Information & Advice
If you're not regularly exfoliating you're missing a trick, say the experts. Why? Because the benefits are numerous. "Facial exfoliation helps to clear the skin surface of sluggish cells and thereby improve smoothness and radiance," explains Dr Lieve De Clerq of Origins. "It also helps to unclog pores and minimise surface imperfections."
Convinced? Here's an in-depth look at two key types of exfoliant, physical scrubs and chemical/fruit acid-based preparations, so you can find your perfect product.
How often can I use them? If you have dry skin, "use a sharp granular scrub once a week or a more gentle granular one twice or three times a week," says Stewart. "Once a week should be sufficient for oily skin." Mature skin? "A gentle scrub twice a week may help," advises Stewart.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic and fruit acids) and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), also known as AHAs and BHAs, are derived from a number of sources, including milk, sugar cane, fruits and willow bark. They offer skin resurfacing/smoothing benefits and are available in a variety of forms, from face masks and cleansers to treatment products and peels.
"Chemical peels at high concentration work deeper than the mechanical methods that remove the surface layers. AHAs and BHAs work by weakening the bonds between cells at the surface and stimulating their removal," explains Lieve De Clerq. "Manual and granular techniques mechanically remove the surface layers."
"The benefits will be most visible on people with a greyish, dull or uneven complexion," says Lieve. Mature, congested or blemished skin will also benefit.
It depends on the product. Always read the advice supplied. For example, a cleanser containing AHAs may be designed to be used every day, but a peel may suggest no more than once-weekly usage. "When mildly dosed, certain fruit acids like the ones we use in the berry complex of Origins Brighter By Nature Peel Pads can be used twice a week without irritation. They give that slight extra boost to gently exfoliate and gradually improve the complexion," says Lieve.
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