Alongside cleansing, exfoliation truly is the keystone of a good skincare routine. Why invest your money in pricey products, or indeed your time in dutifully layering high-tech serums, if your skin isn’t correctly primed to absorb them? And along with the sense of satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re doing the best by your skin (and not wasting hard-earned money), exfoliating acids arguably give the swiftest results of any product in your skincare stash: you’ll quickly notice a visible difference - if not instantly, then certainly by morning. Here, some of the newest exfoliants on the market rub shoulders with giants of the genre in this edit of the products responsible for your future enviable glow.

Necessity is famously the mother of invention; case in point, Kaye Scott and Lisa Sullivan-Smith, the women behind Sydney’s The Clinic, recently created The Peel by Scott + Sullivan, an exfoliating treatment for their locked down clients wishing to replicate their beloved and glow-giving Blueberry Peel at home while they can’t visit in person. As to be expected from a clinic-level peel, it’s a powerful treatment and once a week application – avoiding your usual exfoliating acids for a day or so either side – is ideal. And as much as The Clinic’s loyal clientele will be biting at the bit to book in again once they can, the convenience of a highly effective, salon-quality peel will surely endure past the end of lockdown.

For those of you new to skincare brand Volition Beauty, their business model is this: they crowdsource their product development, asking customers to submit proposals for new products which in turn their community votes on as a way to gauge interest before it hits the shelves. It’s not surprising, then, that they often take their cues from at home beauty treatments popular among their customers, and elevate ingredients – namely, apple cider vinegar – out of the realm of the DIY to something more refined, like these Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads. These clever little mitts make for ease of application, and – importantly – are also compostable.

‘Cult’ is an adjective thrown around too lightly in the skincare space (I’ll openly admit my guilt in overusing it) but few could contest its application regarding Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50, the exfoliating toner that has held pride of place on the world’s chicest skin clinics’ shelves since its invention some 50 years ago. There are a few versions, each tailored to specific skin types or concerns (my slightly sensitive skin enjoys the gentlest iteration, P50W, the best), but no matter which you plump for, more luminous and more even skin is sure to ensue.

Famed for their clever anti-wrinkle silicone patches, Wrinkles Schminkles have now expanded their range with more skincare offerings, including these Face Polishing Peel Pads. They contain a broad spectrum of acids: alpha hydroxy acid glycolic features alongside BHAs and PHA. A great allrounder that will suit a variety of skin concerns – or if you’re simply after a healthier, more luminous complexion.

If you want to accomplish multiple skin goals with one product, a mask – like Dr Roebuck’s wonderful Daintree AHA Brightening Mask – might offer the most streamlined option. In addition to exfoliation thanks to AHA-rich caviar lime, you get a potent dose of vitamin C from antioxidant Kakadu plum and nourishment from sunflower and jojoba oils. On an ongoing basis, you can apply two to three times a week, but it’s a good one to have on hand before a special event for brighter, softer skin in one pop.

Widely regarded as the Master of Peels, Dr Dennis Gross has become synonymous with exfoliation – and with good reason. His signature Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel comprises a two-step system, comprising of an exfoliating pad followed after two minutes with a neutraliser, sloughs off dead skin cells while maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier, and is justifiably regarded as a classic of the category – and so deserves a mention here. These will suit most skins, but experienced users of acids might prefer the souped-up extra strength version.

Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding shot via Instagram of @shaninamshaik

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