Little by little, chemical exfoliants have been replacing the classical mechanical formulations; and if you’ve ever tried one, you probably understand why! They’re easier to use and often gentler, as chemical exfoliants won’t involve rubbing your skin with harsh particles. All this chemical magic is only possible thanks to our dearest exfoliating agents, such as AHA, BHA and PHA (read alpha, beta and poly hydroxy acids), as these actives work their way on dead skin cells. In each application, our exfoliating acids allow dead skin cells to leave the skin surface, revealing the healthy texture as well as glow underneath it.
The tricky part with using chemical exfoliants is that some actives and formulas may sensitize the skin, which is not exactly good news for sensitive skin types. Luckily enough, there are more and more formulas especially designed to suit even the most delicate of skins! You may now scroll through our selection to choose the best chemical exfoliant for sensitive skin.
Explore now the best chemical exfoliants for sensitive skin
Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner
NMF & lactic acid for dehydrated skin
Sensitive and dehydrated skin is no longer out of the exfoliating toner game. This unique formula combines NMF (natural moisturizing factors) together with lactic acid and gluconolactate (a PHA) to allow the most hydrating and gentle renewing action. At the same time, this exfoliating toner gently removes dead skin cells, all the while reinforcing the hydrolipidic mantle. Renewed as well as reinforced, your skin reveals more hydrated, luminous and even day after day.
COSRX Calming Liquid Mild
Acne-prone & sensitive skin exfoliation
If your acne-prone skin doubles up as sensitive, then you have to be extra careful in choosing your skincare allies. With sebum regulating properties and gentle exfoliating action, this soothing toner may be just what you need! In a base of tea leaf water, you’ll find the soothing COSRX‘s exclusive Centella AC-Rx Complex as well as the exfoliating betaine salicylate and gluconolactone. Apply it to help regulate excess sebum production and saying goodbye to dead cells, all the while relieving acne-prone skin.
Evolve Liquid Radiance Glycolic Toner
An exfoliating toner with natural fruit AHAs
A cocktail of natural origin glycolic, malic, citric, and salicylic acids is about to renew lackluster skin with radiance! Suitable even for the most sensitive skin, this toner combines 100% plant-based AHAs and BHAs to enhance cellular turnover and refine the skin surface. At the same time, galactoarabinan from the Western larch tree contributes to reducing moisture loss while minimizing sensitivity and irritation. Refine your skin with a natural as well as vegan formula!
Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner
Salicylic acid & aloe vera to refine & soothe the skin
Featuring the star BHA (salicylic acid), together with calming aloe vera, this facial toner from K-Beauty brand Benton works to exfoliate the pores from the inside. Even though salicylic acid is often off the table for sensitive skin, in this formula it’s present in a low concentration and skillfully combined with soothing actives to minimize irritation. With a lightweight texture that never feels sticky or tacky, this refreshing formula is ideal for combination to oily skin types.
Gallinée Prebiotic Face Vinegar
Prebiotics & lactic acid at service of sensitive skin
Gallinée cares for your skin microbiome like no other! Featuring Actibiome (a novel prebiotic), this facial toner feeds good bacteria all the while soothing stressed skin. At the same time, hibiscus vinegar and lactic acid gently buff the skin, contributing to a smooth and refined appearance. Bring your skin back to balance with this vegan formula, that contains no less than 97.5% of ingredients of natural origin, ready to transform your skin!
The Saem Healing Tea Garden White Tea Cleansing Water
Exfoliating cleansing water with white tea
What about exfoliating cleansing water? Yes, it’s just as practical to use as it sounds. It not only cleanses the skin but also removes water-soluble makeup at once! In addition to perfect facial cleansing, this water refines the skin texture—all thanks to the exfoliating AHAs (citric, glycolic and lactic acid) coupled with acerola extract. Have all the comfort of makeup cleansing with a cotton pad while experiencing the freshness of water-rinsed skin.
With the best chemical exfoliant set, you may now need further help in building a complete skincare routine for sensitive skin. What about using a BB cream tailor-made for sensitive skin as well? We have all the products you need to overcome sensitivity and find both comfortable and beautiful skin!
Professional Makeup Artist & Beauty Writer