roth’s Un Wrinkle Peel Pads are a great pick-me-up for dull, ageing skin, and are packed with botanical extracts and antioxidants that offer lasting hydration and protection. Unlike traditional scrubs, they won’t scratch or irritate, but they will wick away dead, dulling skin cells, recreating the glow of a professional facial peel.
Even if you’re fortunate enough to have a normal and balanced complexion, it’s still important to exfoliate on a regular basis. If you don’t need (or like the feel of) abrasive scrubs, try an exfoliating toner like Pixi Glow Tonic instead. The perfect skincare pick-me-up, this souped up cocktail of natural chemical exfoliants not only removes dead skin cells, but also works to tone, firm, and tighten the skin. Effective yet gentle, its blogger-approved popularity is testament to the fact that it suits a bevy different skintypes. Even after just one use, you’ll notice that your skin feels firmer and appears more radiant.
And finally, the skin of the body needs exfoliating, too. As the limbs shed skin cells faster than the face does, without regular exfoliation these cells remain on the surface for too long; clogging pores, preventing efficient moisture absorption, and creating an unpleasant rough exterior. Body Blendz Coffee Scrub is as much an in-shower wake-me-up as it is a skincare pick-me-up. What’s more, it won’t just buff away dead skin cells and eliminate flakiness, it will also help to banish ingrown hairs and bumpy chicken skin. Applied in a circular motion with firm but gentle pressure, the process will stimulate the lymphatic system, draining away toxins, increasing circulation, and perfectly prepping skin for tan. A bona fide one-stop wonder.