Exfoliating: Scratch the Surface

As I’m writing this ‘No Scrubs’ has popped into my head. Not the kind of scrub TLC are talking about but face scrubs or exfoliants for more precise skincare terms. So a while back I went for a LVL ( Length, Volume, Lift) Lash Lift (I’ll be posting on this in the coming months) and as I get all chatty with the therapist wanting to know any insider skincare knowledge – I was telling her how I felt like my skin wasn’t healing anymore after blemishes. I’ve always had spots so I’m pretty used to the fact my skin will never be spotless, but they were always reactive to healing products. I’ve usually applied either Sudocream or a spot treatment (at the moment my favourite is Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum) or a bit of sun (in safe doses with SPF of course!) which would usually assist in this process. Now however it seems to take a good couple of weeks for it to fully heal then dry out and flake for the new skin to appear, leaving red marks which takes ages to disappear although not completely. The therapist explained how as you get older (eek!) your skin cell turnover starts to slow down hence this drawn out healing process. So as we started to discuss age and I admitted I’m in my very late 20’s (I’ve now turned 30!) she said now is the time to step up the routine and most importantly, and here’s the key word people – exfoliate.

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and then allows a smoother skin surface for other products to penetrate and remove any buildup (essential for avid SPF’ers and city workers with pollution build up). Depending on the condition of your skin will depend on how often you should exfoliate and different products will enable you to exfoliate daily to once a week. Those of you who are avid Clarisonic fans remember that this is also a form of exfoliation so you will need to look what your current routine and assess where exfoliation will best fit in. Oilier skin types may find exfoliation will help help to reduce the production of sebum. But before you start don’t go crazy like your sanding down a wall in preparation for painting – you’ll dry out the skin and make it highly sensitised so moderation is the best approach.

My commitment to exfoliation hasn’t really been taken seriously until now and I needed a tougher approach in consistency and regularity. I currently I have two current budget beauty faves;

Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion £15 for 75ml – a weekly (or twice weekly) home spa exfoliation rich in Amazonian camu camu which is the key vitamin C ingredient for dull skin, and Fair Trade shea butter to smooth and soften the skin. I’m obsessed with vitamin C products so this caught my eye on a lunchtime wonder. It has a citrus scent and a fine grit consistency (micro particles and crushed garnet stones) but this is not to be mistaken as a gentle scrub as you can feel it’s roughness when applied to the skin in circular motions. I’ve been using this twice a week as I’m constantly in SPF at the moment and really notice the smoothness and assistance in clearing up my regularly congested skin.

Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic – Exfoliating Toner with Aloe Vera & Ginseng £18 for 250ml. Now here’s where I get all ravy because this product is amazing! I had seen a lot of press about this stuff and decided to give myself a payday treat down at the Pixi store near Carnaby Street. This isn’t your typical scrub, firstly it’s in liquid form but it still removes those dead skin cells. It smells herbal/floral and is formed of 5% glycolic acid (of which higher quantities are found in chemical peels – but this is a super safe dosage). This is to be used after cleansing like any other exfoliant but as a liquid your face would need to be dry to apply this. You can also sweep this over your decolletage. I like to use this AM and PM but if I was to use a scrub I would probably only do this PM after cleansing as it’s a bit overkill. I’ve found my skin clears up and reacts really well to this product and on regular use finding my complexion looks clearer and pores less visible. This is definitely a worthy repeat product and if you’re thinking of including an exfoliant in your routine it’s a great one to start with.

Have fun scrubbers!

Words by Joanna Sait

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