I’ve Been Using This Powder Exfoliant For 7 Years and I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Quit It

A skincare secret from me to you.

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Dermalogica

 Emily Algar

Working in the beauty industry means my skincare routine is subject to high product turnover. Innovation is also all around us, and I get immense joy upgrading old favorites for shiny new skincare toys. 

But, there are a select few favorites that have stayed with me right from the beginning. The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is one of them. There’s something about the super-fine powder exfoliant that I can’t get enough of. It’s gentle but so damn effective when it comes to keeping my skin clear and bright. And I’m on my seventh bottle –no mean feat considering the sheer volume of products that see the inside of my shower routine. 

So if you’re looking for a gentle way to resurface your skin or want to level up your cleansing game, this product might just be it. Want in on the good stuff? Keep scrolling for my thoughts. 

Best for: Combination, oily, normal and dry skin types.

Active ingredients: Licorice, grapefruit, and phytic acid from rice bran, papain enzymes and salicylic acid.

Uses: This product is designed as a gentle, all-over enzyme powder exfoliant. It can be mixed with water to form a paste or into your cleanser. 

Potential allergens: Not likely.

Clean? Yes.

Price: $59.

About the brand: Dermalogica is a professional-grade U.S. skincare brand known for its effective skincare products and in-clinic treatments.

Pros:

  • Gentle but effective 
  • Brightens and decongests the skin
  • Suitable for almost all skin types
  • Multipurpose.

Cons: 

  • Not exactly cheap 
  • Can be messy
  • If you get water inside the bottle, the product is ruined (so be careful).

Bottom Line: Honestly, I love this product. It works, it’s easy to use and it lasts forever. The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is definitely a mainstay in my skincare routine. 

About My Skin:

Generally speaking, my skin is quite normal. But I am very much prone to blackheads, whiteheads, uneven skin tone and dullness –the whole nine yards. This is particularly true when my skincare routine is lacking, when I’m not sleeping enough (often), stressed (also often) or eating/drinking anything and everything put in front of me (again, often). 

Dermalogical Microexfoliant
 Emily Algar

The Feel:

So this product is a powder exfoliant, and quite literally comes out of the bottle as such. It’s super fine so you have to be careful—don’t blow it down the sink or lose it between your fingers. 

The best practice is to mix the Microfoliant with a little bit of water and form a paste. This will make application easier and activate some of the ingredients. From this point, you massage into the face, neck and décolletage where it will emulsify further. The trick, though, is to work it in for at least a minute so the exfoliating ingredients have a chance to take effect. If you only move it around your face for 10 seconds, the benefits will be slim to none. I promise you, the extra time makes all the difference. Give yourself a mini massage while you’re at it. 

The Ingredients:

The Microfoliant is predominantly made up of rice and papaya enzymes to gently slough off dead skin surface cells. There’s a touch of salicylic to dissolve clogged pores, as well as oatmeal, gingko, licorice and camellia to soothe and prevent moisture loss. Because of the consistency, it provides an extremely light form of physical exfoliation as well, but think of it as more of a polish than a scrub. 

I love to take any simple, non-foamy drugstore cleanser and add a few sprinkles of the Dermalogica powder. It takes an otherwise unremarkable product and turns it into something wonderful.

My Hack:

So the real reason I wanted to write this review was to share my Microfoliant cleanser trick. Basically, I love to take any simple, non-foamy drugstore cleanser (like QV) and add a few sprinkles of the Dermalogica powder. It takes an otherwise unremarkable product (sorry QV, I do love you) and turns it into something wonderful. Sure, you’ll get a clean face, but you’ll also get a complexion that’s softer, brighter and less congested. It’s like adding a Saint Laurent handbag to a Zara pantsuit. High low beauty at its finest. If you really wanted to, you could add a bit to your body wash as well. 

Dermalogical Microexfoliant
 Emily Algar

The results:

As the name suggests, this product is suitable for daily use given you’re not slathering on a bunch of other intense exfoliating products. My personal method is to use it maybe three to four times a week in my cleanser, really massaging it in of a morning. Immediately, it brightens and smoothes my complexion (flakes be gone), but over time I’ve found it a highly effective way to keep blackheads and whiteheads at bay. 

The value:

At $59, the product isn’t cheap, but you do get a lot and it lasts forever. Also, if you take my advice and pair it was a no-frills cleanser, it evens things out a little bit. My parting advice though is to protect it if you’re using in the shower. If moisture gets inside the bottle, the super fine powder will turn into a clumpy mess. Just dispense the product away from the water spray and you’ll be fine. 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator
Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliant $59
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Similar products:

In my opinion the Dermalogica is unmatched, but there are other options that might work for different skin types and conditions: 

Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder Classic, $65

This Japanese iteration contains the same rice and papaya enzymes as the Dermalogica alongside crushed pearl to really polish and brighten the skin. It’s also full of Tatcha’s signature Hadasei-3™ blend —an anti-mix of fermented green tea, rice, and algae. ($65)

Dr. Barbara Sturm Enzyme Cleanser ($75)

Another powder enzyme cleanser, but this time loaded with ascorbic acid to have an antioxidant effect on the skin. Again, it’s best to really work this into the skin for at least a minute to reap the full rewards. This one also foams up quite nicely. 

Final verdict:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love this product. It is gentle but effective and delivers consistent results. Also, it’s such an easy integration and benefits almost all skin types and conditions—a holy grail product if there ever was one. 

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