The best exfoliating cleansers for skin that literally sparkles ✨

Don't skip this important skincare step - it's time to get your glow on.

The best exfoliating cleansers

by Jade Moscrop |

if you're craving radiant, envy-inducing skin with an even tone and no dry patches or redness - join the club. We're all just on a journey to living our best no-make-up life. A simple, but key step that's often missed from beauty routines, but one that can make all the difference, is exfoliating.

Whether you're already a keen exfoliator and are searching for a new fave product, or you've never ventured into exfoliating before, a cleanser is a skincare hero that'll make life easier.

Capable of washing off grime and make-up while ridding our pores of built-up gunk, AND dissolving dead skin cells, exfoliating cleansers are hard-working multi-taskers that deserve more recognition.

We've rounded up some of our favourite exfoliating cleansers, including scrubs, balms and foaming washes, to help reveal your sparkliest skin yet.

What types of exfoliating cleansers are there?

There are two main types of exfoliating cleansers available - physical exfoliating cleansers, and chemical exfoliating cleansers.

As you might have guessed, physical exfoliants use small particles (like crushed walnut or sugar) to scrub away dead skin cells.

Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, use acids, like glycolic, lactic and salicylic, to dissolve away dead skin cells, revealing healthy skin underneath.

The benefits of using an exfoliating cleanser

Exfoliating cleansers simplify your skincare routine, removing dead skin cells and cleansing your skin at the same time.

Many of them can be used every day, which is a godsend for those of us who forget to do our weekly exfoliating routine or are trying to save time during a busy working week.

Exfoliating cleansers are gentle, so they're suitable for those with sensitive skin, too.

How often to use exfoliating cleansers

For most people, an exfoliating facial cleanser can be used every day. Those with oily, resistant skin might choose to use it once per day, while those with dry skin might only opt for a few times a week to avoid drying the skin out further.

You know your skin best, so if you're unsure, start slowly, and always read your chosen product's directions before slathering it on your face.

Do I need to wear SPF after using AHAs/BHAs?

Yes - but you should be doing anyway (slaps wrist). AHAs and BHAs can make skin sensitive to UV light, so SPF is an absolute must.

Are microbeads banned?

If you've ever used an exfoliating cleanser before, you might remember the microbeads that were found in so many exfoliating products. However, the tiny pieces of plastic that used to run riot in our cosmetics and skincare were seriously bad news for the environment. Often ending up in the stomachs of marine life (and therefore, fish-eating humans), microbeads have been banned in the UK since September 2018.

There are plenty of brilliant alternatives to microbeads, found in some of our favourite exfoliating cleansers.

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