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14 Best Face Exfoliators for Mature & Aging Skin in 2021

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Exfoliation promotes cell turnover, allowing old dead skin cells to shed away, enabling new, healthy cells to appear. Skin naturally sheds dead cells in a 28-day cycle, but with age, the skin’s natural exfoliation process slows down, causing a buildup of dead cells that makes skin look dull. You can layer as many skincare products as you want, but your skin might look dull and sloppy without regular exfoliation. But I’m sure you already know this since you’re looking for the best face exfoliators for mature skin. Before we go into the topic, I’ll briefly mention all types of exfoliation, for starters, who don’t know their differences.

Types of exfoliators

Chemical exfoliators, including alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), work to break down the bond between skin cells, unclogging pores, and eliminating flaky skin. While AHAs are water-soluble and work on the skin’s surface, BHAs are oil-soluble and can penetrate the pores to cleanse them.

Physical exfoliation is the mechanical action of manually stripping away surface cells with grainy particles or brushes. But this traditional method may be too harsh for mature skin, so better keep this one for the body. Also, physical exfoliation doesn’t penetrate the skin as the chemical ones, thus may not be as effective.


Now, enzymatic exfoliants are a gentle alternative to chemical ones. They work by removing the uppermost skin layer, digesting dead cells. Mainly, this type of exfoliator uses fruit enzymes (think papaya, pomegranate, pineapple, cherries) to break down the protein in dead cells making skin smooth. The thing with enzymatic exfoliators is that they act on the skin’s surface, shedding away dead skin rather than speeding up cell turnover. This is because they don’t penetrate the skin as acids do. 

Is exfoliating good for mature skin?

Facial exfoliators are mandatory for mature skin, being one of the best ways to tackle aging signs. Regular exfoliation helps speed up cellular turnover, relaxing fine lines and reducing hyperpigmentation. It’s that step that promotes cell turnover, preventing a sallow look over time.

For mature skin, I suggest chemical and enzymatic exfoliators. These are less abrasive and work really well at unclogging pores and shedding away dead cells to reveal smoother and brightener skin. The best chemical exfoliators for mature skin are lactic and glycolic acids. Glycolic acid is the strongest AHA and has the smallest molecule, penetrating the skin better, while lactic acid is milder and has hydrating properties too. Malic acid is also a great exfoliator for aging skin since it’s on the gentler side due to its larger molecule that mostly acts on the skin’s surface.

How often should you exfoliate mature skin?

Once or twice weekly is sufficient to exfoliate mature skin. It depends on the exfoliant you use and the concentration of exfoliating ingredients. Equally important is not to over-exfoliate as it can lead to irritations, breakouts, swelling, in a word, hypersensitivity. 

As a side note, the best time to exfoliate is in the evening because the exfoliation process most likely makes the skin sensitive to sunlight, especially acids. If you follow up with an antioxidant-rich serum and a hydrating moisturizer, you hit it big! The exfoliating process primes your skin to get more benefits from the products you apply after, better effects, smoother and strengthened skin.

What is the best exfoliator for mature skin?

Ready to reap the benefits of this key step in your anti-aging skincare routine? Here are our top picks for best face exfoliators for mature skin.

Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Treatment

Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Face Exfoliator

For those looking to splurge on a luxurious face exfoliator, Sunday Riley Treatment is the best option. I’ve already mentioned that lactic acid is one of the best exfoliating ingredients for mature skin because it’s gentle and has hydrating properties. Besides exfoliating, this treatment aims to brighten the skin with licorice extract, hydrate it with squalane and prickly pear extract while arnica, aloe, and lemongrass soothe and refresh the skin. They all work to reveal clearer and smoother skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Exfoliator

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Exfoliator

Give a try to this brilliant exfoliator by Dr. Dennis Gross wipes, a two-step anti-aging AHA/BHA peel pad infused with seven acids to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and pores look. Glycolic, salicylic, lactic acids are used in the first step to encourage cell turnover, while the second step adds retinol, resveratrol, and vitamin C for anti-aging benefits and antioxidant protection. It’s the perfect prepping step for your serums and moisturizers.

best exfoliator for mature skin

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

A cult-favorite and multiple times award winner, Tata Harper’s resurfacing mask is by far one of the best face exfoliators for mature skin. Not only exfoliates the skin with natural BHA from white willow bark extract and pomegranate enzymes, but it also works to refine pores with pink clay and soften skin with a blend of natural oils. It’s the perfect addition to your organic skincare routine.

Tatcha The Rice Polish Face Exfoliator

Tatcha The Rice Polish Face Exfoliator

For uneven texture, dullness, and visible pores, try Tatcha Foaming Enzyme Powder. It dissolves dead cells and debris, promoting skin turnover that instantly pays off. This product uses Japanese rice bran powder and papaya enzymes to provide a non-abrasive exfoliation that’s also rich in vitamins and proteins. On top of that, it uses green tea, amino acids, and lactic acid for brightening and nourishing effects. Resurface and plump with one product in no time!

Chanel Le Gommage Face Exfoliator

Chanel Le Gommage Face Exfoliator

Chanel made an exfoliating and nourishing face scrub you can use twice weekly. It removes impurities and dead cells, helping prevent irritations helped by phytic acid and vitamin E that also have antioxidant effects. What makes it make it one of the best exfoliators for mature skin? The addition of purple microalgae, marine seawater, and jojoba beads aid in skin rejuvenation and provide remineralizing and hydrating properties. So you get exfoliation, moisture, and revitalization at once!

murad exfoliator for mature skin

Murad Vitamin C Triple Exfoliating Facial

It’s easy to love Murad products, and this exfoliator makes no exception. It combines all types of exfoliants: physical, chemical, and enzymatic. Murad Triple Exfoliating Facial uses micro-minerals to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface, fruit enzymes to dissolve debris and oil, plus chemical ones aka glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to exfoliate in-depth and purify the skin. Oh, and it’s filled with gold-stabilized vitamin C for high antioxidant protection, making it one of the best exfoliators for aging skin.

Juice Beauty Exfoliating Peel Spray

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray

A different formula, Juice Beauty made an exfoliating peel spray with mature skin in mind. Made with a delicate plant-derived exfoliant, it resurfaces the skin and lifts away old dead cells. Also, it’s loaded with vitamin C and licorice root extract that have brightening effects, plus cucumber and aloe to soothe the skin. It’s so far one of the best exfoliators for mature skin that’s also organic and vegan. Way to go!

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

Caudalie VinoClean Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

Are you looking for a vegan approach to your exfoliator for mature skin? Look no further, Caudalie’s exfoliator has it all with 97% natural ingredients. It uses plant microbeads and polylactic acid to refine skin texture and leave it radiant-looking. More than that, green grape extract and grape water work to moisturize and soothe while protecting against free radicals. It’s your twice-weekly vegan spoil that smells like a day at the spa!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant 

For a gentle experience, try Dermalogica powder formula that turns to a foamy texture when activated. Once rubbed into hands with water, it releases papain, salicylic, and rice actives that help reduce fine lines and uneven tone look. At the same time, a mix of green tea, colloidal oatmeal, and ginkgo biloba extract attracts moisture, locking it in to preserve your skin barrier. It’s as delicate as you can make it your daily treat!

The Ordinary AHA Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 

The Ordinary AHA + BHA Solution is worth mentioning in our top best face exfoliators for mature skin, even if it might be too harsh for some. It is pretty powerful since it’s made with glycolic, lactic, salicylic, citric, and tartaric acids, more precisely 30% AHAs and 2% BHAs. The addition of Tasmanian pepperberry helps reduce irritation linked to acid use, while hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and black carrot extract hydrate and give an antioxidant shield. 

L'Occitane Exfoliantor

L’Occitane Reine Blanche Illuminating Exfoliant

Twice weekly, spoil your face with L’Occitane Illuminating Exfoliant. It’s got a creamy formula that exfoliates delicately, revealing your skin, but better. Its brightening power is given by meadowsweet flower water and white mulberry extract, while salicylic acid exfoliates and cleanses pores in depth. Plus, it’s enriched with sunflower seed oil, an excellent humectant, antioxidant, and skin barrier protector.

Chantecaille Exfoliating Cream

Chantecaille Exfoliating Cream

Skin is left free of impurities, such as pollution and dead cells once you exfoliate with Chantecaille’s cream. It’s made with bamboo beads, papaya enzyme, peeling peptide, and glycolic acid that aid in exfoliating and refining skin, plus a blend of hibiscus flower acids and grapefruit extract to brighten. The rosewater base gives mature skin the extra dose of moisture and antioxidants it so often needs. A pea-sized amount goes a really long way.

Pai Virtuous Circle Exfoliator

Pai Virtuous Circle Exfoliator

Pai Virtuous Circle may be the one for those looking to approach a natural alternative for their face exfoliator. It uses jojoba wax beads suspended in a hydrating gel-like texture that budge off dead skin cells, leaving a brightener and smoother complexion. Plus, it’s infused with a blend of natural oils, such as sweet almonds, castor, and frankincense, nourishing and hydrating the skin. Pai’s exfoliator it’s also enriched with squalene and vitamin E to give your skin some more hydration.

Neutrogena Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator

Neutrogena Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator

This face exfoliator combines mandelic and glycolic acids to remove skin dullness and boost brightness. It instantly cleans the pores and leaves the skin smooth, ready for the following skincare products. Neutrogena facial exfoliator is oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’ll never clog your pores.

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