Gentle Exfoliator for the Face x 3

If you've never exfoliated your face, you're in for a treat. Regular exfoliation removes dead cells leaving skin looking more refined and feeling smoother to the touch. It allows skincare products to absorb and function more effectively, encourages cell renewal and even helps make up sit nicely on the skin. It's also easy to get wrong, either by aggravating skin with harsh, scratchy products or overusing acids that some skin types can't tolerate.

There's been talk of over exfoliating in the beauty industry recently - and when two skincare experts suggested I may be guilty, I sat up and took notice. For as long as I can remember I've been plagued with under skin bumps, so while my skin may look ok in certain lights, little pin prick sized bumps are visible on closer observation (and really bug me). I assumed that exfoliating would help reduce these - and at times it did temporarily - but I decided to ease off and see what happened. NB I also have quite sensitive skin and am prone to flare-ups of rosacea.

So I've cut right back on exfoliation (for now) restricting use to 2-3 times a week, with a mix of acids (separate post on my favourites?) and a super gentle physical exfoliant. Today I'm sharing my top 3 gentle physical exfoliators for the face - ie the kind that have (very) fine grains.

Dermalogica Superfoliant
This active powder resurfacer addresses the effects of ageing and pollution on the skin. Mixed with a little water in the palm, it becomes a mousse-like paste that is massaged into the face and immediately rinsed off. The ingredients - which activate on contact with water - include AHAs, purifying charcoal (it's grey!), niacinamide, red algae and fruit acids. According to directions, this is gentle enough to be used daily or on alternate days for sensitive skin (I use it less often). Daily Superfoliant is a pleasure to use and I particularly enjoy this one as an extra step after cleansing off heavier than usual evening make up, followed by my regular serum/oil and moisturiser.

Image Iluma Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder
Image polishing powder contains natural botanicals, antioxidants and pumpkin enzymes to remove impurities and leave skin looking more radiant. Protein peptides with lactic acid help correct uneven skintone while liquorice extract brightens. I've only been using this one for a couple of weeks, so am hoping it helps reduce a couple of pigmentation marks over time. Initial impressions are good... of the three, it feels the most gentle on my skin, is softening and feels luxurious to use. Activated with water and massaged into the face, it has a surprisingly sweet scent, which I'm guessing is from the coconut milk powder. I've had great results with several products I've tried from this professional, salon-only brand, especially the Vital C range (T 0345 504 0461 for stockists).

Pixi Peel & Polish
This has been a regular part of my routine for quite a while now and I'll often use it before a special occasion to brighten my skin without irritation... I find make up applies particularly well afterwards. Described as a resurfacing concentrate, this cooling peachy gel is applied to dry skin like a mini mask for a few minutes before rinsing off... and can be massaged in pre-rinsing for extra exfoliation. Active ingredients include gently exfoliating lactic acid and natural fruit enzymes, cellulose and sugar extracts... it tingles slightly on my skin but not at all uncomfortably so. NB this tube was originally vintage pink... mine has faded from sitting on the bathroom windowsill, my bad but it looked so pretty!

All three of these products have micro-fine grains, almost dust-like fine - and do not irritate my skin. I also use them on my neck and decolletage, where I find coarser body scrubs too harsh. Decreasing exfoliation does seem to have calmed my skin - and somewhat ironically, improved its texture. I'm not where I want to be just yet, but it's a definite start. I previously used acids twice daily, so this has been quite a jump. I may go back to once daily but think twice is too much for me personally... there's no right or wrong here, so if it's working for you, keep going!

I'd love to know your experiences of exfoliation and which products you prefer to use. 

PS The candle in the pic is Garden by Field Day and reminds me of freshly picked tomatoes, a beautiful day time scent!

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples & purchases and some links are affiliate. See my full disclaimer here.


Five Body Fixes I'm loving

Filorga Universal Cream

Body care is often overlooked when it comes to beauty regimes, so today I want to share five products that really deliver... each with a very different function, from exfoliation and repair to nourishment and skin 'perfection'.

SMOOTH & EXFOLIATE - Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion is unlike any body product I've tried before in that it contains Lactic Acid (a gentle AHA) to gently resurface the skin, revealing much smoother skin below. It simultaneously moisturises with glycerine, milk protein complex and sodium lactate and according to clinical trials, iworks wonders on Keratosis Pilaris. The texture is beautiful and my legs in particular feel way more silky since using this and I think it will come into its own on Winter skin.   

HYDRATE & REPAIR - Filorga Universal Cream is one of those all-rounder products for damaged or irritated skin that you quickly come to wonder how you lived without. It hydrates with a combination of urea, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, while soothing inflammation and repairing via a collagen peptide. It's a 100ml tube so I save it for small areas of dry, irritated or itchy skin on both face and body - my new handbag essential. 

SUN PREP - Gatineau Tan Accelerating Lotion preps skin for sun exposure and helps prolong a tan, while nourishing the skin. I used this throughout Summer and did not burn or peel once; than kept going as the weather cooled as it feels so luxurious and nourishing. Perfect for anyone lucky enough to be heading off on a Winter break!

LOccitane Verbena Frappe Body Cream

NOURISH - L'Occitane Verbena Frappe Body Cream is a thick creamy lotion with an uplifting lemon scent. I love this to help wake me up after a bleary morning shower, find it deeply nourishing - and the fragrance carries for hours.

PERFECTING - Vita Liberata Body Blur is probably my favourite body beauty discovery ever. This instant tanning lotion blurs minor imperfections with a glowy sheer coverage and leaves limbs looking as supermodelesque as they come on your average human. Perfect for special occasions or at this time of year when ankles and collar bones are still out if you can't be bothered tanning all over. If it was cheaper I'd use it all day every day, though it's worth keeping an eye on Vita Liberata's social media as they often offer discounts.

PS My 12 year old daughter took the pics for this post, pretty impressive considering it was the first time she'd held a camera! I've been having some nerve pain issues with my arm and neck ...hence things being a bit quiet around here recently ...happily on the mend now! 

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples & purchases and some links are affiliate. See my full disclaimer here.
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