It doesn’t matter if you’re cleansing, moisturising and face-masking religiously – if you’re not exfoliating, then your skincare regime has a way to go.
Exfoliating should be a crucial part of everyone’s skincare routine, even those with the most sensitive of skin. If you’re searching for a quick-fix way to a brighter, smoother and fresher-looking complexion then exfoliating could be just the thing. Ole Henriksen’s collection of spa-inspired skincare is all about achieving a beautiful glow (AKA ‘Ole Glow’), so what better way to find your feet with exfoliating than with products from the celebrity skin expert himself? But, if the promise of a glowing complexion isn’t enough to get you sketching out your exfoliation rota, then sit back, relax and make room for a little exfoliation education…
Your skin is always generating new skin cells at the lower layer (dermis) and sending them to the surface (the epidermis). As we age this process of shedding these dead skin cells and generating new ones slows down and results in the build up of dead skin cells sitting on the skin’s surface. A pile-up of dead skin cells can cause a number of problems for your skin; it can begin to look dull, pores can become clogged, the skin may become oilier and you may not get the maximum benefits from your skincare products. All those dead skin cells that are setting up camp on your skin are blocking your moisturisers, serums and everything in between from penetrating deep enough into your skin – not the news you want if you’ve spent a small fortune on your skincare. It’s generally best to exfoliate at night as your skin is more receptive to other treatments once you’ve sped up your cell turnover – meaning you’ll get all the added benefits of everything you’re putting on your skin.
The way to combat this skincare conundrum is easy, exfoliate 1-2 times a week depending on your skin type. Sensitive or acne prone skin types may want to cut back their exfoliating to once a week, and oilier skin types may want to up their exfoliation to three times a week. But be wary of over exfoliating as this can be as troublesome as not exfoliating at all.
What should I use?
There are 2 main types of exfoliating products: physical exfoliants, which work on the skin’s surface, and chemical exfoliants, which use a number of different chemicals to remove dead skin cells and other impurities. Which is best for you will depend completely on your skin type and your favourite exfoliating method. Let’s break it down further…
PERFECT FOR: Normal to oily/ blemish-prone skin.
These types of exfoliants contain grainy particles that mechanically remove dead skin cells from the surface and promote cell turnover. Scrubs are an ideal pick for blemish-prone skin types as they break up impurities and wash them away. Exfoliating scrubs are usually made up of a creamy texture that contains grains, which vary in size.
Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub
The perfect way to kick-start your cell renewal cycle, the Walnut Complexion Scrub takes out the scare factor from exfoliating and makes it a absolute treat. Powered by the mild abrasive action of walnut powder and Korean ginseng, the scrub stimulates microcirculation and improves the skin’s cellular energy. And, as an added bonus that most definitely seals the deal for me, it smells wonderful – good enough to eat!
Ole Henriksen Rub n’ Buff Salt Scrub
Exfoliating isn’t only important for the face, it’s crucial for your entire body. If you’ve planned a last minute getaway or dabble in sunless tanning, exfoliating will ensure your skin keeps your tan for longer. The Ole Henriksen Rub n’ Buff Salt Scrub contains sea salt, a powerful natural exfoliator that will buff away dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling silky smooth.
PERFECT FOR: Acne-prone skin, sun-damaged skin, dry skin
Unlike physical exfoliators, chemical exfoliators work deep down to break the bonds between skin cells, loosening them up so that they wash away. You can think of chemical exfoliators as any type of exfolliant that you don’t need to manually work into the skin. Generally, there are two main types of chemical exfoliants, AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHA (beta-hydroxy).
The main types of AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid, and BHA refers specifically to salicylic acid, which is particularly good for people with oily, blemish-prone skin. The differences between AHAs and BHAs is that BHAs are anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and they penetrate into the pores themselves (AHAs can’t do this), which is why they’re perfect for those with clogged pores and acne.
It’s also important to be cautoious of using chemical exfoliants during pregnancy and breastfeeding. AHAs are completely safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding as they are water soluble and do not get into the bloodstream. BHAs however should be avoided as they are fat soluble and can therefore travel into the bloodstream.
Invigorating Night Treatment or the Invigorating Night Crème
The Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night series is a definite go-to if you’re searching for a chemical exfoliant. The Invigorating Night Treatment and Invigorating Night Crème each contain AHA exfoliators, featuring the two main AHAs I mentioned before, glycolic and lactic acid. The Invigorating Night Treatment is just that: a treatment that is infused with potent ingredients that work overnight to retexturise the skin. The Invigorating Night Crème is for someone that wants all the benefits of the treatment in a moisturiser, perhaps someone with sensitive or dry skin that needs the extra hydration. Or if your skin can handle it, you can use them both together for exfoliating perfection.
And If you want a bit of both…
PERFECT FOR: Sun-damaged, Ageing skin, Hyper-pigmentation
Ole Henriksen Power Peel
If exfoliating is the favourite part of your skincare routine then you may want to dabble in something a little more potent. The Ole Henriksen Power Peel is a 3-step facial treatment that emulates microdermabrasion and a peel service to reverse hyperpigmentation, sun damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The 3-step kit contains an almond polish scrub, lemon strip peel and a chamomile comfort mask. This exfoliator won’t be for everyone (especially those who ultra sensitive skin), but if you’re looking for the next level of skin renewal, then it’ll be your one way ticket to younger, more radiant looking complexion.