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14 Best Face Exfoliators for Mature Skin to Fight Aging Signs

Face exfoliators that your mature skin will actually love.
Brand courtesy / Sunday Riley
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No skincare routine is complete without regular exfoliation, regardless of the skin type, concern, or age. Exfoliation promotes cell turnover, allowing old cells to shed away while enabling new, healthy cells to replace them. Although the skin naturally sheds dead cells in a 28-day cycle, the natural exfoliation process slows down with age, causing a buildup of dead cells that makes skin look dull. You can layer as many products as you want, but your skin might look sloppy without weekly exfoliation. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the best exfoliators for mature skin to reveal a glowy and healthy complexion.

Types of exfoliators

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 skin. While AHAs are water-soluble and work on the skin’s surface, BHAs are oil-soluble and can reach deeper into the pores to unclog them. Then, there’s physical exfoliation which is 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. Plus, physical exfoliants act only on the skin’s surface, so they may not be as effective.

Finally, enzymatic exfoliators are a gentle alternative to chemical ones. They work by removing the uppermost skin layer, digesting dead cells. Mainly, this type of exfoliator 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 skin’s surface, shedding away dead skin rather than speeding up cell turnover. This is because they don’t penetrate the skin as acids do. 

Is exfoliation good for mature skin?

Facial exfoliators are a must for mature skin, being one of the best ways to tackle aging signs. Regular exfoliation helps speed up cellular turnover, relaxing fine lines and reducing hyperpigmentation. It’s that step that promotes skin cells renewal, preventing a sallow look over time. Plus, exfoliating primes your skin to get more benefits from the products you apply after for boosted effects.

What are the best exfoliants for mature skin?

The best chemical exfoliators for mature skin are lactic and glycolic acids. Glycolic acid is the strongest AHA and has the smallest molecule, penetrating the skin in-depth, while lactic acid is milder and has hydrating properties too. Malic acid is also a great exfoliator for aging skin since it’s on the gentler side — due to its larger molecule it mostly acts on the skin’s surface. Enzymatic exfoliators are a good pick for mature skin that is on the sensitive side as they’re gentler.

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 irritations, breakouts, swelling, in a word, hypersensitivity. As a side note, the best time to exfoliate is in the evening because the exfoliation process most likely makes the skin photosensitive, especially acids.

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 leave you with radiant skin.

Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Treatment

Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Face Exfoliator

I’ve already said that lactic acid is one of the best exfoliating ingredients for mature skin because it’s gentle and has hydrating properties. Besides exfoliating, Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Face Exfoliator aims to brighten the skin with licorice extract, prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) with squalane and yeast extract while arnica and aloe soothe and refresh the skin. They all work hard to reveal clearer and smoother skin while being gentle and calming.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Exfoliator

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 with seven acids to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and pores look. Glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids are used in the first step to encourage cell turnover, while the second step adds retinol, resveratrol, and vitamin C for anti-aging benefits and antioxidant protection. It’s the perfect prepping step before your PM skincare regimen.

best exfoliator for mature skin

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 formulas. Not only soothes and strengthens skin with aloe and lactobacillus ferment, but it gently exfoliates with pomegranate enzymes, revealing baby soft skin. Three times a week, apply a thin layer of Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, leave it to act for 20 minutes, rinse off, and smear on a few drops of your favorite facial oil. Also, for a mid-week boost, after cleansing, apply an even layer of the mask and leave it on for 5 minutes.

Tatcha The Rice Polish Face Exfoliator

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 skin turnover that instantly pays off. This product uses Japanese rice bran powder and papaya enzymes to provide a non-abrasive exfoliation that’s also rich in vitamins and proteins. On top of that, it uses green tea, amino acids, and lactic acid for brightening and nourishing effects. Resurface and plump with one product in no time!

Chanel Le Gommage Face Exfoliator

Chanel Le Gommage Face Exfoliator

Chanel made an exfoliating and nourishing gentle face scrub you can use twice weekly. It removes impurities and dead cells, helping prevent irritations supported by phytic acid and vitamin E which also have antioxidant benefits. What makes it one of the best exfoliators for mature skin? The addition of purple microalgae, marine seawater, and jojoba beads that aid in skin rejuvenation and provide moisture-trapping and hydrating properties. So you get exfoliation, moisture, and revitalization at once!

murad exfoliator for mature skin

Murad Vitamin C Triple Exfoliating Facial

It’s easy to love Murad products, and this exfoliator makes no exception. It combines all types of exfoliants: physical, chemical, and enzymatic. Murad Triple Exfoliating Facial uses delicate micro-minerals to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface, fruit enzymes to dissolve debris and oil, plus chemical ones aka glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to exfoliate in-depth and purify the skin. Oh, and it’s filled with gold-stabilized vitamin C for high antioxidant protection, making it one of the best face exfoliators for aging skin.

Juice Beauty Exfoliating Peel Spray

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray

With a different formula, Juice Beauty created an exfoliating peel spray with mature skin in mind. Made with a gentle plant-derived exfoliant, it resurfaces the skin and lifts away old dead cells in no time. Also, it’s loaded with vitamin C and licorice root extract that have antioxidant and brightening effects, plus cucumber and aloe to soothe. It’s by far one of the best exfoliators for mature skin that’s also organic and vegan.

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

Caudalie VinoClean Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

Are you looking for a vegan exfoliator for mature skin? Look no further — Caudalie Deep Cleansing has it all with 97% natural ingredients. It uses plant microbeads and polylactic acid to refine skin texture, leaving it radiant-looking. Moreover, green grape extract and grape water work to moisturize and soothe while neutralizing free radicals. It’s your twice-weekly vegan spoil that smells like a day at the spa!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant 

For a gentle exfoliator, try Dermalogica powder formula that turns to a foamy texture. Once rubbed into hands with water, it releases papain, salicylic, and rice actives that help reduce fine lines and uneven tone look. 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 Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% 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 glycolic, lactic, salicylic, citric, and tartaric acids, more precisely 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.

L'Occitane Exfoliantor

L’Occitane Reine Blanche Illuminating Exfoliant

Twice weekly, spoil your face with L’Occitane Illuminating Exfoliant. It’s got a creamy formula that exfoliates delicately, revealing your skin, but better. Its brightening power is given by meadowsweet flower water and white mulberry extract, while salicylic acid unclogs and cleanses pores in depth. Plus, it’s enriched with sunflower seed oil, an excellent emollient, that soothes and soften skin.

Chantecaille Exfoliating Cream

Chantecaille Exfoliating Cream

Skin is left free of impurities, such as pollution and dead cells once you exfoliate it with Chantecaille Exfoliating Cream. It’s made with bamboo beads, papaya enzyme, peeling peptide, and glycolic acid that aid in exfoliating and refining skin, plus a blend of hibiscus flower acids and grapefruit to brighten. The rosewater base gives mature skin the extra dose of moisture and antioxidants it needs so much. A pea-sized amount goes a really long way.

Pai Virtuous Circle Exfoliator

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 a brightener and smoother complexion. Plus, it’s infused with a medley of natural oils, such as sweet almonds, castor, and frankincense, nourishing and hydrating the skin. Pai’s exfoliator it’s also enriched with squalene and vitamin E to give your skin some more softness.

Neutrogena Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator

Neutrogena Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator

This face exfoliator combines mandelic and glycolic acids to remove skin dullness and boost brightness. It instantly cleanses the pores and leaves the skin smooth, ready for the following skincare products. Neutrogena facial exfoliator is oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’ll never clog your pores.

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