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Review: I Fell in Love with a Powder Exfoliant for My Dry Skin

CEO Tinh Phung
Exfoliating is a pleasure I indulge in. The sensation of sloughing off dead skin is immensely satisfying, and the refreshed feeling afterwards is unbeatable. However, I have been committing a cardinal sin in my skincare...

Exfoliating is a pleasure I indulge in. The sensation of sloughing off dead skin is immensely satisfying, and the refreshed feeling afterwards is unbeatable. However, I have been committing a cardinal sin in my skincare routine: using a rough, physical exfoliator on my delicate facial skin. Until recently, I couldn't fathom how a liquid or chemical exfoliant could deliver the same results as a cleansing brush or an exfoliating washcloth. But everything changed when I discovered the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant powder exfoliant.

If you haven't made exfoliating a regular part of your skincare routine, now is the time. Exfoliation helps remove the buildup of dead skin cells and dirt from the surface of your skin. However, it's crucial to approach exfoliation with care, as abrasive products can cause irritation and even wrinkles. That's where a liquid or powder exfoliant comes in, offering a gentler alternative. After using the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant for a month, I can confidently say that I have found my new holy grail product.

What Makes the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Special?

Before and After of Mixing Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Powder on Hand with Water Image: Before and After of Mixing Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Powder on Hand with Water (Andrea Carrillo/RD.com)

When we think of face exfoliation, facial scrubs or microtools often come to mind. However, the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant sets itself apart as a powder exfoliant. Formulated with rice-based ingredients, it appears as a fine, off-white powder rather than a gritty cream.

The magic happens when you activate the rice-based powder with a few drops of water. When applied to the skin as a light paste, this exfoliant buffs away dead skin cells and leaves your complexion radiant. The best part? It's gentle enough for daily use.

Features of the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant boasts an impressive lineup of ingredients that work together to polish the skin and combat dullness. The star player is rice, renowned for its ability to smooth out skin texture. Salicylic acid targets follicles and minimizes acne, while colloidal oatmeal soothes and softens the skin. Additional ingredients like papain, phytic acid from rice bran, white tea, and licorice root breathe life back into dry skin.

Available in two sizes, including a 0.45-ounce mini and a 2.6-ounce full size, Dermalogica also prioritizes sustainability in its packaging. Refill bundles are available, allowing you to reuse the bottle and reduce waste.

My Personal Experience with the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Before and After of Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant applied on face Image: Before and After of Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant applied on face (Andrea Carrillo/RD.com)

I always feel the dryness on my face before I even see it. Despite my combination skin getting oily throughout the day, it tends to dry out if I don't exfoliate every few days. While I enjoyed this step in my routine, I felt it was time to swap my harsh cloth and cleanser combo for something gentler. To prepare my skin for scrubbing, I first cleanse with my trusted Kiehl's cleanser.

Dermalogica recommends adding half a teaspoon of rice powder to "very wet" hands. With almost a week since my last scrub, I was admittedly skeptical that such a small amount of product could deliver satisfactory results. But to my surprise, as I mixed the powder into a thin paste and began gently rubbing it in circular motions, my face started to feel smoother within seconds.

Even before rinsing off the paste, my textured pores felt noticeably softer, especially around my nose. Unlike some body scrubs, there were no microbeads in the paste that could scratch my skin. It's safe to say that I have come a long way from the St. Ives Apricot Scrub I used in my teenage years.

Initially, I was concerned about using an exfoliant daily, as I usually only exfoliate once or twice a week. However, after the first few uses, I experienced no sensitivity whatsoever. Eager to maintain the results, the Daily Microfoliant became a vital part of my routine for a full 30 days.

Though I must admit there were a couple of days when I skipped exfoliation throughout the month, my skin feels remarkably smoother overall. I no longer have to wait for my skin to become dry and patchy before exfoliating, and my face glows even when I'm not wearing makeup. It pairs perfectly with my moisturizer, providing a smooth base for other skincare and makeup products. Even when I do experience a breakout or two, they don't last as long.

Just be cautious when using it. Once the powder gets wet, there's no turning back, so it's essential to keep water out of the bottle. While I did take it into the shower with me a couple of times, it's best to be mindful. Incorporating this exfoliator into my skincare routine is a step I'm definitely carrying into my 30s.


  • Rice-based exfoliant
  • Removes dead skin cells and brightens complexion
  • Only needs water to activate
  • Extremely gentle
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Refillable bottles available


  • The full-size bottle is on the pricier side
  • Water can ruin the powder, so it's important to keep it dry

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Dermalogica Microfoliant effective against blackheads?

The Salicylic Acid in the formula penetrates pores to prevent blackheads and congestion. While it may take some time to see long-term results as every individual's skin is different, reviewers have reported positive outcomes.

Should the Microfoliant be used in the morning or at night?

It is advisable to use the Microfoliant at night, as the skin is more sensitive and vulnerable after exfoliation. Allowing your face to rest and recover overnight, away from environmental elements and sun exposure, is the best approach.

Can retinol be used with the Daily Microfoliant?

Retinol is a potent chemical, and mixing it with an exfoliant can potentially cause irritation and redness. To prevent any adverse reactions, it is recommended to use retinol and exfoliants interchangeably.

Testimonials from Other Reviewers

"I'm obsessed with this," exclaims Madison B. "My skin has drastically changed for the better since I started using it. Softer, more even skin tone, and so simple to use!"

Lauren, another five-star reviewer, says, "this exfoliant is pure magic. I love how it sloughs off dead skin cells, leaving my skin feeling fresh and renewed. Most exfoliants are rough, but not this one. It's super gentle, and I'm obsessed with how it foams when you lather it up."

Blaize Mettler praises, "This is by far one of the best products I have ever used for my face! I have big pores...and a lot of them, especially on my nose and cheeks, but this Daily Microfoliant minimizes my pores and makes my skin look so much brighter! Plus, it makes my skin feel so soft and clean!"

Product Comparison

Dermalogica is renowned for its exceptional skincare offerings, with multiple products in its lineup that help improve complexion and provide a lasting glow. Another popular exfoliator from the brand is the Daily Milkfoliant. Oat-based and designed to support hydration and maintain the skin's moisture levels, the Milkfoliant also receives high praise. However, in my personal experience, the powder Daily Microfoliant surpasses other scrubs I've tried, including those from St. Ives, Neutrogena, and Bioré.

For those who prefer liquid or chemical exfoliants, Paula's Choice Liquid Exfoliant is a powerful option. Best used once or twice a week, its water-based formula doesn't require rinsing. Reviewer Marisa Hillman recommends incorporating it into your skincare routine, saying, "Spoiler alert: Three weeks in, I was already receiving compliments on my glowing, younger-looking skin."

Final Verdict

One of the things I love about the Daily Microfoliant is its powder form, which ensures it lasts a long time without becoming crusty or messy. The user-friendly nature of the product, in addition to the incredible effects it has on my skin, makes it worth the investment. My face feels brighter, softer, and even my makeup applies more smoothly. While it may be on the pricier side compared to drugstore beauty products, the results speak for themselves.

Where to Buy the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Image: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (via Merchant)

The Daily Microfoliant can be found on specialty skincare websites such as Bluemercury, the Dermalogica website, and Dermstore. Additionally, it is conveniently available at popular retailers like Sephora, Amazon, and Ulta. Your skin will thank you!

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