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Crack out every heart emoji going; this beauty tip is going to change your face forever. Picture what you hate about your skin. Dryness? Blackheads? Uneven tone? Acne? And, if you’re really lucky, all of the above?
You probably used the Clean & Clear pads religiously when you were 13. And now, thank the lord, there are more sophisticated options out there that target just about every skin care problem going (without stripping your skin raw).
So what is an exfoliating pad? Put simply, they’re floppy bits of cotton soaked in an exfoliating treatment, which you rub on your skin after cleansing.
Why bother? You really want to use an acid on your face, you just don’t know it yet. Here’s why: on the surface of your skin is an acid layer. Think of this as the big guns security guard of your skin - it keeps bad stuff out and holds moisture in. Every time you cleanse, it temporarily becomes alkaline and the security guard goes on a jolly tea break. A swipe of an acid restores it, making sure your skin stays strong and – yep, you guessed it - less likely to misbehave.
But how can an acid solve dryness AND acne? The exfoliant on the pad gently breaks the sticky stuff between dead cells, allowing them to flake off. Once off, they can’t be pore cloggers. While it’s breaking them down, it also encourages natural oils and clears the way for them to reach the surface without any pesky dead skin to clamber over. Bye bye dryness.
I’m sold, how do I use it? Do your usual double cleanse (the first one to take off make-up or grime, the second to actually cleanse) before bed and then swipe the pad over your skin. You may feel a slight stinging or tingling (it’s normal, your face won’t fall off) and follow with your usual serum or oil after a minute or two. The next day, whack the SPF on to protect freshly-exfoliated skin from being freshly-damaged.
Should I still use one everyday? Not to start with. Start doing one a week and then gradually build it up depending on how your skin reacts. We've found every other day for oily skin, once a week for sensitive works best.
… So which one should I buy? There are hundreds to choose from, but here’s a starting point: if you have pigmentation and/or would like to soften fine lines, try Radical Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads; if your skin is sensitive and dry, go and get Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads; for spotty skins, grab Cane + Austin Acne Treatment Pads.