The Best Exfoliator for Every Skin Type

Rachel Krause

Photo: IMAXtree

Exfoliation is an important part of any skin care routine for shedding old skin (gross) and making way for the new, but the type of exfoliant you use should depend largely on your skin type. Whether you’re dry, oily, normal, sensitive, or somewhere in between, we’ve tracked down the best exfoliator for you. You’ll be glowing in no time.

Oily Skin
One of the biggest mistakes people with oily and acne-prone skin make is over-exfoliating. The key is balancing, not trying to completely deprive your skin of its natural (and beneficial!) oils. Scrubby physical exfoliators can be especially irritating to blemishes, which is why the acne-prone should make good use of chemical exfoliators like the papaya acids found in AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60, Acids derived from fruits are non-abrasive and natural, and as an added benefit they also brighten and clarify the skin.

Normal Skin
Balanced skin types can use most exfoliating products and tools, but lately we’ve been especially fond of powders, which work both physically and chemically to gently exfoliate the skin without the use of abrasive particles. When mixed with a small amount of water, Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder ($36, transforms into a rich foam that doesn’t feel like it’s exfoliating, but leaves skin smoother, softer and deeply cleansed.

Dry Skin
Dry skin benefits from extremely gentle physical exfoliation done every so often when your complexion seems dull or flaky, rather than as a daily part of your routine. You can’t go wrong with Fresh Sugar Face Polish ($58,, whether used as a mask for 5-10 minutes or for a quick scrub. It’s packed full of brown sugar, a natural antiseptic, and wild strawberries, which work to dissolve dead skin cells and nourish the skin, rather than dry it out further.

Sensitive Skin
The best way to exfoliate sensitive skin is very carefully. Redness and irritation can be triggered by both scrub particles and potent fruit acids, so your best bet is to use an exfoliating tool rather than a product. Konjac sponges, like the Konjac Sponge Company Puff Sponge ($12, are ideal for very delicate skin. They’re composed of soft, moisture-rich fibers that are so gentle, they can even be used on the thin skin around the eye area. They can be used on their own or with your favorite cleanser for super-effective exfoliation without the risk of irritation.

Read more: The Best Exfoliators for Sensitive Skin