For many years my experience with facial exfoliators involved a tube of brown gloopy stuff (packed full of apricot kernels) that practically ripped away the first layer of my skin. It’s a common misconception that effective exfoliation involves a lot of elbow grease and a scrubbing action that’s akin to cleaning a roasting tray; it doesn’t have to be this way. Consistent exfoliation can not only ensure our skin is healthy looking
and refreshed, but it also helps to prevent clogged pores, acne, ingrown
hairs, scarring, blemishes and all kinds of infections. Exfoliation can also increase the effectiveness of the other steps
in your skincare routine, unblocking pores and ensuring moisturisers
can penetrate and get to work. This simple process makes such a
difference to so many areas of your beauty routine that it really should
be a no-brainer – especially as we age. Although
we’re programmed to naturally shed away old skin, sometimes we need
a little helping hand. As we get older the
‘cement’ holding our cells together becomes thicker, resulting in a
build-up of skin cells that makes the sloughing process more difficult
to accomplish; this results in a dry, uneven, dull and less-toned
appearance. By eliminating the build up of dead skin cells on the
surface, the regeneration of new skin cells is stimulated which results
in an improved appearance, tone, and feel of the skin.
But many of the exfoliators currently available are either too harsh,
not effective enough, or full of ingredients we’d rather see the back
of; it’s difficult to find an exfoliator that meets your changing needs
and can be integrated into your routine without doing you some serious
damage. We all need a little buffing a couple of times a week, but
depending upon our age, skin condition and seasonal concerns this
buffing needs to be conducted to different degrees. Murad are fast becoming one of my favourite skincare brands, thanks to their unique approach and real understanding of the concerns that arise when we age. Unlike the usual ‘one size fits all approach’ that most other brands choose, Murad’s portfolio of facial exfoliators are as targeted as their serums or moisturisers. With three to choose from, you can either pick the one that most meets your needs – or mix and match all three depending upon the time of year and your personal needs.
1. DAILY EXFOLIATION: Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£34.00)
gentle but efficient exfoliator works to dissolve dead
skin cells while renewing the skins texture. Containing salicylic, lactic and glycolic acids to
encourage clarity and brightness by dissolving skin cell build-up,
jojoba beads to further polish and re-texturise the skin, sodium PCA and
jojoba seed oil to help counteract dryness, and liquorice extract to
provide anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties to your skin, this is more than just your usual cleanser. I’ve been using this in the shower almost daily, as the gentle effects are suitable for use multiple times a week; it works better when used little and often, plus it’s a great way to leave skin feeling super smooth without irritating. If you suffer from dry, sensitive or acne prone skin, this is a much more effective and suitable approach to a little exfoliation than what you may be used to.
2. WEEKLY TREATMENT: Murad Skin Smoothing Polish (£27.00)
rich, creamy scrub designed to unblock pores and reveal a luminous,
healthy-looking complexion, this skin smoothing polish is formulated with micro-polishing beads to
buff the skin’s surface. It helps to remove the build up of impurities, dead skin
cells and excess oil, whilst punicic acid tightens pores for a refined
appearance. Uniquely infused with Witch Hazel and cinnamon
extract, the scrub balances oily, acne-prone skin without stripping
moisture – something that a lot of exfoliators are guilty of doing. The more ‘traditional’ formula of the three, Murad have still created something that’s comfortable and non-drying; this instantaneously leaves me with a smooth, soft and
radiant complexion that my skincare and makeup loves. (My skin is so touchably soft that I have to force myself to keep my hands to myself.) It’s great as a weekly treat or to use before a big night out – but just don’t overdo it by thinking you need to use it every day.
3. A TARGETED BOOST: Murad Transforming Powder (£25.00)
dual-action cleanser and exfoliator developed using ‘the best of science
and nature’, this unique powder transforms into a foamy lather when it comes in
contact with water. It’s formulated with bio-enzymes to gently buff the
skin’s surface (removing oil, impurities and dead skin cells)
for a brighter complexion, as well as being infused with salicylic acid and
pumpkin seed extract to unclog pores. You can either use it alone as a gentle cleanser, massage into dull areas of your complexion to reveal your inner glow, or add the beads to other products for a targeted boost; I love the multi-functionality of these little grains, plus the fact they’re not at all intimidating for those perhaps a little anxious about exfoliation. Suitable for acne-prone
skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties too, this luxurious cleanser penetrates deep beneath the skin to leave a healthy-looking, blemish-free complexion.
Which of the three exfoliators would you opt for? Are you a little tired of overly harsh exfoliators that aren’t exactly targeted to our needs as we get older?
The Murad exfoliating products are available online and in House of Fraser beauty departments nationwide. Prices start from £25.00.
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