The Most Fun-To-Use Exfoliators

BOSCIA Konjac Cleansing Sponge
The Baby Foot Peel
The Baby Foot Peel
Éminence Citrus + Kale Potent C + E Masque

Exfoliation is perhaps the most entertaining part of any skincare routine, and part of being a beauty editor is experimentation, so I get to try some truly out-of-the-box (literally, metaphorically) scrubs and peels. Some aren't so hot, but others are pretty darn exciting and even, dare I I've discovered my share of weird but wonderful gems, so I wanted to share a few of the most enjoyably strange exfoliants with you. Give these a try—your skin will thank you, and the part of you that loved elementary-school science projects will feel infinitely more fulfilled:

Most Fun Physical Exfoliant: Konjac Sponges
A konjac sponge is the exfoliation equivalent of French kissing. The first time you see it, you're like "Ewwww, that looks wet and slobbery and and why would someone do that?!" But then you try it and instantly understand (unless it's a bad kiss or low-quality sponge, I guess).

Konjac is a daily exfoliator for sensitive skin. You won't notice much of a difference immediately, but if you're going to use something that often, it should be super gentle, right? It looks like the love child of a Beauty Blender and a pumice stone, but it's actually a root that's biodegradable, sustainable, and vegan. The ones I like also have bamboo charcoal, which makes them antimicrobial. I don't use a cleanser with it—just lightly buff in circles over my face for a couple minutes after I've been in the shower.

Most Fun Foot Exfoliant: The Baby Foot Peel
Be warned: Baby Foot is a commitment. The "kit" is basically just a pair of plastic baggies full of acid that you put on for an hour, squish around in, then rinse.

Initially, it'll seem like Baby Foot didn't work at all. That is at least until around day four, when the entire bottom of your foot skin will fall off in a big, slough-y sheet. After the initial de-skinnification, they'll keep shedding for weeks. It's gross! You won't want to show anyone your feet at all! Excelsior! But then? Baby feet. Literally skin so silky you'll be re-moisturizing them twice a day and buying sandals just so people know how superior your toes look.

Most Fun Exfoliating Mask: Éminence Citrus + Kale Potent C + E
This stuff is green and gloopy and really fun to peel off (it's also available online June 1). It kinda looks like creamed spinach, but I love creamed spinach, so it's a win-win for me. And isn't my personal happiness what's most important here?

The AHAs from the citrus acids definitely eat off a layer of skin, but it's not as harsh as your average glycolic or salicylic acid peel, so you can use it a couple times a week without wrecking your face. Plus, as someone who continuously forgets to set a timer and then ends up leaving stuff on too long, I enjoy that this thing just dries on its own and won't burn my face off if I'm too busy watching True Detective to properly remove it right away.

Most Fun Exfoliating Liquid: Pixi Glow Tonic
I was going to bring this into the office to photograph, but I realized I'd actually used the whole bottle and then cut the top open to get the last drops. I'm not a toner person, but Pixi Glow is completely different. It's not drying at all—in fact, it leaves my skin feeling distinctly softer—and it's a great brightener. For texture and clarity, I really think it's one of the best things I've ever tried, and it's so easy. I have pale, thin, easily-inflamed skin that's basically like a Litmus test for irritants, and I can still use it every day without ending up a red, irritated mess. It kinda is magic—just make sure you aren't using another exfoliant before or after, and put on sunscreen, since the acids in it make your skin UV-sensitized.

—Lacey Gattis

Photos by Lacey Gattis.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Wear Eat Love

    I was looking for some good scrub and peel, thank you for sharing this!

  • Nancy

    I'm on the tail end of my first experience with Baby Foot. I've got a few patches left on the tops of my feet, but otherwise they are GORGEOUS. It's been a deeply satisfying and disgusting experience.

    • Adrienne Angelos

      Does it hurt at all? Or do you have to pull the skin off once it's ready to slough away, kind of like blister skin? I'm beyond curious about the whole thing.

  • Kristy

    Love this post, like the idea of the feet one for the after results, not so sure about the in between stages haha. Definitely need to try the pixi glow tonic as well.


    • Nancy

      Yeah - I've definitely been wearing socks to bed and avoiding yoga class. The hardest part is actually not moisturizing because the dead skin gets pretty dry before it peels off.

      Oh. And I accidentally huffed some of the gel when when I was removing the plastic booties. Try to avoid that; it wasn't even fun...recreationally.

  • emhasrednails

    I really need to exfoliate more, it's one of those things that I do a bit but not enough. Lovely post.

  • Meredith

    I really like the Pixi Glow tonic--it's a huge bottle. Another good option for very sensitive skin is First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads with glycolic and lactic acids and simple, gentle ingredients. And yes, definitely use SPF if using these.

  • kamo12

    Cure Natural Aqua Gel! What is more fun than watching all of the dead skin on your face (somewhat terrifyingly) rub off like little balls of cotton?

    • ITGLacey


  • hollygoeslightly22

    My spa carries Baby Foot and after months of intrigue and curiosity I purchased one last month. The receptionist warned me to stay away from open toe shoes and sandals the first week. She was right. The first week isn't pretty because you are shedding skin. However, I was pleased with the results and it's worth the buy for summer. My feet were soft and looked great.

  • Katie

    Baby foot says exfoliate "naturally". Is that a liberal translation or is this entire foot shedding actually pretty natural/non-chemically? I'm so intrigued. (And would kind of love to watch my foot fall apart. is that bad?)

    • ITGLacey

      It says it contains "fruit acids" which is all kinds of mysterious & sexy, right?

  • mntnsrck

    I was really disappointed with Baby Foot. I soaked my feet first and did everything I was supposed to. My feet did peel (although not in large pieces- mostly just really little bits), which was kind of fun, but once they had peeled, they were really no different than before I did the peel. I wouldn't spend my money on it again.

    • claire miyake

      LOVE baby feet! Have done this twice with great results. Found it at the Japanese market - that fun section they have for skincare and beauty products. the name pretty much sums it up - it does make it super soft - so glad it's getting some ITG love!

    • Hope

      I just Baby Footed my feet Sunday - you guys are mind readers. Baby Foot is so much fun. It brings back that secretly glorious gratification of peeling off a realllly big piece of skin after your sunburn gets you all scaly, & you can reach all the pieces! The best tip I saw for using it was to 1) soak your feet for 15 mins before AND after using the booties; 2) soak your feet for 30 mins every other day after you first use it. Really helps with the peeling! I also heard that because it's fruit acids you should wear sunscreen on your feet afterwards or keep them covered up.

  • Charmystique

    That Baby Foot Peel is the bomb. It is kind of gross to see strips of skin just coming off your feet though. I gave myself a shock in the shower because I suddenly felt like I was stepping on a bug or something, but it just turned out to be a huge bubble of skin waiting to be peeled off. You really do get super soft feet after though.


  • Lexi

    Ooh, I've heard of Baby Foot! How long does the effect last? In other words, how often do you have to do it?

  • grazia

    This sounds like my sister and I. We LOVE gross/fun exfoliants. And the closer they come to actually injuring you, the better.

  • Ellen Findley

    I've been using the Pixi Glow Tonic on Caroline Hirons's suggestion for about three months now, and I love it. It's really important to maintain the acid mantle of your skin, and gentle exfoliation is so good for your skin.

  • District Style

    Did the Konjac Sponges produce any noticeable results over time? I'm always on the lookout for new exfoliants.

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    Was it somebody on this site in a top shelf that said Pixi Glow is as good as P-50? Or did I read that elsewhere?

    • Inkygrl

      Caroline ('The Skincare Guru') Hirons said they were similar and than Pixi is easier to get in the States. I've been using the PGT for around six months and LOVE it. Clearer, softer, more luminous skin.

      • Clever Girl Reviews

        Ah yes CH! She's doing a video with Ruth of today about their favs! Maybe she'll mention it!

  • Kira

    If I'm already using the Somme transport pads would Pixi Glow Tonic be redundant? Has anyone tried both?

    • Jess

      Yes exfoliating pads do the same job as pixi glow tonic or other exfoliating toners, just depends which works best for you.

  • Alissa

    I can't wait to use the Eminence Citrus + Kale Potent C + E!! Love their product line!

  • Hope

    Wearing a pair of socks over the Baby Foot booties is helpful for providing traction on the off chance that you may have to do more than loll on your couch. Otherwise you're risking a sudden loss of verticality with those baggies full of jello sliding around your feet.

  • Sophie Sturdevant

    I'm happy to see there are others out there as excited about exfoliation as I am! Is the konjac sponge in the photo Boscia's? It looks like Julep's cleansing sponge to me, although maybe I have exfoliated the sense right out of me.

    • Emily at Julep

      Good eye -- it's Julep's! I know this because we're the only ones with the handy hang string & suction cup. Regardless we're happy to see our handsome little Konjac on this post! :)


BOSCIA Konjac Cleansing Sponge With Bamboo Charcoal
Baby Foot
Baby Foot Peel
Éminence Citrus + Kale Potent C + E Masque
Pixi Glow Tonic