15 Gentle Exfoliators That Are Perfect for Dry SkinJune 23, 2023
What Does an Exfoliator Do?
An exfoliator helps slough away dead skin cells, leaving a smoother surface behind. You can exfoliate using a physical scrub, which has granules you can feel, or with a chemical exfoliant, which uses acids to help dissolve dead skin cells. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people with dry skin may want to look for very mild methods of exfoliation in order to avoid further stripping the skin of moisture.
How to Use an Exfoliator If You Have Dry Skin
“Some people can only handle exfoliating once a week while others need it more regularly,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman previously told skincare.com. The drier and more sensitive your skin type is, the less often you should exfoliate your skin. When using a chemical or physical exfoliant, it’s smart to start by exfoliating only once a week, then increasing or decreasing your usage based on your skin’s reaction and the product’s instructions. If you’re not sure whether you might be over- or under-exfoliating, we recommend checking in with a dermatologist.
The Best Exfoliators for Dry Skin
Made with just seven ingredients, this chemical exfoliating serum helps uncover smooth, glowy skin with less visible-looking pores in four weeks. Free of fragrances and colorants, it’s gentle enough for all skin types, including dry and sensitive.
Those with dry skin may have shied away from retinol due to its potentially drying side effects, but if you’re new to the ingredient, this serum is a good starting point. Made with .2% pure retinol, peptides and nutrient-packed vitreoscilla ferment, it gently yet effectively reduces the look of wrinkles and dark spots while boosting your skin’s glow. Start slowly to get your skin used to the retinization process and gradually increase use.
This ultra-gentle peeling product combines the effects of a cleanser, micellar water and exfoliant all in one. It helps simultaneously remove makeup and exfoliate while being gentle enough for use on sensitive skin.
This light, water-like essence helps smooth and plump skin with a combination of exfoliating acids and lipid-rich oils. Essences help prep skin for the rest of your skincare routine, so you can apply a few drops of this before you layer on other serums and moisturizers for an extra dose of radiance.
This serum uses encapsulated retinol, a slower-release version of the ingredient, to help gently increase cellular turnover while minimizing drying side effects. It also contains hydrating, soothing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
Thanks to its ultra-fine pumice particles, this face scrub is perfect for dry or sensitive skin. Soothing and gentle, it removes excess dead skin cells without being too harsh on skin. It’s also formulated with glycerin to provide essential hydrating benefits.
Say goodbye to flaky patches; this exfoliator, formulated with micronized shell particles, instantly delivers smoother skin. With continued use as recommended, it helps prep skin for skincare products, minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines and address discoloration. What’s more, the addition of willow herb helps to nurture and soothe.
To target dark spots and discoloration, check out this drugstore chemical exfoliant. Formulated with 10% glycolic acid, kojic acid and vitamin B5, the anti-aging serum works to brighten, smooth and exfoliate the skin. Just apply a few drops in the evening and make sure to layer on SPF come morning.
Infused with white birch extract, peony extract and pearl stone, this exfoliating face wash is gentle enough to use twice per day, but effective enough to brighten the skin and remove built-up dirt and grime.
This face scrub works well on all skin types, including those with dry skin. Hydrating ingredients like glycerin and aloe extract keep the skin soft and moisturized, while macro-exfoliators physically remove dead skin cells.
This lightweight toner is formulated with gentle, daily-use ingredients like pure glycolic acid, which smooths and soothes skin as it works to remove dead skin cells. And with aloe vera providing soothing and moisturizing effects, you can say hello to soft, radiant skin.
A leave-on liquid exfoliant with 3% mandelic acid, you can count on this innovative product to gently exfoliate. While 2% salicylic acid unclogs pores, a combo of kale, licorice root, spinach and green tea work to soothe and protect the skin. If you’re new to exfoliants, the brand recommends using this product only once or twice a week.
This exfoliator isn’t a liquid toner or gritty scrub, but instead a light, airy cream that removes dead skin cells to smooth the skin with the help of lactic acid and aluminum oxide crystals. It’s also formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance and phthalates.
Packed with vitamin-rich Irish moss powder, this exfoliant helps gently polish away dead skin cells without disrupting your skin’s moisture barrier. To use, simply mix the powder with water to create a paste and apply as you would a cleanser.
As you apply this scrub, the rich consistency transforms from a gel-like scrub to a slippery oil and an emulsified milk. It gently exfoliates and unclogs pores using a blend of apricot kernel powder, organic rosehip oil and macerated carrot oil.