Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant Polishes Skin Like a Dream

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Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Nicole Pulyado

What We Like
  • Gentle exfoliation is suitable for daily use

  • Fragrance-free

  • Evens skin tone and texture

  • Reusable, eco-friendly packaging

  • Chemical and physical exfoliation

What We Don't Like
  • Price point may be high for some

Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant is a gentle yet effective exfoliation product suitable for everyday use, even on sensitive skin. It effectively removes dead skin cells, while also reducing and preventing pore blockage.


Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Nicole Pulyado

We put the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead cells from your skin through a physical or chemical process. This essential skincare practice is carried out almost everywhere on the body, often clarifying and relieving skin of common issues. If you haven’t incorporated an exfoliant into your skincare routine, now is the perfect time to do so. Personally, I exfoliate my face most often to assist with evening skin texture, and my leg and bikini area to prevent unwanted ingrown hairs. Generally, facial exfoliation is reserved for 2–3 nights in an optimal skincare routine, considering some exfoliants can be harsh and abrasive. 

Fortunately, Dermalogica created the Daily Microfoliant, an exfoliant that is truly gentle enough for daily use. I’ve been using it for about a year and a half, so I’m excited to finally review this stellar product. Continue reading to learn all the juicy details on Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Best for: All skin types, including sensitive skin.

Uses: Gentle daily physical and chemical exfoliation for the face.

Star rating: 5/5

Potential allergens: Citric acid, titanium dioxide

Active ingredients: Papain, salicylic acid, rice enzymes

Price: $62

About the brand: Founded in 1986, Dermalogica is a science-based skincare brand, providing affordable solutions for nearly any skin concern.

About My Skin: Prone to hyperpigmentation

I have combination skin, mostly dry with an oily T-zone. My forehead and nose are susceptible to breakouts thanks to excess oil production, and hormonal acne has stuck with me since puberty. This also leads to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), also referred to as dark marks and skin discoloration, due to excess melanin production. It's only fair to note that while my PIH is caused by acne, it's also due to picking at skin and blemishes; dermatillomania is nothing to underestimate, especially during stressful times.

The Feel: Powder to paste

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Texture

Nicole Pulyado/Design by Cristina Cianci

The Dermalogica Microfoliant is a finely ground, rice-based powder that feels soft to the touch. It features a slightly grainy texture, but when combined with water, the formula turns into a paste and feels comfortable to massage into the skin. The mixture is incredibly soothing when applied to the face.

The Ingredients: Strong yet soothing

Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant works double-duty, providing both chemical and physical exfoliation. The fine rice powder (also called rice enzymes) provides an extremely gentle physical exfoliation to shed dead skin cells without irritating skin. The formula also features two chemical exfoliants, salicylic acid and citric acid, along with phytic acid and papain, which are naturally derived from rice enzymes. Dermalogica packed both alpha- and beta hydroxy acids into this product to not only even the surface of your face with AHAs, but to also cleanse deeper layers within your skin using BHAs. Even with a list of such powerful ingredients, the Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant is still ideal for everyday use to maintain silky-smooth skin.

Rice Enzymes: A gentle exfoliating grain used in Asia since the 16th century to even skin tone.

Salicylic Acid: A beta hydroxy acid used to reduce acne and relieve clogged pores.

Colloidal Oatmeal: A soothing exfoliation grain with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Apply: Mix and smooth it on

As mentioned above, this product is a powder, so it does require a little work to achieve the right consistency. You'll want to apply this after cleansing, on to clean skin. To start, get your hands wet and dispense the powder into your hands. Rub the hands together to create a creamy lather (this is what will activate the product, so this step is key) and massage it all over your face. Rinse it off and dry the face.

The Results: Smooth, polished skin

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Results on Nicole Pulyado

Nicole Pulyado/Design by Cristina Cianci

To apply Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, I pour the rice-based powder into my wet hand and mix it to create a paste. After gently working the mixture into my face and, lastly, rinsing it off, my skin immediately appears healthier. Any flaking, peeling patches are removed or drastically improved, and the gunk directly underneath the surface of the skin is expelled. Long-term, this exfoliant keeps my skin smooth and polished, free from incessant whiteheads and clogged pores.

The Value: Worth every penny

The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant retails for approximately $15 for 0.45 oz., or $59 for 2.6 oz. of product. A $52 refill is also available for the 2.6-oz. reusable bottle; it’s an eco-friendly option that avoids unnecessary single-use plastics! The smaller 0.45 oz. bottle is a great option for first-time buyers uncertain about committing to a full-size product, but die-hard fans of Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant (including myself) are often happy to splurge on the large size because it works so well and lasts a long time.

Similar Products: You've got options

Tatcha Rice Polish: Tatcha describes its classic Rice Polish ($65) as a foaming enzyme powder. This product is a gentle, rice-based exfoliant, similar to Dermalogica’s Microfoliant, and features a similar price tag of about $65. Essentially, it’s an awesome foaming cleanser that leaves skin smooth and hydrated. But unlike the Microfoliant, I’d probably skip daily use with this product to avoid skin irritation.

Bad Habit Total Reboot AHA/BHA Enzyme Peel: This powerful exfoliant ($28) features alpha and beta hydroxy acids to resurface and smooth skin. It’s an amazing product for anyone with oily skin, but proceed with caution if you have dry or sensitive skin as this formula is not quite as gentle as Dermalogica’s Microfoliant.

Final Verdict

After using the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant for over a year now, I can confidently say that it accomplishes its goal of removing dead cells and excess oils from skin. This allows hydrating and restorative products to work more efficiently after exfoliating—it’s a must to maximize the benefits of every product used. Not only does the Microfoliant remove dead skin cells, but it enhances the results of other products as well. I will continue to use the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant 1–2 times each day to maintain this healthy glow I love so much.


  • Product Name Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator
  • Product Brand Dermalogica
  • Price $59.00
  • Weight 2.6 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Allantoin, Papain, Salicylic Acid, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, PCA, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Cyclodextrin, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Limonene, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) , Hexylene Glycol.
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Bhagat S, Surangalikar M, Varhadi O, Chounde R, Varghat S, Deshmukh K, Bansode S, Ghamande M. Rice Scrub (Pimples Fighter). Int J Manag Tec Eng. 2018;8(X):561-566.

  2. Decker A, Graber EM. Over-the-counter acne treatments: a reviewJ Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(5):32-40.

  3. Reynertson KA, Garay M, Nebus J, et al. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skinJ Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(1):43-48.

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