Many get nervous when they hear the term ‘exfoliating pads,’ because often, they are acid based and associated with the words “peel” and “resurfacing” – all terms that aren’t exactly gentle on the skin. But these miniature pads are little gems; when used correctly they unclog pores and smooth the skin surface using alpha and beta hydroxy acids such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic – all commonly used in skincare, and, when used in moderation, have a hugely beneficial effect. As you sweep one over the face, the pads work to melt the bonds between old skin cells helping to lift them away, reducing pores, targeting blemishes and fine lines, giving you soft glowing skin.
Depending on your skin type, their usage will vary; some are best used daily, while others once or twice a week depending on the issues you’re going to target. If you are unsure, it is better to start with ‘a little and often approach’ and build up use, as you work out what you can tolerate. Below are four of our current favourites:
Pixi Glow Peel Pads, €31
I’m a fan of Pixi’s overnight serum, and these are equally effective. These are the pad pals of the much-loved Pixi Glow Tonic, with all the brightening, anti-ageing effects of the cult toner, but with a higher glycolic acid content, at 20 per cent. These work great on blemish-prone skin but are based used only once a week if you have sensitive skin.
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads, €11.99
What I like about these is how gentle they are on the skin. If you are on a limited budget or a first-timer wanting to try out exfoliating pads without a big commitment, these are a great option for beginners.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, €26.95
These have more aloe, glycerin and cucumber water than acid in them, and the acids are lactic followed by glycolic. Your skin will feel refreshed and brightened and can be used three days a week.
Colbert MD Intensify Facial Discs, €75
These medicinal pads pack a punch on the skin but are great for oily those dealing with excess oil and even acne scarring; time-release technology drip feeds the re-texturising ingredients long after use (so these are best applied at night), and witch hazel calms the skin while the glycolic acid aims to revive clogged skin and heal scarring. .