How to Exfoliate Sensitive Skin

Exfoliation is magic: It’s one of the simplest ways to make your skin look better, deep-cleaning your pores, minimizing the appearance of sun damage, and revealing glowy, silky-feeling skin. But many exfoliants are too powerful for people with sensitive, irritable, breakout-prone, or reactive skin. The good news: New clean beauty technology has enabled a new generation of exfoliants that can benefit anyone’s skin—regardless of sensitivity—with beautiful results. The best new choices for sensitive skin preserve the skin’s natural protective barrier as they exfoliate, and they help hold in moisture as they sweep away dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, pollution, and impurities. You know you’ve picked the right one when it leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth in a dewy way, not tight, stripped, or dry. (Dryness can exacerbate sensitivity.) What also helps: consistency and patience. The exfoliators that are kindest to sensitive skin do their best work with regular use. Also, bear in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so something that might work for most sensitive skin might not work for yours. Go slowly as you test out new skin care.