Avoid hard scrubs to save your skin
Gently massage face wash to get rid of dead cells and reduce frequency of use
There are few skincare products as satisfying as face scrubs.
Scrubs can make you feel like you are really sloughing all the dead skin off and giving your face a thorough cleansing.
You may well feel that the harsher a scrub, the cleaner your skin.
In truth, harsh scrubs are very damaging to your skin.
Many particularly abrasive scrubs tend to have rough or jagged particles in them, such as grounded nuts or seeds.
When rubbed into your skin with enough force, these jagged grains can cause micro-tears, making your skin more susceptible to environmental damage and pollution, as well as sun damage.
All these can accelerate the ageing process of our skin.
It stands to reason that scrubs with round microbeads would be safer on the skin. But they are detrimental to the environment and ocean life, which is why they have been banned in the US and are not recommended.
You can opt for more gentle scrubs with natural dissolving exfoliants like jojoba wax beads or chemical exfoliants that use natural enzymes or acids to get rid of dead skin.
The length of time you spend massaging the scrub into your skin and the pressure you use are also crucial to how harsh the scrub ends up being.
Always be as gentle as possible when using an abrasive scrub.
Resist the urge to rub your face raw, and reduce the frequency of use.
You can also invest in some reparative serums or creams to strengthen your skin's natural barrier, and remember to use sunscreen in the mornings.
Here are our top three picks that will refresh, cleanse but not tear your skin:
AHA/BHA face and foam washes, $13.50 and $15.90
Put AHA and BHA (alpha and beta hydroxy acids) in something and it has our attention.
Hada Labo's latest set of face washes not only exfoliate your skin gently, but also have ingredients geared towards ridding your skin of stubborn pollutants like dirt, soot and metals.
The so-called triple anti-pollution formula is meant to strengthen your skin's barrier by forming a protective layer to prevent more pollutants from sticking to your skin.
The key ingredients are moringa seed extract (known for its purifying abilities), phytic acid (to stick to heavy metals to sweep them away), and biosaccharide gum-4, which forms the barrier to keep pollutants out.
Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, $53
This creamy exfoliating cleanser is great on sensitive and dry skin. The jojoba wax beads first exfoliate by lifting off dead skin cells and pollutants.
Then, the wax beads melt and work to hydrate and plump up the skin.
Available from luxola.com or Escentials stores.
FIRST AID BEAUTY
Facial Radiance Polish, $42
Transforming into a milky emulsion as it is massaged onto skin, this buffs skin to a luminous finish with non-abrasive, natural exfoliants such as shea nut shell powder and willow bark extract.
Available from Sephora Singapore.
This article is adapted from HerWorld Plus (www.herworldplus.com)