If you’re looking to refine your pores, improve your skin tone, and enhance your overall glow, exfoliating is must. Whether it’s a physical exfoliant (like a fine scrub) or a chemical exfoliant (like an acid-based peel), adding this step to your regimen can be a game changer.
There are a lot of exfoliating ingredients and products to choose from out there. To find the perfect option for you, it’s important to consider your skin type and concerns. Read our guide below for our top K-beauty recommendations.
Treating oily skin can be a delicate balancing act. If you attack with products that are too drying, your skin may produce more oil to compensate, leaving you worse off than you started. The secret is to find ingredients that target that bacteria that causes oil production while still hydrating the skin as well.
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The Some by Mi AHA-BHA-PHA 30Days Miracle Toner has just the right combination of chemical exfoliants – AHA, BHA, and PHA – that remove excess sebum and sweep away dead skin cells. It also contains the healing and breakout-calming ingredient tea tree water extract.
Dry skin can tend to feel rough and flaky no matter how much you hydrate it. That’s why it’s so important to exfoliate this skin type so that dead skin cells are removed and hydrating serums and moisturizers can better penetrate the surface.
The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine is the perfect Korean exfoliator for parched skin in need of a boost. These unique double-sided exfoliating pads contain glycolic acid and lactic acid to exfoliate dry, flaky skin, as well as resveratrol to prevent fine lines and wrinkles that can be more prominent on dry complexions. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are included alongside these powerful acids to add some moisture back into the skin. Follow up with your favorite hydrating products and see how much more effectively they work on skin that has been gently scrubbed smooth.
Exfoliating sensitive skin might sound like a recipe for irritation, but with the right formula, it can be done delicately and effectively. The Benton PHA Peeling Gel is an ideal pick for those with this skin type. This physical-chemical exfoliating hybrid contains cellulose to clear dead skin cells and impurities, while PHA, a gentle form of acid, works to make the skin smoother and brighter. The exfoliator is also formulated with hydrating ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and chrysanthemum morifolium flower extract to moisturize and soothe inflammation.
Even if you don’t have any major issues with oiliness, dryness, or sensitivity, your skin can still benefit from exfoliation to keep it even and glowing. An exfoliant that is able to smooth and tone without stripping the skin would work the best, which is why we love the Klairs Youthful Glow Sugar Mask. This effective but hydrating product uses fine sugar granules to gently buff and kaolin clay to detoxify any impurities from the skin, while shea butter and jojoba seed oil nourish and seal in moisture. It’s also formulated with grapefruit extract and raspberry seed oil, which both have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and calamine to soothe. This multifunctional exfoliator can be used as a scrub or a mask, and you can even use it as cleansing balm and follow with a water-based cleanser.
It can be difficult to find an exfoliator for combination skin types, since it’s possible that you can have both dry and oily patches on your skin. In this case, you should find a product that can buff away dry flakes, while controlling oil production. The Isntree Clear Skin 8% AHA Essence that contains glycolic and lactic acids is a great choice. Lactic acid has hydrating properties in addition to its exfoliating powers, plus the essence includes centella asiatica and hyaluronic acid to further soothe and nourish the skin.