EXFOLI-RATER : Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This week in EXFOLI-RATER, we’re kickin’ it semi-old-skool style, with a product I’ve used for like … ten years, wow : Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Hooray! Let’s check it.


It’s a tube o’ powder! Specifically, it’s a big plastic jar thing with a twist-off lid, a couple of little shaker-holes in the top, and filled with a very finely gritty white powder … along with a widget to absorb any ambient moisture and keep the powder stuff dry. It’s currently $45.00 for the 2.6oz jar on Amazon, which sounds SPENDY AF. However, keep in mind that dry powder doesn’t weigh much, so 2.6oz is quite a lot of product — and you only need like a half teaspoon or less each time, so that jar will easily last you at least a year if you use it once or twice a week. The ingredients include cellulose, rice bran, colloidal oatmeal, plus salicylic acid and allantoin. It’s also got a “brightening complex” and ginkgo and green tea, but I’m skeptical of the efficacy of those in scrub form, since they don’t have much time to absorb into the skin.


You get your face wet, get your hands wet, shake a little of the product into your palm, rub hands together to mix it into a paste, and rub it all over your face for a minute or so. Pretty easy! HOWEVER, if one of your primary considerations for a scrub is “can easily be used in the shower,” I’d skip this one. Obviously it needs to stay dry, and obviously a running shower + a can of powder is not a felicitous combo, moisture-absorbing can-widget or no.


It does do a thing! Since this is a super fine powder of basically dried grains rather than, say, aluminium crystals or walnut shells, it does a comparatively gentle thing. I rub it in for a minute or so, avoiding eye area of course, and sometimes I leave it on for a few minutes more in hopes that I’ll get additional activity from the non-grit ingredients. It rinses off completely cleanly with no residue, even if you leave it on so long it dries to a crust. After using this, my skin definitely does look and feel smoother — in addition to the grits, allantoin and papain and salicylic also help to break up dead surface skin cells. (If you battle low-key breakouts and have good results with salicylic acid products, this might be a good one to try.) However, even though it doesn’t feel physically aggressive or chemically stripping, the upper layers of my skin can feel a little drier than normal after using this, so I follow it up with an extra serum or moisturizer. If I don’t do so, the scrub/pat-dry/apply-serum/dust-with-powder test WILL yield some dry-looking surface patches. They won’t be terrible or flaky, but they definitely do need to be well-moisturized before applying makeup.

Yaaaaay, this one doesn’t look like snot.

Even tho it can give me a little light surface dryness, I REALLY like this one — clearly, since I’ve been using it on and off for like ten years or more. I’ve bought three or four big jars/tubes of it in that time, and I keep a mini of the same stuff to refill and throw in my toiletry bag when I travel. Which, it’s GREAT for that purpose, because it’s small and super light weight and you don’t need much … and it’s powder, so if something hideous happens to your bag, it’ll be a minor annoyance instead of “ALL MY SHIT IS RUINED FROM A GRITTY GOOP EXPLOSION.”

IN CONCLUSION : is it the most wildly effective skin-smoothing scrub/exfoliantizer I’ve ever used? No. But it’s very good, despite its few drawbacks, and it’s easy, and it lasts a long time so it’s a pretty good value! All ’round, a solid B for me, and there’s a strong chance I’ll repurchase it yet again.

INGREDIENTS : Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Allantoin, Papain, Salicylic Acid, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, PCA, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Cyclodextrin, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Limonene, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) , Hexylene Glycol.


Dermalogica Microfoliant 2.6oz $45.00 powder, salicylic B
Ren Flash Rinse 2.5oz $48.00 grainy, vit C C
Algenist Triple Action 2oz $58.00 grainy, glycolic C+
Vasanti Brighten Up! 4.2oz $34.00 grainy scrub A
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub 4oz $8.49 grainy scrub B-
It’s Skin Citron Peeling Gel 4oz $10.00 pilling gel A-

Tried it? Dig it or nah? Discuss!