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Should I use an acid-based exfoliant – or a simple face scrub?

Good news from aesthetic practitioner Dr Antoni Calmon: “A weekly scrub is fine, except on sensitive skin. Scrubs exfoliate dead skin and if you massage rather than rub, this can help improve collagen and elastin production, resulting in plumper-looking skin.”

Look for a product with small spherical particles that won’t scratch or tear the skin. A pea-sized blob of, say, Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher, is enough for your face.

However, if you want to switch to a chemical exfoliant – which helps refine the top layer of skin and normalise cell turnover – here’s where to start. Glycolic acidhas small molecules, so it easily penetrates the skin to stimulate collagen production. But overuse can cause irritation, and hyperpigmentation for dark skinsSalicylic acid may be best for blemish-prone skin: it’s anti-inflammatory and good for unclogging pores. My favourites are mandelic acid, which is antibacterial and can help regulate oil production, and lactic acid, good for sensitive skin. I’m seeing great results from Skin Rocks’ The Gentle Acid – a mix of both.

You could also try a fruit enzyme, says facialist Mariam Abbas: “They help dislodge dead cells and, if used just once or twice a week, carry no risk of irritation or overexfoliating.”

That feeling of ultra-soft skin is addictive, but remember, overexfoliating will impair your skin’s barrier function – so do it no more than twice a week.

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