With beauty trends coming and going, and must-have ingredients seemingly popping up out of nowhere, it can be difficult to know where to start.
It’s the same with exfoliants. Cleansers with particles running through the product to ‘scrub’ away dead skins cells used to be the only choice when it came to exfoliating skin. These days, we can also treat our face to the same action by using an acid. Some beauty folk say it is a more healthier way, because it ‘dissolves’ the dead skin rather than scratches at it.
When it comes to products, however, we all have our own preferences. But if you are new to the game, or want to check out different products to suit your budget, then let us help. Please do bare in mind that what might suit one person, might not suit your skin, so it will be trial and error until you find an exfoliant that works with your skin.
Let’s begin with the ‘harsher’ scrubs. Don’t be put off by the fact you can feel the particles rubbing against your skin. Some people prefer this as they say they can feel it working, rather than using an acid which you cannot feel in the same way.
BUDGET – T-ZONE BLACKHEAD FIGHTING SCRUB, 75ml, £1.20
Dedicated towards problem skin with its added benefit of tea tree oil which has natural antibacterial properties. It has a strong smell of the stuff, but rather than being a put-off, it gives you that feeling of it doing its job. For a budget brand, it’s one of the best out there. Cruelty-free and vegan too!
MID-RANGE – NIP + FAB GLYCOLIC SCRUB FIX, 75ml, £12.95
If you’re after a scrub that feels extra scrubby (you know what we mean!), then this is it. Not only does it have particles to scrub at those pores, but it also includes glycolic acid and salicylic to refine and brighten the texture of skin. It’s a triple-whammy of an exfoliator!
EXPENSIVE – CHANEL LE GOMMAGE ANTI-POLLUTION EXFOLIATING GEL, 75ml, £37
Luxurious comes to mind when using this. It has a creamy texture compared to the other two because of its gel formula, however, it is heavily fragranced which may not agree with sensitive skin. The jojoba particles are a more gentler experience, meaning your skin does not feel stripped and dry. Its use of violet micro-algae and marine spring water only adds to the luxurious feeling of this product.
Acids are a different ball game altogether. Just like physical scrubs, they’re generally not to be used every day. The full benefits of an acid are seen over time, and without a good moisturiser or serum, they can be drying.
BUDGET – THE ORDINARY MANDELIC ACID 10% + HA, 30ml, £5.80
The Ordinary have become a drugstore brand go-to when it comes to facial care, especially if you’re new to acids and serums. This particular acid is great for newbies, as it is more gentle on the skin. Taken direct from the website, they say:
“The molecular weight of mandelic acid is 152.1 daltons which is larger than other alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid is 76.0 daltons, for example). This larger size allows mandelic acid to penetrate the skin more slowly which in turn makes it very gentle and suitable for all skin types. You don’t need a concentration of more than 10%, because then you would simply be achieving an indirect peeling strength that is more easily offered through lower percentages of glycolic acid.”
MID-RANGE – NIP + FAB GLYCOLIC CLEANSING FIX, 150ml, £10.95
With 2% glycolic acid alongside olive oil, it works to re-texture the skin but also make sure it doesn’t become stripped of its natural oils. Whereas some people find using it as a regular cleanser (massage into the skin and rinse off) is beneficial, you can also use it as a 5 minute mask to make the most of its ingredients. It lasts for ages, too!
EXPENSIVE – GLOSSIER SOLUTION EXFOLIATING SKIN PERFECTOR, 130ml, £19
Said to use 10% worth of acids (Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), and Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA)), this solution has become a game changer for many, especially those with acne. It also has a pretty neat way of dispensing liquid which helps to only use as much as you need.
All of the items were bought by MODAN, and not sent to be reviewed. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author’s. What works for them, may not work for you. But it’s always fun giving a new product a go!
All photographs by AJ