Beauty Clinic: How do I scrub up, at fifty something?

Q. I am 53 years old and have been advised to use an exfoliator on my face once a week. Which facial exfoliator do you recommend please? A. For many years facial exfoliators (or scrubs) tended to be too harsh, and irritated sensitive skins. Now, however, there are some really gentle products on the market. But gentle is the watchword: never be tempted to use a body scrub on your face, and feel the facial scrub before applying to make sure there is nothing abrasive.

A good tip for every day is to use a hot cloth with your cleanser, rubbing the (clean, soft) muslin or flannel into areas of cell build-up like the sides of your nose and down your temples. After you use a facial scrub, apply a mask. That way, you turbo-charge the effects.

A new concern is that some scrubs contain tiny plastic beads, which are too small to be sifted out at treatment plants. These microbeads end up in the oceans where the plastic, which does not biodegrade, becomes a long-term pollutant that can harm sea organisms and birds. So we suggest using a natural product such as the award winning ones below, trialled by our ten women tester panels for our latest book The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible (available nationwide and from

Liz earle ExfoliatorLiz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator  One of our own favourite facial scrubs, which decongests and softly buffs dull-looking skin with fine jojoba beads in a skin-softening cocoa butter base, infused with the uplifting scent of eucalyptus. Comments include: ‘loved using this product: gentle on the skin but very good result – the skin on the treated side of my face is lovely, soft and much brighter.'

Jurlique Purely Age Defying Refining Treatment  Apricot seed powder powers the exfoliating action of this slim-tubed scrub, which also features willow bark extract, a natural source of salicylic acid (a ‘beta-hydroxy’ acid). To counter that, they add calming bisabolol and soothing calendula. One tester said ‘this has reduced the appearance of pores, smoothed out rough skin texture and lessened the amount of discolouration I have – I cannot praise it enough.'

Lavera Facial ScrubLavera Purifying Scrub  The exfoliating action’s down to jojoba beads, alongside plant extracts including jojoba. They recommend avoiding the eye zone – but that holds true for all facial scrubs, please note. Comments included ‘I loved this: I sometimes get dry patches on my forehead/nose, but this really helped – and left my skin with a “glow”, very well-hydrated.'

Eminence Organic Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant  Pour a little of the fruit-scented, lactic-acid-boosted powder – which also incorporates rice powder, thermal mud, oatmeal and chickpea flour - into the palm of your hands. Then add a few drops of water to create a paste, and apply using a circular motion to the face. One tester reported ‘this is gorgeous, from the dry powder scent that changes when water is added to a lovely rice smell, an amazing texture on the skin – and soft complexion afterwards.’

• Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator/£14 for 70 ml pump at - buy here

• Jurlique Purely Age Defying Refining Treatment/£25.50 for 40 ml pump at - buy here

• Lavera Purifying Scrub/£6.90 for 50 ml pump at - buy here

• Eminence Organic Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant/£35 for     120 g pump at - buy here


Feature, NewsTania Smith