Style & Then Some

Is it worth splashing out on exfoliator? From £4 to £40, we find out

Did you know camel urine and nightingale droppings were historically used as exfoliators? Lucky for us, there are now a huge range of products available to buy at the pharmacy with the purpose of removing dead cells on the skin’s surface and clearing out pores. But which is the best? And does a more expensive exfoliator always deliver better results? Helen, Jo and I put five exfoliating products to the test to find out.

st ives apricot scrub exfoliator best exfoliators cheap exfoliators expensive exfoliators

St Ives Apricot Invigorating Scrub, £3.99

What’s it supposed to do? ‘Deep cleansing formula that gently exfoliates, removing dull, dead skin cells to instantly reveal smooth, radiant, healthy looking skin’.

Does it work? St Ives recently gave their enduring apricot scrub a makeover last year. We were there at the bloggers launch and I’ve been a convert ever since. Used a few times a week (you shouldn’t use any exfoliator daily, we were taught) the easy to use rub on, rinse off scrub leaves my skin feeling smooth and ready for hydration. (Katie)

Where can I get it?

Final score: 7/10

St Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Polish exfoliator best exfoliators cheap expensive exfoliators

St Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Polish, £10

What’s it supposed to do? ‘Many scrubs contain ingredients that can degrade or break down your tan but this Polish is specially formulated to work with self tan.  It contains spherical beads to exfoliate without scratching or damaging the skin, ensuring your colour will be completely even and streak-free.’

Does it work? I’m not an over the top self-tanner.  Actually I stick with my cheap Boots own variety and apply if and when I remember once or twice a month.  However, I love using an all over body exfoliator and only choose ones where you can actually feel the grains or ‘spherical beads’ working. I’ve already rinsed my bottle of Body Polish and found it worked like a dream.  It smells delightful and left me feeling all fresh and zingy. (Helen)

Final score: 8/10

Where can I get it?

Bravura London Dermaflannel exfoliator best exfoliators cheap expensive exfoliators

Bravura London Dermaflannel, £11.99

What’s it supposed to do? ‘This easy to use, reusable and chemical free way of achieving deeper exfoliation has a unique weave that sweeps away dead skin cells to reveal soft, glowing skin on the face or the body.’

Does it work? I paired the flannel with cult beauty fave, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, a rich cleansing cream that you massage on to dry skin then wipe off with a damp cloth to remove dead skin cells. Even when using it in the morning without the need to remove make up, I could see the dirt and dead skins coming off with every wipe of the Dermaflannel. I could feel the microfibres at work (they say you shouldn’t press too hard because the soft surface of the flannel is deceptively coarse) and my skin felt smooth after. Personally, I find flannels a bit cumbersome because the whole process is more time-consuming than a simple rinse and go, plus you have to wash them after every use, but the Dermalflannel was very effective, so I’ll be keeping this as a once a week treatment. (Katie)

Where can I get it?

Final score: 8/10

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel best exfoliators expensive exfoliator elemis exfoliator

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel, £29.50

What’s it supposed to do? ‘Natural fruit enzymes of exfoliating Papaya and calming Pineapple smooth and clarify the complexion. This rinse-off exfoliating cream contains nourishing Milk Protein, Anti-Oxidant rich Vitamin E and Marine Algae to Moisturise, repair, and Protect Skin.’

Does it work? And how. For me, this is the mack daddy of exfoliators. Without containing any scratchy beads it still leaves my skin feeling oh so smooth. Applied like a face mask, ten minutes under the influence of this papaya-scented peel and that irritating flakey skin that is left around belmishes fades away. It even helps to dry up angry red spots and icky white heads. I pop it on once a week after a shower while I’m blowdrying my hair then rinse. (Katie)

Where can I get it?

Final score: 9/10

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant best exfoliator cheap exfoliator expensive exfoliator tested review trial

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, £37.90

What’s it supposed to do?  ‘Thoroughly remove dulling surface debris and dramatically improve skin texture.  A non-abrasive hydroxy acid exfoliation treatment. Suitable for all skin conditions, except environmentally sensitised.’

Does it work? Exfoliating is an integral part of my skincare routine; someone once explained that slathering expensive creams on old, dead skin is money down the drain.  I prefer the enzyme peel-type exfoliants rather than the scrubbing types as the latter can sometimes upset sensitive skin.  A friend recommended this to me and it’s pricey but I use it twice a week and it brightens up my skin without irritating it.  I’ve recently been searching for cheaper alternatives as I’m nearing the end of the tube. (Jo)

Final score: 7/10

Where can I get it?

– – – – – – – – – –

The final verdict: Our favourite exfoliator, the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel, was at the more expensive end of the spectrum, but as we recommend it as a once a week treat it will last a pretty long time. If you’re looking for an exfoliator for more regular use, something in the sub-£5 category will probably do the job.

 The final verdict: 

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This entry was posted on August 28, 2013 by in And Then Some and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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