This £18 product is the closest I’ve ever come to recreating the result of a professional facial at home

Want smoother, brighter skin in two minutes flat? Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator is the answer

A close up picture of Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator in a pink, watercolour template
(Image credit: Dermalogica)

Skincare is getting cleverer by the minute, but there’s still something to be said for the old classics. Case in point – physical exfoliation, and more specifically, the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator. 

In the last few years, there’s been a shift away from traditional face scrubs in favour of chemical facial exfoliants that contain ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids and poly-hydroxy acids. They’re both doing essentially the same thing (removing old, dead and no longer needed cells from the surface of your skin) but liquid exfoliants work by chemically breaking down the bonds that hold onto them, while physical exfoliants manually remove them. 

The key difference is how you use them, and although they make more of a mess than dabbing an acid onto a cotton pad, I always find physical exfoliants way more satisfying. And to that point, I've finally found one that gives me facial-level results, at home...

The one product I swear by for smoother and brighter skin

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator is a scrub, but not one of those harsh, abrasive ones that make micro tears in the skin and give the whole category a bad name (looking at you, St Ives). Instead, it’s a dry powder designed to be mixed with water, which puts you in complete control of the overall consistency. 

Add just a little bit of water and you get a thick-ish, gritty paste, add double the amount and it’ll be more fluid with just a smattering of rice-based particles. What I love is that this makes the product completely customisable. Use less water if you really want to work into congestion on your nose and less if you want to be gentler on your drier cheeks – or keep it milder for a midweek mini-facial and go all-in at the weekend.

Now, I know it’s got the word "daily" in the name, but for me, this is still more of a twice-a-week treat than an everyday essential. The process of physical exfoliation can make my face a little bit red, so I don’t want to overdo it. Instead, I use this whenever my skin feels like it needs freshening up. For me, that’s probably on a Thursday morning when I feel like the week is catching up with me, and then again on a Saturday before I fake tan to make sure I’m starting with as clear a canvas as possible. 

Every time I use Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator I’m impressed by how soft my skin feels and how glowy it looks. My skin drinks up the serums and moisturisers that follow instead of them sitting, locked out in the cold on top, and my foundation goes on so much better. Essentially, I’ve managed to achieve that post-facial look and feel without one, leaving the house, two, spending an hour in the salon or three, most importantly, splurging all my money. A bottle is £65, which is initially expensive, but less than the average price of one facial. And, if you’re (like me) only using it a couple of times a week then it lasts for absolutely ages. I think I had my last one for a year before I finally got to the dusty dregs. 

Low-maintenance skincare lovers – this is the maximum reward, minimum effort product for you. 

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.