Best Exfoliator for Sensitive Skin
|Image||Name||Top Choices||Latest Pricing|
|1. Acure - Brightening Facial Scrub|
|2. Era Organics - Revive+ Microdermabrasion|
|3. Paula’s Choice - 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant|
|4. DRMTLGY - Microdermabrasion Scrub||Amazon|
|5. Dermalogica - Daily Microfoliant||Amazon|
Shedding dead cells is an essential part of skin health. While the body is able to do that naturally, using products to speed up the process leads to clearer, brighter, and healthier skin. Unfortunately, exfoliating can also be too rough on sensitive skin where it could cause redness, flare-ups, or even damage. To gain the benefits of exfoliators without harming your delicate skin, it’s critical to find the right product as well as to learn how to use it properly.
Types of Exfoliants for Sensitive Skin
Generally, exfoliating products come in physical and chemical forms. Physical exfoliants work using friction to scrub off layers of dead skin cells while chemical ones use acids or enzymes to speed up cellular turnover and reveal newer skin. Both types have their own merits, so it’s important to learn more about them before selecting one for your delicate skin.
Facial scrubs have a rough texture that’s meant to remove layers of dead skin cells through friction. They can be made of a variety of abrasives, including micronized shells, powdered charcoal, or synthetic microbeads. Generally, these are not recommended for sensitive skin because they tend to be too harsh and could cause irritation. However, there are now facial scrubs that are suitable for more delicate skin as they are made of milder abrasives like jojoba beads, rice powder, and pulverized flaxseeds.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are derived from fruits or plants and are water-soluble. They are excellent chemical exfoliants because they gently but effectively peel off the surface of the skin to make way to newer, younger skin that hasn’t yet been damaged by sun exposure or breakouts. Among the most common AHAs used in exfoliators are glycolic acid and lactic acid. Glycolic acid is ideal for acne-prone skin because of its antimicrobial properties. On the other hand, lactic acid has excellent anti-aging effects, so it’s the perfect choice for older skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are derived from plants as well but are different from AHAs because they are oil-soluble. These are generally absorbed deeper into the skin and are better able to clear up pores of excess oils, dirt, and dead skin cells. While AHAs are good for brightening skin, BHAs excel at treating acne and other blemishes. Among the most popular types of BHAs are salicylic acid and citric acid. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in acne treatments and, in proper concentrations, can help soothe redness, irritation, and other forms of inflammation. On the other hand, citric acid is used to dissolve hardened sebum and old skin cells.
Top 5 Exfoliators for Sensitive Skin
If you’re trying to find the best exfoliator for sensitive skin, here are some of the top-reviewed products that should tick all your checkboxes:
1) Acure – Brightening Facial Scrub
The Brightening Facial Scrub by Acure boasts a 100% vegan formulation that’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. That’s because it is free of harmful chemicals and additives, including parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, petrolatum, and mineral oil. Its gentle scrubbers are made of walnut shell powder, which buffs out dull skin to reveal layers that are newer and brighter. It also has Madonna lily extracts, which is known to lighten dark spots and even out your complexion. Additionally, this facial scrub contains French green clay and lemon peel, which help thoroughly cleanse the skin while sea kelp provides nutrients that not only detoxifies but also softens the skin.
2) Era Organics – Revive+ Microdermabrasion
The Revive+ Microdermabrasion by Era Organics has become one of the most loved face scrubs, especially among those with sensitive skin. It contains microbeads made of walnut shells, which is one of the best natural options for physical exfoliation. This scrub also contains manuka honey and aloe vera, which are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support skin health and cellular regeneration. Rapeseed oil softens the skin while cehami extracts and orange oil provide antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties. Combining the gentle exfoliation effects and its nourishing formulation, even those with sensitive skin can use this up to 2 times a week.
3) Paula’s Choice – 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
The 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant by Paula’s Choice was formulated for all skin types but is especially beneficial for people with sensitive skin because it is non-abrasive. Its exfoliating benefits come from 2% salicylic acid, which is absorbed deep within the skin to speed up the process of shedding off dead cells. It also clears pores of debris, product residue, dirt, and oil to clear up the skin and keep blemishes from forming. Additionally, this exfoliator contains green tea extracts, which is rich in antioxidants that help soothe irritation, improve the appearance of sun damage, and suppress aging. With regular use, this potent exfoliant also has the capacity to smoothe fine lines and wrinkles.
4) DRMTLGY – Microdermabrasion Scrub
The Microdermabrasion Scrub by DRMTLGY is a gentle exfoliant that is suitable for sensitive skin because it is free of parabens, sulfates, oil, formaldehyde, hormones, and gluten. Its power comes from glycolic acid that’s derived from sugarcane extracts. Glycolic acid is one of the most potent AHAs used for removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. This exfoliator is also rich in vitamin C because it contains apple and lemon extracts. That allows it to offer excellent anti-aging and skin-brightening benefits. Additionally, it contains green tea extracts, which are full of antioxidants and amino acids that nourish and heal the skin as well as delay any signs of aging.
5) Dermalogica – Daily Microfoliant
The Daily Microfoliant by Dermalogica is a gluten-free, paraben-free, and completely vegan exfoliant that is perfect for people with sensitive skin because its rice-based abrasives are extremely gentle. Unlike most scrubs, this exfoliator comes in powder form and is activated when it comes in contact with water. So, the best way to use it is to make a paste and then massage it gently onto your face. As you do so, salicylic acid and papain works on the skin to slough off dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of dark spots and other blemishes. This microfoliant also contains licorice and white tea, which helps you achieve an even complexion. Additionally, it has allantoin and colloidal oatmeal, which soothes inflammation.
Tips for Exfoliating Sensitive Skin
Properly exfoliating sensitive skin isn’t just about finding the right product. It also matters how you use it and how you take care of your skin afterward. To get your skin looking its best, here are a few tips for you to follow:
- Test it thoroughly. Before committing to a product, do a patch test on your inner elbow. If that goes well, try rubbing it in the area below your ear. Test it in larger and larger areas before exfoliating your entire face.
- Don’t overdo it. The immediate results you get from a good exfoliant is encouraging. But don’t get too excited that you use it too often. To start, use your exfoliator no more than once a week until you’re confident your skin can handle it more frequently.
- Use good aftercare. Moisturizing is key to bringing out the best in your skin after exfoliating. Make sure you use a high-quality moisturizer that won’t just hydrate but also aid in repairing and protecting your skin.
- Use sunscreen. Because exfoliants expose younger, more tender skin, you tend to be more sensitive to sun exposure. Make sure you protect yourself with a good sunblock to avoid photodamage.
The best exfoliator to use on your sensitive skin will effectively remove the dull layer of dead skin cells and, consequently, allow you to enjoy clearer and brighter-looking skin. Additionally, a good exfoliant won’t just help you remove blemishes but also keep them from forming with regular use. Lastly, it should lead to better penetration of skincare products, which allows you to make the most out of your serums and moisturizers. With the right product and methods, you can gain all these benefits without fear of flare-ups, breakouts, or irritation.