After years spent in the beauty wilderness, facial scrubs are back.
Unlike regular cleansers, physical scrubs are exfoliants designed to slough off dead skin cells to not only reveal brighter skin but also to help slow down the rate at which skin ages.
Just how often you use them depends on your skin type - and the climate. The
golden rule is to start slowly to see how your skin reacts.
If you're a little scared of over-scrubbing, or if you have sensitive skin that's prone to breakouts, a good place to start is with a fine exfoliating powder like Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, $90, which contains salicylic acid to help unblock pores.
Bobbi Brown's Buffing Grains For Face, $82, and The Herb Farm's Kiwi Seed & Zeolite Exfoliating Powder, $32.50, are also worth trying. To use, simply tap a small amount of powder into your hand, add water
and mix to a foam before applying using circular motions.
Exfoliating powders can also be mixed with your cleanser.
If you have normal to combination skin, you can up the ante a little and opt for a grainy scrub. Unlike the scrubs of old, these new and improved formulations contain smooth granules that won't damage or scratch your skin. Two worth trying are Clinique's 7-Day Scrub Cream, $60, and Clarins' Gentle Refiner
Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads, $70.
If sun damage, pigmentation and fine lines are your biggest concern then you should consider a chemical exfoliator. Don't worry they're not as scary as they sound. They're a lot gentler than what's used in salons and most usually use acids - often from fruit - to break down skin cells, dirt and sebum.
The key with these products is to start slowly to see how your skin reacts.
For sun-damaged skin, products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are best, while those with oily skin or acne should try salicylic acid-based products as they break down sebum in blocked pores.
A great product to try is Murad's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, $68. It contains a gentle trio of exfoliating acids, including salicylic, lactic and glycolic to encourage cell-turnover and Jojoba beads to polish and smooth the skin.
- Sunday Magazine