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Facial exfoliators


SkinCeuticals facial exfoliators remove dead skin cells that can lead to dullness, uneven skin tone, and rough texture. Our advanced formulations address concerns including blemish-prone skin, visible signs of discoloration, and premature signs of aging. SkinCeuticals facial exfoliators include ingredients to help hydrate, clarify, and absorb excess oil.

Learn more about Facial exfoliators


Facial exfoliators help remove the buildup of dead cells from the skin’s surface. Exfoliation helps improve the appearance of the skin and may enhance the penetration of other skin care products that follow. SkinCeuticals offers several facial exfoliators for a variety of skin types and concerns.


Facial exfoliators explained

What are different ways to exfoliate?

There are different types of exfoliation and depending on the formulation of the facial exfoliator as well as your skin type, they work in different ways. Chemical exfoliation typically uses ingredients such as acids that dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells on the skin’s surface so they can shed more easily. Physical exfoliation uses small particles to manually detach dead skin cells so they can be rinsed away. (Skin care brushes provide physical exfoliation as well.) There are also other ingredients, such as  retinol, that provide exfoliating benefits as well.

Professional exfoliation treatments such as chemical peels and the Hydrafacial® treatment can enhance the results achieved with at-home facial exfoliators. These  office-based treatments  can be customized for your skin type as well as your skin concerns. Consult your  skincare professional  to learn more about professional exfoliation treatments.

Facial exfoliators come in various formulations, including  cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, and other skin care treatments that contain exfoliating ingredients. Regardless of your preferred method of exfoliation, these products help improve the appearance of skin radiance, uneven skin tone, and the feeling of smoothness. Exfoliation results may be visible immediately and long-term use can help support the skin’s production of collagen.

How do you exfoliate your face?

How to exfoliate will depend on what type of exfoliation method you are using. If using a scrub, it is best to wet your face first and then gently apply a small amount of product to your face using a light circular motion. Rinse thoroughly and continue to apply the rest of your skin care regimen. For serums, it is best to apply and let absorb into the skin. Frequency will depend on what type of product you are using and your specific skin type. When using our  retinol creams, apply a small amount to a clean face at night time. Limit initial use to once or twice a week, gradually increasing frequency as you see how your skin tolerates retinol. Always read the instructions for use on the specific product you are using.

If you are looking for a greater level of exfoliation, you could consider exploring professional exfoliation treatments such as a chemical peel. During a chemical peel, your skincare professional will apply one or more layers of a chemical peel solution onto your skin for a predetermined amount of time. Your  skincare professional  will be able to determine the most appropriate peel formulation for your skin type and the most effective post-procedure regimen.

What facial exfoliator is best for my skin?

It’s best to use facial exfoliators that are appropriate for your skin type. Those with oily or dry skin can benefit from acid-based exfoliation. Glycolic and lactic acid are good options because these alpha-hydroxy acids can help the skin hold on to moisture. SkinCeuticals facial exfoliators with  glycolic acid  include  Glycolic 10 Overnight Renew. Oily and blemish-prone skin can benefit from physical exfoliation with a scrub, as well as acid-based chemical exfoliation. We recommend trying SkinCeuticals  Blemish + Age Toner, Blemish + Age Cleanser, and our  retinol creams  if you have oily or blemish-prone skin. Those with combination skin can add extra exfoliation to their skin care regimen with glycolic acid or retinol, as well as using our  Retexturing Activator.

When is the best time to exfoliate?

Facial exfoliators such as cleansers, toners, and serums can be used in the morning and/or at night. However, those who experience mild redness after physical exfoliation with a scrub may prefer using these products in the evening. Similarly, we recommend using chemical exfoliating treatments, like retinol, at night. Be sure to always follow the directions listed on the product you are using or consult with your skincare professional.

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