It gets a little evangelical in Sue Conley's beauty column this week. She really knows her exfoliants...
Whenever I'm asked for my top beauty tip, I never hesitate: exfoliate. All the magical potions and lotions in the world don't have a prayer of working unless you're taking the best possible care of your surface. You wouldn't bother rolling your crazy expensive Farrow & Ball paint over a grotty, lumpy wall, would you? This is essentially what you do when you're trying to hydrate and moisturise over un-exfoliated skin and expect miracles. If you add one thing to your beauty regimen, exfoliate two to three times a week from now on.
If you've got sensitive skin, I'd recommend Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant (€24.50) which is a liquid that you use at night before applying your night cream, or Iluma by Image Skincare Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder (€38.50) which so finely milled it is like an angel's wing on your face — or Alpha H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub (€31.50) or Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Exfoliating Face Scrub (€4.99) — I could do this all day.
Use a full body scrub too: natural product lovers will adore LUSH Ocean Salt (€18.95) or Dermalogica Body Scrub (€35); those who like a hint of fragrance along with a deep clean will love Origins, who do a great line in buffers that include Grapefruit Body-Buffing, and Ginger Smoothing 'flavours' (€28.50). An longtime fave is L'Occitane's Almond Delicious Paste (€34).
If you want to cut your shower time in half, then use the Clarisonic SMART Profile (€249) with its new Turbo Massage Body Brush: as you clean with your shower gel or cream, the rotating brush exfoliates your skin. It's gentle yet thorough, and will knock any dry patches on the head; it's especially great for your decolletage and neck.
Since your levels of exertion have been on the rise as you've been training for the VHi Women's Mini Marathon, it's important to keep the skin clear, to fight off instances of clogged pores and ingrown hairs. You can get ingrown hairs on the thighs, you know. Something that helps hugely are Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads (€7.95) use salicylic acid to help breakdown skin cells to free the hair, and they're also great for spots!