When it comes to skincare innovations, a lot of them seem like a good idea at the time but don’t last longer than an initial few weeks of excitement. As a result of my time poor morning routine, I tend to stick with what I know and what I have time for, rather than embarking on a Korean-esque approach that involves fifteen daily steps. However, when it comes to facial exfoliating pads I’m well and truly obsessed: it’s an additional step that I’m more than happy to invest in, knowing it makes a real difference to my routine. So what are these odd little circular pads and how do they work? In the most general of terms, facial exfoliating pads are pre-soaked sheets of cloth that are saturated with natural acids and exfoliating ingredients; when swiped over your face after cleansing, the formulas help to not only remove any last traces of product, but gently exfoliate the skin’s surface. Rather than using an abrasive scrub that could actually rip, irritate or damage the skin, gentle acids help to slough away dead and dull skin cells over a number of days to reveal the brighter and fresher skin beneath. It’s a step that can be integrated daily or used as a treatment a few times a week, but it can be used to keep skin looking and feeling fresh, while ensuring the other products you use penetrate deeper and get to work more efficiently. The bonus is it takes only a few seconds to swipe these over skin, plus there are a plethora of products to choose from; I’ve been putting three different brands to the test over the past weeks, so here’s how they’ve been standing up…
1. Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads (£48.00 for 60 pads)
These pre-moistened pads are packed full of Witch Hazel, Coffee and Grape Seed Extracts, as well as glycolic and fruit acids, to gently scrub away dull skin and accelerate cell turnover. When used every evening before applying my night cream, skin is left significantly smoother, firmer and more supple; over time the results have been a clearer and fresher complexion, a reduction in blemishes and confidence that my overnight treatments are working even more effectively. These were the first exfoliating pads that convinced me it was a step I could get on-board with, leaving my skin feeling fab in around a week; although they’re pricey, each pot holds a two month supply and is a lot cheaper than a facial.
2. Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Resurfacing Peel Pads (£15.00 for 30 pads)
Including a patented Multi Acid 5 Complex (basically a mix of glycolic, hyaluronic, TPA, oxalic and salicylic acids,) these pads are gentle, soothing and pleasant to use. Although the experience with these isn’t as luxurious as with Radical (and they smell a little more clinical,) the affordability makes these an absolute winner. The pads are quite thin and the liquid they’re saturated in is a little tingly when applied to the skin, but for the price point you really can’t complain. They’ve left my skin feeling clear and fresh, so it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the concept and see if it can make a significant impact on the texture of your skin.
3. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (£28.00 for 60 pads)
They say that after using this product “your skin will look clearer, and the visibility of pores will be reduced; the same can be said for wrinkles and fine lines, which will quickly become nothing more than a distant memory.” Although that’s really rather an OTT description and my experience hasn’t lived up to their claims, these are fabulous pads that are saturated with lactioc and glycolic acids to gently slough away the dull build-up of dead cells. Rather unusually cucumber and gooseberry help to tone the skin, while lemon peel helps inject radiance; they’re even apparently suitable for sensitive skin, making these a universal treat no matter your skin issues. You get a lot of pads for your money, plus they smell lovely.
Have you tried facial exfoliating pads? Are you tempted to give any of these three a go?
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