Surface Level: The 15 Best Exfoliators To Suit Every Skin Type & Budget

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One lovely thing about the rise of skincare junkies and beauty lovers on social media is that it has turned us all into mini scientists in our bathrooms. Salicylic acid, azelaic acid and polyglutamic acid aren't ingredients found only in a lab, but on your beauty shelf. I wouldn't be surprised if 'niacinamide' turns up on spelling bees in the coming years.

Exfoliators can either be physcial or chemical, and depending on your skin type and areas of concern, it's worth switching up your exfoliator of choice.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid and lactic acid work to exfoliate the surface of the skin, minimising skin staining left behind by spots and preventing further breakouts with consistent use. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid penetrate pores deeply, turfing out sebum, dead cells and keratin, which can all cause skin issues.
Exfoliating might seem like a scary, Big Step in a skincare routine (and it doesn't help that archaic scrubs of decades past have been largely shunned by the dermatology community), but its bad rap is, in most cases, misplaced.
She suggests that sensitive skin types can use physical exfoliators when there's no harsh scrubbing involved (she recommends using a microfibre cloth to gently buff away dead skin cells instead).
Whether you're seeking glowier skin, or targeting acne or hyperpigmentation, exfoliators are the weekly (ish) addition to your skincare routine. Starting slow is key.
Here we round up the best of the best, specific to your skin needs.
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