Exfoliate! Exfoliate? Exfoliate!?

19th May 2021

There is more than one way to exfoliate yet the debate around whether mechanical exfoliators - those with the granular texture or acid exfoliators – (normally a combination of AHA & BHA acids) are better for skin rages on.

There are clear benefits for both. It’s not necessarily that one is better, it’s about the formulations and how they are used. Each method has its own unique properties, each can be wonderfully beneficial for the skin, and together they can be your answer to clear, bright and glowing skin.

Acid Exfoliators are often the easiest and most efficient to use, drizzling onto a cotton pad and gently sweeping over the surface of the skin, takes moments and is an instant wake up & refresh for skin (and pores). Mechanical Exfoliators take a little more time to apply, massage into skin and then remove but they can ‘do the detail’ that your acid exfoliator may miss and are often in a base that is hydrating and nourishing too.

A core product in my 5 A DAY is SKINFOLIATE, our acid exfoliator that can be used daily – although I recommend building up to this. It combines Malic, Lactic, Glycolic, Salicylic and Citric Acids as well as pineapple enzyme (bromelain) which work in ‘staggered penetration’ to work on every level of skin exfoliation and stimulation. Anyone can use it, for a renewed glow and not just by ‘unsticking’ the dead skin but by dissolving it too. Acid exfoliators efficiently stimulate cell renewal, work deeper down into pores, decongest and clear the skin in one simple ’sweep’. At the same time, they can work to reconfigure and balance the skins surface flora and maintain the acid mantle - our skins’ first line of defence.

Keeping our skins’ surface between 4.5 and 5.5 on the pH scale means our skin can host the good bacteria that protects us and destroy the invasive bacteria that damages. When skin is above or below this pH it can often feel sensitive or irritated. Daily reconfiguring can prevent this from occurring.

Mechanical Exfoliators often get a bad press but this may well be down to the overzealous application – when something says ‘scrub’ we can take it too literally. As a facialist, I know that correctly using a mechanical exfoliator with the right ingredients can transform skin – you literally see the skin wake up and glow – and that’s why it was time to introduce a weekly, polishing, mechanical exfoliator into the range, so that a professional grade, treatment exfoliation was now available.

Our new WHIPPED BUTTER POLISH is a mechanical exfoliator but nestled in a rich butter base, so by it’s very nature has a deeply stimulating and massaging effect, bringing blood to the surface as you work in small, gentle circles over face, neck and décolleté whilst at the same time it nourishes, balances and repairs. Choosing fine Bamboo powder as the exfoliant with Ceylon cinnamon and cardamom to clarify and calm, makes Whipped Butter Polish both gentle on skin but efficient on exfoliation.

Removing with a warm fluffy mitt to complete the experience, means you can use Whipped Butter Polish as your weekly skin pro exfoliation to complement your daily acid exfoliation. Include both styles of exfoliator in your weekly routine and watch your skin develop the ‘Pro Glow’.

My tips for perfect results

Pay attention to the eye area – whilst avoiding directly under the eyes, make sure you focus on areas of fine lines around the eyes and into the brow and just under the brow bone. Allowing the wide awake and lifted look.

Wait! once exfoliation is complete with the Whipped Butter Polish, wait a couple of moments to let the warmth of your skin melt and absorb the nourishing butters before removing the remaining bamboo powders with a warm, dampened fluffy mitt. Leaving your skin exfoliated and fully nourished at the same time.

Mix it up - using a combination of exfoliating methods really benefits dry skin. If the skin is dry it is likely your barrier function is compromised and you may feel more tingling from your acid exfoliation but this is normal and once you build up to daily use you will feel less tingle and more refresh. Using a butter based polish will nourish both your skin and your barrier function as well as removing the flaky dry skin in combination.

Build up gradually - aim to build up to your acid exfoliator every day twice a day and your mechanical exfoliator once a week. Your acid exfoliation can take moments with just a swoosh but spend a little more time with your mechanical exfoliator to ‘do the detail’ and allow your skin to benefit from the nourishing butters, oils and essential oils.

Check the instructions - Acid Exfoliators are generally ‘leave on’ (always check manufacturers guidelines). Simply drizzle the liquid onto a cotton pad and swipe gently over the surface of skin you are leaving a fine film of the liquid on your skin to do the work itself – you do not need pressure with liquid application.

No need to scrub - application of a granular or mechanical product generally requires a gentle pressure, paying attention to areas of dry and dull skin. Don’t be tempted to ‘scrub’, the powder/grinds or granules should do the work, they simply need you to guide them securely over the surface of skin.

Use a mitt - once the process is complete you wipe away any residue with a towel, water or mitt. Every Jane Scrivner Whipped Butter Polish arrives with its own cotton fluffy mitt so you have everything you need for the perfecting polish.