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Sometimes I feel as though I’m on a one-woman mission to get the glowiest skin possible. And while there are some external factors which come into play (drinking water, exercising, being a generally healthy human) the holy grail of glowy skin, I’ve found, is exfoliation. Think about it: how is your skin going to glow if there’s a ton of build-up covering its surface? It won’t, that’s how.

In the past, exfoliation has been used synonymously with scrubbing, but there are actually many means of exfoliating the skin. Physical scrubs still have a place in my heart (and on my face), but there are fantastic chemical alternatives, which use acids or enzymes to munch off dead skin and reveal the brand new, baby soft skin beneath. A triple pronged exfoliation attack can be your one-way ticket to an incredibly smooth, lit-from-within complexion. Here’s a compilation of my favourite products.


For me, the gold standard scrub will always be Lancer: The Method Polish. It’s an incredibly dense, gritty formula which smells like lavender, and always leaves skin with a smooth, glass-like effect. It can be a little bit intense, but is fantastic before a night out, as makeup applies beautifully over a freshly polished mug.

Another favourite option is the Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher. This has a dark navy hue, which turns light green when scrubbed across your face. I find it to be a little less scrubby feeling than the Lancer, but it offers similar results in terms of instant and visible smoothing.

For a more sensitive soul, the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser is excellent. It’s gentle enough for every day use, but has enough scrubby particles to feel as though you’re making a continuous improvement to your skin’s texture. Slow and steady wins the race with this one.

For those who are looking for a bargain, though, I have a lot of time for the Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub. It’s a simple formula from the line that brought us my favourite cheap acne mask, but it gets the job done, all while smelling like a tube of Polos.


There are two main methods for applying acid to the face which I find most effective – as a toner, or as a serum. In each category, I have a current favourite, standout recommendation.

In terms of toner, I’m seriously loving the Heritage Store Rosewater Vinegar. I bought it simply because it sounded so weird, but I’m so glad I did. It has just two ingredients (no prizes for guessing what they are) and so effectively fights acne, smooths texture and unclogs pores while hydrating and adding radiance. It smells kind of weird, but IMO it’s totally worth it.

My serum option is the cult classic Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. This product packs a punch, and is ideal for the night before a big event. It goes on as a clear gel, with a slight tingle, but you wake up with skin that’s incredibly smooth, refined and literally glowing. A word of caution: this is a product that works better when you use it less frequently. Twice a week will do you.


A cult classic in terms of enzyme exfoliation is the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This tub of goo, which smells like pumpkin pie filling, is one of the quickest ways to sort out skin texture. It also has some exfoliating particles, so doubles up as a twice-as-effective scrub.

However, a newer addition which has completely wowed me is the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Mask Pore-fecting Papaya Enzyme Mask. As a well-known snob, I assumed this bargain mask from a more natural brand would have little noticeable effect on the skin – how wrong I was. After ten minutes sitting with the green jelly over my face, I was absolutely blown away by how smooth, soft, and yes, glowy, my skin looked. It’s also a great gentle option for those who tend to react to acid exfoliation.

Shop 9 editor-approved exfoliating treatments to get you glowing skin

Featured images via Byrdie Australia

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