17 Best Exfoliating Pads: The Ultimate List

exfoliating pads

Getty Images

When you look in the mirror, do you love who you see? Most of us tend to focus on the flaws, rather than the beauty beneath them. If you’re tackling tough skin issues, exfoliation can be the answer to more bright and luminous skin, with less blemishes, wrinkles and dark spots. But you don’t need a spa, dermatologist or aesthetician to make it happen, because you can dramatically improve your own skin at home with exfoliating pads.

For this article, we’ll look at both physical and chemical exfoliating pads, and even a few all natural selections. If you do decide to use an acid peel pad, keep in mind, you’ll have increased sensitivity to the sun, so slather up with sunscreen whenever you’re using those products. If wrinkles are your key worry, there are some effective wrinkle removers worth trying as well.

From splurge-worthy to budget-friendly, here are the Best Exfoliating Pads that will have you grinning from ear to ear the next time you catch sight of yourself in that mirror. Keep your feet looking just as young as your face with a foot peeling mask.

What Are the Best Exfoliating Pads?

exfoliating pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Leaves skin super smooth
  • Big jar
  • Gentle compared to some
Price: $52.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
two sided cleansing and exfoliating cloths Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable compared to many
  • Individual packets convenient for travel
  • Gentle exfoliation
Price: $20.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
advanced aha exfoliating pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Excellent exfoliation
  • Anti-aging green tea extracts
  • Fights breakouts
Price: $70.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Somme Institute exfoliating pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Improves skin tone and texture
  • Lots of pad for the price
  • Very highly rated by users
Price: $65.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
skyn iceland gentle exfoliating pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Skin soothing
  • Provides gentle exfoliation
  • Antibacterial
Price: $45.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
DERMAdoctor skin brightening pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Skin brightening
  • Rich in vitamins C and E
  • Moisturizing
Price: $77.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
glycolic acid exfoliating pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Good for acne prone skin
  • Exfoliating and hydrating
Price: $78.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
green tea peeling pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Pore tightening
  • Skin whitening
  • Anti-aging
Price: $27.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
glycolic acid peeling pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lots of pads for the price
  • Targets dark spots and scars
  • Leaves skin smooth
Price: $13.08 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
exfoliating pads for acne Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cleanses and exfoliates
  • Targets dark spots
  • Improves radiance
Price: $7.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
RoC skin resufacing pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smooths skin texture
  • Very affordable
  • Wrinkle diminishing
Price: $8.07 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
alpha hydroxy acid exfoliating pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tone and brighten skin
  • Fights free radicals
  • Many natural ingredients
Price: $34.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
exfoliating acne pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cloth pads
  • Fights acne and blackheads
  • Natural ingredients
Price: $18.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
L'Oreal skin brightening pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Amazon's Choice
  • Very Affordable
  • Helps to reverse sun damage
Price: $17.23 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
20 glycolic acid peeling pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Highest percentage of glycolic acid
  • Amazon's Choice
  • Targets fine lines and wrinkles
Price: $26.30 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
multi acid peeling pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Clarify and brighten skin
  • Target fine lines
  • Leave skin smooth
Price: $38.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
glycolic acid peeling pads Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Non-irritating
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Helps repair damaged skin
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Editor’s Choice: Peptide 21 Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads

    Pros:
    • 20 Percent acid complex sloughs off dead skin cells
    • Gentle compared to many
    • Big jar lasts a long time
    • Leaves skin brightened and tightened
    Cons:
    • Can sting on application
    • More expensive than many
    • May cause redness and irritation

    I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a junkie when it comes to exfoliating pads, and these exfoliating pads from Peter Thomas Roth are my current beauty darlings. Whenever I wake up feeling like I look puffy and saggy, I’ll grab one of these pads, swipe it across my face and neck (avoiding the eyes, of course) and have a cup of coffee. Once I feel the tingle and then the liquid from the pad dries, I jump in the shower and wash it off, and my skin feels baby soft.

    While the soft pillowy pads say you can use them every day, I wouldn’t recommend it because your skin will simply dry out too much. These peeling pads do a great job of minimizing discoloration and leaving your skin feeling firm, bright and shiny, and looking younger. They use alpha, beta and gamma exfoliators, peptide boosting amino acids, botanical extracts and anti-oxidants to do their work.

    This big jar comes with 60 pads, which easily last several months. Vitamin enriched, with chamomile and green tea extracts, they have a 20 percent acid complex which definitely does the trick when it comes to sloughing off dead skin cells, gently and effectively.

  2. 2. NuFACE Prep-N-Glow Cloths

    Pros:
    • Super convenient for the gym and travel
    • Removes makeup well
    • Micro dots provide gentle exfoliation
    • Hyaluronic acid leaves skin beautifully hydrated
    Cons:
    • Spendy for a small package
    • Exfoliating side of cloth can be too rough for some
    • May sting or burn a bit
    • Can dry out skin if used too frequently

    Put the smack down on dirt, oil, dryness and flaking with these all in one cleansing cloths from NuFACE. These amazing exfoliating pads cleanse away the day, while giving dead skin cells a kick to the curb. Once clean and exfoliated, you’ll also feel rehydrated because these sweet cloths also contain hyaluronic acid, one of the most powerful ingredients to keep skin moist and fresh.

    The dual-sided cleansing wipes remove makeup and impurities, while the micro-dots provide gentle exfoliation. Enriched with skin-protecting antioxidants and minerals, your skin will look and feel beautifully refreshed, and radiant-looking. This package contains 20 of these cleansing cloths, making them the perfect travel companion, or for everyday use. They are alcohol, paraben and sulfate free.

  3. 3. BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz Advanced 10 Percent Exfoliating Pads

    Pros:
    • Killer combo of four alpha hydroxy acids make for excellent exfoliation
    • Includes skin soothing willow herb
    • Green tea extract fights free radicals
    • Very effective for acne prone skin
    Cons:
    • Crazy spendy
    • Pads can dry out too fast in the container
    • May be too strong for sensitive skin types
    • Can irritate skin

    Glycolic acid (GA) is the gold standard when it comes to skin exfoliation, and these powerful pads contain 10 percent buffered and pH balanced glycolic acid that sloughs away dead skin cells to deliver instantly brighter skin. But it’s more than just GA working on your behalf here.

    These pads feature a proprietary complex of four reciprocally enabling exfoliating ingredients – glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and phytic acid – for serious results without any redness, downtime, or leaving your skin looking peeling and flakey. This alpha hydroxy acid is a total power play.

    Additionally, these exfoliating pads skin soothing willow herb, that delivers anti-inflammatory and antioxident goodness, along with green tea extract to provide protection against free radical damage and reduce signs of aging. They are especially effective at reducing breakouts for those with acne-prone skin. Each container includes 50 pads.

  4. 4. Somme Institute Transport Exfoliating Pads

    Pros:
    • Leaves skin smooth and bright
    • Engineered vitamins improve skin tone and texture
    • Alpha hydroxy acid gently exfoliates
    • So moist, only half a pad will do
    Cons:
    • A bit of a bite to the wallet
    • May irritate sensitive skin
    • Not equally effective for every user

    These soft cotton pads from Somme Instituted feature Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5™), their patented formula of highly engineered vitamins designed to help improve skin tone, texture and clarity. Sounds like a winner from the get go, but add to that powerful alpha hydroxy acid, which gently exfoliates dead cells on your skin’s surface, and you’ve got a great combination.

    These exfoliating pads come in a juicy container that’s got so much good moisture, many users claim to cut them in half, thereby doubling the amount of uses per jar. At $65 for 50 pads, the price per use goes way down if you want to maximize by doing that.

  5. 5. skyn ICELAND Nordic Skin Peel

    Pros:
    • Provides gentle exfoliation
    • Contains skin soothing witch hazel and willow bark
    • Naturally antibacterial
    • More treatment pads for the price
    Cons:
    • It’s still pretty spendy
    • May sting and/or burn a bit on application
    • Can irritate eyes
    • May cause dryness

    Skyn ICELAND has long been a leader in soothing stressed skin and making complexions more beautiful. Their exfoliating pads are like a mini-peel, using lactic acid and papaya fruit extract to deliver a one-two-punch to dull, tired looking skin.

    Effective, yet gentle, these peeling pads help reveal fresh, revived looking skin without irritation and redness. Lactic acid, a gentler form of alpha hydroxy acid strips away dead skin cells, and cleans and clears oil clogged pores, while papaya fruit extract, a natural enzyme, helps dissolve the dead skin layer and works to give you a brighter look.

    White willow bark, a naturally occurring form of salicylic acid, helps to soothe irritation and prevent breakouts, while soothing witch hazel helps reduce pore size and refreshes your skin. Jojoba seed extract hydrates, and helps to restore your skin’s elasticity and smoothness. This little jar of wonder contains 60 exfoliating pads.

  6. 6. DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Intensive Peel Pads

    Pros:
    • Intense exfoliation without irritation
    • Contains skin brightening vitamin C and healing vitamin E
    • Features an exclusive calming complex to leave skin hydrated
    • Pads are generously hydrated
    Cons:
    • So expensive
    • May cause breakouts
    • Can be too harsh for some skin types
    • May cause eye irritation

    If you have dull dry skin, these peeling pads from DERMAdoctor could be your game changer. With seven sources of alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, as well as ferulic acid, these intensive skin treatments can reveal the amazingly smooth, clear, and bright skin you may not have seen for a while.

    Formulated with Kakadu plums, these peeling pads are rich with skin-brightening vitamin C, and skin-repairing vitamin E. This super fruit extract also adds a wicked dose of antioxidants to protect your skin from free radical damage and premature aging according to this article from Nourished Life.  It’s also anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, making these pads perfect for those who struggle with acne even as their skin ages.

    These pads also feature a skin-calming complex that leaves you feeling hydrated and looking luminous. Plus they’re gentle so they don’t leave skin red and irritated as some peels do. This box features 30 pre-moistened, individually wrapped pads, making them easy to grab one and go.

  7. 7. MDSUN Skin Exfoliation Pads

    Pros:
    • Uses a combination of acids to exfoliate
    • Natural plant extracts soothe and calm skin
    • Excellent for those with acne prone skin
    • Leaves skin looking more radiant
    Cons:
    • Big price tag
    • Can be irritating to sensitive skin
    • Less pads than many others

    If you’re specifically looking to minimize breakouts and clear your clogged pores, these MDSUN exfoliating pads are a great choice because they feature a multi-faceted approach to exfoliation. Glycolic acid, polyhydroxy acid, lactobionic acid, and essential vitamins exfoliate and hydrate your skin at the same time.

    Then skin friendly antioxidants combine with anti-inflammatory components to reduce and help control redness, inflammation and irritation. All of this is great news for those with acne-prone skin, because it’s often more easily irritated by attempts to get clear skin. This jar contains 30 peel pads.

  8. 8. Neogen Bio-Peel Green Tea Gauze Peeling Pads

    Pros:
    • Effectively fades dark spots and helps reduce hyperpigmentation
    • Leaves skin feeling smooth
    • Uses natural ingredients to exfoliate
    • Brightens skin and tightens pores
    Cons:
    • Exfoliation is not robust enough for some
    • May burn or sting a bit upon application
    • Can cause breakouts
    • Scent is overwhelming to some

    Looking for a natural solution for an at home peel? These exfoliating pads from Neogen feature a unique two sided gauze pad soaked in green tea extracts known to be pore tightening, super refreshing and skin whitening. Not that everyone wants that last benefit, but these are a K beauty staple, and for many that’s a key.

    Each pad has a scrubby criss-cross gauze side to get rid of all those dead skin cells, then it also has a soft quilted cotton side filled with centenella extract, which is know for its skin healing proerties. These peel pads also contain skin soothers like mugwort, aloe and houttuynia cordata extracts.

    With 30 pads per pack at just $18.99, you can easily afford to use them the recommended twice per week. They smell heavenly, and effectively target dark spots, clogged pores and help to clear acne in a pretty natural way. Better yet, you can get them in lemon or wine essence as well.

    VideoVideo related to neogen bio-peel green tea gauze peeling pads2018-10-15T16:05:27-04:00

  9. 9. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

    Pros:
    • Super affordable
    • Provides overnight exfoliation
    • Effectively targets dark spots, acne scars and wrinkles
    • Gives your skin a smooth, soft texture
    Cons:
    • May cause breakouts
    • Not as much glycolic acid as some more expensive brands
    • Pads seem a bit low in quality
    • Can tingle and burn a bit

    If you could go to bed and wake up to younger looking skin, it would likely become an addiction, wouldn’t it? That’s why we love these exfoliating pads from Nip + Fab, and so do thousands of others. With a powerful combo of five percent glycolic acid, they help to fade acne scars, dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

    But wait, there’s more. Salicylic acid helps to get rid of stubborn blackheads, and prevent future breakouts, while lactic acid sloughs off dead skin cells and makes skin smooth and soft. But despite their aggressive exfoliation, your skin won’t get super dry, because these pads also contain super hydrating hyaluronic acid to their exfoliating blend.

    With 60 pads, this price is a terrific deal and a solid choice, as well as Amazon’s Choice. If you’re worried that these might be too powerful for your skin, consider the Nip + Fab Daily Cleansing Pads that provide a gentler exfoliating formula, that helps to resurface and retexturize your skin.

  10. 10. Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Facial Cleansing Pads with Salicylic Acid

    Pros:
    • The most affordable choice
    • Gently exfoliates your skin
    • Hypoallergenic and noncomedegenic
    • Effective at clearing and preventing breakouts
    Cons:
    • Can irritate eyes
    • May be too harsh for sensitive skin
    • Not great for eye makeup removal
    • Contains parabens

    As a rule, we love Aveeno products because they almost always deliver solid results, at an affordable price. Such is the case with these daily exfoliating pads, which give you nearly a month of daily treatments at a seriously cheap price. These pads feature a salicylic acid acne treatment that also effectively targets dark spots and dull, uneven skin tones. The dual-textured pads improve skin clarity and radiance, with an exfoliating side and a cleansing side.

    Moisture-rich soy extract, a hallmark of Aveeno’s oat-based products, helps to even out your skin and improves skin clarity. They effectively cleanse away dirt, oil, and makeup with a nicely foaming formula, and they’re also oil-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic. They help clear up existing blemishes as well as preventing future breakouts which is a huge deal. They are gentle enough to use every day.

  11. 11. Most Affordable: RoC Daily Resurfacing Facial Disks

    Pros:
    • Visibly reduces pore sizes and wrinkles
    • Super affordable
    • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
    • Soap and oil free
    Cons:
    • Physical rather than chemical exfoliation
    • Can cause skin tingling and irritation
    • Doesn’t do enough to target dark spots
    • Heavy fragrance is off-putting

    These soap-free and oil-free resurfacing disks are a great way to reduce pore sizes, fine lines and wrinkles and give your skin a soft, smooth texture that’s almost like a baby’s behind. Clinically shown to produce visible results after one week, these wicked exfoliating pads are also a total bargain.

    The big pads (which also can be cut in half to make your jar last even longer) have a textured side to let you scrub away dirt, oil and dead skin. The soft side is actually gentle enough to remove makeup, even around your eyes – although you might want to be extra careful, or use eye makeup remover there.

    Used daily, these cleansing pads can give you clearer, brighter and more radiant skin after four weeks. Not bad for less than eight bucks, right?

  12. 12. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

    Pros:
    • Nicely brightens skin
    • Helps to even out skin tone
    • Nice natural ingredients in addition to AHAs
    • Helps to fade acne scars and dark spots
    Cons:
    • Not as effective as some at diminishing wrinkles and fine lines
    • Can sting or burn
    • May be too drying for some
    • Kind of oddly scented

    These daily use glycolic acid (GA) peel pads are getting rave reviews for their gentleness and effectiveness. Even the most sensitive skin types can feel safe using them, which is unusual for GA treatments. These use lemon and gooseberry to help tone dull and lifeless skin.

    They also contain lemon peel and licorice root, which is an especially great ingredient for those prone to breakouts and blackheads. They enhance brightness and amp up the glow factor. Additionally, licorice root, feverfew and white tea extracts are potent antioxidant boosts that help fight skin damaging free radicals.

    Alpha hydroxy acid and lactic acid sweep away dead skin, and reveal brighter and smoother skin below the surface. With 60 pads in each jar, you’ll see visible results with regular use.

  13. 13. Best Exfoliating Pads for Acne: TreeActiv Face Exfoliating Acne Scrub Pads

    Pros:
    • All natural ingredient list
    • Resuable cloth pads
    • Great for clearing blemishes and preventing future ones
    • Improves texture and skin tone
    Cons:
    • Small number of pads for the price
    • Doesn’t target fine lines and wrinkles
    • Very rough on sensitive skin
    • Can cause irritation

    Using all natural ingredients, these exfoliating acne srub pads from TreeActive incorporate glycerin soap, Dead Sea salt, baking soda,honey powder, Dead Sea clay, lime essential oil to open up and clear clogged pores and blackheads, while reducing the occurance of future black heads and breakouts.

    Unlike most others, these do not come pre-moistened. You add the water to hydrate and activate the pad’s exfoliating ingredients. The glycerin soap is naturally hydrating, helping your skin to retain water, but not oil. The cloth pads make for a deep cleansing treatment, that keeps skin clear and radiant.

    While each pad can be safely used two to three times, this is still a relatively small container. If acne is your biggest issue, TreeActive also makes an acne eliminating charcoal mask as well as acne eliminating cream and a highly rated acne spot treatment to use in conjunction with these scrubbing pads.

  14. 14. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Peel Pads

    Pros:
    • Very affordable
    • Helps illuminate and brighten skin
    • Glycolic acid helps slough off dull surface cells
    • Gentle enough to use every day
    Cons:
    • May cause breakouts
    • Strong alcohol smell
    • Aren’t as effective as some at diminishing dark spots
    • May leave skin feeling a bit sticky

    Glycolic acid and vitamin C deliver a double hitter for younger looking skin with these affordable peel pads from L’Oreal Paris. These pads go beyond wrinkle fighting, to target dull and damaged skin, illuminating it to a new level of brightness.

    It helps to reverse the damage from UV exposure, targeting and effectively diminishing dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The textured pads help to resurface your skin, revealing a fresh face and more radiance with every use. There are 30 in this jar, and these are gentle enough for daily use.

    As with many beauty brands, L’Oreal has an entire line of skincare products in the Bright Reveal line. Used together they add up to a solid performance, despite their seriously affordable prices.

  15. 15. Glycolix Elite 20% Glycolic Acid Treatment Pads

    Pros:
    • High concentration of glycolic acid
    • Effectively targets lines, wrinkles and dark spots
    • Great for combination, oily and acne prone skin
    • Helps to minimize pores
    Cons:
    • Strong formula can burn skin if left on too long
    • On the expensive side
    • Can sting when applied
    • Pads are smaller and thinner than others

    By this point in time, we’re sure you’re familiar with the fact that alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are super effective at targeting all your frustrating skin imperfections. Glycolic acid is actually an AHA, but it’s well known for gently breaking down and sloughing off dead skin cells. With 20 percent glycolic acid, these robust exfoliating pads will leave your skin looking, and feeling, renewed and fresh.

    They support cell renewal by eliminating dirt, oil and of course, dead skin. They’re great for normal to oily skin types, and can be used daily, however the higher glycolic acid content may make them too drying for more sensitive skin. They help to reduce acne and those annoying under the surface bumps that leave your skin looking rough.

    With vitamins A, C and E, plus CoQ10, these peeling pads will help to brighten and heal your complexion. And with 60 pads in this jar, you’ll see real results with regular use. Glycolix also makes a 15 percent glycolic acid body lotion to help smooth and renew your entire body.

  16. 16. Jack Black Power Peel Multi-Acid Resurfacing Pads

    Pros:
    • Multi acid formula sloughs off dead skin cells to leave skin brighter
    • Targets dark spots and discoloration
    • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
    Cons:
    • Can sting and burn
    • Very expensive
    • Not as fast acting as some

    Men want smoother skin too, and these Jack Black multi acid peeling pads are great for guys and their gal friends too. Glycolic acids, fruit acids and niacinamide power through dead skin cells to slough off and smooth skin, while targeting fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots and discoloration.

    They reveal a firmer, brighter complexion and also help men reduce ingrown hairs and bumps caused by shaving. Best used before bed, they can cause tingling and burning if used directly after shaving. These pads, used two to four times a week help to resurface and clarify, delivering younger looking skin.

  17. 17. pH Advantage Glycolic Acid Peel Pads

    Pros:
    • Effectively minimizes fine lines and wrinkles
    • Diminishes dark spots
    • Keeps breakouts at bay
    • pH balanced glycolic acid is more effective
    Cons:
    • Can cause tingling
    • Needs to be washed off after use
    • May be too drying for some
    • Some packaging issues reported

    If you’re looking to resurface your skin with a glycolic acid peel, it doesn’t have to be harsh, and these peel pads are the proof. While they offer a super robust 10 percent glycolic acid content, it’s perfectly pH balanced to 3.8 to avoid skin irritation, while still delivering the results you’re looking for.

    Developed by a leading plastic surgeon, these pads target fine lines and wrinkles, along with breakouts, blackheads and dark spots. They help to stimulate collagen production which leads to a younger looking, firmer and more vibrant complexion.

    These pads also help to restore elasticity, as well as to repair damage caused by harmful uva/uvb rays. The pH balanced GA is the key that makes these pads far more effective than many others. This jar includes 60 peeling treatment pads.

If you don't want to invest in a pricey microdermabrasion device, you have two basic choices:

Exfoliating pads that scrub off dead skin cells with the help of clay, mud, sea salt, and rough surfaces, which use your energy, plus those ingredients to do their work, and they do indeed nicely exfoliate your skin.

However, if you're looking to do more to target dark spots, acne scars, and fine lines and wrinkles, your second option is to experiment with a wide range of alpha hydroxy acids. Most common, glycolic acid pads, reach deeper and tend to work faster on those big skin issues. They're also amazing at removing blackheads, helping to clear up acne prone skin, and keeping you breakout free more of the time.

Some of these peel pads can be used daily, while stronger concentrations of alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids may suggest only once per week treatments. That said, you should use caution while you're testing them, because they can cause rash, irritation and burning. In spite of that, the bottom line is that they work.

If you're wanting to learn more about those acids, it's definitely worth doing some research to find out which might be right for your particular skin type. This website breaks down the different acids, and what they do, in a quick one minute read. Just scroll down the page.

See Also:

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.