The 7 Best Exfoliating Products for Sensitive Skin, According to Cosmetologists

No matter how well-versed you are in retinol, bakuchiol, and vitamin C serums, there’s one skincare question that can frustrate even the most savvy beauty buffs: How to maximize skin cell changes without irritating my sensitive skin? So what to be Best exfoliator for sensitive skin?

We live in a time of over-exfoliation. There are many great, easily accessible products with exfoliating ingredients (most notably AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, and retinoids) that are important for removing dead skin cells and encouraging cell turnover. cell. But there are also many buyers who follow instructions blindly, and skin care products are not one-size-fits-all. Your skin type should always be an important factor when tweaking your skin care routine, especially if it’s more reactive than most skin types.

The good news is that dry, sensitive skin can still (and should!) exfoliate the skin. Celebrity facialist Candace Marino explains: “Exfoliation is important for all skin types, even reactive skin types. “Exfoliation is key to hydration, without exfoliating you can’t really moisturize or hydrate your skin.”

But determining the right composition and frequency can be a little less obvious. For anyone currently playing that guessing game, we tapped two experts – Marino (aka The LA Facialist) and Glow Skincare LA esthetician Kasey Boone – to find the product. Best exfoliator for sensitive skin.

And know, “gentle” doesn’t mean “ineffective.” These hard-working formulas are here to support our theory.

Featured image of Riley Reed.

Photos of Belathee Photography

How do you exfoliate super sensitive skin?

Before we dive into the best exfoliators for sensitive skin, it’s important to know what makes our product recommendations work. You may have already guessed that harsh exfoliation isn’t the move (experts almost always recommend chemical exfoliation instead of manual exfoliation), but what are the gentle heroes that still exist? get the job done?

PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids)

As a fruit acid, PHAs fall into the same category as AHAs and BHAs, but have a larger molecular structure, so they don’t penetrate as deeply. They also provide a little extra hydration. The most common PHAs are gluconolactone, lactobionic acidand galactose.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is one of the mildest AHAs, but like PHAs, it is difficult to retain moisture. Boone adds: “PHA and lactic acid both help hydrate the skin, while promoting cell turnover.

Fruit enzymes

“Enzymes digest dead cells, turning them into a gentle way to break down the build-up of dead cells, preventing product penetration,” says Marino. “Unlike chemicals, they will not affect living cells.”

Marino recommends using the enzymes papain and bromelain.

Pictures of Michelle Nash

How often should you exfoliate sensitive, reactive, or fragile skin?

Everyone’s skin is unique, but a general rule for those who determine to have more sensitive or reactive skin is to exfoliate once or twice a week, according to Boone.

However, if your skin is really inflamed or highly reactive, Marino recommends gentle chemical formulations using enzymes in combination with products (including DMK gel below). can help strengthen and repair your skin barrier.

Picture of Teal Thomsen

The best exfoliants for sensitive skin

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