ex·​fo·​liant | \(ˌ)eks-ˈfō-lē-ənt, -ˈfōl-yənt \

Definition of exfoliant 

: a mechanical or chemical agent (such as an abrasive skin wash or salicylic acid) that is applied to the skin to remove dead cells from the surface

Examples of exfoliant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Not long ago, most people's skin care routines consisted of a quick wash, maybe a weekly exfoliant, and some moisturizer. Leeann Duggan, Glamour, "I Tried an 8-Step $400 Luxury Skin Care Routine…for My Vagina," 25 Oct. 2018 There are two types of chemical exfoliants: AHA, or alpha-hydroxy acids, and BHA, beta-hydroxy acids. Amber Katz, SELF, "Chemical Exfoliation Is the Skin-Care Step Your Body Is Missing," 9 Aug. 2018 In the days leading up to your appointment, give your body a good scrub with a mild exfoliant. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "12 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Bikini Wax," 23 July 2018 The exfoliants are similar to salicylic acid; however. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Your Guide to Affordable Skin Care," 30 Mar. 2018 There are also a range chemical exfoliants in regards to strength so can be tailored to specific skin types. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How to Get Glowing Skin," 25 June 2018 Alpha hydroxy acids — typically glycolic, lactic and citric — are stronger exfoliants than enzymes. Crystal Martin, New York Times, "Exfoliation Tips for the Best Skin Ever," 25 June 2018 Lactic acid is the rare acid that’s a moisturizing exfoliant. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Face Acids," 12 July 2018 Chemical exfoliants like glycolic and beta hydroxy (also known as salicylic) acid peels are universally preferred by skin-care experts. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Are You Exfoliating Your Face Wrong?," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exfoliant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exfoliant

1983, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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The first known use of exfoliant was in 1983

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ex·​fo·​liant | \(ˌ)eks-ˈfō-lē-ənt, -ˈfōl-yənt \

Medical Definition of exfoliant 

: a mechanical or chemical agent (as an abrasive skin wash or salicylic acid) that is applied to the skin to remove dead cells from the surface

called also exfoliator

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