How To Find The Right Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin

Garden of Wisdom

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you will have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of acid-based skincare products hitting the shelves. While scrubs might have been the tried and tested method of sloughing away dead skin a few years back, now it is all about the liquid exfoliator. So much so, Pinterest has seen a 58% increase in searches for liquid exfoliators.

Yet, there is still a stigma attached to using skin acids, especially in high doses. Your skin has a carefully balanced pH level, which keeps the barrier healthy and strong, locking in water and nutrients. Overusing abrasive acids can disturb this balance and excessive use over time can damage the barrier. What happens then? Well, you’re more likely to have a skin flare-up of acne, eczema or rosacea, and it could also cause premature ageing.

That said, using acids as part of your skincare routine has a lot of benefits. From unclogging your pores and smoothing out your skin’s texture to reducing the appearance of pigmentation and boosting your collagen production. It just requires some research to find the right liquid exfoliator for your skin…

For stubborn blackheads: Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and it is oil soluble, which means it can help loosen any built up of dirt and oil in your pores. It is by far one of the best ways to reduce your blackheads at home. You can use a salicylic acid serum all over or just on the problem areas. 

For plumper, smoother skin: Glycolic Acid

Together with lactic acid, glycolic is one of the most well known alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Not only does it help to get rid of dead skin cells on the surface and smooth out uneven textures, but it also works on a deeper level to have recharge your natural collagen production. The result? Smoother, brighter, firmer skin following regular use.

For sensitive skin: PHA Acid

If you have super sensitive skin or are wary of acids in general, polyhydroxy acids are the perfect place to start. Similar to AHAs in terms of what they do, PHAs are much gentler. You might not have heard too much about them up until recently because they were under patented technology. Now that patent has lifted, it’s likely you will see them popping up everywhere as the benefits easily outweigh any potential drawbacks with this acid. Read Shabir’s paper on polyhydroxy acids to learn more about their skin benefits. 

For acne-scarring: Azelaic Acid

For some people tackling the breakout is only the first step as they are then left with visible scarring. While azelaic acid won’t make the scars disappear overnight, with regular use it can help ease their appearance. Azelaic acid helps to increase your cell turnover and gets rid of dead skin cells to make space for the new ones, which helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and acne scarring. Depending on your skin type you can use an azelaic acid serum twice a day, but you will need to wear SPF during the day.

For those who can’t live without a scrub…

For some, there is nothing quite like physically scrubbing away dirt, grime and dead skin, but it is important to find the right one. Poorly formulated face scrubs or aggressive overuse can cause tiny micro-tears in your skin. It’s worth taking the time to find a scrub that uses smooth, rounded beads, which reduce the chances of micro-tears and offer a gentler exfoliation. Try Derma E’s range of scrubs or Nannette de Gaspe’s Essence Noir Polish.   

Azelaic Acid: Why You Should Be Using It

Azelaic Acid

Yes, there has been a lot of chatter about acids over the past year or so, and yes, there always seems to be a new one that you should be using. But, Azelaic Acid genuinely should be on your radar regardless of your skin type or concern because it has an impressive skill set and helps to soothe and smooth skin. Read More…

Shabir And Trinny On Skincare Concerns

Trinny and Shabir

Shabir was back in the bathroom with Trinny Woodall over the weekend discussing more common skincare concerns. If you battle with hyperpigmentation, rosacea or have unwanted scarring, it’s definitely worth watching.

Read More…

Is There a Natural Treatment for Hives


Q: My daughter suffers with hives – red lumps over her body – when she overheats. Her doctor prescribed an antihistamine, which takes out the itch but not the lumps.

A: I used to get similar weals from monosodium glutamate, which is often added to Chinese and Thai foods. If she doesn’t suffer from any food sensitivity, pharmacist Shabir Daya advises that she uses Stinging Nettle Extract by Swanson, £14.95 for 120 capsules. Nettles are excellent at detoxifying the bloodstream, inhibit the formation of histamine and have an anti-inflammatory effect, he adds.


Jane Iredale, founder of the eponymous mineral make-up range, tells me she has seen good results on the faces and bodies of acne- and rosacea-prone adults with a course of Skin Accumax. This supplement contains vitamins A, C and E and a nutrient complex found in broccoli.


I never go on the scales: doing the right exercise and eating good food is the key to being in great shape.

I fell in love with barre exercise classes in Vancouver, when my husband [actor James Murray] was filming there in 2011. It was so different from the gym and it worked muscles I didn’t know I had.

I was at the age where everything drops a few inches. The barre exercises are fantastically toning for trouble spots – bingo wings, bottom, waist, tummy and tops of thighs – giving you the lifting and firming you never get on a treadmill. Read More…

Why can’t we shift the tummy weight?


My 50-year-old friend has intractable weight gain, particularly round her tummy. I’m 45 and have good and bad tummy days, which can vary from flat to fat in a day. Exercise isn’t shifting it at the moment. Is it the same cause?

‘These are different but both common problems,’ says women’s health expert Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Fat Around the Middle* ( ‘Leading up to menopause, extra pounds often settle around the middle because your body tries to compensate for declining oestrogen. Some oestrogen is manufactured in the fat cells there, which offsets some of the loss from the ovaries.’ Read More…

How To Recognise Lyme Disease


Q: I am 51 and used to be very active in my job as a country ranger. Recently, however, I feel very tired, my lower body aches, and my legs feel weak. Someone suggested this could be lyme disease. Could you explain what this is, and the treatment?

A: Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through tick bites. The pinhead-sized ticks are common in the northern hemisphere, in gardens, woods, moors and parks, both country and town. They also settle on animals, such as deer, horses, dogs, sheep and cows. In the UK, they are mostly active from April to October. However, not all ticks carry lyme disease, and infection rates in tick populations vary by species and geographic areas.

Lyme disease causes a wide range of symptoms, according to the campaigning support group Lyme Disease Action. Early signs, within two to 30 days of a bite, may include a circular red ‘bull’s-eye’ rash at the site, facial palsy and flu-like symptoms (such as fatigue, fever, headaches anda stiff neck). Other symptoms, usually of more advanced, untreated disease, include muscle and joint pain, and disturbances of coordination, hearing, sight, digestive system and sleep. The illness may lead to heart problems or disturb the central nervous system. Read More…