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The 11 Best Exfoliating Pads for Smooth, Poreless Skin

Don’t you want an otherworldly glow?

By: Hannah Baxter
Styling: Meagan Wilson

Exfoliation is a non-negotiable step in your skin-care routine. Whether you subscribe to the 12-step Korean regimen or prefer to keep your morning beauty ritual as speedy as possible, sloughing off dead skin cells is essential for maintaining your complexion’s glow. And while we’re all for *gentle* physical exfoliants from time to time, there’s nothing more satisfying than the tingle from a truly stellar chemical version, specifically in the form of a handy-dandy wipe.

We already know how clutch a makeup wipe is for when you’re feeling exceptionally lazy—just imagine that, but soaked with a variety of AHA, BHA, and glycolic acid blends (note: don’t use this version on your eyes, please). Aside from smoothing your skin’s texture, these chemical exfoliants also help fight acne, banish dullness, and lessen the appearance of fine lines. Plus, they’re perfect for throwing in your luggage or your carry-on, if you’re like us and indulge in a full-on spa session mid-flight. It couldn’t be any simpler, so no more excuses about skipping your weekly exfoliating ritual. Check out our 11 favorites below, and get ready for healthy, radiant skin.


Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, $88

The gateway peel pads, so to speak. Every beauty editor worth her salt knows and loves these. Use them daily, and watch the AHA/BHA blend smooth and rejuvenate your skin.

Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads 10%, $33

A derm favorite for its ability to unclog pores and moisturize at the same time. A reminder: For any chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid, be sure not to use a retinol on top, as it can irritate your skin.

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads, $59

With lactic acid and probiotic ferment complex, these pads are as gentle as they are effective at promoting cell turnover, resulting in softer, brighter skin.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads, $40

Salicylic acid is one of our favorite acne-fighting ingredients. It also helps refine the look of large pores and softens fine lines.

HydroPeptide 5X Power Peel, $68

A blend of fruit acids and retinoic-like peptides kills stubborn bacteria hidden deep in your pores and brightens your complexion. Soothing green tea prevents redness for true grab-and-go skin care.

GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid + Fruit Extracts Overnight Glow Peel, $125

This is essentially a professional peel in a self-serve pad. A staggering 15% glycolic acid, plus plenty of hydrating hyaluronic acid, ensures that your skin will look next-level glowy when you wake up.

Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel, $46

A potent blend of glycolic acid and vitamin C does quick work of turning over skin cells, helping to retexturize your skin without irritation.

M-61 Power Glow Peel, $30

This blend of glycolic and salicylic acid helps soften skin texture, while added vitamin K fights dry patches and reduces the look of spider veins.

Pixi by Petra Glow Peel Advanced Exfoliating Pads, $22

These paraben-free pads work overtime to soothe skin post-breakout and fade lingering dark spots.

Indie Lee Radiance Renewal Peel, $70

A naturally-derived peel pad packed with vitamin C, java plum, and phenolic and galic acid. Caviar lime and mango extracts also help boost collagen production.

DERMADoctor Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E, $78

Packed with Kakadu Plum (one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C) plus seven forms of AHA & BHA and ferulic acid, these peel pads are no joke. When your skin needs a serious overhaul, these are the gold standard.

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