Illuminating Exfoliant with AHA/BHA & 24 Hour Hydration


An advanced exfoliating treatment that amalgamates three actions to resurface, brighten and hydrate the complexion. Engineered with 100% natural ingredients and 76% Certified Organic Ingredients, it’s hailed for delivering the most glowing, smooth and hydrated skin.

The exfoliant treatment polishes away impurities and leaves skin feeling instantly smooth, supple and radiant. Engineered with 21 high performing ingredients meticulously chosen to brighten, detoxify, and uniquely hydrate the skin. Including, Organic Yarrow extract, Organic Mallow, Hibiscus flower peptides and regenerating Sea Kelp that supports collagen break down.

With its whipped and cushion like texture, it combines a hybrid of physical and chemical exfoliants, AHA (malic acid and citric acid) and BHA (willow bark) to resurface the skin, stimulate cell regeneration and keep the surface of the skin clear from dead skin cells that can lead to congestion, and block absorption of actives.

The starring ingredient in this exfoliant treatment is lactic acid molecules (which can sink deeper into the skin than other forms of alpha hydroxy acid) which break apart pore-clogging debris, gently exfoliating away dead, dulling cells to reveal the radiance beneath and minimise the signs of congestion, fine lines, wrinkles and dullness. As dull, dead surface cells are removed, clarity and radiance is restored.

To top it off, it uniquely delivers thirst-quenching hydration with our unique active, Saccharide Isomerate, which holds moisture deep within the skin and stays active plumping the skin with moisture and protecting the skin barrier for over 24 hours.

An exfoliant that delivers true age-defying results and innovation. Reveal glowing, smooth and resurfaced skin. 

Weight: 100mls

Cleansing and exfoliating are fundamental to a person’s skincare routine and are directly linked to anti-ageing benefits. Proper cleansing and exfoliation also enables the following skincare products to penetrate the epidermis effectively. They lay the building blocks for strong overall skin health. 

Our Illuminating Exfoliant has an advanced formula contains lactic acid (AHA) derived from maize. Lactic acid dissolves the glue that cements dead skin cells together, revealing a smoother, brighter skin complexion and delivers optimum cell turnover rate. Willow bark (BHA) is incorporated to break down excess sebum in clogged pores, it penetrates the pores deeper to prevent breakouts and is known for its supreme anti-inflammatory properties. 

Powerhouse hydration ingredient, Saccharide Isomerate, is also incorporated in the Illuminating Exfoliant to replenish the skin’s moisture after exfoliating. It delivers thirst-quenching hydration to the skin for a prolonged period of time and holds 1000 times its water weight.

It’s not enough for our products to be 100% natural, they have to deliver active and scientific-backed results.

In in-vivo tests, one of our star actives,  Saccharide Isomerate, is proven to:

  • Stay active on the skin, even after an exfoliant is washed off
  • Provide 72-hours of long-lasting, deep hydration
  • Prolong skin hydration up to 6 days after the last application
  • Face mapping shows that 3 hours after a single application, excessively dry skin is hydrated

How does Saccharide Isomerate work?

Its effectiveness is based on its unique composition, which is like that of the carbohydrate complex found in human skin, and on its unique mechanism for binding itself with the outer layers of the skin, giving it instant and long-lasting hydration abilities.  

It's a fraction of the size of most other hydrating ingredients, meaning it can penetrate deep into the inner layers of the skin.  Saccharide Isomerate can only be removed through the natural shedding of dead skin cells.   

Facial skin hydration colour mapping - a revolution

Saccharide Isomerate has been clinically proven by skin hydration colour mapping to hold moisture in the skin for 72 hours. Hydration levels were measured at 30 different pre-defined points on the face, and a specific algorithm was then used to translate them into detailed facial colour maps. 

How do AHA treatments work?

With time and sun exposure there is a gradual but slow-down in the rate at which old cells leave the surface of the skin and are replaced by newer cells. This results in a surface layer of dead skin cells that are responsible for the appearance of aged skin. Alpha hydroxy acids encourage the shedding of old, sun-damaged surface skin cells. 

They loosen the glue-like substances that hold the surface skin cells to each other, therefore allowing the dead skin to peel off gently. The skin underneath has a fresher, healthier look with a more even colour and texture.

With high concentration and long-term use, alpha hydroxy acids may also affect the deeper layers of the skin. Collagen and elastin regenerate making fine lines less obvious.

21 active high performing ingredients 

We believe in innovative, natural, complex and active formulas. We fill our products with the highest number of science-backed, consciously grown and high-tech green ingredients from around the globe, to produce scientifically-backed natural products. 

Every ingredient works hard in our formulation to prevent and repair hyperpigmentation, but below are your noteworthy ‘skin heroes’:

  • Saccharide Isomerate: Has a smaller molecular size than Hyaluronic Acid, meaning it can penetrate the skin’s epidermis deeper, for prolonged hydration results. Saccharide Isomerate works to help the skin create its own internal water source to continually rehydrate itself, it locks in moisture by strengthening the skin’s barrier function.  A study showed that it increases the hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin by up to 66%.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), Lactic Acid: Dissolves the glue that cements dead skin cells together, revealing a smoother, brighter skin texture and delivers optimum cell turnover rate. Diminishes wrinkles: Later, in '96, when different concentrations were tested (5% and 12%), researchers observed that a higher concentration actually penetrated both the dermis and epidermis (5% could only reach the epidermis) for firmer, thicker skin, resulting in fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Reduces acne: It's also been proven to reduce acne lesions,  so yeah, you could say it's a bit of a hero ingredient.
  • Jojoba Wax Beads: Biodegradable beads gently that exfoliate the skin. They have natural emollient properties and help to maintain the skin’s natural pH balance.

Full list of ingredients

Emma Lewisham aligns with the definition of natural by NATRUE who are an International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association who certify natural and organic cosmetics worldwide is classified in 3 ways:

  1. Natural ingredients are those to which only physical processes or fermentation have been applied.
  2. Derived natural ingredients are the result of chemical processes of natural ingredients.
  3. Nature-identical ingredients can be either pigments, minerals or preservatives. They are reproduced in the laboratory but exist in nature. These ingredients are allowed when strictly necessary in order to ensure consumer safety (preservatives) or because the extraction methods result in an ingredient becoming too chemical. All of them have one essential characteristic: they can be found in nature.

Below is our full list of ingredients with their EWG ratings in brackets (1 = low, 10 = high).   

You can also learn more about each ingredient and our sustainability goals in our Emma Lewisham Sustainability Framework.

Our Illuminating Exfoliant formulation is vegan.  

Organic Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) leaf extract (1)  •  Water (1)  •  Coco-caprylate (1)  •  Cetearyl alcohol (1)  •  Organic Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil (1)  • Glyceryl stearate citrate (1)  • Hydrogenated Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) oil (1) •  Parfum (natural fragrance, derived from flowers)  •  Glycerin (1) • Pentylene glycol (1)  • Kaolin (1)  • Salix alba (Willow) bark extract (1)  • Hibiscus sabdariffa (Hibiscus) flower extract (1)  • Organic Mentha piperita (Peppermint) leaf extract (1)  • Lactic acid (1)  • Organic Primula veris (Cowslip) extract (1)  • Organic Leontopodium alpinum (Edelweiss) flower/leaf extract (1)  • Saccharide isomerate (1)  • Organic Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) extract (1)  • Alaria esculenta (Seaweed) extract (1)  • Organic Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle) extract (1)  • Organic Malva sylvestris (Mallow) extract (1)  • Organic Salvia hispanica (Chia) seed oil (1)  • Citrus grandis (Grapefruit) peel oil (1)  • Organic Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) leaf extract (1)  • Organic Veronica officinalis (Speedwell) extract (1)  •  Mica (2)  •  Titanium dioxide (2)  •  Xanthan gum (1)  • Glyceryl caprylate (1)  • Caprylic/capric triglyceride (1)  Iron Oxides (2)  •  Dehydroacetic acid (1)  •  Iron oxides (2)  •  Benzyl alcohol (4)  •  Benzyl benzoate (5)  •  Citral (3)  •  Citronellol (4)  •  Farnesol (4)  •  Geraniol (5)  •  Limonene (4)  • Linalool (3)

  • 100% of total ingredients are natural, naturally derived or natural identical (preservative)
  • 76% of ingredients are organic
  • Our formulations contain benzyl benzoate, citral, citronellol, farnesol, geraniol, limonene, linalool in very low concentrations as constituents of our essential oils.  It’s worth noting that the EWG rating for these, refer only to the individual constituents extracted in a lab from the essential oil, or synthetic replications.  The ratings are not applicable to our formulas, as we never use extracted or synthetic constituents, only the pure naturally occurring essential oil 

This product is included in our Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle free recycling programme. We believe the future of beauty is a circular model, where brands take ownership for what happens to their packaging at the end of its life.

Our Illuminating Exfoliant box is printed on an environmentally responsible paper which has been produced using PEFC certified pulp from responsible sources. We print on it using mineral, oil free, vegetable-based inks and water-based coatings. Oil based glue is required to assemble these boxes. Stamping foil used on the box does not affect recyclability. It is 100% recyclable in New Zealand with no chemical coatings, which means our boxes will degrade naturally. 

Our Illuminating Exfoliant bottle is a frosted glass bottle with a plastic cap and pump made from imported virgin materials.

We have developed a Sustainability Framework which provides transparency on what Emma Lewisham is doing to address the six drivers of our supply chain: raw materials, supplier, manufacturing, distribution, retail outlets and customers. These are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Read the Emma Lewisham Sustainability Framework.

Use 2 pumps, 3-4 times a week. Use a small layer of exfoliant and use gentle circular motions for 5-10 seconds. Leave on the skin for another 20 seconds to allow the actives to take full effect, before washing off with lukewarm water.

If you have sensitive skin or allergies: While our formulation is 100% natural, we recommend if you have sensitive skin or allergies that you do a patch test first or consult your medical practitioner before using any new skincare product.  If your skin is not responding well to one of our products, including irritation, please discontinue use and contact a medical practitioner.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding: This product is safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding, however, we recommend you check with your doctor before using.  

Using Illuminating Exfoliant with our other products: All of our products were developed to be used together. Please take at look at Emma Lewisham Routines for our recommendations.  

The Emma Lewisham StandardTM

100% natural & traceable

Scientifically proven ingredients

Part of the Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle – Refill & Recycle

Vegan. Cruelty Free. PETA certified animal testing free

Safe to use while pregnant & breastfeeding

Compostable packaging

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