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An answer to the burning question of exfoliants

WHEN it comes to face exfoliants, I admit that I love a good stingle – that would be sting and tingle. I need all the help I can get in the mornings. But how much stingle is too much? We've finally got an answer to that burning question ...

L'OREAL Radiance Revealing Gentle Exfoliator, €6.99, HHHII For those who want some tingle, but maybe not too much, this is perfect. It smells gorgeous and citrus-y, so it's like scrubbing your face with a fruit salad. Not that I've any experience with that ... it's a bit liquidy and runny, which is maybe why it's so gentle. I wasn't crazy about the texture, but the scrub is effective.

FREEZE 24/7 icecrystals Anti-Aging Prep and Polish, €42, HIIII This costs a bomb, and it felt like a bomb had gone off on my face – a bomb full of ice. It feels exactly like there are crystals of ice in this, which made my eyes sting extremely badly. Despite a nice glow afterwards, I did not like it.

SUPER FACIALIST by UNA BRENNAN Rose Hydrate Brighten & Refine Facial Scrub, €10.99, HHHHH Now this! I heart this with all my heart! The scent is delightful – just the slightest bit of rose, as if you were walking down a garden path on a summer's day, not sitting in a church during the rosary, if ya get me. There's also some sort of minty buzz, which will wake up you and your complexion, of a morning.

NEOSTRATA Skin Active Exfoliating Wash, €29, HHHII I like the active wash part, but I got nothing out of the exfoliating properties. If your skin is so, so sensitive that even looking at facial scrub makes you break out, then I would recommend you try this. It was way too gentle to make any headway (ha, ha) on my gob, but if you've despaired of ever finding a product that will clean your face calmly, I'd say this is it.

BIA BEAUTY Orange & Grapefruit Facial Exfoliant & Cleanser, €16.95, HHIII I could only feel the slightest bit of scrubbing element in this one. It felt really slippery coming out of the jar, even on dry hands. The slipperiness didn't translate to a feeling of confidence in its exfoliating capacity. Will pass on this, thanks.

DERMALOGICA Chromawhite Trx Powerfoliant, €71, HHHHI This is a serious exfoliation commitment, as once you shake and mix the wee bottle, which contains a two-part system – it only lasts four weeks – you'll be surprised how easy it is to forget you're under time constraints. It quickly lightens and brightens your skin, although sensitive types may find this too stingly – not me! Small, yet mighty.