Dermalogica is a popular skincare brand with a vast range of products that cater to all skin types and concerns.
While I have tried several of their products, the one that was constantly recommended was their Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator.
The brand’s bestseller is designed to gently remove surface debris, even out the skin tone, refine skin texture, and prevent the appearance of blemishes.
And as someone with oily and acne-prone skin, I was more than excited to try this product.
In this article, I will review the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator and share my opinion and experience using this product on my oily and acne-prone skin.
What is The Dermalogica Microfoliant Exfoliator?
The Dermalogica Microfoliant Exfoliator is a rice-based powder that can be used daily as part of your skincare routine.
The exfoliator combines both physical and chemical exfoliation to help clear away debris, unclog pores, and reveal smoother, brighter skin.
The Microfoliant contains a blend of active and soothing ingredients that help exfoliate the skin, remove the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, and dissolve the accumulated gunk inside the pores that are causing clogs and blemishes.
Starting off, we have finely milled rice enzymes that help break down the surface buildup on your skin by manually exfoliating, while the papain and salicylic acid work to chemically break down oil and debris.
It also contains an antioxidant complex that helps protect the skin from environmental damage, as well as a soothing blend of licorice, allantoin, green tea, and colloidal oatmeal to help calm and soothe any irritation.
Additionally, the Microfoliant contains antibacterial tea tree leaf oil as well as an ingredient known as Aspen Bark, a naturally-sourced, plant-based extract from the bark of certain aspen trees that targets skin issues such as pH imbalance and uneven skin texture, which can look like bumps and blemishes on the skin’s surface.
Finally, the Microfoliant also contains hydrolyzed corn starch, which, as I previously mentioned in my DMK Actrol Powder review, helps absorb excess oil from the skin and minimize shine without clogging the pores like some ingredients frequently found in powders, such as mica, which is highly comedogenic and can exacerbate acne.
These ingredients combine to make a gentle yet effective exfoliant that can help reveal brighter, smoother skin by manually and chemically exfoliating the skin.
The Microfoliant is a finely-milled powder that becomes a creamy paste when mixed with water.
The Microfoliant has a mild fresh scent from tea tree oil and geranium, a fragrant component with a soft floral aroma.
It is not overpowering; however, those with severe allergies to fragrant components might want to carry out a patch test first.
I was using this product back when my skin was broken out and quite irritated with big, red, painful cysts along my jawline, my cheeks, and smaller pimples on my forehead.
I have very oily and acne-prone skin, and while I have since managed to clear up my complexion with the use of retinoids and the right skincare products for my needs and concerns, I thought I’d give my opinion on this product by sharing my experience with it from back when I was dealing with active breakouts, too.
While I found the Microfoliant to be gentle on my skin, I have never been a fan of manual exfoliators. My fear of this type of exfoliation stems from back when I didn’t know anything about how the skin functions (and didn’t have acne), and I ended up using a drugstore-bought scrub for a week straight because it was making my skin smooth and refined until the skin around my mouth started peeling. I soon realized the damage I had done.
So, with that fear in mind, I used this product sparingly – no more than once a week while also cutting out all my active ingredients at the time (I was only using chemical exfoliators back then and not retinoids.)
However, I found the Microfoliant to be non-effective in addressing my primary concern, acne, because it’s way too gentle to make a difference with using it once a week but too much for my sensitive skin if I were to increase the frequency.
And while I am perfectly aware that the Microfoliant contains salicylic acid, one of my favorite exfoliating ingredients, it still did nothing for me besides making my skin feel refreshed and look refined temporarily.
So, would I recommend this product to someone dealing with inflamed cystic acne? Certainly not, because it is not only non-effective, but it can also be irritating and cause the pimples to rupture if used too vigorously, which will further worsen the situation because the infected cellular debris will spread to the surrounding area.
On the other hand, while I could say this product can be better for those with normal to oily skin, the salicylic acid in it worries me because it can cause purging, which is when the skin starts to break out when introducing an agent that promotes cellular turnover.
And while purging clogs that would’ve become pimples eventually is usually a good idea, using this low percentage of salicylic acid won’t make much difference and could potentially keep you in a loop of constant purging if you only use it once a week.
So who is the Microfoliant best for?
In my opinion, the Microfoliant can be suitable for those who are dealing with closed comedones on the face, as well as conditions like keratosis pilaris on the arms and bum, as the combination of manual and chemical exfoliation can help shed away the excess skin that’s covering the plugs and not allowing the oils and sweat to come out.
This will result in a more refined skin texture and improved skin clarity.
But when addressing inflamed cystic acne, this product can do more harm than good if the wrong techniques are used. Therefore, if you decide to try the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator, please be very gentle and don’t use it more than once or twice a week.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with inflamed, cystic acne and are looking for a solution, I have plenty of articles with product recommendations and reviews you can check out, as well as my Acne Solution Course, which consists of over fifty lessons on understanding the skin and acne, as well as how it forms, and how to treat it.
Where to Buy?
The Dermalogica Microfoliant is easily available and can be purchased from various online stores.
Here are the best places to shop Dermalogica products:
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.