Exfoliants give our skin a boost by clearing away the surface layer that is already primed to be sloughed off but could use an extra step. As long as this is done gently, it sends a signal to the deeper layers of the skin to increase metabolism. This is essential for all skin that is over a certain age as well as skin that is burdened with acne or hyperpigmentation, by either keeping pores from getting blocked or increasing the penetration of treatment products. Sometimes all you need is a cleanser, although we prefer for most people to have a regimen that includes an exfoliant as a leave on product. Here are our favorites categorized by exfoliant strength.