Telebest: Eight best microbead-free facial scrubs
Rid your complexion of impurities with our pick of non-plastic exfoliators. By Harriet Marsden.
1. Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion: £40, Kiehl's
Kiehl's consistently wins awards across their range for luxurious but effective skin treatment, but this is the ultimate in ultra-efficient exfoliation. The product had an immediate and noticeable effect - our skin felt smoother and tighter, with decreased visible pores. The fine, gentle grains mask a very powerful exfoliation, so it's easy to see why it's recommended for scarring and discolouration. The speed of the effect vastly outstripped the other contenders, but it didn't dry out the skin either. As it is so efficacious, we'd suggest only using it once or twice a week.
2. Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser: £21, Boots
For those who want to incorporate exfoliation or scrubbing into their skin regime, without taking the extra time, this product is perfect. It works well as both an exfoliator and toning cleanser, coming in a shower-friendly squeezy bottle. Gentle enough for daily use and soap-free, the orange ingredients were also highly effective and refreshing on oily skin. If you like an easy, quick wake-up scrub in the morning or shower, this is for you.
3. Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Scrub: £2.30, Boots
The Simple brand is a pioneer in affordable, natural and nourishing skin care. This product is neither highly fragranced nor overly moisturising, so it's the best choice for sensitive skin. The ratio of rice grains to facial wash allows it to be an effective scrub on the oilier T-zone, as well as areas that need a more gentle scrub, like the cheeks. The small, lightweight bottle is easy to use and makes this a great product for travel.
4. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: £41.75, johnlewis.com
This isn't built like your average facial exfoliator (for example grains within a gel or a cream), it's actually just the grains alone, which you pour into your hands like a salt shaker. When you add water, the rice-based powder is activated into an extremely fine exfoliator. Our favourite aspect was that you could control the consistency depending on how much water you added. Perhaps not the best product for the shower, but it's perfect for the more break-out prone skin types. It glided on to the skin easily and left it feeling velvety soft, without any irritation. As the Dermalogica brand is primarily geared towards those with problematic skin, it's best to only use this product once a week.
5. Espa Refining Skin Polish: £28, johnlewis.com
Espa products offer spa-like skincare at home. This beautifully scented, luxurious little jar is no exception. With highly delicate grains, this was by far the best product for very dry skin, which requires gentle but intense exfoliation. You only need a tiny amount to create a really effective skin polish, so this pot will last. Espa also provides an informative online skin e-clinic, which can advise you on any of your complexion concerns.
6. Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face: £32, johnlewis.com
Bobbi Brown gets the prize for the most fun product to use. Formulated with Japanese adzuki bean powder (an alternative to microbeads), these grains can be added to your regular cleanser to transform it into an exfoliator, which means it's great for the fussier customer, or simply mixed with water. The thick, vintage-looking glass jar also adds a hint of luxury, but be warned - it's not the easiest product to dispense. Pour with caution.
7. Alpha H Liquid Gold: £33.50, LookFantastic.com
A cult favourite with celebrity make-up artists and beauty editors alike, this liquid product has the Midas touch for skincare. Marketed as a 'resurfacing and firming lotion' rather than exfoliator, this product nevertheless achieved intense exfoliation. It's perfect for those who prefer not to scrub the face, or for skin complaints such as scarring and sun damage. Apply with a cotton pad every other night, allow it to sink in and finish with a moisturiser.
8. Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Pore Refining Facial Scrub: £9.99, Holland & Barrett
Top-selling Australian skin-care brand Sukin has, in our opinion, finally cracked that age old conundrum of how to deal with combination skin. Neither drying nor overly moisturising, this silky product is gentle enough to use as a daily cleanser, while balancing the complexion and minimising oiliness. It also detoxifies with the moringa extract and the dark charcoal adds an enjoyable spa vibe - that feeling of a 'proper' facial.