Best Exfoliators for Every Skin Type

If you were to list three items you need for radiant skin, you ‘d probably have an exfoliator at the top of the list right? After all, the act of exfoliating means that rusty, dead skin cells are literally sloughing away to expose the younger, more radiant ones underneath. Resurfaced skin can also allow your products to sink in more effectively (and therefore function better). Overuse can contribute to redness, discomfort, and even breakouts despite the advantages of using an exfoliator. Therefore, using an exfoliator that is either too harsh or too soft for your type of skin will rob you of the luminous finish you’re looking for.

First make sure you do not exfoliate too often (no more than three times a week) to strike a balance. Second — and maybe more important — make sure you use a formula that contains the best exfoliants for your type of skin. Below are a few recs approved by the dermatologist to make you glow — whether you’re allergic, oily, or anywhere between.

Shiseido Waso Soft + Cushy Polisher

This cushy exfoliator (and 2018 Best of Beauty winner for the best facial scrub of the year), made from soybeans and supremely gentle plant-based granules, cleans and polishes the skin, leaving it feeling soft, silky and completely refreshed. It is so delicate that it won’t be overdoed even by overzealous scrubbers.

NeoStrata Resurface Face Cream Plus

This daily cream includes glycolic exfoliating acid plus hydrating seed oil to avoid overeating.

Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant

The pineapple is more than just a delicious-smelling ingredient in this Best of Beauty – winning exfoliating face mask — it helps illuminate dry skin and remove impurities from your pores. Your skin will start becoming lighter and smoother after just 15 minutes, almost as though you were just coming home from an all-inclusive tropical holiday.

L’Oréal Pure Sugar Scrub Nourish & Soften

Sugar scrubs can be an ideal alternative to acid treatments for oily skin as they brush away dead skin cells, allowing the acids to get to work. (Stick to one or the other for more susceptible styles to prevent over-exfoliation.) We especially like this creamy recipe, as it can also be used as a lip scrub.

Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask

Glycolic acid penetrates deeper than other AHAs, making it one of the most effective exfoliators in the world. This specific recipe includes a good dose of the celebrity exfoliator, plus an extra shot of papaya enzyme. Best of all, within 10 minutes the mask is skin glowing.