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It's no secret we crave smooth, supple, radiant skin. In fact, we write about the products that will get us there on most days. If you experience dullness, uneven texture, dryness, bumps, or flakes, a smoothing product may help. These are products that can help smooth dry patches and retexturize to reveal fresh, glowing, and dewy skin.
Ingredients like poor cleansing bentonite clay, soothing witch hazel, plumping and hydrating oils, and hydroxy and glycolic acids to resurface and retexturize are key components to watch for when choosing a smoothing skincare product.
In order to get our routine in tip-top, skin-smoothing shape, we called on a few skincare experts, as well as Team Byrdie, to offer their absolute favorites for the purpose of exfoliation, hydration, retexturizing, and creating a more even skin tone.
Below, what to look for plus the best skin-smoothing products on the market now.
What to Look For
Pore Refining Ingredients
Pore clearing ingredients are helpful in skin-smoothing products because they may help refine and cleanse the pores of dirt, oils, and pollution. Choosing products that contain clays like bentonite or kaolin is an excellent natural and gentle choice for most skin types.
Other pore-refining ingredients include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, alpha and beta-hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs), and enzymes that may help fight breakouts and reduces blockage.
The same glycolic acid, AHAs, and BHAs that assist with pore-clearing are also powerhouses when it comes to natural chemical exfoliation. They also may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and smooth rough or dry skin patches, and uneven textures. Ingredients such as vitamin E, vitamin C, lactic acid, peptides, and natural plant extracts like licorice root can help smooth, calm, and resurface the skin.
Physical exfoliators that are skin-friendly include volcanic sand, pomegranate grains, diatomaceous earth, and dead sea salt. These natural ingredients help to gently buff away dead skin cells and dry, flaky patches without being too rough.
Moisture is vital for healthy, smooth skin. Look for humectants and moisture-protecting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, plant oils, aloe vera, and vitamin E. These ingredients introduce moisture and may help seal it in to prevent dryness and add plumping and softness.
Best Mask: GlamGlow InstaMud 60 Second Pore-Refining Treatment
"Aside from the fact this fast-acting (i.e. 60-second) mask contains pore-refining ingredients like bentonite and kaolin clays, witch hazel, licorice root, and aloe vera, it also bubbles," gushes contributing writer Erin Jahns. "You smooth it on like a gel and then as you massage it in, it begins to sizzle into this wonderful, slightly tingly foam. I'll always be devoted to the Supermud (so I had low expectations) but couldn't believe how smooth, bright, and even my skin was after my first use. And now I'm addicted."
Runner-Up, Best Mask: Korres Pomegranate AHA & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask
"Think of alpha hydroxy acid (or AHA) as the blue jeans of the skincare industry: no matter your age, concern, skin type, or tone, they'll work for you," says writer Lexy Lebsack. This mask, in particular, is packed with 27.5% AHAs and BHAs, as well as other active natural skin resurfacers for glowing, super-smooth skin. The pomegranate grains exfoliate, glycolic acid and enzymes peel away dead skin cells, and white clay removes excess sebum and refines pores.
Best Peel: Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel
"The Triple Berry Smoothing Peel is a great one for sensitive skin because it's only recommended to use once a week, and for sensitive skin types, you'll only need to leave it on for five minutes," celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau explains. "In fact, it's so gentle (yet amazingly effective) that I have all of my celebrity clients use it the night before a big event because it completely smoothes the skin and creates a beautiful radiance—with no risk of irritation. Ever seen Demi Lovato at the Grammys or the VMAs? Their skin is always glowing, and she uses Triple Berry Smoothing Peel faithfully before every special event."
Runner-Up, Best Peel: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel
"This peel is truly a do-it-all product," notes Byrdie senior editor Lindsey Metrus. "It brightens the complexion, reduces fine lines, heals breakouts, and minimizes pores. With just two steps, you can send your blackheads packing and smooth out your skin."
Best Pads: Cane + Austin Miracle Pad + 30% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Face Peel
"If I'm on a mission to transform the texture of my skin, which turns dull and uneven when I'm tired and stressed, I slather these pads all over my face," says Byrdie contributing writer Maya Allen. "I tend to get blackheads the most on my nose. So annoying. And these pads contain 30% glycolic acid, which lifts dirt and smoothes over those rough surfaces. Since I have sensitive skin, I use one pad every two days as a preventative measure."
Best Cream: Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
Dermalogica's Skin Smoothing Cream may effectively maintain your skin moisture balance while improving its texture. It contains mallow and cucumber meant to restore suppleness, deeply hydrate, and leave you with better-feeling, softer, healthier skin.
Best Scrub: Ole Henriksen Pore-Balance Facial Sauna Scrub
"It's made with volcanic sand—not Earth-harming microbeads—and a blend of glycolic and lactic acids. So basically, it's a physical exfoliator that also chemically exfoliates—a true win-win. The craziest part, however, is the fact that it actually warms up when you use it," says Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue. "Then, as you slough it in, it transforms into a cooling, minty tingle. The actual experience of using the scrub aside, the one thing that truly blew me away with this product was the fact that it left my skin feeling the softest it's ever been since I turned 13 before I started my acne phase."
Runner-Up, Best Scrub: Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub
Use this super-fine textured crystal blend to buff away any dullness (while smoothing fine lines, roughness, and acne scars). The formula includes Dead Sea salt as well as lime and lemon peel, grape seed, and vitamin E that may help to retexture skin while leaving it soft, smooth, and thoroughly nourished.
Best Serum: SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
SkinMedica's HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($178) instantly smoothes the skin, visibly blurs fine lines, and is so, so silky. It offers a blend of five forms of hyaluronic acid (the naturally occurring compound that best moisturizes your skin), but it's different than other serums. The formula doesn't just provide temporary surface moisture; it allows for eight hours of continuous hydration. I noticed a difference in the look and feel of my skin right away. After applying the lightweight, velvety elixir, my face felt softer than ever before, and my foundation went on so smoothly. Essentially my face felt like a cloud, and my skin looked like J.Lo's after a day at the spa, no joke.
Runner-Up, Best Serum: Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum
"I wanted this formula to instantly create the glowing, dewy skin our products are known for while providing nutrition and additional high-performance ingredients to keep skin hydrated and luminous," Tata Harper said of her aspirations for creating this product. "This formulation contains 22 high-performance ingredients from 14 countries that I hand-selected to deliver these effects."
"Skin cell turnover reduces by 7% every 10 years, so exfoliation is a key part of any skincare routine—not only for the glow it yields but also for maintaining healthy, smooth skin. This formula contains seven sources of AHAs and two sources of BHAs, including salicylic, lactic, glycolic, citric, malic, and tartaric acids, which come from plant sources like meadowsweet, sugar maple, and bilberry."
Best Splurge: La Prairie Cellular 3-Minute Peel
This spa-worthy peel is just as fun to apply as it is effective. Using a salon-type brush, apply the product to your skin to exfoliate and uncover refreshed skin in just three minutes. Rather than cause irritation, it's meant to stimulate the skin's natural repair process, leaving your face silky and velvety smooth.
Best Exfoliant: Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion
For an immediate skin-smoothing effect, this one's for you. According to the brand, with regular tri-weekly use, this formula will visibly minimize discolorations and small marks on your face, hands, and décolletage. Over time, though, facial lines are reduced and your skin's texture will be significantly smoother and clearer.
Best Facial Oil: Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil
This vegan, gluten-free, fragrance-free facial oil contains moisture, vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids to support your skin's natural lipid barrier (which helps to lock moisture in and protect against dryness and heat). Plus, it absorbs easily and softens, smoothes, and soothes upon contact.
Runner-Up, Best Facial Oil: Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
"Biossance's rose face oil is made with the brand's plant-derived squalane, Chios crystal oil, vitamin C, and Damascus rose extract to seal in moisture, smooth fine lines, and improve skin texture and radiance," says Xue. "Natural beauty lovers, the ingredient list is delightfully short and sweet."
Best Argan Oil: Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil
"I received a small sample of the bottle I'd admired in Sephora on numerous shopping trips (but never took the leap to purchase) as a free birthday gift. I pressed it gently into my skin with my fingertips as I'd so often read to do and hoped for the best. Within just a few days of applying the oil, I already noticed that my skin looked clearer and my fine lines were less visible," says Metrus. "Truly, by placing oil on top of my already oily and blemish-prone skin, they went away faster (and my skin was SO smooth)."
Rouleau explains, "When the skin is properly balanced and hydrated, there is less surface dry skin–cell buildup to lessen bacteria from forming in the pore leading to breakouts."
Best with Lactic Acid: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
A Byrdie-editor favorite, this serum (which feels like a watered-down moisturizer) helps deliver an unreal glow. With lactic acid to speed up cell turnover and exfoliate away dullness and licorice root (an all-natural anti-inflammatory) to fight hyperpigmentation, smooth and radiant skin is just a few applications away.
What products help smooth skin?
Products that contain exfoliators such as hydroxy acids, volcanic earth, or ground plant seeds may help slough away dead skin cells and smooth rough patches. Additionally, adding moisturizers like oils and hyaluronic acid may help plump and smooth skin.
How can I improve my skin's texture?
You can help improve the texture of your skin by being sure to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize regularly. Exfoliating may help remove dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. Also, moisturizing every day may prevent moisture loss and dryness, improving the hydration and softness of your skin.
How can I get smooth skin naturally?
To obtain naturally smooth skin, staying hydrated may be your best bet. Drinking plenty of water each day may boost the moisture of your skin, helping it stay plump and smooth. It is also a good idea to use an exfoliator once or twice a week and to moisturize every day.