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I’ll confess – while I do like beauty, I do tend to like “living life” just a bit more. By which I mean, though I’m all for bold-lipstick-at-inappropriate-events, if I’m going out to eat or drink, best believe that’s my top priority, with lipstick belted very firmly into the back seat.

On a similar note, if I want to stay out all night and sleep in my clothes, I will. It is my right as a woman, or something. The problem with this liberating mentality, though, is the skin-consequences.

I’m not going to carry a cleanser in my bag!! I can’t afford for my cute little bottle with Japanese lettering on it be left in a pub corner. And if you think I’m bringing along a full toner-essence-serum-moisturiser-SPF combo with me, well, you think far too highly of me and need to be brought back down to earth. Spoiler alert: I don’t. And while I’ll sometimes attempt a quick once-over with whatever is within an arm’s reach, sometimes I’ll pass the whole night through with makeup on my face.

I know, I know, I feel gross just saying it. But sometimes I do. And, I’d hazard a guess, that sometimes you might too. Right? And when I (or you) wake up in the morning, we’re all like “oh God, I wish I could go back in time to not have done this, I feel like I’ve crawled out of a swamp,” but we can’t. What’s done is done, and can’t be undone. Except I’ve discovered a way that it sort of can.

The products I heavily rely on after nights of allowing my face and makeup to bond for too long are what I refer to as “double exfoliators.” They’re jelly-textured mask-type thingys, packed with acids and enzymes but also with their own persona scrubby particles. They combine the best aspects of physical and chemical exfoliators to make you face look like a whole new face.

My two favourites are the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment.

The PTR comes in a big giant tub and looks like orange goo. It smells like pumpkins, which is nice if you like them, but I’m not massively keen on the smell but still love the product, so you know it’s actually Officially Good. It actually does one-up on me by claiming to be a triple exfoliator, starting with the eponymous pumpkin enzymes, then cranking it up a notch with some alpha hydroxyl acid, then finishing with a final “polish” with some aluminium oxide crystals. Fancy!

Basically, you smear a bit of this on neglected, congested, or just generally dutty feeling skin, and rub it so you feel the crystals do some scrubbing. It doesn’t feel spiky or abrasive, just satisfactory and cathartic. Leave on for a few minutes (3-7 apparently) to allow the enzymes and acids to munch away all your dead skin hangers on, then rinse. Ta-dah! New face.

In a similar vein is the Kate Somerville. Unlike PTR, it comes in a tube, which I prefer as I sometimes whack these on in the shower. This one looks like dark forest green goo, and, for any British readers, smells exactly like mince pies. Americans, this doesn’t mean meat but a sort of spicy-sweet-Christmassy vibe.

Again this has the infamous enzymes ‘n’ acids, combined with some scrubby bead action for maximum dead skin removal. This one works even faster than the PTR, requiring just 30 seconds of rubbing and 2 minutes of waiting.

Rinse free to skin that is noticeably better – softer, smoother, clearer and more even in tone. Both of these are that delightful sort of product wherein afterwards you really can see an immediate difference – a blessed relief in a world of patience to see full effect. Use twice a week, and because I am at heart a boring mum, please wear sunscreen afterwards. Your brand new face will be soft like a baby’s, but also sensitive like a baby’s.

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