Sunday, 27 April 2014

Exfoliating From Head To Toe

It's something we know we should be doing, but often leave out of our routine. Exfoliation is the best way to aim for clear, bright and blemish-free skin. Here's how you can reap the benefits from head to toe.


Face:

There are two ways that I exfoliate: manual and chemical. Most people are more familiar with the first option, using a face scrub containing beads or grains that remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. I like this method because you can do it in the bath after you've cleansed and it takes seconds. I prefer finer grains in abundant quantity that feel like they're doing the job, but this can also be a little harsh for sensitive skin if you do it every day.

Some products I enjoy using are the Boots Skin Clear Daily Face Scrub; the StriVectin Instant Retexturizing Scrub; and most recently, the Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash. 
Super Facialist by Una Brennan scrub and Skin Clear scrub from Boots; StriVectin scrub available from Salonskincare.co.uk
I have re-purchased the Boots scrub about three times now as it keeps my skin clear and does not irritate it. The StriVectin scrub I received as a sample. It is a little pricey, so I'm not sure if I'd spend over £20 on the full size, but it does do a good job and is said to have anti-aging benefits. Finally, the Una Brennan scrub is my latest buy. I've only used it once (last night), and I have to say it seems to be a winner. I woke up this morning and, rather than seeing my usual haggard morning-face, my skin looked really clear and bright. Vitamin C is meant to be fantastic for fading discolouration, so I think we will get on!

Chemical exfoliants sound a little hazardous, but they are amazing for the skin, providing you pick the correct type for your needs, and wear a high SPF in the daytime. I use Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily Moisturizer SPF50, or Paula's Choice SPF30. 


 Paula's Choice are a superior US-based brand. The products contain skin-loving ingredients, based on founder, Paula Begoun's expert knowledge. She has a wide range of products, which can be shipped easily to the UK (and throughout Europe). The BHA lotion is gentle enough to be used a few times a week and feels comfortable on the skin. The Beta Hydroxy Acid in the product works well to clear blemishes, so as soon as I see that my skin is becoming congested, I'll sleep with this on and it works well to clear my skin quicker. It can also clear bumps on legs and arms from shaving, so is a great multi-tasker. Alpha Hydroxy Acid products are also available, which I will be looking into as my fine lines become increasingly noticeable! AHAs work to repair sun damage and soften wrinkles. Liquid Gold by Alpha H is a good example of a popular AHA product. It gives skin a glowy look in the morning when used overnight. I use it a few times a month as my skin can be sensitive. It cannot be stressed enough that if you do not wear SPF, the damage you are trying to repair will be for nothing, as the skin's surface is more exposed when you exfoliate.


Body:

At least once a week I try to have a good old, full body scrub! Two products that I love are The Body Shop's Body Scrub-Gelee's (I have a limited edition blueberry scent, which is heaven on earth!); and Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush Scrub, which smells of sweet lime and is so invigorating and delicious. Of course, a cheaper option is using a body sponge and some shower gel. I do own one, but I can't resist using the two products I just mentioned as they make you feel like you have a fancy, new polished body!

 Feet:

This is the area where I could do with some suggestions (if anyone has any!). I wear heels nearly every day, therefore my tootsies are not as soft and supple as I wish they were. I won't go into the gory details, but they aren't pretty. Currently, I'm battling them with Avon's All-in-One pedicure, which is a cream exfoliator, and a pumice stone. I try to regularly work on the rough skin and have tried electronic exfoliating gadgets to no avail over the last few years. So far my current combo are keeping my soles in as good as condition as they can be without getting them professionally looked at! 

So, what are your exfoliating habits?

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