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Not to be dramatic, but if there’s one skin-care step that has truly transformed my skin, it’s exfoliation. Like many folks, my earliest memories of exfoliation revolved around St. Iv*s’ Apric*t Scr*b. Understandably, it’s enough to scare me away from physical exfoliants for good; however, after slowly dipping my toes back into extra-gentle scrubs and chemical exfoliant (i.e. AHA/BHA/PHA) serums and masks, I have to say that regular skin-sloughing has worked wonders to keep breakouts at bay, not to mention improve the overall tone and texture of my oily skin.
Here’s where Dermalogica’s famed Daily Microfoliant comes in. Remember what I said earlier about gentle scrubs? Well, it doesn’t get gentler than this. As the name suggests, Daily Microfoliant is a super-fine exfoliator meant to be used on a regular basis. But does its reputation precede itself? Time to find out...
Whereas scrubs sometimes contain potentially abrasive nut shells (or *shudders* microbeads) to physically exfoliate, Dermalogica's bestseller is made with rice powder and colloidal oatmeal along with salicylic acid and licorice root extract to clarify and brighten. Also unlike traditional scrubs, this product is kept dry until activated with water to create a gritty paste. I wouldn’t even call this a scrub — that’s how delicate the particles are.
According to the instructions, the best way to use this product is on "very wet" hands to ensure that the formula is the right texture before coming in contact with your skin. As such, I find that this is easiest (and least messily) done in the shower. After washing my face with a gel cleanser, I dispense a few shakes of powder onto my palm before rubbing it in slow, circular motions on my face. The instructions say to do this for one minute, but even if rinse off sooner than that, the results are pretty incredible: After one use, my skin felt significantly smoother and brighter — and zero percent irritated.
Unlike chemical peels that create a tingly sensation, I experienced absolutely no sensitivity to this product. (That said, sunscreen is always a good idea, but especially after exfoliation of any kind.) I consider this a huge win for dry or sensitive skin types that usually have to tread very lightly with skin-sloughing products or active ingredients.
Being the iconic spa brand it is, Dermalogica has a stacked lineup of exfoliators for every skin type and concern. If you want to exfoliate as gently as possible, the Daily Milkfoliant (made with an oat base) is your calling. On the opposite side of things, if you crave more intense skin-sloughing, Daily Superfoliant has entered the chat. I personally think Microfoliant is the perfect Goldilocks option for most skin types, and even though it's pricey at $99 for a 75-gram bottle, I honestly don't see myself finishing it for at least a few years. (Is that gross? Derms, please weigh in.) If you want to try before committing to a larger size, you can also shop a smaller version for $25 — which will probably last you a few weeks, TBH. Smooth, baby-soft skin for all? Consider us very here for it.