Ten of the best exfoliators

Exfoliator. Exfoliating. Exfoliants. They don’t sound particularly friendly do they? Admittedly, in the past, exfoliating – this act of resurfacing our dull, congested skins for brighter, clearer, smoother, blackhead-free, light-reflecting skin – was brutal. Thankfully brands (and people) are coming to the realisation that we don’t have to scrub our faces to smithereens in order to get a good glow. Which is why I love AHAs – aka acids: most commonly glycolic, lactic, salicylic and, increasingly, mandelic. These exfoliating liquids dissolve dead skin cells and help increase cell turnover so your skin looks brighter. And you don’t have to rinse it off. Of course you can’t literally see the dead skin cells that build up, but the signs are obvious – dullness, congestion, sluggishness and your once brilliant skincare products become ineffective. So what’s best? A chemical (liquid) or a physical (scrub) exfoliator? I never used to prescribe scrubs – stories of people scrubbing their faces into oblivion were all too common. Today, scrubs are better formulated. Still, I’d advise anyone to be discerning about both scrubs and liquids. Start every other day – less for sensitive skins.

  1. Balance Me BHA Exfoliating Concentrate £20.80, balanceme.com
  2. Murad Daily Clarifying Peel £37, johnlewis.com
  3. Dennis Gross Ultra Gentle Daily Peel £89 (5 pack), spacenk.com
  4. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant £28, cultbeauty.co.uk
  5. Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid £40, marksandspencer.com
  6. Sunday Riley Charcoal Smoothie Jelly Body Scrub £32, spacenk.com
  7. Drunk Elephant TLC Glycolic Body Lotion £21, boots.com
  8. REN Ready Steady Glow AHA Tonic £22.95, feelunique.com
  9. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment £21, lookfantastic.com
  10. StriVectin Daily Reveal Exfoliating Pads £39, strivectin.co.uk