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Refresh Your Face With These Exfoliating Products

by Dale Arden Chong

• By Dale Arden Chong

You may have already noticed, but there have been a lot of DIY beauty moments lately. From Bella Hadid’s self-cut bangs to playful hair dyes to easy-to-do nail art—which came after everyone safely removed their gels, of course—this unique time at home has encouraged the world to take matters into their own hands when it comes to their beauty rituals. And if you’re anything like me, a large part of that involves skincare.

Right now, there are probably a lot of things that feel out of reach. However, one thing you can do is lean fully into your skincare—because why not? Odds are you aren’t wearing nearly as much makeup as you might normally. Even when you need a little touch of color for those FaceTimes and Zoom calls, you’re probably keeping it minimal. In other words, this is the perfect time to give your skin the care it deserves.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about exfoliating products. Don’t get me wrong: a weekly hydrating or clarifying mask can be everything when I need to give my face some TLC. But what good does it do when it’s only going so deep into the skin? That’s where exfoliators come in. Outside of my daily cleansers, these have been my go-to products whenever my skin needs a feel-good boost. And on my latest quest to find some of the best (which I admit hasn’t been entirely selfless), I’ve discovered a full range of products that’ll have you feeling as good as new, even though you can’t make it to the spa right now.

From gentle cleansers and masks to more intense scrubs and peels, scroll down to see the exfoliating products that are so good, you’ll want to add them to your regular skincare routine, stat.


Alder Everyday Facial Cleanser

This gel cleanser feels incredibly smooth and gentle on the face. Plus, it includes a low dose of glycolic acid, which helps to even out your skin’s texture and pigmentation. Use it in the morning when you need a quick refresh after you’ve woken up.

Aurelia Refine & Polish Miracle Balm

This probiotic polish is packed with skin-brightening plant enzymes to refine and exfoliate your skin. It’s a perfect option for those with sensitive skin, since it lacks a rough, gritty texture.

Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

If you have dryer skin, this one is for you. Pai’s creamy cleanser feels more like a hydrating lotion. All you need do is apply to dry skin and use the damp washcloth that comes with the product to remove the wash, which gives you a gentle exfoliation. Plus, the cloth has two sides to choose from, depending on your skin’s sensitivity.

Reflekt Daily Exfoliating Wash

This editor-approved wash is a hybrid between a cleanser and an exfoliator, which means you can use it twice daily (if that’s your thing). Created with hyaluronic acid, this wash will cleanse, hydrate, and plump your face while the jojoba esters beads work away any dead skin cells.

Tata Harper Regenerating Exfoliating Cleanser

If your skin is looking a little dull and you want to give it some new life without getting too harsh, I recommend this cleanser from Tata Harper. Like the Pai cleanser, you are supposed apply to a dry face and massage into the skin. Once you rinse it off with warm water, your complexion will have a hydrated glow.

Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub

When I was a young tween getting into skincare, I was so nervous about acne I used a certain apricot scrub that felt like sandpaper to my face (perhaps you did, too). I’ve since learned that that is not what my skin needs. However, there are moments when it needs something that gets a little deeper, which is where Goldfaden MD’s Doctor’s Scrub comes in. This has been my go-to product when my skin is feeling particularly congested. I lose myself in the sensation of ruby crystals buffing away my dead skin. Plus, it smells like grapefruit, which is a pretty damn good way to start the day.

Osea Vitamin C Probiotic Polish

Looking for a skincare ritual that feels both productive and calming? This gentle face polish is one that you mix with a few drops of water to create a paste, giving it a DIY feel that will calm anyone’s nerves. It’s packed with with pomegranate enzymes and Vitamin C to help fade dark spots while also brightening your complexion.

Lather Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Exfoliating Gel

Lather’s Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Exfoliating Gel is made with finely ground passion fruit seeds and jojoba beads to create a gentle exfoliator that still feels smooth on your skin. The chia seed oil also helps keep your skin maintain its moisture levels, which is be perfect for anyone who plans to spend some extra time in the sun during the warmer months. 


FACILE Skin At-Home Peel Kit

For those moments when you need a professional level of exfoliation, but you can’t make it to the spa, FACILE has done the heavy lifting for you. Their new At-Home Peel Kit provides you with a powerful peel to help you correct any visible signs of aging. Alongside 60 Peel Prep Pads, FACILE Essence, and a headband to go with, the Peel—which includes soothing botanical extracts to calm your skin—will fight any wrinkles, dark spots, and blemishes. Also, 100% of the proceeds from this kit will go towards all the FACILE team members who are unable to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Odacité Bioactive Rose Gommage

For those who want an effective peel but also wantt something gentle, opt for Odacité’s Gommage. This resurfacing treatment is applied in a thin layer over your skin, and gently removes dead skin when it’s rubbed off with your fingers just before it dries. Not only will this product give you fresh skin without feeling like you’re damaging the surface, but it’s also so satisfying to remove.

THE ROUTE The Party Peel

Another great option for those with more sensitive skin is ROUTE’s Party Peel. This shimmering gold peel is formulated with the perfect pH for at-home use and with gentle yet powerful acids to help enhance your complexion from the inside out. It also uses an oxygen method that bubbles on contact to provide gentle exfoliation without leaving any visible peeling. Trust me when I say this: it’s a fun one.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Drunk Elephant’s Babyfacial will give you the feeling of an expensive exfoliating facial, without having to go to the spa. This cult-favorite resurfacing mask is made with a combination of professional-level ingredients like glycolic, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids. With factors like those, you know it’ll leave you with nothing less than smooth and radiant skin.