No skincare routine is complete without regular exfoliation, regardless of which category your skin falls in. Exfoliation promotes cell turnover, allowing dead cell buildup to shed away, making room for new, healthy cells. Although the skin naturally sheds dead cells in a 28-day cycle, the natural exfoliation process slows down with age, and this is where the best exfoliators for mature skin come in handy. They speed up cell turnover, which in turn leads to less noticeable fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots over time, and give you the glow while they also increase product absorption for boosted benefits.
- Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
- Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Exfoliator
- Ole Henriksen Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment
- Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
- Tatcha The Rice Polish Face Exfoliator
- Murad Vitamin C Triple Exfoliating Facial
- Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray
- Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
- The Ordinary AHA + BHA Peeling Solution
- Chanel Le Gommage Face Exfoliator
- Pai Virtuous Circle Exfoliator
- Neutrogena Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator
Types of exfoliants
Chemical exfoliators, including alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), work to break down the bond between skin cells, unclog pores, and eliminate flaky, dead skin. While AHAs are water-soluble and work on the skin’s surface, BHAs are oil-soluble and can reach deeper into the pores. Then, there’s physical exfoliation which involves the mechanical action of manually stripping away surface cells with grainy particles or brushes. But this traditional method may be too harsh for mature skin, so better keep this one for the body.
Finally, enzymatic exfoliants are a gentle alternative to chemical acids. They work by removing the uppermost skin layer and digesting dead cells. This type of exfoliation uses fruit enzymes (think papaya, pomegranate, pineapple, cherries) to break down the protein in dead cells making skin smooth. The thing with enzymatic exfoliators is that they act on the outer skin layer, shedding away dead skin rather than encouraging cell turnover, unlike chemical acids, which penetrate deeper and help cells renew.
Is exfoliation good for mature skin?
Exfoliation is crucial for mature skin. When the skin ages, wrinkles deepen and dark patches appear more prominent, so having an ally that helps skin resurface it’s surely part of a robust routine. Once with the increased cell turnover, you get a wide array of benefits, including enhanced firmness and elasticity, even tone and texture, increased moisture, and a healthy glow.
What are the best exfoliators for mature skin?
The best chemical exfoliators for mature skin are lactic and glycolic acids. Glycolic acid is the most potent AHA and has the smallest molecule, penetrating more into the skin, while lactic acid is milder due to its larger molecular size, which makes it work on the top layer of the skin. Malic acid is also a great exfoliator for aging skin since it’s on the gentler side. What these acids have in common is that they have humectant activity, meaning they attract water into the skin, helping increase hydration.
Enzymatic exfoliators are a good pick for mature skin that is on the sensitive side as they work more gently.
How often should you exfoliate mature skin?
Once or twice weekly is sufficient to exfoliate mature skin. It depends on the exfoliant you use and the concentration of exfoliating ingredients. Equally important is not to over-exfoliate as it can lead to redness, irritation, swelling, in a word, hypersensitivity. As a side note, the best time to exfoliate is in the evening because exfoliants make the skin photosensitive.
The best face exfoliators for mature skin
Ready to reap the benefits of this key step in your anti-aging skincare routine? Here are our top picks for the best face exfoliators for mature skin that’ll reveal your radiant complexion.
Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
This leave-on treatment promotes gentle exfoliation with lactic acid, revealing a smoother and clarified complexion without harshness. Additionally, the formula loads licorice extract to diminish hyperpigmentation, plus squalane and yeast extract to increase moisture retention and plump the skin. So, by using this product, you get rid of dull cells, fine lines soften, and dark spots brighten, all without disturbing your skin’s barrier — it sounds like a winner.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Exfoliator
Give a try to these brilliant exfoliating wipes by Dr. Dennis Gross, a two-step anti-aging AHA/BHA peel pad soaked in seven acids to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and pores look. The chemical acids in the first step encourage cell turnover for smoother and evener skin, while the second step is drenched in retinol, resveratrol, and vitamin C for more anti-aging benefits, but it also neutralizes acids, calming and nourishing the skin. It’s the perfect prepping step before your PM skincare regimen.
Ole Henriksen Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment
This exfoliating night treatment does everything from retexturizing and firming the skin to diminishing the look of dark spots and large pores — reason it’s a must for mature complexions. The formula is powered by a potent cocktail of exfoliants, including 10% AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and 10% PHAs (gluconolactone), that work the night shift to stimulate cell turnover, plus soothing ingredients to comfort the skin. You’ll instantly love the lightweight yet pampering texture that glides effortlessly and sinks into the skin as you apply it.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
A cult favorite, Tata Harper’s resurfacing mask is by far one of the best face exfoliators for mature skin craving organic, delicate formulas. Not only does it soothe and strengthen skin with aloe and probiotics, but it gently exfoliates with pomegranate enzymes, revealing baby soft skin. Three times a week, apply a thin layer on clean skin and leave it to act for 20 minutes, rinse off, and smear on a few drops of your favorite facial oil. It’s high time for an instant glow!
Tatcha The Rice Polish Face Exfoliator
For uneven texture, dullness, and visible pores, try Tatcha Foaming Enzyme Powder. It dissolves dead cells and debris, promoting cell turnover that instantly pays off. This product uses Japanese rice bran powder and papaya enzymes to provide a non-abrasive exfoliation and is also rich in vitamins and proteins to reinforce the skin. On top of that, it uses green tea, amino acids, and lactic acid for brightening and nourishing effects. Added bonus because this calming face exfoliator is fun to use: the powder turns into a creamy foam once activated with water, and it only takes 15 seconds to slough off buildup and debris.
Murad Vitamin C Triple Exfoliating Facial
It’s easy to love Murad products, and this exfoliator is no exception. It combines the trifecta of exfoliants: physical, chemical, and enzymatic, making it ideal for those looking for more potent products. Murad Triple Exfoliating Facial uses delicate micro-minerals to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface, fruit enzymes to dissolve debris, plus chemical acids to exfoliate in-depth and resurface the skin. Massage a few drops onto clean, damp skin, and once the orange color changes to white, you know it’s time to stop scrubbing — then leave it on for 10 minutes to do its magic.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray
This product has a different formula from what we’re used to: an exfoliating spray made with mature skin in mind. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray is filled with plant-derived exfoliants to lift away old cells and soften the skin, while vitamin C and licorice root extract minimize the appearance of dark spots over time. We consider it the best exfoliator for mature skin for folks who fancy organic and vegan formulas.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
For a gentle exfoliator, try this powder formula that turns to a gentle foamy texture. Once rubbed into hands with water, it releases papain, salicylic, and rice actives that help reduce fine lines and uneven tone look while smoothing and softening. At the same time, a mix of green tea, colloidal oatmeal, and ginkgo Biloba attracts moisture, locking it in to preserve your skin barrier. It’s as delicate as you can make it your daily treat!
The Ordinary AHA + BHA Peeling Solution
The Ordinary AHA + BHA Solution is worth mentioning in the best face exfoliators for mature skin, even if it might be too harsh for some. It is pretty powerful since it’s made with 30% AHAs and 2% BHAs. Bonus: the addition of Tasmanian pepperberry helps reduce irritation linked to acid use, while hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and black carrot extract hydrate and give an antioxidant shield. Give it a try if your skin is not sensitive.
Chanel Le Gommage Face Exfoliator
You can never go wrong with Chanel, and this exfoliating gel is one more proof. What makes it one of the best exfoliators for mature skin? It removes impurities and dead cells with jojoba beads suspended in a gel-cream texture for mild-yet-effective exfoliation, plus, the added seawater helps exfoliate some more while glycerin and microalgae nourish and soothe. So you get exfoliation, moisture, and revitalization at once, a pampering feeling, and a heavenly scent. Sold!
Pai Virtuous Circle Exfoliator
Pai Virtuous Circle may be the best exfoliator for mature skin with a natural formula. It uses jojoba wax beads suspended in a hydrating gel-like texture that budge off dead cells, leaving the complexion brighter and smoother. Plus, it’s infused with a medley of natural oils, such as sweet almonds, castor, and frankincense, nourishing and hydrating. Pai’s exfoliator it’s also enriched with squalene and vitamin E to give your skin some more softness.
Neutrogena Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator
This face exfoliator combines mandelic and glycolic acids to banish dullness and boost brightness. It instantly cleanses the pores and leaves the complexion smooth, ready for the following skincare products. Massage the product onto damp face with circular motions, rinse and follow up with the rest of your nighttime skincare routine. It sounds like the perfect recipe to wake up to glowy skin.