I really love to exfoliate, and feel it’s a must-have in my beauty regime. Over the past 3 months, I was looking for the “perfect” exfoliator. I bought four exfoliating scrubs and two exfoliating mitts and tried them all out to find out which was best. Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells, revealing newer vibrant skin, yada yada yada you all know why exfoliating is important for hygiene, stimulating cell renewal, looking your best, and all that lovely stuff.
Tesco Exfoliating Face Scrub: 8/10.
I really loved this one, and it’s scented with a cucumbery sort of body wash smell so leaves me feeling fresh out of the shower. Size: 150ml tube.
Pro’s: It was very gentle and you get a lot of product. It contains sodium laureth sulphate, which is a surfactant (cleaning agent), and a lot of scrubs don’t contain any surfactant, so this one doubles up as a shower gel.
Con’s: The little microbeads were a bit few and far between so I wouldn’t be able to use this as my regular exfoliator.
Tesco Exfoliating Face Scrub Ingredients: Aqua, sodium laureth sulphate, polyethylene, cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Crosspolymer, Cocamide DEA, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Nitrate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.
Sanctuary Spa Warming Microbrasion Polish: 5/10.
I was really in love with the idea of this but the reality was less pleasing. It claims to warm your skin (presumably to open pores and draw out impurities) but the warming effect lasts like 2 seconds and only while you’re actually applying it, so your fingers get warm because they’re constantly touching it, but your face doesn’t get this benefit. It seems like a waste of a perfectly good chemical reaction. Size: 100ml.
Pro’s: It does scrub your face, and the actual particles are quite small.
Con’s: Something about the chemicals used to make it self-heating seems to make my face unhappy and I always left the shower with a really (really) red face which was pretty annoying, and my face was also left quite sensitive so I couldn’t put my moisturizer on afterwards. When I put it on my insensitive, normal-skin arms, the same thing happened. I really don’t think this was suitable for my age. While the heating part didn’t work, this product still had some skin-burning ingredients in it. Maybe it’s aimed at people with more mature skin that needs attacking with dynamite to perk it up (why why why don’t 99% of skincare companies put a guide age on the packaging)?!
Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden Warming Microbrasion Polish Ingredients: PEG-8, Zeolite, Kaolin, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cera Alba, PEG-150, CI77891 (titanium dioxide), Cetyl Alcohol, PEG 100 Stearate, Trticum Vulgarae (wheat) Germ Oil, Solum Diatomeae, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Geraniol, Citronellol.
St Ives Microdermabrasion: 9/10.
As far as bottles of exfoliating gloop go, the St Ives wins hands down. I felt my face looked fresher and more radiant after I’d used it and it never looked red and scratched. The only reason it loses a point is it’s slightly dehydrating to my face because I have dry skin. Size: You get 125ml of this in a tube.
Pro’s: It’s WAY more gentle than the Apricot Scrub. It left my skin looking its best. It was good for use on most of my upper body (I don’t exfoliate my boobs), especially the neck/decolette.
Con’s: It’s not strong enough to work its magic on my legs, and I was still flaking when I came out of the shower throughout this entire tube of scrub which I detest. If you don’t have dry skin in this area, this may not be a problem.
St Ives Microdermabrasion Scrub Ingredients: Aqua, Hydrated Silica, Glycerin, Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates/Palmyth-25-Acrylate Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Disodium-2-Sulfolaurate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed extract, Primula Veris Extract, Chamomile Recutita (Matricaria) extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Polyacrylamide, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, DMDM Hydantonin, Parfum (fragrance), Linalool, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional.
Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator: 7/10.
Pro’s: It smells nice, the liquidy part of the scrub is very kind to the skin and does leave it perked up and feeling renewed.
Con’s: I didn’t like the scratchy bits (what do you call them – clearly not beads). They were badly distributed through the product and they were of differing sizes. I think they were supposed to look “all natural” (like you’d just be walking through a forest and be like, ZOMG there’s some exfoliating scrub growing out of that tree!!), but I wanted it to exfoliate my delicate facial area and I felt it was too harsh in the parts with the larger particles and too ineffective in the parts with the smaller particles/no particles. This left my face with some angry red scratchy patches in some area and other areas didn’t look like they’d been cleaned properly at all. I suppose this is intended to balance out over time but I don’t think I’d buy it again when I could spend the same amount of money and get a lot more of a lot better product from St Ives.
Alternative Use: I found it was really good for attacking the cellulite or stretch marks (or whatever that stuff is) on my ass!!! My ass is far too insensitive to care about distribution of scratchy particles, it could barely feel this stuff, and it did leave the skin in this area looking fresh and happy, so I added points for this because it was useful. So there you have it, this one’s actually good for a shiny hiney rofl!!
Sanctuary Radiance Exfoliator Ingredients: Glycerin, Aqua, PEG-60, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate 60, Glyceryl Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca (apricot) Seed Powder, PEG-100 Stearate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, /vitis Vinifera (Grape) seed powder, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo Ferment Extract, Limonene, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) peel oil, Citris Nobilis (mandadrin) peel oil, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Carica Papaya (papaya) fruit extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) fuit extract, EDTA, Citric Acid, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide.
Home Bargains Exfoliating Glove: 2/10.
Home Bargains has some phenomenal bargains and it’s a shop I trust when I want to try new things. This was the first exfoliating glove I’d ever tried in my life, and in the shop I’d gently rubbed it against my palm to find out what the texture was like, but somehow I misjudged this.
Pro’s: You could use it as an offensive weapon.
Con’s: The fabric on the “exfoliating” side turned coarse, hard and rough when it got wet, and I only put up with it for one shower because it was horrific. For all that pain, you’d expect to emerge squeaky clean right? So I was profoundly disappointed that it had removed NOTHING and all my dry flaky skin was covering my towel. I HAD TO GO BACK IN THE SHOWER AND USE THE ST IVES TO FIX THIS, DAMNIT!! I really don’t think this exfoliating glove was designed for anyone with skin and I strongly recommend not bothering with exfoliation if this is your only option. I don’t know why I still have this in my bathroom, except to make me feel safer when I’m in the house alone in the shower, because of the previously-mentioned potential for use as an offensive weapon.
Tesco Exfoliating Glove: 10/10.
Pro’s: This was the second-to-last thing I tried, and after all the others, I can definitely say this was far-and-away the very best thing I have exfoliated with recently, and it now lives looped over the handle to my shower door. I know you’re supposed to use both of these gloves one on each hand, but I generally only wash myself with one hand at a time so I put the second glove aside so I can use it when I throw this one away. It’s gentle enough for the face and neck but strong enough to properly get rid of the dry skin on my lower legs. I used it with my usual shower gel, which is the Original Source Lavender and Tea Tree shower gel, and my skin has been really happy with this one.
Con’s: None, really.
So that’s my round up of exfoliators. My conclusion? Save a boatload of cash and buy a 99p fuzzy exfoliating glove in your choice of fun colors. Or, if you really don’t like that idea, grab the St Ives – it won hands down for a liquid exfoliator.