The 12 Best Exfoliating Tools of 2023
From dermaplaners to dry brushes, these exfoliating tools will give you smooth skin and a gorgeous glow from head to toe.
Jump to a Section
We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
InStyle / Brian Kopinski
You may be familiar with chemical and physical exfoliation (think: Your favorite resurfacing serum or body scrub) but mechanical exfoliation is another popular way to slough off dead skin to reveal a smooth, radiant complexion. This form of exfoliation involves a tool or device that manually smooths the skin’s surface. There’s no one size fits all exfoliation tool, though — from dermaplaners and dry brushes to micro-needlers and everything in between, different tools address targeted areas of the body (from head to toe, literally) to achieve various goals.
Depending on your skin type and concerns, your body may require a gentler method of exfoliation. But, no matter your needs — whether it’s removing peach-fuzz and dead skin on the face, improving circulation throughout the body, or getting those feet callus-free — there’s a tool out there for you. That’s why we searched high and low and found the 12 best exfoliating tools to address every area of your body. All of the tools on this list will transform your self-care practice, sending you on your way to silkier, more youthful, and radiant-looking skin.
The angled shape allows you to better access hard-to-reach areas of the body.
These bristles may be too harsh for those with sensitive skin.
Dry brushing is an ancient exfoliating practice that not only sloughs off dead skin, it also encourages skin cell turnover, improves circulation, stimulates lymphatic drainage, and helps to tone and sculpt the body. The multitude of benefits helped Goop’s tool earn our best overall exfoliating tool. Plus, it’s a luxurious, modern, and efficient interpretation.
The angled shape and comfortable handle set this dry brush apart from the pack, making for easy exfoliation before even stepping foot in the shower. The bristles are firm (take note — possibly too firm for those with ultra-sensitive skin), creating an invigorating experience that awakens the skin for maximum softness in just a few minutes.
The sisal fiber bristles are sustainably-sourced from agave plants, while the wooden handle is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning it was ethically crafted. Because of these two factors (on top of the impressive exfoliating results), we think this brush is a worthwhile investment to elevate your wellness routine.
Price at time of publish: $25
Material: Natural sisal fibers and FSC-certified wood | Usage: Daily on dry skin | Best For: Full body, all skin types
There are 12 different cleansing intensities to meet all your exfoliation needs.
It requires you to download an app and register the device before use.
This handy facial cleanser device is designed for life on-the-go — whether you’re removing grime after sweating it out at the gym or looking for a more flawless makeup application before a night out. With 12 different intensities, ranging from gentle massage to deep clean, it will exfoliate dead skin and clear out clogged pores without irritating sensitive skin.
“I like to use the Foreo Luna cleansing device because it relies on t-sonic pulsations to gently exfoliate skin and remove more than 99 percent of all impurities,” says Dr. Rebecca Marcus, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mai MD. “The silicone nubs are ultra-hygienic, too. Similar to brushing your teeth with a sonic toothbrush, using the Foreo ensures skin is completely clean and pores are clear, which also helps with optimizing absorption of skincare products,” she adds.
And though pricey, the results speak for themselves: Through our testing we’ve experienced fewer breakouts, a smoother complexion, and increased glow. Just note that you’ll have to download an app and go through a few steps to register your device before it’s ready to use (a pain, but so worth it in the end).
Price at time of publish: $179
Material: Silicone | Usage: Daily | Best For: Face, oily and acne-prone skin
It’s a simple, back-to-basic facial tool that (hygienically!) gets the job done.
The silicone is quite soft and bendy — you'll have to put some pressure on it to get the desired cleanse.
This Sephora Collection facial cleanser tool has none of the bells and whistles of an electronic device like the Foreo Luna, but its simple design is similarly effective at removing excess grime and purifying pores, leaving skin baby smooth. Use in conjunction with your favorite liquid face wash for a gentle exfoliating experience and a deeper clean than accessible merely with your hands.
Its teardrop tip is intended to target smaller oily areas around the nose and mouth, while the base of the shape features thicker nubs meant to lightly massage the forehead and cheeks. And while a few reviewers found the material to be flimsy, we found its performance to be impressive for the price, resulting in softer, more radiant skin.
Price at time of publish: $8
Material: Silicone | Usage: Daily | Best For: Face, all skin types
It’s an excellent beginner tool for exfoliating and safely removing peach fuzz.
Be careful, the edge of the blade is sharper than you think — be extra cautious the first time you use this.
There are many ways to exfoliate your face, but dermaplaning is one of the most effective. But if you aren’t ready to commit to an expensive dermaplaning tool just yet, these KitschPro blades are an effective and easy-to-use manual option.
“Dermaplaning is one of my favorite treatments as it not only removes dead skin cells, but it also removes peach-fuzz, the fine hair often found on the face,” says Dr. Jamie DeRosa, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and founder of DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa.
Did you know that peach-fuzz can actually trap dirt and cause breakouts? With silky smooth facial skin, your precious serums and moisturizers will absorb seamlessly, leading to healthier skin with a camera-ready finish. “It’s my go-to before events when I want my skin glowing and makeup flawless,” adds Dr. DeRosa. But remember, though this is a beginner-friendly tool, the blade is still sharp! Use extra caution when dermaplaning for the first time — and read through our step by step guide on how to safely dermaplane at home.
Price at time of publish: $9 for a pack of 12
Material: Stainless steel blade | Usage: Once every three to four weeks | Best For: Face, all skin types
It’s a luxurious post-shower experience that is as aesthetic as it is effective.
Don’t expect this tool to remove body hair (it’s not designed to!), it glides over the surface, merely exfoliating and shedding dead skin.
Esker’s Body Plane will elevate your bathroom’s level of chic with its gorgeous teak wood and sterling silver design, while adding a moment of luxury to your body-care routine. After your shower or bath don’t towel dry — instead, let a layer of body oil soak into still-damp skin and then work your tool from the toes upward. Feel free to use greater pressure on the arms and legs, but stay gentle on more delicate areas like your chest and neck.
To keep your skin perfectly smooth, the brand recommends exfoliating with the tool once per week. Just don’t expect it to act like a dermaplaner: The blunt silver edge is not a blade and is merely meant to lift dirt, grime, and dead skin cells.
Price at time of publish: $45
Material: Teak wood and sterling silver blade | Usage: Once a week | Best For: Full body, all skin types
The double-sided tool offers different effects — one gently buffs for overall softness while the other targets stubborn calluses.
It’s pricier than other similar products, but it’s professional-grade, high-quality, and will last you years.
Yes, we acknowledge that $45 is pricey for a seemingly simple foot file, but this one is specifically crafted with micronized crystals that target those extra stubborn calluses and cracked heels. Deborah Lippman is the hand and foot-care queen and she crafts every product with longevity in mind: This foot file included as it can hold up for multiple years even with consistent use. The ergonomically-designed handle is comfy and easy to grip, allowing you to go hard at rough skin with the coarse surface and then flip it over to buff and smooth everything out. You’ll have spa-quality, pedicure-worthy feet from the comfort of your home every time you use this.
Price at time of publish: $45
Material: Recycled stainless steel and micronized crystals | Usage: Daily or as needed | Best For: Removing calluses and dry skin on feet
Most scalp brushes are meant to help hair products penetrate better, but this one’s coarse bristles are actually firm enough to exfoliate, too.
Users with thick hair may find themselves having to apply extra pressure to get through to their roots.
One of our all-time favorite scalp brushes, this Jupiter tool will break down product build-up, deeply cleanse the scalp of excess oils, and gently exfoliate dry skin. The lightweight and ergonomic design is easy to hold, allowing you to apply your own desired level of pressure and experience a personal in-shower scalp massage moment. Though the bristles are firm, they’re packed tightly together — which feels amazing, but also means you’ll have to use a bit of muscle to adequately exfoliate, especially if you have thick hair. The extra effort is totally worth it for the invigorating massage, though.
Safe for daily use, this brush will quickly become your new self-care must-have. Plus, it has a stylish minimalist design that won’t retract from your bathroom’s zen-like vibes.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Plastic and rubber | Usage: Daily or as needed | Best For: Cleansing the scalp and removing dry skin
Not only does this micro-needle roller exfoliate for maximum softness, but it also plumps lips and smoothes fine lines around the mouth.
Though micro-needling provides benefits for the whole face, this is a singular-purpose tool that's really only meant to be used on the lips and mouth.
Dry, flakey lips are such a pain — sometimes, literally. And, it can feel like every lip balm out there counterintuitively strips moisture, making you more and more reliant on reapplication. That’s where a more advanced tool like Skin Gym Micro-Needle Roller comes in. It utilizes a total of 180 0.20mm (very tiny!) stainless steel needles to exfoliate the lips and the sensitive skin around the mouth.
Gently use the roller in all directions for several minutes, up to three times per week, for instantly smoother lips and softened fine lines over time. Simply submerge the tool in boiling water for several minutes after use to hygienically disinfect it and keep it protected for years to come.
Although your whole face can benefit from microneedling, this tool is only meant to be used on your lips and mouth. So if you’re interested in microneedling other parts of your face, you may want to consider another product.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Stainless Steel | Usage: Up to three times a week | Best For: Softening and plumping lips through micro-needle exfoliation
Though the device is an investment, its professional-quality derma plane results will save you money on spa treatments in the long run.
The blades are single-use. The Dermaflash Luxe+ comes with four blades to start, but you’ll have to purchase more as you go.
Where the KitschPro Eco-Friendly Dermaplaner is a beginner tool, this Dermaflash Luxe+ is the advanced option. If you’ve tried dermaplaning treatments at the salon or spa and are interested in keeping up with a baby-smooth face in between sessions, this electric facial dermaplaner is for you.
It comes with a charging base, a charging cable, a serum that preps the skin, and four single-use blades to get you started. The device will glide across the skin, immediately removing unwanted peach-fuzz and dead skin cells, while continued use will yield lifted skin and improvements in discoloration over time. It's a professional-grade tool that might take a few Youtube video viewings to master, but will take your skincare and makeup application routine to the next level.
Price at time of publish: $199
Material: Silicone and microfine blades | Usage: Once a week | Best For: Face, all skin types
The gentle bristles are made from natural fibers and won’t irritate sensitive skin.
The brush may occasionally shed.
There are many dry brushes out there (including our best overall pick Goop Beauty G. Tox Ultimate Dry Brush) but this one from Bushbalm also deserves recognition for its unique shape that’s easy to maneuver across the body, and its gentle bristles that won't irritate sensitive skin. The tool is intended to stimulate blood flow, exfoliate dry skin, and prep the body for a better shave (goodbye ingrown hairs!).
For those new to dry brushing, “it involves moving the brush along the skin, towards the heart,” explains Dr. DeRosa. “As the bristles pass over the top layer of the skin, the outer, dry, and dead skin cells are removed. And, it helps to increase blood supply to the surface of the skin and energizes the skin,” she adds.
Bushbalm provides a simple how-to dry brush guide for beginners on its site. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, this brush can be used one to three times per week. Shedding is to be expected, but this is a high-quality tool that’ll feel amazing and out-perform similar products.
Price at time of publish: $21
Material: Natural sisal fibers | Usage: one to three times weekly | Best For: Full body, all skin types including sensitive skin
Fur Mitt Trio
These reusable mitts are finger-sized and designed to target smaller surface areas, like the bikini line and underarms.
These mitts can lose their shape over time.
Whereas dry brushing is meant to be done as a pre-shower ritual, an exfoliating mitt is designed for in-shower use. We love this set from Fur because it includes three mitts that feature a dual-sided design with a textured side for buffing and a softer side for polishing the skin.
As a pre-shave ritual, the mitt will help mitigate ingrown hairs (gentle enough to be used on the delicate skin around underarms and bikini area) and will remove dirt and debris, allowing for your moisturizer to penetrate deeper, leaving your skin smoother and softer overall. The cotton and nylon fabric is machine washable and the loop can be used to hang dry the product in your bathroom. Just note that the mitts won’t last forever. They start to lose their shape over time (especially when thrown in the washer) so to extend their lifespan we recommend hand washing.
Price at time of publish: $18
Material: Cotton and nylon | Usage: Daily or as needed | Best For: Body, preventing ingrown hairs around the sensitive bikini line and underarms
Crafted in the historic textile mills of Japan’s Gunma region, this towel utilizes traditional techniques for a luxurious modern bathing experience.
The size of the towel is larger than expected and can be awkward to manipulate in the shower (though, it's nice for reaching around to your back).
While the Goshi Shower Towel may look like any old towel, let us assure you that it’s not. It's made from a unique blend of fibers that create the ultimate lathering experience for an unparalleled clean and rich exfoliation for supremely soft skin. Though it boasts a coarse texture, it’s gentle enough to use for those with sensitive skin and even those with keratosis pilaris (a skin condition that results in small red bumps).
The special nylon fabrication repels microorganisms, making it a more hygienic option than other towels, too. Simply wring it out and hang it to dry in between uses. Though the towel is a bit larger than expected (it’s a bit bigger than your standard washcloth) it still gets the job done and is superb at reaching around to exfoliate your back.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Nylon | Usage: Daily or as needed | Best For: Full body
Oily and acne-prone skin can benefit from more frequent exfoliating than dry or sensitive skin. Be sure to select a tool that works for your needs and doesn’t irritate the skin. In terms of body tools, the Goop Beauty G. Tox Ultimate Dry Brush will feel coarser than the Bushbalm Nordic Dry Brush or Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel. The latter two may be more friendly to those seeking a light exfoliation experience.
As for facial exfoliation tools, the Foreo Luna Mini 3 is an excellent and gentle option that’s safe for sensitive-skin, while the Dermaflash Luxe+ Advanced Sonic Dermaplaning offers deeper exfoliation. Whichever product you select, “It’s wise to avoid applying acids in skincare or body care right after exfoliation. Stick to gentle, moisturizing skincare instead, at least until the next day,” says Dr. Marcus.
“An exfoliating tool may be easier to manipulate and use on areas you can’t reach well versus an exfoliating scrub which can be a little messy and tough to apply,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Clay. Many tools are designed to target hyper-specific areas of the face or body. For example, the Skin Gym Lip Micro-Needle Roller is solely meant for lips, while the Fur Mitt Trio’s small size is intended to access sensitive and hard-to-reach spots like the bikini line.
Try the Deborah Lippman Soul Survivor Foot File for calluses on the feet, or the Jupiter Scalp Brush for product build-up on the scalp. If you’re looking for a solid overall tool, the Esker Body Plane is a fan-favorite for the body and the Foreo Luna Mini 3 is beloved for the face.
There are three different types of exfoliation — chemical, physical, and mechanical. “Chemical exfoliation involves an acid or enzyme-based product that breaks down the stratum corneum and releases dead skin cells,” explains Dr. Clay. Whereas, physical exfoliators are products like scrubs that contain small particles or beads. “They physically scrub away skin cells, and can sometimes cause micro-tears in the skin’s surface, which can allow irritants to make their way inside the skin barrier,” says Dr. Marcus.
Above, we’ve focused on the final type — mechanical exfoliation, which involves a tool or device that's manually manipulated to smooth the skin’s surface. “Adding a mechanical exfoliating tool to your skincare routine is a great way to help remove dead skin cells that sit on top of the skin and make the skin look dull and feel rough. By removing the dead skin cells, you minimize dullness and roughness, and allow other products to penetrate the skin layers more effectively for better results,” says Dr. DeRosa.
How often you should exfoliate depends on your personal skin type and needs, but a general rule of thumb is once or twice per week. “Exfoliating once or twice per week should be sufficient for most people to keep the skin fresh and free of flakes and debris,” says Dr. Marcus. “Though, oily skin may need to be exfoliated more frequently as sebum is produced in greater amounts and can clog pores and provide a breeding ground for bacteria,” she adds.
And, if you’re prone to very dry or sensitive skin, you’ll want to re-think your exfoliating frequency. “If there’s a history of dry skin, I would recommend against frequent body exfoliating as it can strip the skin barrier and lead to irritation, itching, or rashing,” says Dr. Clay. And, she adds, it can be avoided altogether for those with moderate to severe eczema or psoriasis as it can worsen those conditions.
Exfoliating tools designed for the body, like dry brushes, mitts, or scrubbing files should not be used on the face. Typically, their coarse textures are far too abrasive for the face’s delicate skin. However, tools that are intended for the face — like the Dermaflash Luxe+ Advanced Sonic Dermaplaning, Skin Gym Lip Micro-Needle Roller, or Foreo Luna Mini 3 — are perfectly safe to use and provide more advanced, targeted exfoliation with a gentle effect.
Linne Halpern is a freelance beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer. She is a member of InStyle’s evergreen commerce team where she extensively researches and reviews countless products. For this story, she consulted three expert skincare sources — board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Clay; board-certified dermatologist and founder of Maei MD, Dr. Rebecca Marcus; and double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and founder of DeRosa Plastic Surgery & Med Spa Dr. Jamie DeRosa.Price at time of publish: $25Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $179Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $8Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $9 for a pack of 12Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $45Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $45Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $15Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $20Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $199Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $21Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $18Material:Usage:Best For:Price at time of publish: $15Material:Usage:Best For: