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Usually when a new brand launches I'll test everything out and do an overview, but Trinny London has had a slightly different approach to releasing products, so I'll review the line as and when new products come out and I try them. You can check out my first review of the cleansers and some background on the brand here and today we'll talk about the three newer exfoliants...
Like all of the products in the line, these are mid-range to premium in terms of price-point and come in refillable packaging (so you can buy refills once you use these up at a pretty decent saving). You twist the base of the bottle and a pump springs up from which you dispense the product. There are some differences in texture which we'll get into as we look at each individual product, but broadly: these come out as slightly-heavier gels as opposed to like a toner, though I still recommend applying these as a toner step on freshly-cleansed skin then following with a serum or moisturiser. I personally don't recommend using them daily, I think 3-4 times a week is probably plenty.
First up is the Tiptoe In PHA Exfoliant* | £34 | which is a great option for drier and / or more sensitive skin types. This one has a slightly heavier texture so can be layered under a serum or used as a one-step toner and serum. PHAs are a class of chemical exfoliants with a large molecular size, meaning they penetrate the skin quite slowly and can feel less irritating - this formula contains both forms of this type of exfoliant: gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. They also have a hydrating property, which is great if you sometimes find that chemical exfoliants can feel a little drying on your skin. It's still going to smooth things out (though this is more on a surface level than really combatting issues like hyperpigmentation) and give you that immediate glow-boost, but it does so in a very skin-friendly way.
This particular formulation also contains a probiotic ingredient that can help strengthen the skin barrier, glycerin to draw water into the skin and really bolster that hydration and jojoba esters to moisturise the skin. There's also a form of azelaic acid in here that can assist with discolouration and actually help with redness and rosacea. So, although it's billed as a PHA, you're actually getting a really well-rounded formula for temperamental skin (it's also fragrance-free). If you're new to chemical exfoliants then this is for you, or if you're like me and you're more of an advanced skincare user and use retinoids and Vitamin C in your routine and want something to slot in alongside them and boost their effectiveness: this is perfect. It's giving you a nice, gentle exfoliation that also hydrates and isn't too much; it's really going to be compatible with the rest of your routine too.
Next, we have the Find Your Balance BHA Exfoliant* | £36 | which is perfect for oily skin types or is even great to have on-hand if you (like me) suffer from hormonal breakouts. This is formulated with salicylic acid (bolstered by willow bark extract, from which it's derived) which is oil-soluble so can get right into your pores to clear out debris that causes spots. It can also reduce those inflamed active breakouts and help prevent scarring once they've healed. This is a much more watery formula but even on my predominantly-dry skin, it's not at all drying, which is usually my main issue with salicylic acid products geared towards oily skin.
As with Tiptoe in, this is much more than just the headline ingredient. It's also formulated with mandelic acid, a gentle AHA that has antibacterial benefits but also helps improve hyperpigmentation, making it an amazing booster for spot-prone skin. There's also ginger root in here, which can be anti-inflammatory, an algae-derived prebiotic for skin barrier health, glycerin, lactic acid (a hydrating AHA with resurfacing benefits) and niacinamide, which can help regulate oil production in the skin, prevent hyperpigmentation spreading and boost up the skin barrier. Again, it's a really well-rounded formula for tackling breakouts and general congestion. It's great at minimising angry blemishes and also just getting rid of those under-the-surface spots and little whiteheads my skin has been quite prone too lately. All of that, and it doesn't irritate my skin at all.
Rounding things off, we have the Reveal Yourself AHA Exfoliant* | £38 | which is great for enhancing your glow and for more mature skin types that need a bit of punch. At the same time, this is formulated with lactic acid (bolstered by malic acid) so is gentler than using something like glycolic, which is no longer my preferred AHA. Lactic has that larger molecular size that takes some of the edge off and can also hydrate the skin, but has a bit more of an edge to it than your PHAs. It can really help to smooth and resurface the skin, alongside getting that glow. The texture of this one is pretty lightweight; closer to the BHA than the PHA.
In terms of everything outside the AHAs: this contains succinic acid, an interesting new ingredient that could help with breakouts, amino acids to condition and replenish the skin, a soothing plankton extract, glycerin and calming Sodium PCA. Overall, this is a surprisingly hydrating take on an AHA formula, which I sometimes find can be a bit drying and irritating. This is more for the advanced skincare users out there, though I'd still say maybe don't combine this with a bunch of other actives; it's still a powerful exfoliant. But, using this a couple of times a week over the past several weeks: my skin is looking smooth, even and radiant and it isn't irritating or even really prickly for my skin.
All-in-all: I loved using these exfoliants and I hope this overview helped you figure out which of these formulas might be for you. I really don't think you can go wrong with these and across the three formulas, the brand really has covered off all the bases!
Have you tried anything from Trinny London Skincare?
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