The Single Best Exfoliator for Every Skin Type
Everyone needs an exfoliator in her life, but not everyone should use the same kind. Depending on your skin, you might respond better to a physical formula (so, a grainy scrub) or a chemical one (think: peel pads). A tad confusing, we know, so here we break it down for you.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Susanne Kaufmann Enzyme Peel
If your skin turns red at the slightest touch, try this natural peel. It uses mild fruit acids from kiwis, apples and papayas to remove dead skin without being too abrasive. (Plus, it smells delicious.) Once a week, smooth on a thin layer and remove it with a damp towel after ten minutes. You’ll have that sort of I-slept-for-ten-hours glow that’s hard to come by as an adult.
Suzanne Kaufmann ($68)
Best for Oily Skin: Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
Some quick skin-care science for you: AHAs (like glycolic or lactic acid) work to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while BHAs (like salicylic acid) help to unclog pores. This toner has both magical ingredients, which makes it a godsend for the oily (and typically acne-prone). Use it after cleansing every morning and night to keep shine and bumps at bay.
Best for Dry Skin: Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your skin is perpetually parched and flaky, try using this whipped scrub twice a week. It’s packed with corn beads (which are soft and rounded—not sharp or jagged like older formulas) to lift dry patches and grape-pulp extracts to moisturize.
Best for Normal Skin: Dr. Oracle Radical Clear Enzyme Powder Wash
If you’re one of the lucky few who don't have any specific concerns when it comes to complexion, this powder wash is a good staple. Formulated with fruit enzymes, it can be used as a daily cleanser as well as a weekly scrub, depending on how much water is added.
Dr. Oracle ($25)
Best for Mature Skin: Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Peel
OK, guys, here’s the bad news: Our natural skin-cell turnover slows down as we age. The good news is that certain ingredients (like retinol and ferulic acid) can help bring things back up to speed. These potent peel pads have both—which is why we’ve taken to using them two (sometimes three) times a week to keep things smooth and bright.
Dr. Dennis Gross ($88)