Editors' Picks: The Best Chemical Exfoliators
Lately, we've been waxing poetic about the dangers of using abrasive scrubs, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. As much as using a good scrub on our complexion feels like it has to be working, the not-so-immediately-apparent damage it's doing to your skin is rather frightening. According to celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau, over-scrubbing can cause dehydration, redness, and premature aging—yikes! Aren't those the things we're trying to prevent/remedy when we exfoliate?
The answer to this beauty conundrum? Skip the scrubs. Says Rouleau, "From reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles to hydrating the skin and treating acne, using an exfoliating acid is the key to more youthful, glowing skin. These exfoliants include ingredients such as glycolic acid, AHAs, and BHA, and enzymes such as pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple." Here at Byrdie, we're big fans of chemical exfoliators. They're easy on our skin and give us that dewy glow we're always yearning for. So without further ado, below are our favorite chemical exfoliators ever.
Dr. Dennis Gross Smooth & Flawless: Peel + Moisturize ($48)
All of the Byrdie editors unanimously agree that these pads from Dr. Dennis Gross are a must-try. Not only do you get a radiant glow after you're done using them, they also help clear up those deep-rooted blackheads you think have taken up permanent residence on your face. It's truly a five-star product.
Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel ($56)
Associate Editor Victoria Hoff says of this peel, "It smells like you have Pop-Tarts on your face—in a good way." Anything that smells like a sweet treat is reason enough for us to try it, but couple that with the fact that it actually makes your skin look luminous, and we've got a winner on our hands (er, our face).
Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads ($75)
Just take a quick scroll through the reviews of these exfoliating pads on Sephora, and you'll see why Senior Editor Deven Hopp loves them. A tip: User Fortyniner49 recommends cutting them in half to get more bang for your buck (and less tingling upon application).
What's your favorite exfoliator? Please tell us below!