Why You Should Add a Liquid Exfoliator to Your Routine

For smooth glowing skin there are two non-negotiables: SPF and exfoliation. Now, we trust that you’re already a pro with sunscreen, so we’re going to talk about the latter. More specifically, liquid exfoliators, which use acids to slough off dead skin cells in place of grainy scrubs. Both have their merits, but liquid formulas tend to be gentler and also have anti-aging benefits. Here, five of our go-tos.

The 7 Best Exfoliators for Sensitive Skin

omorovicza acid fix
Saks Fifth Avenue

Omorovicza Acid Fix

This Hungarian import is a cult favorite among skin-care obsessives and uses a potent blend of both alpha and beta hydroxy acids to dissolve dead cells and regenerate new ones. Translation: It keeps your pores clear and skin bright. 

skinceuticals blemish age defense

Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense

There’s no sugarcoating it: Adult acne sucks. After a particularly rough few months of dealing with breakouts, we found this HG serum that uses dioic and glycolic acid (among others) to combat excess oil, clear clogged pores and even help fade old acne scars with continued use.

glytone exfoliating lotion 17

Glytone Exfoliating Lotion

We call this one "glow in a bottle," because that’s exactly what it does for your skin. The key ingredient at work here is glycolic acid, which is commonly used to increase cell turnover. But what makes this formulation so special is its moisturizing properties (thank you, glycerin) so it’s less drying. 

Buy it ($50)

eminence organics mangosteen concentrate

Eminence Organic Skin Care Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Concentrate

For the natural beauty: This nontoxic brand uses fruit and plant extracts (like mangosteen and red clover flower) in lieu of chemicals to gently slough away dead skin cells and protect against free radical damage.

paula s choice skin perfecting liquid

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% Bha Liquid

A quick search of this product will yield thousands of fervent reviews praising how it transformed their skin from "congested and irritated" to "calm, clear and glowing." This can be attributed to the combo of salicylic acid and green tea leaf extract, which clears pores while soothing inflammation to balance everything out. 

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...