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To scrub or chemically dissolve – what’s the best way to exfoliate?

By Fiona Embleton

Photo: Woods Copenhagen

Here’s how to exfoliate your way to a radiant complexion in winter while still being kind to your delicate skin barrier

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Few things are as satisfying as seeing a dull complexion emerge slick and shiny as a wet seal after a 10-minute acid mask. But even with the best intentions, it’s possible to over-exfoliate, especially when faced with the double-whammy of congestion and dryness in winter skin.

“Regular exfoliation is key to a flawless complexion but avoid aggressive sloughing,” says Martin Lyne, founder of Woods Copenhagen. “If you are too diligent with your favourite scrub or peel, you might end up disrupting your skin barrier, leaving it vulnerable and sensitive to external stressors. Instead of a bright, buffed and smooth complexion, you may experience a burning sensation, redness and irritation.”

So what’s the sweet spot for exfoliation?

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