As the colder months finally settle in, it is more important than ever to take care of our skin on our face and our bodies. The term ‘exfoliate’ comes from the Latin word ‘exfoliare’ which means to strip off leaves. So pardon the pun, but if we take a leaf out of nature’s books, winter is the perfect season to follow suit and strip off our dead skin.
Considering the average human generates a new layer of skin every two to four weeks, it is imperative that, at the end of that cycle, the old, dead cells on the surface are removed. If these old, dead skin cells are not removed properly, they can clog your pores, leading to breakouts, blackheads and dry patchy skin. Not only will you improve your complexion from exfoliating by revealing fresh youthful new skin, but it is also brilliant for improving circulation as it invigorates and increases the blood flow. It was the ancient Egyptians that first practised exfoliation, and in the Middle Ages wine was used as one of the first chemical exfoliates, utilising the tartaric acid in the wine.
It is possible to over-exfoliate the skin, especially on the face. So go gently and never use body exfoliates on your face. Lucky for us we have come a long way from the Middle Ages and we have an abundance of products to choose from for our specific needs. Please enjoy my favourites below, and I have to admit that a few times when I stepped out of the bath with all these yummy ingredients like coffee and brown sugar, I felt a bit like a perfectly cooked pastry!
Makeup artist Madonna Melrose has been involved with the beauty and fashion industry for over 25 years and has been responsible for some very prestigious campaigns in Australia and overseas, including Panasonic, Schwarzkopf, Reebok, Seafolly, Quicksilver, Bras ‘n’ Things and Optus. Personal clients include Olivia Newton John, Pierce Brosnan, Jeremy Irons, Prince Albert of Monaco and the illustrious Dame Edna Everage, to name just a few.
Madonna also produced the successful TV series for C31, called Beauty Basics. As host and executive producer, Madonna covered topics such as make-up, skincare, fashion, cosmetic medicine and alternative healing. Madonna’s approach to beauty is very refreshing as she follows the philosophy that beauty should make you feel good first and look good second.
Ilcsi – Rosehip and Maize Exfoliating Mask
This organic skincare was born in Hungary in 1958 and before I even tried the product I fell in love with their philosophy – “there is a solution in nature for any problem”. The product blends herbs, fruits and vegetables, and the first thing I noticed was the intoxicating earthy aroma, and I absolutely loved the jelly-like consistency that felt incredible on the skin. It is applied like a mask; then, once dried, the maize kernels are used to remove the product and give the skin the most incredible exfoliation. My skin, which is very sensitive, has never felt so vitamin-charged, nourished and smooth. This really is the perfect scrub for highly sensitive skin types suffering rosacea. I love it! www.true-solutions.com.au
Skin Things – Tropical Brown Sugar Scrub
These skincare solutions are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients – healthy food for your skin. The range uses plants oils, essential oils, herbal extracts and pure spring water. It was the essential oils I loved most in my tropical scrub as I didn’t have to moisturise afterwards. The scrub was pure heaven, with the brown sugar supplying a sensational exfoliate, with a really refreshing experience. The aroma is incredible, the sugar is a must-try sensation and the oils just completed this treatment perfectly. My skin was alive and tingled all over with a great increase in my blood flow and circulation. A wonderful combination of ingredients that felt fabulous. A bit of a favourite! www.skinthings.com.au
Pure & Green Organics – Citrus with Coffee Bean
This facial exfoliate packs a real punch. The coffee aroma is intoxicating and the gel-based product feels so refreshing on the skin. Applied firstly as a masque to really penetrate and soften the dead cells, and then when removed with gentle circular motions, the finely ground coffee beans could be felt lifting away the dead skin. My senses where enlightened and my skin felt incredibly soft and renewed. A great gentle product for oily and sensitive skins as it was non-abrasive. I could feel and see the greater circulation to my skin achieving a healthier glow. Their philosophy is that organic skincare is to your skin what eating a whole food diet is to your body. www.pureandgreenorganics.com.au
Natio – Wellness Exfoliating Body Bar
What a clever and convenient new product from Natio. This was an unusual mix between a rich creamy body cleanser, with added coconut husk and loofah as an exfoliate, all wrapped up in a bar of soap. There was no excessive lathering – just a lovely creamy cleansing feel that left my skin beautifully hydrated with a very light exfoliation at the same time. With no overpowering scent, even the most sensitive of us can have a great gentle treatment every day. Perfect for travelling and for the time-poor, as the three products in one get you gently cleansed, moisturised and exfoliated in record time. Ingenious! www.natio.com
Organic Rosehip Skin Care – Organic Magnesium Bath Crystal Scrub
I never need to be sold on the benefits of magnesium. So I was very excited to try this new product that has multiple uses, but I opted for a face scrub and, wow, it had such a potent, almost medicinal effect on my skin. The tingling I experienced is normal and testament to the powerful healing effect that magnesium chloride has. The aroma was blissfully heady with all organic bergamot, lemon, cloves, ylang ylang and a hint of geranium. It also contains French green l’argille, a green clay that purifies and regenerates the skin. This product is so rich and luscious you feel like it should only be available in the world’s finest day spas which offer the most expensive and exotic treatments, but thankfully we can use it in the comfort of our own homes. Amazing results! www.rosehipskincare.com
Eve Taylor – Facial Cleaning Brush
This little wonder brush made my skin feel so clean and exfoliated that it actually squeaked, just like the saying ‘squeaky clean’. It was quite an unusual way to clean my face but it really was a wonderful experience. The brush ends are rounded rubber so there was no harsh scratching; it can also be used over the eye and lip area. With a small amount of cleanser I then worked in circular motions over the entire face with the brush. My skin felt so soft and, as it also works like a massage, the increased blood flow to the face, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the surface, left my skin brighter. A great product for the traveller! www.evetaylor.com.au
Pevonia – Silky Skin Body Scrub
A brilliant body scrub for those stubborn built-up areas of excess dead cells like the elbows and knees. If you want a really professional scrub then this is a truly powerful one and definitely worth a try. The combination of a luxurious silky cream that really cleanses and refreshes, and jojoba beads that work together to eliminate superficial toxicity, impurities and oil accumulation, this is a real treat. My skin was so smooth and milky and felt intensely moisturised. It had a wonderful lemon essential oil fresh fragrance and added goodies like sage, aloe vera and rosemary. Again a magnificent way to get that blood flowing, which is imperative for healthy youthful looking skin. www.pevonia.com.au
Aum – Cell Renew Facial Exfoliant
And now for something completely different! This exfoliant is actually in powder form, which you mix with your cleanser to create the level of exfoliation. This soft dry powder contains argiletz clay, soothing chamomile and rounded brown rice which not only gently removes dead cells but also draws out impurities. I found the experience of mixing the product into my cleanser very easy to do, and I loved being in control and customising the exfoliation level. Sometimes you will need a light scrub and, in the winter months, you may need something a little heavier. When left on the skin it acts as a clay mask – so the benefits of this little gem are twofold. www.aumbeauty.com
OmVeda – Walnut Facial Scrub
These products are formulated using Vedic scriptures and traditional health and beauty recipes that have been used for over 5,000 years – and I love them. The scrub was a real treat to use. A luscious creamy texture, jam-packed with tiny crushed walnut shells that gave an amazing exfoliation. There was no hard abrasive feeling, but my skin felt like it was receiving a massive blast in ridding my skin from dead cell build-up, grime and impurities. The nourishing almond and wheat germ oil were plentiful enough to re-hydrate my skin and again I had that rare squeaky clean skin that just feels simply amazing. These traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulations are a must-try. www.omveda.com
Eco Tan – Extreme Exfoliant Glove
This glove gets a special mention as a brilliant option for those that like an extreme scrub. Used on its own or with product, this is the perfect exfoliant for those who love spray tans. Very quick and convenient for major results. www.ecotan.com.au
Natio – Lip Smoothing Treatment
Special mention also to this little gem of a product designed for removing the dry dead build-up on our lips. Sugar beads help smooth the lips while the organic rosehip and green tea soften and protect. Doesn’t taste half bad either! www.natio.com
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