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Exfoliator for extremely dry skin

I’m looking for a wash off chemical exfoliant good for dry skin. My skin is extremely flakey and after I exfoliate the flakes are back by the morning. I find physical scrubs too harsh for my dry skin so I’m looking for a wash off chemical exfoliator/mask/peel that will get rid of all the dead skin. My skin is also very acne prone so I would like a wash off product.

Exfoliator for extremely dry skin

The simplest product to start with would be the Glycolic Toner from The Ordinary. This is a product designed to be used every day and is simply swiped on with a cotton pad. It's super cheap, and a great introduction to chemical exfoliators. Start off slowly with acids, and though you would eventually use this product daily, start out with every two or three days to make sure your skin doesn't become inflamed and irritated. Other acids that are much stronger are and aren't even recommended for daily use may work better down the road, but if you are new to acids, start mild. Note that some people see an increase in whiteheads when they first start acids, and this is called"purging" as the acids uncover clogged pores on your skin. Minor whiteheads are purging, but itching, severe dryness, and irritation mean you are overdoing the acids and need to use them less frequently and/or dilute them. It's also extremely important to make sure you use sunscreen while using chemical exfoliators as they make your skin more vulnerable to the sun. Good luck!

Re: Exfoliator for extremely dry skin

Your best bet, if you're able to, is to see a dermatologist. If you can't, here's some recommendations.


@meleppek how often are you currently exfoliating? If you aren't giving your skin time to rest, you could be stripping its moisture barrier. If that's the case, as hard as it may be you'll have to spend some time doing no exfoliation and repairing your skin with extra hydration and things like ceramides.


Right now, I'm really liking the Herbivore Blue Tansy BHA and Enzyme Pore Refining Mask 2 oz/ 60 mL and Herbivore Prism AHA + BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial 1.7 oz/ 50 mL. I'm not sure your price point, but people have a lot of good things to say about the The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Exfoliating Peeling Solution 1 oz/ 30 mL. I like the Herbivore Blue Tansey one because it's a gentler peel and the blue tansey really helps with redness and acne.


I can't state it enough but prepping and taking care of the skin before and after exfoliation is key, as is taking it slow and building up. I'd start out, especially with these strong ones, at most once per every two weeks or week. Start by leaving it on for a quarter or half the recommended time to let your skin build up tolerance. You'll want to make sure your skin is getting enough things like peptides and ceramides to help support new skin growth. Also, make sure you're hydrating enough. It might be useful to use an overnight mask on top of your nighttime moisturizer on days you exfoliate. You can also use other actives like retinols or retinol alternatives (building it up slowly, once per week) on days you don't exfoliate to help with cell turn over. 


Good luck!!

Re: Exfoliator for extremely dry skin

@meleppek Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™ AHA + BHA Mask 1.69 oz/ 50 mLis a great chemical exfoliant but it can be drying. If you already have dry skin, you may need to load up on moisturizer after or opt for something more gentle.  Peels with fruit enzymes are good options for dry/sensitive skin because they are much more gentle than traditional chemical AHA/BHA.  


Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx™ Exfoliating Peel Gel 3.4 oz/ 100 mL

SATURDAY SKIN - Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel

Wishful Yo Glow AHA & BHA Facial Enzyme Scrub 3.38 oz/ 100 mL

Re: Exfoliator for extremely dry skin


Two great exfoliating products for dry skin are....


Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash


 TATCHA - The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder




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