20 Best Chemical Exfoliant For Sensitive Skin (2022 Updated)

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There are a few different types of chemical exfoliants that are safe for sensitive skin. The most common are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and fruit enzymes. These work by dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, allowing them to be sloughed off more easily.

This can help to improve the texture and tone of the skin, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane, and is the smallest molecule of the three, so it can penetrate the skin more deeply. Lactic acid is derived from milk, and is a little larger, so it works more on the surface of the skin.

Fruit enzymes are derived from papaya and other fruits, and work to break down dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.

Which one you use will depend on your individual skin type and concerns. A good starting point is to find a product that contains 10% glycolic acid or less, and use it once or twice a week. If your skin is very sensitive, you may want to start with a lower concentration or only use it once a week.

You can also try using a product with fruit enzymes a few times a week.

20 Best Chemical Exfoliant For Sensitive Skin

Product Image Product Name Features Price

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 30ml

  • 1 oz

e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant – 3.04 fl oz

  • Make this gentle exfoliant a part of your daily regimen for a younger-looking skin
  • This effective face cleanser nourishes your skin with tangerine, papaya, and licorice extracts

PCA SKIN Daily Exfoliant – 7 fl oz bottle

  • This daily exfoliant helps cleanse dead cells gently for younger-looking skin
  • Its moisturizing properties assist in keeping your skin hydrated

BHA 2% Liquid Exfoliant

  • Ingredients
  • Product Benefits
  • Fine Line Treatment, Anti-Aging, Blemish Control, Moisturizing, Softening

Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Dry Skin, Skin Perfecting – 4 fl oz

  • Scent: Unscented
  • Product Form: Serum
  • Beauty Purpose: Hydrating, Basic Cleansing, Exfoliating

SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 6.0 Fluid Ounce

  • This exfoliating cleanser helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles
  • Mildly astringent citrus helps provide a glowing skin

Derma E Vitamin A Glycolic Facial Scrub – 4 oz tube

  • 4 oz 113 g

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – 2.5 fl oz tube

  • This gentle exfoliant helps remove impurities and clean your pores for smooth skin
  • Infusion of aloe vera aids in soothing dry and irritated skin

Differin Brightening Exfoliator, Daily – 6 fl oz

  • Dual-action facial scrub gently exfoliates skin and helps improve tone, texture and clarity
  • Formulated with water soluble jojoba beads to gently remove pore-clogging impurities and minimize the appearance of pores

La Roche Posay Scrub, Physiological Ultra-Fine, Sensitive Skin – 1.69 fl oz

  • Mild exfoliation.
  • Softens and purifies the skin.
  • Refreshing water-gel texture.

e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant Mini

  • Brightens and evens out skin tonePapaya Extract
  • Gently exfoliatesTangerine Extract
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup. e.l.f. Cosmetics Mini Gentle Peeling Exfoliant

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution – 30 ml

  • PartNumber: 769915191004.
  • Model: 769915191004.
  • A+ / Impeccabile: prodotti in condizioni impeccabili la cui confezione originale può essere aperta o sostituita da un’altra in ottime condizioni.

Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Normal & Combination Skin, Skin Perfecting – 4 fl oz

  • Scent: Unscented
  • Product Form: Serum
  • Beauty Purpose: Basic Cleansing, Combination, Exfoliating

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme 6 Percent Scrub

  • Ingredients
  • Product Benefits
  • Exfoliate,Exfoliation

WLDKAT Yucca + Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant – 3.33 fl oz

  • Product Form: Scrub
  • Sustainability Claims: Recyclable, Contains Recycled Content, Cruelty-Free
  • Beauty Purpose: Skin Texture Improvement, Pore Cleansing, Brightening, Skin Tone Improvement, Exfoliating

Bondi Sands Buff’ N Polish Gentle Chemical Exfoliant 30ml

  • Active ingredients: AHA Acids
  • Complexion type: all skin types
  • Effects: Brightening, Cleansing, Exfoliation, Unifying

Sente Exfoliating Cleanser

  • This exfoliating cleanser helps make your skin soft and supple
  • Infused with glycolic acid to rejuvenate and revitalize damaged skin
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 30ml
  • 1 oz
e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant – 3.04 fl oz
  • Make this gentle exfoliant a part of your daily regimen for a younger-looking skin
  • This effective face cleanser nourishes your skin with tangerine, papaya, and licorice extracts
PCA SKIN Daily Exfoliant – 7 fl oz bottle
  • This daily exfoliant helps cleanse dead cells gently for younger-looking skin
  • Its moisturizing properties assist in keeping your skin hydrated
BHA 2% Liquid Exfoliant
  • Ingredients
  • Product Benefits
  • Fine Line Treatment, Anti-Aging, Blemish Control, Moisturizing, Softening
Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Dry Skin, Skin Perfecting – 4 fl oz
  • Scent: Unscented
  • Product Form: Serum
  • Beauty Purpose: Hydrating, Basic Cleansing, Exfoliating
SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 6.0 Fluid Ounce
  • This exfoliating cleanser helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles
  • Mildly astringent citrus helps provide a glowing skin
Derma E Vitamin A Glycolic Facial Scrub – 4 oz tube
  • 4 oz 113 g
Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – 2.5 fl oz tube
  • This gentle exfoliant helps remove impurities and clean your pores for smooth skin
  • Infusion of aloe vera aids in soothing dry and irritated skin
Differin Brightening Exfoliator, Daily – 6 fl oz
  • Dual-action facial scrub gently exfoliates skin and helps improve tone, texture and clarity
  • Formulated with water soluble jojoba beads to gently remove pore-clogging impurities and minimize the appearance of pores
La Roche Posay Scrub, Physiological Ultra-Fine, Sensitive Skin – 1.69 fl oz
  • Mild exfoliation.
  • Softens and purifies the skin.
  • Refreshing water-gel texture.
e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant Mini
  • Brightens and evens out skin tonePapaya Extract
  • Gently exfoliatesTangerine Extract
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup. e.l.f. Cosmetics Mini Gentle Peeling Exfoliant
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution – 30 ml
  • PartNumber: 769915191004.
  • Model: 769915191004.
  • A+ / Impeccabile: prodotti in condizioni impeccabili la cui confezione originale può essere aperta o sostituita da un’altra in ottime condizioni.
Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Normal & Combination Skin, Skin Perfecting – 4 fl oz
  • Scent: Unscented
  • Product Form: Serum
  • Beauty Purpose: Basic Cleansing, Combination, Exfoliating
Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme 6 Percent Scrub
  • Ingredients
  • Product Benefits
  • Exfoliate,Exfoliation
WLDKAT Yucca + Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant – 3.33 fl oz
  • Product Form: Scrub
  • Sustainability Claims: Recyclable, Contains Recycled Content, Cruelty-Free
  • Beauty Purpose: Skin Texture Improvement, Pore Cleansing, Brightening, Skin Tone Improvement, Exfoliating
Bondi Sands Buff’ N Polish Gentle Chemical Exfoliant 30ml
  • Active ingredients: AHA Acids
  • Complexion type: all skin types
  • Effects: Brightening, Cleansing, Exfoliation, Unifying
Sente Exfoliating Cleanser
  • This exfoliating cleanser helps make your skin soft and supple
  • Infused with glycolic acid to rejuvenate and revitalize damaged skin

1. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 30ml

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 30ml

  • 1 oz

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Amazon.com – Seller
Paula’s Choice
Nordstrom
Kohl’s

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Cruelty-Free Yes
Fragrance-Free Yes
Suitable Skin Types All
Product Form Liquid
Container Type Bottle

Reviews From Real Customers

Marcy
SelenaLZ
Vic

2. e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant – 3.04 fl oz

e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant - 3.04 fl oz

  • Make this gentle exfoliant a part of your daily regimen for a younger-looking skin
  • This effective face cleanser nourishes your skin with tangerine, papaya, and licorice extracts
  • Its advanced formula leaves your skin feeling refreshed and replenished

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Amazon.com
Walmart
Ulta Beauty
Target

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Product Type Peeling exfoliant
Product Form Scrub
Sulfate-Free Yes
Paraben-Free Yes
Phthalate-Free Yes

Reviews From Real Customers

Crystal H
Songbird8302

3. PCA SKIN Daily Exfoliant – 7 fl oz bottle

PCA SKIN Daily Exfoliant - 7 fl oz bottle

  • This daily exfoliant helps cleanse dead cells gently for younger-looking skin
  • Its moisturizing properties assist in keeping your skin hydrated
  • Infused with jojoba oil and aloe vera to leave your skin smooth and supple

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Sold By Price
Amazon.com
eBay
Walmart
Dermstore.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Container Type Bottle
Suitable Skin Types Combination, Dry, Oily, Normal
Product Form Cream
Volume 7 fl oz
Fragrance-Free Yes

Reviews From Real Customers

Katy

4. BHA 2% Liquid Exfoliant

BHA 2% Liquid Exfoliant

  • Ingredients
  • Product Benefits
  • Fine Line Treatment, Anti-Aging, Blemish Control, Moisturizing, Softening
  • Active Ingredients
  • Salicylic_acid

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon.com – Seller
eBay
Naturium
Target

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Fragrance Free

Reviews From Real Customers

nicole.b
Debbie T.
M Sledge

5. Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Dry Skin, Skin Perfecting – 4 fl oz

Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Dry Skin, Skin Perfecting - 4 fl oz

  • Scent: Unscented
  • Product Form: Serum
  • Beauty Purpose: Hydrating, Basic Cleansing, Exfoliating
  • Recommended Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination
  • Net weight: 4 fl oz (US)

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Sold By Price
Amazon.com – Seller
eBay
Walmart
Ulta Beauty

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Fragrance Free

6. SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 6.0 Fluid Ounce

SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 6.0 Fluid Ounce

  • This exfoliating cleanser helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles
  • Mildly astringent citrus helps provide a glowing skin
  • Botanical extracts and panthenol help keep your skin moisturized

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon.com
Walmart
LovelySkin.com
Dermstore.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Container Type Tube
Volume 6 fl oz
Suitable Skin Types All
Gender Unisex
Recommended Age Group Adult

7. Derma E Vitamin A Glycolic Facial Scrub – 4 oz tube

Derma E Vitamin A Glycolic Facial Scrub - 4 oz tube

  • 4 oz 113 g

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eBay
Walmart
Ulta Beauty

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Vegan

8. Bliss Pro 11.8% AHA, BHA, PHA Liquid Exfoliant – 4 fl oz

Bliss Pro 11.8% AHA, BHA, PHA Liquid Exfoliant - 4 fl oz

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Amazon
Target

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Fragrance Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Vegan
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrate Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Vegetarian
Derived Nutrition Claim Wheat Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nut Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Artificial Color Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Oil Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Peanut Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Gluten Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Tree Nut Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Egg Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Shell Fish Free
Rich Ingredients Water (Aqua) (Eau), Lactic Acid, Propanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Gluconolactone, Salicylic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Surfactin, Allantoin, Resveratrol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Ceramide NG, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate, Polyglyceryl-6 Oleate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid
Ingredients Water (Aqua) (Eau), Lactic Acid, Propanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Gluconolactone, Salicylic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Surfactin, Allantoin, Resveratrol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Ceramide NG, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate, Polyglyceryl-6 Oleate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid
Nutrition Claim Sustainable
Nutrition Claim Not Tested on Animals
Nutrition Claim Fragrance Free
Nutrition Claim Vegan
Nutrition Claim Humane

Reviews From Real Customers

dezdmc
Multiculturalrican22
Jessica S

9. Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – 2.5 fl oz tube

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant - 2.5 fl oz tube

  • This gentle exfoliant helps remove impurities and clean your pores for smooth skin
  • Infusion of aloe vera aids in soothing dry and irritated skin
  • Enriched with natural fruit enzymes to rejuvenate your skin for a healthy glow

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon
Beauty Essentials Apothecary

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Product Form Cream
Suitable Skin Types All
Paraben-Free Yes
Cruelty-Free Yes
Sulfate-Free Yes

Reviews From Real Customers

Johannes

10. Differin Brightening Exfoliator, Daily – 6 fl oz

Differin Brightening Exfoliator, Daily - 6 fl oz

  • Dual-action facial scrub gently exfoliates skin and helps improve tone, texture and clarity
  • Formulated with water soluble jojoba beads to gently remove pore-clogging impurities and minimize the appearance of pores
  • Nourish and soothe skin with an antioxidant blend of white tea and aloe
  • Gentle enough for all skin types and daily use, even on active breakouts
  • Oil-free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, dermatologist tested

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Amazon
Walmart
CVS Pharmacy
FSAstore.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Dairy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrate Free

Reviews From Real Customers

meredith.p
leanne.b

11. La Roche Posay Scrub, Physiological Ultra-Fine, Sensitive Skin – 1.69 fl oz

La Roche Posay Scrub, Physiological Ultra-Fine, Sensitive Skin - 1.69 fl oz

  • Mild exfoliation.
  • Softens and purifies the skin.
  • Refreshing water-gel texture.
  • Respects the physiological balance of the skin.

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon
La Roche-Posay
Target
Walgreens.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Dairy Free

Reviews From Real Customers

SDBr
joy.p

12. e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant Mini

e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant Mini

  • Brightens and evens out skin tonePapaya Extract
  • Gently exfoliatesTangerine Extract
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup. e.l.f. Cosmetics Mini Gentle Peeling Exfoliant
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon
Walmart
Walmart – Aimtek Consulting LLC
e.l.f. Cosmetics

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Dairy Free

Reviews From Real Customers

thewindykitty
Akane V
Mary S

13. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution – 30 ml

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution - 30 ml

  • PartNumber: 769915191004.
  • Model: 769915191004.
  • A+ / Impeccabile: prodotti in condizioni impeccabili la cui confezione originale può essere aperta o sostituita da un’altra in ottime condizioni.

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Amazon
Primor
Belletica Italia
TheGlamtown

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Effetto sulla pelle Lenitivo, Esfoliante, Illumina, Tono Uniforme
Formato Contagocce
Ingrediente principale BHA, AHA
Problemi della pelle Irritata
Texture Fluido

Reviews From Real Customers

denisevirgi
gabriella90

14. Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Normal & Combination Skin, Skin Perfecting – 4 fl oz

Neutrogena Daily Liquid Exfoliant, Normal & Combination Skin, Skin Perfecting - 4 fl oz

  • Scent: Unscented
  • Product Form: Serum
  • Beauty Purpose: Basic Cleansing, Combination, Exfoliating
  • Recommended Skin Type: Normal, Combination, Acne-Prone
  • Net weight: 4 fl oz (US)

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Sold By Price
Amazon
eBay
Walmart
Ulta Beauty

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Fragrance Free

15. Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme 6 Percent Scrub

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme 6 Percent Scrub

  • Ingredients
  • Product Benefits
  • Exfoliate,Exfoliation

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Sold By Price
Amazon
eBay – aintshesweet!
JCPenney
Cloud 10 Beauty

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Product Dimensions 1.4 x 2.2 x 5.7 inches; 2.82 Ounces
Country of Origin United Kingdom
Item Volume 2.5 Fluid Ounces
Special Feature Not-Tested-On-Animals
Recommended Uses For Product Brightening,Cleansing,Exfoliating

Reviews From Real Customers

Nicola A.
AmeliaMimi
nipandfab.com

16. WLDKAT Yucca + Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant – 3.33 fl oz

WLDKAT Yucca + Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant – 3.33 fl oz

  • Product Form: Scrub
  • Sustainability Claims: Recyclable, Contains Recycled Content, Cruelty-Free
  • Beauty Purpose: Skin Texture Improvement, Pore Cleansing, Brightening, Skin Tone Improvement, Exfoliating
  • Recommended Skin Type: Combination, Mature, Sensitive, Normal, Dry, Oily, Acne-Prone
  • Net weight: 3.33 fl oz (US)

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Ulta Beauty
Target
Credo
Wldkat

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Derived Nutrition Claim Salt Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Paraben Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Fragrance Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Vegan

Reviews From Real Customers

credobeauty.com
That Midwestern Gal

17. Bondi Sands Buff’ N Polish Gentle Chemical Exfoliant 30ml

Bondi Sands Buff’ N Polish Gentle Chemical Exfoliant 30ml

  • Active ingredients: AHA Acids
  • Complexion type: all skin types
  • Effects: Brightening, Cleansing, Exfoliation, Unifying
  • When to use: day and night

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Sold By Price
Cloud 10 Beauty
Cult Beauty

Product Details

Reviews From Real Customers

Belinda F.
EmKo
Sharni

18. Sente Exfoliating Cleanser

Sente Exfoliating Cleanser

  • This exfoliating cleanser helps make your skin soft and supple
  • Infused with glycolic acid to rejuvenate and revitalize damaged skin
  • Its moisturizing formula helps nourish your skin for a youthful glow

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
ExclusiveBeautyClub.com
LovelySkin.com
DermWarehouse.com
Lookfantastic US

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Container Type Tube
Suitable Skin Types All
Volume 5.5 fl oz
Oil-Free Yes
Fragrance-Free Yes

Reviews From Real Customers

John R.
Stefunny

19. SKKN by Kim Exfoliator – 50ml

SKKN by Kim Exfoliator - 50ml

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SKKN BY KIM

Product Details

Reviews From Real Customers

BethB

20. Riversol Exfoliating Glycolic Peel, 60ml/2 fl oz

Riversol Exfoliating Glycolic Peel, 60ml/2 fl oz

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Riversol

Product Details

Reviews From Real Customers

Pamela G.
Judy

Conclusion

A chemical exfoliant for sensitive skin should be used with caution. It is important to test the product on a small area of skin before using it over the entire face. Those with sensitive skin may experience redness, stinging, or burning after using a chemical exfoliant.

If these side effects occur, the product should be washed off immediately and the area cooled with a cold compress.

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