Gentle Exfoliants That Won't Leave Your Skin Feeling Raw

Exfoliating your face is kind of like going to the dentist: It's something you know you're supposed to do regularly, but it's still kind of scary. This is especially true if you've got sensitive skin. The typical scrubs and exfoliants can be incredibly irritating and even go so far as to physically scratch your skin. Ouch.

Luckily, there's a friendlier batch of exfoliants on offer. They don't resemble typical skin-smoothers but they'll still buff away those dead skin cells, leaving you with zero irritation and a smooth complexion. Gentle, maybe, but these products pack a punch.

Click on to shop our edit of the newest, skin saving scrubs.

Honey is more than an incredible cleanser — it's also a powerhouse for exfoliation because it's so gentle. "Harsh exfoliants can hurt more than they help and can, in fact, wound your skin," says dermatologist Dr. Erin Gilbert. Since honey is so soothing, it actually works to cushion your skin while still scrubbing it clean.

Wild Ferns Manuka Honey Facial Scrub, £14.21, available at Amazon
"I like fruit acids — particularly citric ones," says celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas. "They lighten and brighten the skin while exfoliating it." Vargas also notes that citric acids accelerate cell turnover and increase collagen, all while buffing you gently.

Eminence Citrus Exfoliating Wash, £24.30, available at Amazon
"Look for a lower percentage of glycolic acid to combat irritation," advises Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery. A lower concentration means less irritation, but it will still get the job done well.

DDF Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash, £29.01, DDF Skincare
If you want some grit with your scrubs, look for brown sugar. "Its antimicrobial properties are a bonus," Gilbert says.

Fresh Sugar Face Polish, £52, available at Fresh
Lactic acid, found in milk and yogurt, is gentle and exfoliating as well. "It's also anti-inflamatory," Vargas says. "It's great because it won't irritate the skin, but it leaves your skin smooth and glowing." Dermatologica's version is in cream form, so it's twice as soothing.

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, £41.50, available at Look Fantastic

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