HomeBeauty & MakeupBest Exfoliator For Sensitive Skin: Top 15 Picks

Best Exfoliator For Sensitive Skin: Top 15 Picks

Exfoliation is a major step of any effective skincare routine. Even if you have sensitive skin, you need to exfoliate your skin regularly. You just have to choose the best exfoliator for sensitive skin to avoid bad reactions.

Exfoliation helps even skin texture, promotes new skin cell growth, removes dead skin cells, and refines pores.

It’s not something you need to do daily but regular exfoliating is the key to glowing healthy-looking skin.

Of course, gentle formulas that contain exfoliating acids or fruit enzymes are the best for sensitive skin as they will not irritate or inflame the skin.

So to spare you a lot of time, I included a list of the 15 best exfoliators for sensitive skin, how to exfoliate, the benefits of exfoliation, and the ingredients to look for.

Should You Exfoliate If You Have Sensitive Skin?

Yes. You can safely exfoliate your sensitive skin but you need to be extra careful about the exfoliant you use and how often you’re going to use it.

Also, you should avoid certain actions while exfoliating sensitive skin.

Don’t scrub or use mechanical ways of exfoliating as this can cause irritation, redness, or burning.

Plus, you should look for a mild chemical exfoliator that is suitable for sensitive skin and apply it to your skin gently.

Moreover, exfoliation suits almost all skin types due to its remarkable benefits. However, people with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or super dry skin, should check with their dermatologist first before using exfoliants.

Lastly, avoid exfoliating if you have cuts or wounds on your skin or if your skin is burned by the sun. This will lead to unpleasant signs of irritation, burning, dryness, or redness.

Best Exfoliator For Sensitive Skin: Top Effective 15 Ones:

1- First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, Exfoliating Pads with AHA. Amazon.com
Amazon

This is the best exfoliator for dry sensitive skin that gently exfoliates the skin and dissolves dead skin.

These exfoliating pads are formulated with AHA; lactic and glycolic acid which makes them a safe option for exfoliating sensitive skin effectively without harming it.

They also contain cucumber water, Indian gooseberry, lemon peel, licorice root, hyaluronic acid, feverfew, aloe vera, and white tea.

Lemon peel and licorice root extract even skin tone and treat skin hyperpigmentation.

Lactic and glycolic acids reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and leave your skin bright and healthy.

Cucumber and aloe vera soothe the skin and keep it nourished while Indian gooseberry improves skin texture, reduces inflammation, and balances your skin tone.

Also, feverfew is a soothing ingredient like chamomile that helps calm the skin and maintain its health.

Hyaluronic acid and white tea increase skin moisture and give your complexion a glowing boost.

So all these ingredients work together to enhance natural radiance and create the perfect canvas for applying makeup.

Those pads are gentle enough to be used daily after cleansing and before moisturizing to help you get rid of dead skin cells and keep your skin fresh.

Plus, they don’t contain alcohol, fragrance, colorants, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfate, petrolatum, ethanol, formaldehyde, coal tar, ethyl alcohol, talc, oxybenzone, triclocarban, or propylene glycol.

Furthermore, this exfoliator is tested by dermatologists, and it’s vegan, non-comedogenic, soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and nano-free.

This makes them a good option for you as they are the best chemical exfoliant for sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Daily exfoliating pads with AHA.
  • Ideal for dry sensitive skin and sensitive skin.
  • Contain lactic acid, glycolic acid, cucumber, aloe vera, feverfew, lemon peel, licorice extract, Indian gooseberry, hyaluronic acid, and white tea.
  • Remove dead skin cells and reduce aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Even skin tone.
  • Target hyperpigmentation.
  • Leave your skin texture improved.
  • Brighten the skin.
  • Hydrate the skin.
  • Calm and soothe the skin.
  • Boost radiance for better makeup application.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Vegan.
  • Doesn’t contain harsh ingredients that could irritate sensitive skin.
  • No artificial fragrance.
  • No artificial colorants.
  • Soy-free.
  • Nut-free.
  • Nano-free.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Dermatologist-tested.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers said that the results are not as dramatic as they thought.

2- Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Face Scrub

Cetaphil Exfoliating Face Wash, Extra Gentle Daily Face Scrub. Amazon.com
Amazon

The Cetaphil Exfoliating Face Wash is a three-in-one product that can cleanse the skin of all impurities, gently exfoliate sensitive skin, and leave it calm and nourished.

This scrub contains micro-fine granules and citric acid to buff away dead skin cells, dry skin, and dull stressed skin without causing irritation.

Also, it’s formulated with vitamins E & B5, glycerin, and bamboo stem extract to hydrate the skin while cleansing and exfoliating it.

Plus, they help prevent dryness and leave the skin soft, radiant, and healthy.

The non-irritating, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic formula is designed for sensitive skin and for everyday use.

The Cetaphil Exfoliating Face Wash improves skin texture and balances the skin without leaving any residue. And it’s dermatologist-tested.

Lastly, apply the facial wash to your face while your eyes are closed to avoid irritation.

Pros:

  • Exfoliating face wash.
  • 3-in-1 product.
  • Remove dirt and buildups from the skin.
  • Gently exfoliate the skin without drying it out.
  • Hydrate and soothe the skin.
  • Formulated with micro-fine granules, citric acid, vitamins E & B5, bamboo stem extract, and glycerin.
  • Stimulate natural surface cell turnover.
  • Give the skin a radiant glowing appearance.
  • Leave no residue.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Keep the skin’s pH balanced.
  • Non-irritating formula.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Dermatologist-tested.

Cons:

  • Contain masking fragrance which could be not ideal for some people.

3- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant. Amazon.com
Amazon

The Paula’s Choice 2% BHA exfoliator is a best seller on Amazon and it’s recommended by estheticians on Instagram and other social media platforms.

It can gently unclog pores, minimize their size, remove away dead skin cells, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Also, it clears blackheads as It goes deep into pores to guarantee there’s no gunk left in them anymore.

Plus, it can brighten the skin, even out skin tone, and keep it healthy.

The Paula’s Choice 2% BHA exfoliator contains salicylic acid, butylene glycol, and green tea leaf extracts that help fight acne, combat redness, and reduce aging signs while providing hydration.

The non-abrasive formula is gentle on the delicate skin of the face and neck. It will not cause micro-tears on the skin.

It’s suitable for sensitive skin as it won’t burn or sting the skin while exfoliating it.

This exfoliator gives your skin a youthful radiant look. And it can improve skin damage caused by the sun.

In Paula’s Choice, they conducted a consumer study after applying the product for 30 days and it showed that:

  • 91% of consumers felt their skin appeared healthier.
  • 82% of participants felt their pores appeared smaller.
  • 90% of them agreed their skin texture was improved.

Lastly, it contains no fragrance, parabens, or fluff. It’s recommended to patch testing before using and start using it gradually before increasing to daily use.

Pros:

  • Non-abrasive exfoliator.
  • Bestseller product on Amazon.
  • Estheticias’ favorite.
  • Formulated with salicylic acid, butylene glycol, and green tea leaf extracts.
  • Improve the appearance of pores.
  • Clear pores effectively.
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Shed dead skin cells.
  • Soothe redness.
  • Improve skin texture.
  • Even skin tone.
  • Maintain a healthy complexion.
  • Gentle enough for everyday use.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Science-backed formula.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers mentioned that it may dry out their skin which means you should not use it daily for sensitive skin and apply a moisturizer after using it.

4- Caudalie Vinoperfect Glycolic Peel Mask

Caudalie Vinoperfect Glycolic Peel Mask. Amazon.com
Amazon

The Caudalie Vinoperfect Glycolic Peel Mask is the best face exfoliator for sensitive skin that is derived from natural ingredients like grapes.

It’s enriched with papaya enzyme, Viniferine, and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin gently and refine skin texture.

Glycolic acid works on removing dead skin cells and brightening the skin.

Papaya enzymes can help shrink and refine pores and give the skin a softer and brighter look.

As for Viniferine, it evens skin tone and supports the skin barrier for a healthy-looking appearance.

This peel mask suits all skin types including super sensitive skin. It’s free of parabens, sulfate, mineral oil, animal ingredients, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol.

To use it, apply a thick layer to your face and leave it for 10 minutes then rinse with water. Avoid the delicate skin around the eye area.

Pros:

  • Natural peel mask.
  • Derived from natural ingredients.
  • Contain papaya enzyme, Viniferine, and glycolic acid.
  • Buff away dead skin cells.
  • Brighten the skin.
  • Improve skin texture.
  • Minimize pores.
  • Keep an even skin tone.
  • Reveal a softer and brighter look.
  • Renew the skin.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Phthalates-free.
  • Mineral oil-free.
  • Phenoxyethanol-free.
  • PEG-free.
  • Doesn’t contain animal ingredients.
  • Dermatologically-tested.

Cons:

  • For some reviewers, the tube doesn’t contain a good amount of the product.

5- REN Clean Skincare Glow Tonic

REN Clean Skincare Glow Tonic. Amazon.com
Amazon

The REN Clean Skincare Glow Tonic is a dual-action exfoliator that is formulated with lactic acid ( AHA ), gentle mechanical exfoliants ( salicin BHA ), and azelaic acid.

So it works on exfoliating the skin, buffing away dead skin cells, and cleansing pores effectively.

It’s a skin-resurfacing face tonic that brightens and revitalizes tired and stressed skin.

Also, the REN Clean Skincare Glow Tonic protects the skin against pollutants due to its effective formula as it exfoliates the skin and smooths its appearance.

In REN Clean Skincare, they conducted a consumer study that showed more than 95% of participants reported that this tonic did not cause irritation.

So it’s gentle and safe for all skin types including sensitive skin.

It’s recommended to dilute this tonic with water if your skin is hypersensitive.

Plus, it’s best to use it once or twice weekly as a treatment.

Many reviewers on Amazon loved this product and they mentioned their skin become clearer, smoother, and brighter.

Pros:

  • Dual-action exfoliator.
  • Made with lactic acid, salicin, and azelaic acid.
  • Exfoliate the skin smoothly.
  • Refine and shrink pores.
  • Reduce breakouts.
  • Remove dead skin cells.
  • Re-energizing stressed skin.
  • Treat scars and hyperpigmentation.
  • Even skin tone.
  • Hydrate the skin.
  • No-irritation.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Clean ingredients.
  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Eco-friendly.

Cons:

  • It contains citrus oils that could be not so great for sensitive skin.
  • High fragrant formula, it may not suit all skin types.

6- Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Hydrating Night Serum

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Hydrating Night Serum. Amazon.com
Amazon

This is the best facial exfoliator for sensitive skin as it’s formulated with citric and fruit acids and lactic and glycolic acids.

It can stimulate new skin cells, reduce the appearance of pores, and treat hyperpigmentation.

Also, this facial exfoliator contains hyaluronic acid and honey that have many benefits for the skin and can soothe and moisturize sensitive skin while maintaining a youthful and healthy look.

Moreover, the flower acids work on smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in addition to keeping the skin hydrated.

In Farmacy Beauty, they have done a 6-week consumer panel and tested the product on all skin types including sensitive skin, they found:

  • 92% of users felt their skin become hydrated and supple.
  • 90% of participants, their skin become smoother and skin texture improved.
  • 87% of them felt their skin become brighter and a healthy glow added to their skin.

Furthermore, people with sensitive skin who use this product found this serum is gentle on sensitive and dry sensitive skin and causes no irritation.

Lastly, this anti-aging serum is a three-in-one product that resurfaces, clarifies, and nourishes dull skin to reveal a radiant youthful look.

It’s recommended to patch test on your arm for about 24 hours and consult a dermatologist if you never used acid products to guide you.

Pros:

  • 3-in-1 Anti-aging serum.
  • Enriched with 10% AHA, 1% BHA, 3% Flower acids, and hyaluronic acid.
  • Promote new skin cells.
  • Make pores appear smaller.
  • Clear the pores.
  • Reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Heal hyperpigmentation.
  • Even skin tone.
  • Rehydrate the skin.
  • Ideal for sensitive or dry sensitive skin.
  • Farmacy Beauty conducted studies that showed people who used this product, their skin become brighter, smoother, and improved.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Leaping Bunny certified.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Made from recycled and recyclable materials.
  • 100% certified waste-free packaging by 2022.

Cons:

  • Contain citrus fruit extracts that may irritate sensitive skin.

7- Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel For Sensitive Skin

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel. Amazon.com
Amazon

The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel is designed for people with sensitive skin or dry skin, it removes dead skin cells, hydrates the skin, and improves skin texture.

It’s formulated with 3 doses of AHA/BHA; lactic acid, mandelic acid, and salicylic acid.

This helps dissolve dead skin and other impurities from the skin effectively which leads to a glowing dewy appearance.

Also, the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel contains green tea, cucumber, chamomile, and witch hazel.

Those ingredients soothe and cool sensitive skin and reduce irritation and inflammation.

All these beneficial ingredients work together to refine pores, smooth wrinkles & fine lines, even skin tone, enhance radiance, and nourish the skin.

It’s ideal for all skin types even sensitive fragile skin types.

It consists of two steps; the first step is about exfoliating while keeping the skin hydrated. As for the second step, it’s the anti-aging part that balances the skin and maintains its health.

They held a consumer study that showed after 14 days of use, their skin looks more youthful and becomes firmer and healthier.

Lastly, The Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare is a dermatologist-founded brand which makes it a great choice for sensitive skin as they will be super gentle on the skin.

Pros:

  • 2-step exfoliator.
  • Contain lactic acid, mandelic acid, salicylic acid, cucumber, green tea, chamomile, and witch hazel.
  • remove dead skin cells effortlessly.
  • Clear the pores.
  • Moisturize the skin.
  • Improve skin texture.
  • Reduce aging signs like wrinkles.
  • Soothe irritation.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Suitable for the most sensitive skin types.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Phthalate-free.
  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • A brand that is founded by dermatologists.

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive.

8- Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub. Amazon.com
Amazon

Face scrubs are usually a good exfoliating option for people with sensitive skin that can be used daily.

Aveeno Skincare is a dermatologist-recommended brand that is super safe, widely known, and trusted around the world.

Their products have thousands of good reviews on Amazon.

This face scrub is enriched with moisture-rich soy extract, jojoba oil, castor oil, and naturally derived granules.

Those effective ingredients cleanse and clarify the skin, even skin tone, and give you a bright and soft look.

Also, jojoba oil and castor oil have anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent breakouts, reduce wrinkles, and hydrate the skin.

The Aveeno Face scrub is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and soap-free so it will not cause irritation, clog pores, or inflame your skin.

In Aveeno, they claim this product is formulated especially to boost natural radiance and give your skin a long-lasting glow.

To use it, apply to your face and neck gently and avoid the sensitive eye area then rinse with lukewarm water.

Pros:

  • Natural face scrub.
  • Rich in soy extract, jojoba oil, castor oil, and naturally derived granules.
  • Exfoliate, cleanse, and clarify the skin.
  • Improve skin tone.
  • Add glow.
  • Smooth and brighten the skin.
  • Enhance radiant healthy appearance.
  • Calm sensitive skin.
  • Prevent inflammation and irritation.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Soap-free.
  • Easy to use.
  • Recommended brand by many dermatologists.
  • Budget-friendly.

Cons:

  • Be aware! If you’re allergic to castor oil, avoid using this product.
  • Contain sulfate.
  • Contain fragrance.

9- Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Amazon.com
Amazon

The Kate Somerville exfoliant is enriched with a blend of lactic acid (AHA), salicylic acid, fruit enzymes; papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes.

It also contains effective ingredients like cinnamon, rosewood, silica, aloe vera, honey, and vitamin E.

lactic acid works on chemically exfoliating the skin gently while silica is a gentle physical exfoliator that reveals brighter-looking skin.

So it’s a dual-action exfoliator that can clarify the skin without overdrying.

Those ingredients can smooth wrinkles and fine lines, reduce most aging signs, improve skin dullness, and refine pores while keeping your skin nourished and polished.

Aloe vera, vitamin E, and honey in this exfoliator help soothe and calm sensitive skin and reduce irritation and redness.

This product prepares your skin for better absorption of the rest of your skincare routine.

Lastly, people who used it for 4 weeks noticed a significant improvement in skin texture, pores, crow’s feet, and fine lines.

To use it on sensitive skin, apply a thin layer to your face and neck, massage in circular motions for 1-2 minutes then rinse with water. You can use it 1-2 a week.

Pros:

  • Dual-action exfoliator
  • Contain lactic acid, salicylic acid, fruit enzymes, and silica.
  • Formulated with aloe vera, cinnamon, vitamin E, rosewood, and honey.
  • Exfoliate the skin without irritation or drying it out.
  • Improve skin texture
  • Minimize the appearance of pores.
  • Reduce wrinkles & fine lines and give you a healthy-looking complexion.
  • Calm sensitive skin.
  • Ease inflammation and redness.
  • Treat skin dullness.
  • Hydrate and soften the skin.
  • Suitable for not very sensitive skin.
  • Add glow.
  • Cruelty-free.

Cons:

  • Contain fragrance.
  • A little pricey.

10- Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask

Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask. Amazon.com
Amazon

The Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask is another best exfoliator for sensitive skin that can smooth and add glow to your skin.

It’s formulated with a blend of AHAs; glycolic and lactic acids to help buff away dead skin cells, unclog pores, and clarify the skin.

Also, it contains hyaluronic acid, pumpkin extract, and watermelon extract.

Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and plump tired skin for a youthful hydrating appearance.

Pumpkin extract has antioxidant properties that promote collagen production, reduce free radical damage, and prevent aging signs which leads to healthy and glowing skin.

As for the key soothing ingredient, watermelon extract; it’s rich in amino acids and vitamins that moisturize and soften the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines.

The watermelon mask does not contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, mineral oils, and drying alcohols. Plus, it’s vegan and not tested on animals.

To use it, there are two ways to try this mask. The first method is the sleep mask, apply a good amount to your face as the last step of your skincare routine before going to bed. Massage into the skin gently then wash your face in the morning.

The second method is the wash-off mask, apply a thick layer to your whole face of the mask for 10 minutes then rinse with water.

Lastly, it’s recommended to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before using it.

Pros:

  • Watermelon sleeping mask.
  • Contain glycolic acid, lactic acid, watermelon extract, pumpkin, extract, and hyaluronic acid.
  • Clarify the skin.
  • Hydrate the skin.
  • Increase collagen production.
  • Reduce fines lines, wrinkles
  • Refine the appearance of pores.
  • Eliminate blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Soothe the skin while exfoliating it.
  • Boost radiant glowing appearance.
  • Improve the appearance of sunspots, acne scarring, and damage caused by the sun.
  • Vegan.
  • Drying alcohol-free.
  • Dye-free.
  • Mineral oil-free.
  • Phthalate-free.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Cruelty-free.

Cons:

  • Expensive but it’s not a product that needs to be used daily as it may last 4-6 months.

11- The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha. Amazon.com
Amazon

This is the best budget-friendly chemical exfoliator that does not contain too many ingredients but works well for dry sensitive skin, acne-prone sensitive skin, and sensitive skin.

It’s formulated with lactic acid and the most hydrating ingredient, hyaluronic acid.

This exfoliant contains also Tasmanian Pepperberry which is known to relieve irritation and sensitivity signs associated with acid use.

This exfoliator can slough off dead skin cells, and improve skin dullness, and even skin tone while moisturizing the skin effortlessly.

Also, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha can help smooth signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines, reduce textural irregularities, and soothe redness and inflammation.

So we can say this one helps resurface the skin and boost brightness and softer appearance.

Furthermore, if you have not used exfoliants before, you can get the other formula that is with a 5% concentration to avoid any skin reaction. Check it on Amazon.

And it still can even skin tone, improve skin texture, and unclog pores without causing flaking.

Pros:

  • Most popular water-based exfoliating serum.
  • Hydrating formula.
  • Gentle product.
  • Contain lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and Tasmanian Pepperberry.
  • Exfoliate the skin.
  • Remove dead skin cells.
  • Balance the skin tone.
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improve the appearance of skin irregularities.
  • Prevent redness.
  • A simple product that contains few ingredients which guarantee no irritation or inflammation.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Most affordable.

Cons:

  • According to some reviewers, the bottle contains a small amount of the product.
  • Can’t be used every day as it’s a bit strong.

12- True Botanicals Organic Resurfacing Body Mask

True Botanicals - Organic Resurfacing Body Mask. Amazon.com
Amazon

This is the most gentle and best body exfoliator for sensitive skin that can help you get rid of dull skin, dry skin, and scaly skin effectively.

The True Botanicals Organic Resurfacing Body Mask contains lactic acid, green tea, and sandalwood oil to remove dead skin cells, increase collagen and ceramides production, and maintain hydration.

Also, they reduce inflammation, prevent dullness and dryness, and reduce pumps that form on the skin effortlessly.

So this exfoliator leaves your skin softer, brighter, and glowing while soothing and calming sensitive skin.

Furthermore, it doesn’t contain paraben, sulfate, phthalate, or synthetic fragrance. And it’s vegan and not tested on animals.

In True Botanicals, they made their product carefully with the highest quality ingredients to deliver the best experience ever.

To use it, apply to dry skin and massage gently for a few minutes then leave it for 5-15 minutes then rinse off with water. Use 1-2 a week and follow with a moisturizer to boost hydration.

Lastly, many reviewers with sensitive skin mentioned that this product didn’t irritate or inflame their skin after use.

Pros:

  • Best organic body exfoliator for sensitive skin.
  • Enriched with lactic acid, green tea, and sandalwood oil.
  • Lactic acid breaks down dead skin cells, promotes ceramides and collagen production, and increases hydration.
  • Green tea has antioxidant properties that reduce free radical damage, soothe inflammation, and maintain a vibrant look.
  • Sandalwood oil calms inflammation, soothes irritation, and stimulates new skin cell growth.
  • Prevent bumps.
  • Give your skin a brighter and radiant appearance.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Phthalate-free.
  • Synthetic fragrance-free.
  • Non-GMO.
  • SLS & SLES-free.
  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Clean and safe ingredients.

Cons:

  • A bit pricey.
  • For some reviewers, it doesn’t have a great smell.

13- Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub. Amazon.com
Amazon

This body scrub is formulated with coconut oil, floral Moroccan rose, shea butter, sugar, and pink clay.

Virgin coconut oil nourishes the skin and replenishes its moisture. And it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and treat acne.

Floral Moroccan rose has anti-inflammatory properties that work on soothing the skin and smoothing it. Plus, it has a great scent.

As for shea butter, it softens the skin and keeps it nourished. Also, it has healing and anti-inflammatory properties that can condition, tone, and calm the skin.

Pink clay gives this body scrub its lovely pinky color. And it gently exfoliates the skin, refines pores, and improves skin elasticity.

Sugar is the main exfoliating agent in this scrub, it removes dead skin cells from the skin and leaves your skin healthy and smooth. Sugar is a gentle physical exfoliant that doesn’t usually irritate sensitive skin.

Furthermore, this body scrub is free of sulfates, parabens, gluten, synthetics, and other harsh ingredients.

To use it, apply enough amount to your skin and massage gently, target dry and rough areas and leave it for 1-2 minutes then rinse with water. Be aware that this body scrub may make the shower floor slippery.

Pros:

  • Exfoliating and moisturizing body scrub.
  • Contain virgin coconut oil, Moroccan rose oil, shea butter, pink clay, and sugar.
  • Buff away dead skin cells.
  • Soothe irritation and inflammation.
  • Keep the pores clear.
  • Give your skin a healthy and radiance appearance.
  • Moisturize and condition the skin, especially dry and rough areas.
  • Has a light and sweet smell.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Synthetic dye & fragrance-free.
  • Safe and natural ingredients.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • GMO-free.
  • Mineral oil-free.
  • Petroleum-free.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Reusable and recyclable packaging.

Cons:

  • This body polish comes in a glass bottle so you have to store it in a good place when you’re not using it to avoid breakage.

14- e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant

e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant. Amazon.com
Amazon

According to many customers and supermodels, the e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant is the best exfoliator for sensitive skin.

Plus, it’s an Allure Beauty Winner due to its powerful formula and reasonable cost.

The e.l.f gentle peeling exfoliant contains papaya and tangerine fruit enzymes and licorice extract.

It can peel away dead skin cells effectively while leaving the skin moisturized, healthy, and glowing.

Papaya enzyme has exfoliating properties that can unclog pores, remove damaged keratin, and help you get rid of dead skin. It also reduces inflammation.

Tangerine enzyme sloughs away dead skin cells, smooths the skin, and gives it a silky and hydrated appearance.

Licorice extract has a healing and soothing effect on the skin as it can ease inflammation, irritation, and redness. Plus, it treats hyperpigmentation, brightens the skin, and reduces skin damage.

Lastly, this face cleanser doesn’t contain paraben, phthalate, triclosan, nonylphenol, ethoxylates, triclocarban, and hydroquinone. And it’s vegan and not tested on animals.

To use it, apply a small amount of the product onto your skin and massage in circular motions ( avoid the eye and lip area ) then wash your face with water and gently pat dry. You can use it 2-3 times a week to avoid irritating sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Gentle peeling cleanser.
  • Formulated with papaya and tangerine enzymes.
  • Contain licorice extract.
  • Remove dead skin cells
  • Calm irritation, redness, and inflammation.
  • Soften the skin.
  • Boost radiance.
  • Shrink pores.
  • Heal dark patches on the skin.
  • Even skin tone and improve skin texture.
  • Keep the skin well-hydrated.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Phthalate-free.
  • Ethoxylate & nonylphenol-free.
  • Free of triclosan, triclocarban, and hydroquinone.
  • High-quality ingredients.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Budget-friendly.

Cons:

  • It has fragrance.
  • Super gentle product as it doesn’t contain alpha or beta hydroxy acids which makes it not so effective for some people.

15- SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 renew overnight

SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 renew overnight. Amazon.com
Amazon

The SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 renew overnight contains a gentle blend of glycolic and phytic acid to promote effective exfoliation and brighten the skin.

Those two types of AHAs stimulate new skin cell growth, support the skin barrier, tone the skin, and improve skin texture.

Also, this overnight treatment has a triple-action soothing complex that leads to a healthy-looking complexion and well-hydrated skin.

Plus, the SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 renew overnight is an Allure Best Of Beauty Award Winner as it’s a powerful product yet gentle enough to not irritate sensitive skin.

The overnight treatment won’t cause dryness as it sheds dull skin, reduces skin aging signs, and maintains the skin’s natural moisture.

This product has been tested for tolerability for nightly use. And it doesn’t contain fragrance or dyes.

Lastly, it’s a quick-absorbing cream and it has been proven clinically to boost radiance.

Pros:

  • Overnight peeling treatment.
  • Contain two types of AHAs.
  • Formulated with glycolic acid and phytic acid.
  • Peel away dead skin cells and promote natural cell turnover.
  • Enhance brightness.
  • Has triple-action soothing complex.
  • Even skin tone.
  • Improve the appearance of skin texture.
  • Strengthen the skin barrier.
  • Prevent dryness.
  • Won’t irritate sensitive skin.
  • Restore a radiant, healthy-looking appearance.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Dye-free.
  • Allure Best Of Beauty Award Winner.

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive.
  • Not Cruelty-free.

How To Pick The Best Exfoliator For Sensitive Skin?

To get the best exfoliator for sensitive skin, you should consider some important factors before buying any exfoliator:

The Type Of The Exfoliator

Dermatologists usually recommend chemical exfoliators for people with sensitive skin as they break the bonds between the cells and this leads to removing the dead skin layer easier.

Chemical exfoliators include Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs).

AHAs like lactic, mandelic, or glycolic acids are the most gentle and the safest on sensitive skin if used at a low concentration.

You should start with using it once a week then increase it to 2-3 times a week when your skin can tolerate it.

Starting slowly is the key to avoiding irritation or burning. AHAs-based products help exfoliate the skin gently while moisturizing and smoothing it.

BHAs like salicylic acid can be a little stronger than AHAs as they can prevent breakouts and refine pores. So you may start with BHAs-based products at a very low concentration.

We have also another gentle one; azelaic acid, which can shed dead skin cells, clear pores, and boost radiance. So it can be also effective to be used on sensitive skin.

Nourishing Ingredients

Adding soothing and nourishing ingredients to the exfoliator’s formula can aid in softening and smoothing your skin and prevent dryness.

Exfoliating the skin can cause dryness so ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, vitamin E & B5, feverfew, glycerin, or shea butter can soothe sensitive skin and keep it well-hydrated.

Those ingredients with low concentrations of AHAs or BHAs can form the best exfoliator for sensitive skin that buffs away dead skin cells while leaving the skin moisturized and calm.

Free Of Harsh Chemicals and Irritants

Certain ingredients in skin-care products can irritate sensitive skin easily.

They may also strip the skin of its natural oils, making it dry and flaky.

So it’s best to avoid products that contain:

  • Parabens.
  • Sulfates.
  • Synthetic fragrance.
  • Dyes.
  • Drying alcohol.
  • Petroleum ingredients.
  • Harsh preservatives.

You should know that not all of those ingredients could irritate or sting the skin. However, it’s still advised to avoid them especially if your skin is sensitive or if you don’t wanna risk a potential skin reaction.

If you know that your skin can tolerate a certain ingredient then you may buy this product as you know it will not harm your skin.

Other Factors

Make sure to pick an exfoliator that is labeled as non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.

Non-comedogenic products don’t contain heavy ingredients that clog pores and cause breakouts. They will keep your pores clear and refined.

Hypoallergenic exfoliators are gentle on sensitive skin as they have fewer-to-no allergens which help reduce allergic reactions.

What To Avoid When Buying An Exfoliator?

There are some factors that you should look at before purchasing a new exfoliator for sensitive skin if you wanna keep it healthy and glowing. Those factors include:

Large and Sharp Exfoliating Particles

Dermatologists don’t recommend using an exfoliator with large or sharp particles like walnuts or nut shells as they are super harsh on sensitive skin.

Those particles can cause scarring, hyperpigmentation, and micro-tears which will lead to irritation and even bigger problems that will need a lot of time to be fixed.

Harsh Formula

Using an exfoliator that is formulated with a harsh formula that is not suitable for sensitive skin can lead to consequences.

A harsh exfoliator can sting, irritate, or even break out your skin. Stick to a product that contains a gentle chemical exfoliant to get rid of dead skin cells without irritation or drying out your sensitive skin.

Also, consult with a dermatologist if you are still not sure what to use to help you choose the best product for you.

Concentration Level

You should avoid exfoliators with a high concentration as they will harm your sensitive skin badly.

An exfoliator with a low concentration is the ideal product for people with sensitive skin as it will be gentle on their skin. Usually, an exfoliant with 8%-10% AHAs is safe to use on sensitive skin.

Also, it’s highly recommended to test the product on a small area of skin and wait for 24-48 hours before using it on your face and neck.

What Are The Benefits Of Face Exfoliators?

Frequent exfoliating works on removing dirt and dead skin cells gently without harming or irritating the skin.

They stimulate new skin cell growth, unclog pores, and reduce breakouts.

Good exfoliators for sensitive skin can also even skin tone and transform dull stressed skin.

Another great benefit of face exfoliators, they prepare your skin for skin-care products to penetrate the surface of your skin better.

And they can prevent fine lines and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

As we age, the skin efficiency of exfoliation itself slows down which leads to a buildup layer of dead skin cells.

So when you often exfoliate your skin, you will reduce the aging process signs, improve skin texture, and promote healthy-looking skin.

How To Exfoliate Sensitive Skin?

People with sensitive skin or dry sensitive skin are more prone to irritation, redness, or stinging that’s why they need to be conservative about the products they apply to their skin.

Find a gentle product, and follow the instructions labeled on the package to avoid annoying signs of sensitivity.

Exfoliating products come in the form of facial washes, toners, serums, scrubs, masks, or pre-soaked pads.

Many experts recommend starting with exfoliating cleansers as they are less likely to cause irritation or redness due to their shorter contact time on the skin.

Also, people with sensitive skin may not need to exfoliate their skin. But if they’re experiencing acne, hyperpigmentation, dullness, damaged skin, or aging signs, they will need to use exfoliants regularly.

What Are The Types Of Exfoliants?

There are two types of exfoliants: chemical and physical.

Physical Exfoliants work on buffing away dead skin cells from the skin physically.

They come in the form of scrubs with microbeads, walnut shells, or sand, Dermaplaning tools, or facial brushes.

Physical exfoliants are not recommended for sensitive skin as they contain large and sharp bites that can cause hyperpigmentation or micro-tears on the outer layer of the skin.

Dermatologists don’t usually recommend this type of exfoliant due to those side effects.

Chemical Exfoliants are acid-based formulas that are used in skin-care products to remove away all dead skin cells and promote a new and fresh layer of skin.

They come in two types: alpha-hydroxy acids ( AHAs ) like lactic, malic, or glycolic acids — and beta-hydroxy acids ( BHAs ) like salicylic acid.

Both of them improve skin texture and even skin tone. Salicylic acid skin-care products are super effective in reducing breakouts as salicylic acid minimizes swelling and reduces inflammation.

How Often Should You Exfoliate If Your Skin Is Sensitive?

Dermatologists recommend starting slow with exfoliators if you have sensitive skin.

So they recommend exfoliating once a week and using a product that is formulated for sensitive skin to be gentle and not super strong on the skin.

This helps the skin to build up a tolerance and prevent skin reactions.

Also, patch-test the product before applying it to your face to keep your skin looking healthy and protected.

Furthermore, avoid over-exfoliation as it can cause skin darkening and damage the skin.

It can also lead to a compromised liquid barrier that makes sensitive skin gets easily irritated.

And this can lead to further irritate skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

What To Do After Exfoliating?

It’s best to apply a good moisturizer to your skin after exfoliating. The moisturizer should contain nourishing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or aloe vera.

This can lock in moisture and keep skin well-hydrated. Also, this helps prevent feelings of dryness and tightness.

Plus, wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 after exfoliating if you will expose to the sun to avoid skin damage.

Conclusion

The best exfoliator for sensitive skin should slough off dead skin cells, stimulate new cell turnover, reduce aging signs, and brighten the skin while keeping it feeling hydrated and soft.

There are many exfoliators out there on the market that could make you confused and not sure what to buy, that’s why I curated above a list of the best exfoliators for sensitive skin for you so you choose the one that suits you the most.

Don’t forget to let us know which one will you purchase?

* Hey Gorgeous! The Nfrw is reader-supported and I may earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from the site.

Also Check:

The Best Guide To Skin Care Routine For Sensitive Skin

The 10 Best Facial Wash For Sensitive Skin With Acne

15 Best Makeup Removers For Sensitive Skin That Won’t Sting

The Best 14 Makeup Remover Wipes For Sensitive Skin To Try

Toner For Sensitive Skin: The Best 11 Non-Irritating Picks

The 12 Best Body Wash For Dry Sensitive Skin & Buying Guide

The 11 Best Primer For Sensitive Skin & Buying Guide

The Top 11 Signs That Tells If You Have Sensitive Skin

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