Best Exfoliator For Mature Skin

The best exfoliator for mature skin depends on if the skin tends to be more on the sensitive side.

ALL MATURE SKIN slows down in skin cell turnover rate. However, mature skin that tends to be more sensitive may react more to exfoliators that have use acids such as AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids).

Mature Skin that is sensitive may fare better with an enzyme based exfoliator or a combination of acids and enzymes, especially if the acid the formulation uses Lactic Acid.

Lactic Acid is a more gentle form of AHA due it being a larger molecule so it does not penetrate the skin as quickly as glycolic acid. It is also hydrating.


The best exfoliator for mature skin that typically is thicker and not sensitive can usually tolerate ALL kinds of exfoliators for the face.

Typically , this type of mature skin has challenges more with hyperpigmentation than fine lines and wrinkles.


The best exfoliator for mature skin must be one that we can feel working, usually a tingling sensation or the sensation of scrubbing that rough granules such as coffee grounds, walnut shells, and apricot seeds can bring on. WRONG.


The best exfoliator for mature skin must be effective enough that it can :

-even out skin tone

-help with fine lines and wrinkles

-helpsclear up acne

-smooth out skin texture

At the same time, it should be gentle enough that it doesn’t increase dryness, flakiness and/or irritation.

However, most people are still confused on which type of exfoliation to use.


  1. CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS: These are usually referred to the AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) such as glycolic acid and lactic acid.

BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) Salicylic Acid work to penetrate the intercellular cement that holds the skin cells together and loosens dead skin cells for a smoother, even skin tone. It can also suppress Tyrosinase which is an enzyme that controls pigment production.


2. ENZYME EXFOLIANTS: This type of exfoliation is more gentle and are proteolytic /keratolytic (breaks down protein). This works to break down the skin cells and removes dead skin cells without drastically changing the pH of the skin or impairing the barrier function of the skin.

In more simpler terms and to help you remember the difference:

ACIDS dissolves and ENZYMES digest and breakdown protein.

Enzymes are like the host of a party. They are more versatile and can get along very well with chemical and physical exfoliants.

Best Type of Exfoliants for Mature and Sensitive Skin: Enzyme Exfoliants

Enzyme exfoliants tend to work better with sensitive skin.

Enzyme exfoliators can help with hyperpigmentation, acne and evening our skin tone without inflammation.

HOWEVER, they tend to work a lot slower than acids, which can be frustrating for those looking for results quickly.


4 Main Types of Enzymes Exfoliators

  1. Bromelain (Enzymes derived from Pineapples):



-contains Vitamin C

-Beneficial for treating hyperpigmentation


2. Papain-(derived from papaya): enzyme works well with sensitive skin

-antioxidants -Vitamins A, B, C and Lycopene

-keratolytic ability-helps remove even damaged keratin build up and has shown in several studies to be beneficial for wound healing

-beneficial to help speed healing of dried out acne lesions


3. Pumpkin-unique ability to be beneficial for both dry skin and oily, congested break out prone skin

-vitamins A, B, C, and E

-zinc helps heal acne


4. Berry Enzymes:

-Blueberries- beneficial for normal to oily skin- salicylic acid helps soften sebaceous filament for extractions.

-Raspberry- better for sensitive/rosacea prone /prone to redness

-anti inflammatory


-antioxidant- Vitamins A, C, b6 , copper , magnesium, folate and works as a tyrosinase inhibitor which can be beneficial for acne scars and hyperpigmentation

-Ellagic Acid also a natural brightener



Most exfoliators should be avoided using in the AM. However, some of the more gentle exfoliants could be used in the AM (although I still would avoid it for those who have hyperpigmentation and sensitive skin). This would apply to those who struggle with chronic congested skin.

Best Exfoliators for mature skin that is sensitive/ rosacea prone/capillary activity:

Granular textures such as coffee grounds, apricot seeds, sugar, salt , sugar scrubs should be avoided.

A gentle exfoliant that is a powder or cream based would be ideal for this type of skin.

A good example a powder based exfoliant that the texture can be controlled by the amount of water being used.


Best Exfoliator for mature skin that has hyperpigmentation/ acne/dull aging skin:

This multifaceted 3 in 1 product can be used in certain cleansers, used alone as a scrub , and as a deeper resurfacing mask.

This contains BOTH acids AND enzymes. This is NOT recommended for sensitive skin types.

It is a good rinse off exfoliator vs a leave on exfoliator.

Anyone who OVER exfoliates can experience TEWL-Trans Epidermal Water Loss. They can also cause “inflammaging” ( a coined term in the skin care industry) when chronic low level inflammation can induce premature aging and hyperpigmentation.

Although mature skin needs that extra boost of exfoliation to help speed up skin cell turnover rate, mature skin is also more prone to TEWL because of the lack of lipid production in the skin.

Mature skin should always follow exfoliation with a hydrating serum and a lipid rich cream to help keep the skin soft and supple.

For more posts on skin care:

3 Beauty Vlogger TIPS that Age Your Skin


Anti Aging Tip: Botox Alternatives for Fine lines and Wrinkles, Sagging Skin and Hyperpigmentation

Anti Aging tips: Best Skin Care Tips for 60s and 70s

Best Anti Aging Skin Care Tips for 40s and 50s


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