I’ve always loved taking care of my skin and enjoy having a morning and evening skincare routine with face masks and exfoliators for a weekly pamper. I’ve always loved buying skincare products since being a teenager; trying new ones out and using those ‘peel-off’ masks which did nothing for your skin apart from the fun of peeling it off!
So, over the years, I’ve come to find what products and brands work best for my skin and will only really try something new now if it’s been highly recommended or I’ve read tonnes of positive reviews on it first.
I just don’t like wasting my money on things that might be good, so I like to do a bit more research into what I’m spending my money on these days. It’s not like when I was a teenager or in my early 20’s where I could spend money willingly on anything that had cute packaging or looked like it would completely transform my skin because it said so or because it came with a free nail varnish… I’m a lot more picky with what I put on my skin now and have my firm favourites and will only try new products after a lot of reading up about them first.
So onto a product I’ve always used on a weekly basis ever since I can remember: exfoliators. I love using a weekly exfoliator/face scrub, if not twice weekly depending on my skin, and find that they make a huge difference in keeping my skin smooth and free from dryness in certain areas. I just love the feeling after using them knowing my skin has had a good polish; removing dull skin surface cells and revealing squeaky clean, soft skin.
My three favourite exfoliators include two firm favourites and one new addition which I’ve only recently started using, but have used it enough times to know whether or not it suits my skin.
So first up is the newest addition: Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream. I don’t actually own any other Clarins products and have only really tried them before through samples, which I’ve enjoyed using but never actually purchased, but so far, I’m really pleased with the results of this and it’s making me want to try other Clarins products out properly.
Firstly, it smells gorgeous and I kind of recognise the smell but can’t quite recall what it reminds me of, but I think it has quite a ‘talc’ scent to it, which I personally love as it reminds me of childhood and using talc after a bath — well that’s what the smell kind of reminds me of anyway!
With first use, I found it gentle on my skin but I could also really feel the little microbeads polishing away but without feeling ‘scratchy’. As it’s quite creamy, it lathers quite well with water so you don’t actually have to use a lot of product. The creamy lather mixed with microbeads seems to help the product work hard at exfoliating the skin but without drying it out or scratching the surface, as the microbeads don’t feel harsh on the skin. My skin didn’t feel tight afterwards, which is a sign of a good exfoliator for me as I hate it when exfoliators feel like they have completely dried the skin out!
I’m really enjoying using this and happy with the immediate results so far as it leaves me with soft, smooth and fresh-feeling skin without any dryness or tightness straight after use. I still want to continue using this for a while to really test out the results after a few weeks of twice weekly usage (it says you can use it twice a week), but so far I’m loving it after only a handful of uses.
The Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash is a daily scrub and I’ve been using it for a while now. Even though it’s gentle enough to use daily, I probably only use it once or twice a week or more if my skin is feeling particularly dry.
I also find this delicate on the skin and doesn’t make your skin feel tight or dry afterwards and probably the reason why it can be used daily. I find the Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream and the No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator (below) have more of a ‘polishing’ and scrubby feeling when I use them, but this one does actually feel gentle enough to use daily and I love that I have a few different types or scrubs for different uses: a daily scrub for when my skin just needs to be kept feeling smooth and refined, and more ‘scrubbier’ weekly scrubs for when my skin needs a weekly exfoliation to remove dull surface skin cells and give it a proper ‘polish’.
The No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator contains ‘Aluminium-oxide micro-crystals’ which help to smooth, refine and renew the skin and get rid of dull surface skin cells. With continued use it also helps to stimulate skin cell renewal to fight against fine lines and even-out the skin tone.
When I first bought it, it all sounded a bit complex and as it came with an instruction booklet for how to use it with after-care advice, I was worried that it was going to be too harsh for my skin as it sounded a lot more powerful than just your average exfoliator. But I was looking for something to really tackle dry, dull skin at the time and was actually glad of the information leaflet as this is a ‘micro-dermabrasion’ exfoliator after all and you have to use it properly.
Being a ‘micro-dermabrasion’ exfoliator it has more benefits such as; working against fine lines, stimulating skin cell renewal to reveal fresher, more radiant skin and helping against the appearance of sun-damaged or blemish-prone skin.
It is suggested to be used twice a week but never two days in a row so the skin has time to produce new cells in-between, and with a maximum use of about 2 minutes massaging it in.
It also suggests that you should use a moisturiser with SPF 15 with 5* UVA protection during the day for a week after use as micro-dermabrasion can make the skin a little more sensitive to the sun than usual, as the skin is more exposed, which I think is generally good advice anyway and I always wear SPF daily.
The grains feel quite fine like sand and are mixed in with a lovely creamy gel so don’t feel too scratchy but I do notice that this feels more ‘scrubbier’ than the other exfoliators I have, which is why it probably advises that your skin may look ‘a little pink and glowy’ afterwards. It feels like the perfect grainy texture to me, which you can actually feel working as you massage it in. Afterwards my skin always feels so soft, and the kind of soft that you can start feeling and noticing as you wash it off.
I find that I can see a noticeable difference straight after using this as my skin feels really clean and soft afterwards and it makes a huge difference to dryness and moisturiser absorbs so well after use, leaving my skin looking ‘glowy’ and ‘polished’.
I tend to have quite sensitive skin to some products and it does say that if you have sensitive skin, you should use it less often or spend less time massaging it in, which is what I did when I first tried it. But now I just use it when my skin really needs a good exfoliating and I especially like using this throughout winter when my skin is a lot more prone to dryness.
So those are my three favourite exfoliators that I like to switch between, depending on what I think my skin needs, and I always like to make sure I’ve exfoliated at least once a week to keep my skin soft.
What’s your favourite exfoliator?