Eight exfoliators reviewed to suit every skin type
There have been many improvements in exfoliating products over the last few years. In the past the products we used were often pastes with cracked fruit stones that if you look at under a microscope are very sharp and are in fact quite damaging to the skin.
However next to cleansing, exfoliation of the skin is the most important step in improving your skin. As we age the skin's natural exfoliation process slows down, a young skin naturally sheds every 28 days but this timeline more than doubles as we age. This leaves the surface of the skin with a build-up of dead skin cells. So unless we exfoliate regularly our skin will be dull and our expensive serums and creams will not be working on the new fresh skin.
I would recommend that you exfoliate prior to using a mask then the product will be working on new skin. Also freshly exfoliated skin provides the perfect canvas for make up.
Formulations are now more advanced and we can choose from different styles of exfoliators to suit our routines and skin concerns. For example do not use a granular exfoliator on skin with breakouts as you do not want to break the skin surface and spread infection.
Enzyme based exfoliators often contain fruit, milk or plant based acids such as alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid, these have an exfoliating action without grains.
Granular exfoliators often contain jojoba beads or minerals and have a 'manual ' action to remove the dead skin.
Watch our introduction to exfoliators video
Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel
This grain free exfoliant has been a top seller in Asia for many years. Gentle enough to use on sensitive and blemished skin. The perfect product for anyone suffering hormonal acne or breakouts and one of the best products for tackling blackheads. The active ingredients help dissolve away the dead skin to reveal a brighter complexion. Marvel Gel also contains Green Tea known for its anti-oxidant benefits. Remember always use on a dry skin. Marvel Gel can be used daily as it is so gentle.
Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel - this product is no longer available in the UK - watch the video here
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel
This creamy fruit salad smelling exfoliator leaves the skin super smooth and refined without any grains or beads in the product. The natural exfoliating fruit enzyme action of Papaya and Pineapple will smooth, brighten and clarify your complexion.
The gentle effect of this product makes it perfect for sensitive or mature skins. This peel is used more like a mask as you apply to your cleansed skin, leave for 15- 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
Katherine Daniels Essential Exfoliating Gel
This nonabrasive product exfoliates due to the inclusion of AHA's from Red Algae. So again you will see a brighter more luminous skin without any aggression. Use this product in a similar way to a mask - pop onto freshly cleansed skin and leave for 5 minutes - massage lightly and then remove with a damp wash cloth. Although this product works by using AHA's it is mild enough to use on a sensitive skin.
Marks & Spencer Radiant Cleanse Thermal Exfoliating Polish
This product is for a deeper exfoliation so I would not recommend this for a sensitive skin. It exfoliates using clays and minerals and heats up gently to aid exfoliation. Massage the cream onto damp skin, using small circular movements. After 30 seconds rinse with warm water to remove all residue. This product works well to exfoliate hands before using hand cream.
Alpha-H Micro Cleanse
This product works due to its dual exfoliating action. Spherical beads gently exfoliate the skins surface and a deep exfoliating action comes from the inclusion of Glycolic acid. This fast acting product is also popular with men to help prevent ingrowing hairs. I would also recommend pre self tan. Perfect to treat those stubborn bumps on the back of arms also. The inclusion of peppermint oil makes this a stimulating wake up for the skin.
Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator
This type of powdered exfoliator originates from Asia; it is water activated micro powder that contains enzymes to dissolve away dead skin. Ingredients include Rice Bran, Bamboo extract, Red Algae and Hyaluronic acid. The pineapple derived enzyme Bromelin also leaves the skin smooth and bright. The great thing about this powdered product is that you can customise the level of exfoliation you feel comfortable with just by adjusting the ratio of powder to water.
Indeed Facial Powdered Exfoliator this product is no longer available - watch the video here
Love Your Skin London Cleanse & Smooth Exfoliating Wash
This is the perfect exfoliator for the time poor as it cleanses and exfoliates in one step and can be used daily, I would recommend in the morning. Rosemary and Willow Bark give this product a very light fresh fragrance. Round beads and the Willow Bark (Salicylic acid) exfoliate gently but thoroughly. Another product I would recommend for the man in your life!
This product is no longer available- watch the video here
StriVectin Labs 5-Minute Weekly Glycolic Peel
This glycolic peel is a powerful resurfacing treatment which will help to reveal younger looking skin. It only takes 5 minutes each week to improve the texture and appearance of your skin, pores appear smaller, and the complexion more even-toned with fine lines looking less obvious.
Apply a thin layer of the Detoxifying Primer first onto dry skin and leave for one minute, then without rinsing apply the AHA Activator directly over the Detoxifying Primer and leave on for 3-5 minutes. Remove with a flannel and warm water. Always use both products together. Expect to feel a tingle! As when using all AHA's and Glycolic products remember to wear SPF sun protection daily.