This Hydrating, $13 Exfoliant Is Dermatologist-Approved for “Skin Renewal Without Irritation”

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This Hydrating, $13 Exfoliant Is Dermatologist-Approved for “Skin Renewal Without Irritation”

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Speaking from personal experience, having sensitive skin is a pain in the ass. My skin needs things like exfoliation and brightening acids, but the ones it will tolerate are few and far between. So, I am always on the lookout for products that are suitable for my skin type, and have discovered one worth sharing. Cosrx’s dermatologist-approved Low pH Good Night Soft Peeling Gel is from the Korean skincare brand behind a popular snail mucin serum. NYC dermatologist Dr. Hadley King describes the gel as “a gentle option for exfoliation,” and shoppers agree. 

The Good Night Peeling Gel replenishes your skin while exfoliating it, giving it that “extremely soft” finish plenty of reviewers mention. Shoppers with “very sensitive skin” say the formula “peels off dead skin gently,” doesn’t cause irritation, cleans out pores, and gets rid of small bumps that are “impossible to squeeze or remove without tearing up your skin.” Its long list of benefits is thanks to two mild exfoliating ingredients, lactobionic acid and papain (a papaya-derived enzyme), as well as humectants including hyaluronic acid and glycerin. 

COSRX Low pH Good Night Soft Peeling Gel


Shop now: $13;

When it comes to exfoliating acids, beta hydroxy (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) get a lot of air time, but Dr. King says polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), which include lactobionic acid, deserves some attention, too. “PHAs [are] similar to traditional AHAs in that they exfoliate by breaking down the glue that holds dull dead skin cells to the surface of the skin,” although it’s where the two ingredients differ that matters, according to Dr. King. Polyhydroxy acids, like lactobionic acid, have relatively larger molecules, which means they penetrate the skin more superficially. Though PHAs are effective, they are less intense and potent, and thereby, less likely to be irritating. 

Papaya enzymes nicely complement the PHAs to “achieve the benefits of skin renewal without the irritation,” Dr. King says. Papain breaks down proteins like keratin for more efficient exfoliation and reduced hyperpigmentation. 

Between shopper reviews, a dermatologist’s stamp of approval, and that $13 price point, Cosrx’s Good Night Peeling Gel is pretty close to a sure thing.

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