It’s the dream, isn’t it? Smooth skin with a little bounce.
Here are the two most useful weapons in my anti-ageing arsenal – because it is a war.
A vital step in any skincare routine, exfoliation helps slough off dead skin cells to smooth skin and brighten a dull complexion.
I’m a fan of occasional, robust face peels when needed but still haven’t found anything half as effective as Omorovicza Copper Peel (review here). AllBeauty is not stocking it at the moment, which is a shame because it was such a great price, so I’ve switched to daily gentle exfoliating instead.
Before I discovered The Inkey List’s PHA Toner (review here), I toyed with exfoliating pads. Three tubs of Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facials Pads and two tubs of Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads to be precise.
These pads are a lazy indulgence, but they’re hard to resist when you see real results.
After cleansing and toning, but before serum ie thinnest product first. Then, moisturiser, eye cream, and always sunscreen.
ELEMIS ANTI-AGEING DYNAMIC RESURFACING PADS
I wasn’t sure if it would be fair to compare luxe Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Pads to the more reasonably priced Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads. The Nip+Fab ones contain glycolic and lactic acid, whereas Elemis has lactic acid and their patented ‘Tri-Enzyme’ Technology. But, Elemis and Nip+Fab do have 10 ingredients in common, both are labelled as resurfacing pads and I found the results equally good.
If you prefer a wash-off resurfacing face cleanser, then I highly recommend Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash – the 400ml supersize bottle is the best value.
As part of the ELEMIS Anti-Ageing Resurfacing Programme, these skin-resurfacing facial pads acts as a very effective, yet gentle exfoliator, without compromising natural pH levels.
These creme de la creme of exfoliating pads come in a big, weighty plastic tub with the familiar Elemis scent. Pretty, but not travel friendly. Store upside down to ensure the next pad you pick up is fully saturated.
These thick (at least compared to Nip+Fab pads), won’t dry out and will suffice for the face, neck and chest. I don’t use them on my neck, instead, I turn over the textured side and swipe the unused smooth side over my ears including all the creases.
You can use them every day, twice a day or every now and then, whatever suits your skin. A mere month in though and you will see and feel a difference.
They are expensive. The trick, a la ‘Stretch your Liz Earle Cleanser’ (post here) is to alternate with an equally effective budget brand. There are lots of similar brands on the market, but one of the cheapest and best, is…
NIP+FAB GLYCOLIC FIX DAILY CLEANSING PADS 60
Unveil younger-looking skin. 60 radiance-boosting pads, soaked in exfoliating glycolic acid retexture + resurface skin whilst witch hazel helps to tone. This moisturising formula with hyaluronic acid + soothing blue daisy helps to reveal brighter + smoother looking skin.
Ah, Nip+Fab, the Tonya Harding of exfoliating pads – a bit rough around the edges, but gets the job done.
Not the prettiest packaging, but the lightweight, thin plastic tub makes it ideal for travelling. Again, store upside down but be aware that the last 2 or 3 pads will dry out.
The harsh clinical but chemical fragrance is misleading, implying these pads will burn off a layer of skin and sting like hell, but in fact, they’re very gentle.
Where they fall down is the pad material, it’s quite flimsy and thin, you’re hard pushed to get a ‘full face’ from one pad.
LIZ EARLE EYEBRIGHT
On a side note, what is the material these pads are made from? A 50ml bottle of Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion came free with my cleanser order and I’d love to cut out a few circles and pour in some of the Eyebright liquid. I’ve tried cotton wool pads but they disintegrate.
Instantly revitalise and refresh tired, puffy eyes with this gentle, non-oily herbal infusion. Naturally active ingredients include the herb eyebright, witch hazel, aloe vera and cornflower to cool and soothe the delicate eye area.
Eyebright wasn’t a product previously on my radar. I feel (or rather felt) it was expensive for a mere eye tonic. But a couple of splashes on cotton wool pads placed over the eyes for 15 minutes really seems to take early morning redness and puffiness away, especially if you keep it refrigerated. It’s like a million eye drops all at once.
CLARISONIC FACE MASSAGER
Last Christmas – oh, how happy and carefree we all were back then. I bought the Christmas Edition Clarisonic Mia Smart for £156.50 (I used voucher code CB10 for an extra 10% off it might still work) which I thought was a decent price.
I also bought the foundation brush attachment (£32.00) which I have mixed feelings about and think now it was too much for what it is.
I’ll post a full review in the next week or so, although I haven’t set up the Mia Smart App with my phone for a ‘personalised’ programme. I like using gadgets but I don’t use the cleansing brushes on a regular basis.
The Face Massager attachment, however, is a revelation.
Skin feels firmer, face and neck appear lifted. When used on Clarisonic Mia Smart, this breakthrough 3D Sculptor delivers 27,000 micro-firming massages per use to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles and boost the absorption of your daily skincare products.
I wasn’t too impressed at first, because I felt the massage head was too hard. It’s made of a stiff rubber or silicone material with a slight flex. I wasn’t sure it would be gentle enough on my skin.
Trying it out on the back of my hand seemed to prove my point until I applied my facial oil and used it in sweeping strokes along my jawline, around my mouth, along my cheeks, and on my forehead. Even though it’s humming away quite loudly it’s very relaxing, exactly what you need to wind down at the end of the day.
FACIAL OIL VS CREAM
I always use a facial oil. I find creams absorb too fast and without any slip, the massager can’t glide across the skin.
I’m finishing up my second bottle of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil. It’s as if I wasted all previous applications, I wasn’t seeing any results until I started to massage it in this way. After this, I’ll use up a 5ml sample of Drunk Elephant Marula Oil. The Ordinary sell a 30ml bottle of 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil for £8.10 so that will be my go-to one in the future.
The massager is suitable for use on face, neck, and décolleté. I’m wary of using anything on my neck (apart from LightStim) and does anyone ever massage the upper chest anyway? The skin is so thin and delicate, I’m not ready for that yet.
I save the best massage for last. Placing the head just under the brow bone, either side of the nose where brows start and moving it up and down is a little bit of soul-soothing heaven. I don’t use it anywhere near my eyes of course, but on the forehead and above my eyebrows in little circles and, dare I say it? I think the horizontal line between my brows is starting to soften (remember I’ve been using this for nearly 6 months) AND I think my brows have lifted slightly.
The main improvement is the feel of my skin, there’s a bouncy springiness that wasn’t there before.
I’ve always scoffed at Clarisonic devices because of the cost, but if you’ve got one and this massage attachment is compatible with your model, then think seriously about it and read lots of reviews. For me, it’s a really effective anti-ageing tool. It’s on offer for July, for £24 instead of £27 from Current Body.
I’ve had the luxury of time to exfoliate and massage my skin and the results have paid off. As always, you have to do this regularly to see improvement.
Elemis Resurfacing Pads £33.15 (from £40.00) AllBeauty * The prices go up and down on this website, they were £31.00 a couple of days ago!
Nip+Fab Glycolic Pads £10.00 (from £16.95) on official Nip+Fab * website (Boots had them for £7.47 last Friday) These are always on offer.
Liz Earle Eye Bright Soothing Eye Lotion £16.00 John Lewis, Official Liz Earle website – Same price everywhere, can’t find a discount
Clarisonic Mia Smart £155.00 (from £185.00), plus Massage Head £24 (from £27.00) plus CB10 voucher code – still works for 10% off) £169.00 Current Body *