The 5 Best Natural Non-Toxic Liquid Exfoliators for Every Skin Type

Use the power of plants to exfoliate the right way.
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The 5 Best Non-Toxic Liquid Exfoliators for Every Skin Type

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No matter your skin type, you could benefit from exfoliation. This method of removing dead skin cells can improve skin texture, promote skin-cell turnover, and allow your skin to drink up more nutrients from serums and moisturizers. However, exfoliators are also known to be tough on skin, so if not used properly, they can do more harm than good. That’s why we love liquid exfoliators, which use a variety of different natural acids and fruit extracts to effectively smooth and brighten all skin types. But, have you ever felt like exfoliating has left your skin red, dry and parched? You may be using an exfoliator that is too harsh, too abrasive or too strong. This is where liquid exfoliators tailored for your skin type come into play. 

What Does Exfoliation Do?

Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells from the skin’s outer layer. It employs either chemical agents or abrasives to slough off the dead skin cells and helps clean out pores. If you’ve ever gotten a facial or used a face scrub, you’ve exfoliated your skin. Your skin naturally sheds its outer layer about every 30 days or so, but exfoliation speeds up the process, visibly improving skin texture and promoting a brighter complexion.

There are some drawbacks to exfoliating your skin. Exfoliators often leave skin red and irritated after use because they remove that outer layer before it’s naturally ready to be shed. It can also dry out skin and leave you more susceptible to the Sun’s harmful rays. While exfoliating is an important step in a good skincare regimen, it must be done safely, so choosing the right exfoliator for you depends on your skin type.

Physical vs Liquid Exfoliators 

There are two different methods of exfoliating; physical and liquid. Physical exfoliators include face scrubs; they employ some sort of abrasive, such as ground up walnut shells, quartz, or sugar. These types of exfoliators physically buff away dead skin cells and can often be rough on skin, active breakouts or even cause micro-scarring on the skin. The abrasives can tear the outer layer of the skin, leaving your complexion red and irritated. 

Liquid exfoliators, on the other hand, employ acids to remove dead skin cells. This type of exfoliation can be gentle enough for sensitive skin or tough enough to treat acne. Essentially, the acids and enzymes used in liquid exfoliants work to dissolve the glue-like substance that holds the skin cells together. There are tons of different types of exfoliants, from AHAs, like glycolic and lactic acids, to BHAs, like hydroxyl and salicylic acids, to PHAs, which include lactobionic acid and gluconolactone. We suggest using all-natural liquid exfoliators that are derived from fruits enzymes, sugar cane, and other plants, which are just as effective, non-toxic, and not as harsh as their chemically-derived counterparts.

Find What’s Right for Your Skin

Now that you know everything about the different types of exfoliators it's also important to pick one that is right for your skin type. While exfoliating is an important step in a good skincare regimen, it must be done safely and choosing the right exfoliator is important in order to prevent skin redness and dryness. 

Below we've compiled a list of our favorite all-natural liquid exfoliators that work wonders on skin without being abrasive, harsh or toxic. 

Our Favorite Liquid Exfoliators

For Sensitive or Dry Skin

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1. The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner $75

This gentle formula works to exfoliate, hydrate, and boost collagen production, making it great for those with sensitive or dry skin. It employs lactic acid to exfoliate and help reverse skin damage caused by long-term UX exposure. It also uses PHAs for extra gentle exfoliation, as well as nutritious organically grown ingredients such as brown rice, alfalfa, flaxseed, mung beans, honey, and agave.

For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

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2. Intelligent Nutrients Detoxifying Glycolic Gel $65

Perfect for breakout-prone skin, this formula deeply exfoliates with the help of a powerful AHA naturally derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid. It also has gluconolactone, a PHA, and benzyl salicylate, a BHA, for added exfoliation, along with a super seed oil complex to help retain moisture.

For Hyperpigmentation

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3. Herbivore Botanicals Prism Natural Fruit Acid 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion $62

With a 5% concentration of fruit acids, this formula is perfect for those with hyperpigmentation. The acids used are all AHAs; glycolic, malic, and lactic acid. They are naturally extracted from sugar cane, apples, and bilberry, and effectively smooth, brighten and reduce hyperpigmentation. The formula also contains vitamin C for a little added brightness and aloe vera to calm and soothe.

For Mature Skin

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4. Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR™ Exfoliating Peel Spray $52

Specially formulated to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this is the perfect anti-aging peel spray. It uses AHAs like citric acid and antioxidants like licorice root and tocopherol, along with ascorbic acid, which promotes collagen production. It also contains tons of moisturizing ingredients, such as organic aloe vera, organic grape seed oil, and jojoba oil.

For Normal Skin

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5. Aquareveal Satin Bright Soft Water Peel for Face $49

This gentle formula exfoliates and unclogs pores without being overly drying. It uses SMART EXFOLIATION™ technology which allows you to control how gentle it is. Simply massage the gel onto skin to remove dead skin cells and continue adding more gel and massaging longer for a deeper exfoliation. The formula also has hyaluronic acid for added moisture.

No matter which type of liquid exfoliator you go for, it’s crucial to always be gentle to your skin. Use light circular motions to apply the product, never exfoliate when your skin is irritated or sunburnt, and always apply a good moisturizer afterwards to reduce any potential dryness. Most products will also recommend applying them as part of your nighttime routine as your skin may be more susceptible to the Sun’s harmful rays, so always remember to apply sunscreen in the morning.

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