These Radiance-Boosting Exfoliating Masks Are the Keys To Aging Gracefully
Gone are the days when we thought exfoliating mean scrubbing our faces with one of those abrasive, sandy-feeling cleansers. Even the scrubbing brushes we swore by for smoother skin when we were younger can be far too rough as we age. Now is the time to treat ourselves with a skin-care routine that puts back in more than it takes out. Boosting cell-turnover, removing spent cells, and purging pores of impurities is paramount, but we need to do it in a way that doesn't strip the complexion of its nutrients and natural oils in the process. When used in moderation, both AHAs and BHAs are effective exfoliators that can gently renew and replenish without compromising the skin barrier, sensitizing skin, or plain-old being too abrasive. Here we've gathered a list of top-rated exfoliators that call on these wonder active ingredients for all of the glow and none of the harsh side effects.
Soap & Glory No Clogs Allowed Deep Pore-Clearing Mask
BUY IT: $10.99; target.com
Salicylic acid (BHA) is an exfoliant that seeps into the pores, purging them of impurities and excess oils. Use this build-up-reducing mask once a week, focusing on areas that are prone to blackheads like the chin, nose, and cheeks. Apply the mask to your face, then dampen your hands and gently work it into your skin. You'll feel a quick flash of heat as the mask activates. Let it sit for five minutes before rinsing with a warm cloth.
Herbivore Prism 20% AHA + 5% BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial Mask
BUY IT: $58; nordstrom.com
Don't let that smooth, jelly texture fool you, it contains fruit-based alpha hydroxy acids that help eliminate dead skin cells to aid in new skin cell generation. The result? Younger, glowier skin with decreased hyperpigmentation. AHAs can increase sun sensitivity so be extra vigilant about your daily SPF application.
Osea Black Algae Flash Mask
BUY IT: $48; revolve.com
A blend of malic acid, a gentle AHA derived from apples, and pumpkin and fig enzymes provide on-the-spot exfoliation that will leave skin smoother and more radiant after just one use. Dead cells that clog up the complexion and lead to dullness will get polished away, leading to brighter skin with reduced fine lines.
Buttah Skin Charcoal Detox Face Mask
BUY IT: $24; nordstrom.com
Purge pores and smooth skin with a replenishing mask that not only purifies with activated charcoal powder and bentonite and kaolin clay, but also deeply penetrates with shea butter and argan oil. These essential fatty acids smooth and soften the skin while sodium hyaluronate packs in moisture.
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer
BUY IT: $60; sephora.com
You'll get three layers of exfoliation with this mask: pumpkin enzyme smooths the skin's surface; alpha hydroxy acid chemically peels to reveal a brighter complexion, and aluminum oxide crystals buff the skin's surface for smoother, more even texture. Use one or two times per week.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Peel Mask
BUY IT: $39; sephora.com
Lighten dark spots and reduce textural and dullness issues with a mask that's being hailed an at-home facial. It calls on natural alpha hydroxy acid and glycolic acid to refine, exfoliate, and smooth skin's texture and surface, while vine sap-derived Viniferine acts as a highly potent brightener, proven to be 62 times more effective than skin-care-industry-beloved vitamin C.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial AHA + BHA Mask
BUY IT: $80; sephora.com
An AHA blend pairs with salicylic acid (BHA) to penetrate skin, unclog pores, and renew the skin's surface so you're left with a brighter, smoother, and clearer complexion. Use this treatment once weekly and don't combine with any other potent treatments—particularly when you're starting out. After rinsing off the mask, apply a super soothing oil or moisturizer, like Drunk Elephant's Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, which comes included with your Babyfacial purchase.
Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask
BUY IT: $45; sephora.com
You'll get a whopping dose of hydration along with gentle exfoliating benefits when you slather on this pretty-as-can-be mask before bedtime. Glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, watermelon extract, and peony root provide moisture, radiance-boosting and skin-soothing benefits, and protection against external aggressors. All you have to do is hit snooze.
Summer Fridays Overtime Mask
BUY IT: $44; sephora.com
If you need a complexion game changer that will boost glow stat, this pumpkin-enzyme-packed tube is the answer. It pairs oat kernel proteins, beta carotene, pumpkin, and apricot seed powder to gently and effectively exfoliate by boosting cell turnover and increasing blood flow to the skin—hello, plumped-up fine lines. Massage the formula onto the skin for 60 seconds, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Gently rinse the mask off with warm water. Use it up to twice a week.