So, April was the month that I decided to trial exfoliating pads. I like exfoliating my skin, I love the smooth, silky quality of my skin post exfoliation… but l gave up on using coarse facial scrubs because I don’t like the feeling that I’m scratching my skin and would often leave my skin a little bit more tender than I would like.

So at the moment my favourite form of exfoliation is using exfoliating powders (and you may have read the edit of my favourites here ) but of course, there’s always something else to try and now we have exfoliating pads making a resurgence on the market! Actually, let me rephrase that. We’ve had exfoliating pads on the market for a while but I’m just discovering them and trying them out. Why did it take me so long? I suppose I always thought they’d be fiddly to use. You know a little round disc to do my whole face… but actually, they are really effective.

Do I like them more than exfoliating powders? Well, the answer is that they are now a supplement to my skincare routine. They’re a  daily quick fix especially as they are gentler but equally as effective as using a traditional exfoliator, but also because they can address specific concerns.

You wouldn’t expect a little disc that looks like a thin cotton wool pad to pack much of a punch, but they do simply because they’re infused with enzymes and acids that eat away dead skin cells. Of course, there are different formulations depending on your skin’s needs so it makes sense to make sure that you choose the right thing for you, especially if you have sensitive skin.

This selection is designed to be used either twice a day or once. My suggestion is to read the directions and follow them. Don’t be don’t get carried away and over-use them; your skin won’t thank you. These all delivered positive results especially: refined pores, more glow and smoother skin.

Here’s our Exfoliating Pads Edit:

Zelens PHA Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads

This offering from the Zelens contains four different acids which work to refine the texture of your skin. Don’t be afraid of four acids – the acids used are polyhydroxy acids, alpha and beta hydroxy acids. These are designed to gently exfoliate and refine skin texture, even out the skin tone and help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. These pads are designed to be used daily. The brand suggests morning and or evening, and you can either leave it on your skin or rinse it off depending on your preference. As with all things Zelens, if you visit the website you can read about the science behind the ingredients. You can see some clinical proof pictures showing you the results after 25 days on fine lines and skin texture. I enjoy using these, with consistent use they smooth my skin and it is more refined…

I only use them once a day and they don’t irritate my skin in any way. These smell pleasant and don’t have a textured side. 

Radical Age Defying Exfoliator Pads

These pads contain BHA and H multi-fruit extracts. They are designed to not only exfoliate but to boost cell turnover record age-defying. In the fight against ageing skin cell turnover is vital these are the ingredients in these are designed to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce pore size and improve skin firmness with the help of ingredients like witch hazel coffee and grape extracts.

They also have a textured side which helps to deliver the exfoliation. These smell like alcohol 

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads

These exfoliating pads combine Lactic Acid with ELEMIS’ patented Tri-Enzyme Technology and exclusive Probiotic Ferment Complex. They’re gentle enough for use twice a day, in the morning and the evening and smell very fresh, like flowers. These dynamic resurfacing pads by Elemis are the gentle option-harnessing the Elemis tri-enzyme technology, to gently exfoliate and encourage skin renewal. The main active ingredients include lactic acid (want to learn more about Lactic Acid? Here’s our post about it), just one of the most gentle acids for all skin types, as well as a special probiotic ferment complex which promotes the shedding of dead skin cells.

They have a textured side which helps to deliver the exfoliation. 

Nip + Fab Glycolic Night Pads

The Nip + Fab exfoliating pads contain 3 acids: 5% Glycolic Acid to refine skin texture, Salicylic Acid which helps unclog congested skin and Lactic Acid, which gently weakens the bonds holding dead skin cells together. It’s got a great ingredients list and doesn’t smell potent or like alcohol either – just fresh and fruity. As this one uses 5% Glycolic, it is a stronger formulation so it is recommended to be used a few times in the week, and in the evening. It was included in Jessica’s skincare simplifying routine here.


Zelens PHA Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads are £65 from Cult Beauty
Radical Age Defying Exfoliator Pads are £48 from SpaceNK
Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads are £39 from Elemis
Nip and Fab Glycolic Night Pads are £14.95 from Sally Beauty

(PR gift/sample)

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