Finally, it's time to peel off those multiple cashmere jumpers, climb out of that giant teddy-bear coat, and unwind the cosy knitted scarves from around our necks—it seems spring is here at last. Well, for now, at least. And the changing season is actually a brilliant time to strip off your weatherworn skin, too. Thanks to a mixture of the colder temperatures (I mean, winter just didn't want to end) and our dependency on harsh central heating, the colder months have dried our skin right out. And during that time, it got a little lazy—rather than constantly renewing itself, a buildup of dead, dull skin cells will probably have started to appear at the surface.
And that's what you're seeing when you look in the mirror and think, Wow, my skin looks pretty dull today.
There's an easy antidote, however, and that's to manually remove this cloak of dry, flaky skin to reveal the more glowing complexion you thought you'd lost to the summer. The tool? A face scrub, aka a grainy gel or cream that will gnaw away at skin while increasing cell turnover and, in turn, boosting skin's radiance. But don't just scan the shelves for the word "scrub" and think you've hit the jackpot—you need something hard-hitting, and we can help with that. The following face scrubs are the ones you can rely on to chip away at that layer of winter skin like nothing else.
It can feel a little counterintuitive to scrub away skin that's crying out for hydration, but this scrub pairs sugar crystals with nourishing cocoa butter. As the sugar buffs away, the butter remains, leaving skin cosseted in a blanket of moisture.
Pixi's formula relies on papaya extracts to work as a chemical exfoliant, dissolving the top layer of dead skin, whilst minuscule grains gently lift the cells away. Use at the start of the week and you'll still be pretty glowy come the weekend.
It's quite likely you won't find a scrub that's scrubbier than this one. Confused? What we mean is that this face polish is so gritty that it really gets the job done. So much so that you can actually see the balls of dull grey skin cells peeling off the skin as you use it. Plus, it contains grapefruit, which really perks up the complexion—so satisfying and so effective.
Like a gentler form of the kind of microdermabrasion you'd usually only find in a dermatologist's office, this scrub harnesses tiny rice particles to buff the top layer of skin away. It also contains lemon oil, which brightens skin and also has this rather uncanny ability to make fine lines seem, well, finer, and pores seem smaller.
Acne sufferers, seek solace in this skin-balancing face scrub. It doesn't just contain jojoba beads (which provide the mechanical exfoliation) but also a 1% hit of salicylic acid and a further 1% bump of glycolic acid, which will nibble away at the dead skin cells that are currently clinging on for dear life, ready to aggravate your acne. It sounds hardcore, but thankfully, aloe vera and allantoin are on hand to soothe skin and make the whole process a lot more comfortable. Oh, and don't just stop on the face—it makes light work of a spotty back or bumpy bottom, too.
You can add these handy grains to practically anything (cream cleanser, oil cleanser, moisturizer and so on) for when skin needs a little hit of exfoliation. Mineral sea salts are the dry skin–repelling weapon of choice, as they'll not only refine skin's texture but also help draw out all the gunk lying in your pores.
If you haven't heard of YourGoodSkin yet, you're going to want to read our review of the brand's rather incredible Balancing Skin Concentrate (£17). And then turn your attention to this other hero: It contains not even a whiff of a paraben, SLS or irritating fragrance, but instead uses green tea and vitamin C to awaken tired skin while it buffs.
Finally, we can step into spring with all of winter's dead-skin baggage behind us.