Exfoliating can be an effort and for most of us it involves enduring a few days of blotchy pimples before getting that desirable fresh glow.
But before you resign exfoliating to the ‘never to-do list’, new research suggests it might just be worth it in the long run.
Skin experts have found that scrubbing your skin and deep-cleansing your pores of impurities can actually help to slow down the rate that your skin ages.
According to Harley Street cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting, exfoliating is the extra boost our skin cells need to replenish.
“As we age, the cell cycle slows down,” she says. “As a consequence, skin cells accumulate on the surface and the skin looks matte, lacks radiance and skincare doesn’t penetrate effectively.
“Cleansing alone won’t change this, but exfoliating helps to slough off these cells.”
So in order to make the most of this nifty wrinkle-fighter, we have a guide on the best exfoliation treatments for different skin types so everyone can scrub up perfectly.
Powdered products for sensitive skin
If your skin is prone to spots and reacting to everything, you might want to consider investing in exfoliating powders. These are new to our western shores but have long been used in Asian skincare regimes. Leading brands such as Givenchy are currently catching on to this trend, although a great product is Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant (£41.30). It may be pricey, but is guaranteed to make your skin brighter and less inflamed.
Grainy scrubs for combination skin
For those of you blessed with normal/combination skin, you will benefit mostly from the traditional grainy exfoliating creams. These grains will vary from product to product, and can be anything from small plastic microbeads to tiny natural bits of walnut shells, apricot kernels, silica or lava powder. For a cheap natural product, you might want to try Aroma Actives Exfoliating Cleanser (£7.50) which leaves skin super soft and smelling of Lavender.
Chemical exfoliators for sun-damaged skin
Over time skin can become sun-damaged, fine lines start to emerge and pores can become enlarged. Chemical exfoliators – a gentler version of chemical peels – are often recommended to help target these skin problems. Liquid form, chemical exfoliators work by breaking down the ‘glue’ that keeps dead skin cells stuck to your face. They can be applied with a cotton pad and rather than scrubbing you simply leave the product to soak in and work its magic – helping to soothe problem skin, break down sebum in blocked pores and restore a natural glow. A great product is Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (£23).
Facial brushes for dry skin
Also for people who are lazy when it comes to skincare, a face brush provides the benefits of exfoliating without all the products and fuss. Like an oversized electronic toothbrush, these brushes are easy to use and can complement a normal cleansing routine. Research from skincare brand, Olay suggests 30% more active ingredients can penetrate the skin with help from a facial brush.
For a trusted facial brush, Champneys Facial Cleansing System (£14.99) will do the job perfectly, and is particularly handy for first-timers.
For more information on skincare treatments designed to target problem skin, take a look at our dermatology page.
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