Best Exfoliating Mitts

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

76 Models Considered
30 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
110 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best exfoliating mitts

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead cells from the top layer of your skin, and it’s an important step in everyday skincare. By removing the dead cells, your skin appears healthier, and you’re likely to feel and look better too.

You can exfoliate your skin by physical or chemical means. For those going the physical route, exfoliating mitts are popular. Similar to exfoliating gloves, users don these mitts on their hands and run them gently along the body, sloughing away dead cells as they go. This process is easily done in the shower or bath, and it doesn’t take much time. Physical exfoliation offers an array of other positive skin benefits as well.

Exfoliating your skin doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavor, but it is an important one. In this guide, we discuss who should try exfoliating mitts, what to look for, and how to achieve and maintain a healthy glow.

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Gentle exfoliation can help prime your skin for the application of skincare products, makeup, and self-tanner, enhancing the effectiveness of those products.

Key considerations

Mitt benefits

An exfoliating mitt is one of several choices for physical exfoliation. Many people find a mitt easier to control and maneuver than an exfoliating brush or washcloth. You can use your hand to change the pressure as needed, which means you can be extra-gentle and extra-firm on your skin when necessary.

How to use

When showering or bathing, after you’ve rinsed your body, wet the mitt and apply soap, body wash, or body scrub. Rub your skin in circular motions, working methodically in one direction. Some areas, such as the feet, may require increased pressure. Other areas require more caution. Avoid over-rubbing, as this can lead to irritation.

Skin type

Physical methods of exfoliating can cause the skin to become dry. Therefore, people who already have dry skin may find their skin becomes irritated after using a mitt. People with sensitive skin may also prefer to avoid exfoliating mitts and other physical exfoliation means. Instead, a chemical method of exfoliation should be considered.

For people with normal skin and oily skin, an exfoliating mitt can be an effective tool. People with combination skin can also benefit from a mitt. However, people with both dry and oily skin, known as “combination skin,” should monitor their reaction to exfoliation carefully.

Material

Exfoliating mitts may be made of synthetic or naturally occurring fibers. One of the more popular materials used in high-end products is sisal, a plant that boasts strong, renewable fibers. Sisal is an eco-friendly option for consumers.

Nylon is a popular synthetic material that delivers a slightly coarser treatment. Silicone has soft properties. Some companies combine various synthetic materials in order to boost properties such as bacteria resistance, longevity, and drying power.

Size

In most cases, exfoliating mitts are one-size-fits-all. There may be an elastic around the wrist to secure the mitt in place. A decent fit will help you effectively grip the mitt and apply pressure, but it doesn’t have to be snug by any means. Some companies indicate the size of the mitt so you can measure against your hand to estimate the fit.

Cleaning

After use, rinse the mitt in the shower or bath and let it dry. It’s advised to avoid drying the mitt in the bathroom because it may be too humid there. If possible, dry the mitt in fresh air to avoid bacteria growth.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that placing the mitt in boiling water or the microwave for a short period may be effective. Some mitts are machine washable as well.

Exercise caution when exfoliating your face, as facial skin is more sensitive than body skin. Most people choose, and indeed require, a different means of exfoliation for their face, though some softer mitts may work.

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Features

Color

In some cases, you can choose the color of your exfoliating mitt. This may help distinguish the mitt as yours rather than someone else’s in the household. It can also add a splash of color to the bathroom.

Multipacks and bundles

While some exfoliating mitts are sold singly, others are paired or bundled. A set of exfoliating mitts may feature different colors, and the price is likely to be lower per mitt. Since mitts should be replaced fairly often, you may wish to buy your favorites in bulk.

Dual-action

Some exfoliating mitts have two distinct sides that perform different tasks. One side may offer gentle exfoliation while the other boasts cleansing properties, allowing for the removal of makeup.

Charcoal

Some exfoliating mitts are infused with charcoal, a trendy skincare ingredient. Charcoal is known to attract toxins, which means that rubbing it along your skin can draw out impurities, leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed. Charcoal is sometimes found in deodorant, facial cream, and toothpaste as well.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Kessa gloves or mitts are traditionally used in Middle Eastern spas and baths, featuring a coarse layer that exfoliates and massages. For the complete experience, use a Kessa mitt in conjunction with African or black soap.
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Accessories

Organic body wash: Tree to Tub Soapberry for Body
You can use your mitt in conjunction with body wash to clean and exfoliate your skin simultaneously. For sensitive skin, we love this organic option from Tree to Tub.

Drugstore moisturizer: Simple Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream
After exfoliation, moisturize your skin to keep it soft and healthy. This option from Simple is long-lasting and inexpensive.

Exfoliating mitt prices

Inexpensive: You’ll find decent exfoliating mitts for $10 and under, though they may lack longevity and high-end materials. People with normal skin often have the best luck with these mitts.

Mid-range: Most exfoliating mitts cost between $10 and $20. These will feature a range of materials and come from reputable companies.

Expensive: For over $20, you’ll find durable and effective exfoliating mitts from high-end skincare companies. They may include mitt pairs and dual functions.

An exfoliating mitt is an affordable and fun gift for a shower or birthday.

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Tips

  • Exfoliate in the morning. Dead skin cells replenish and resurface overnight, so the morning is the ideal time to do away with them.
  • Avoid sharing. Exfoliating mitts should be used by one person and one person only. As they come in contact with dead skill cells, sharing can be problematic and risky. 
  • Moisturize after exfoliating. Your skin will be primed and ready to accept moisture after exfoliation. 
  • Ease in. If you’re new to exfoliation or have sensitive skin, ease yourself into this new practice. Over time, you can build up your tolerance to pressure and frequency.
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Rough, thick fibers promote deep, intense exfoliation. However, gentle fibers tend to be safer for those with sensitive or dry skin.

FAQ

Q. How often should I exfoliate with a mitt?

A. Depending on how soft or coarse the mitt is, you may want to exfoliate anywhere from once every couple of weeks to once every couple of days. The frequency may be influenced by your type of skin as well as the weather.

Q. How long do exfoliating mitts last?

A. A quality exfoliating mitt may last a couple of months. Over time, even if you clean it regularly, the mitt will begin to accumulate dead skin cells and bacteria. When fibers start to fall out or the glove begins to look worn, it’s time for a replacement. Discoloration and odor are two more big hints that it’s time to toss the mitt and find a new one.

Q. What’s the difference between an exfoliating mitt, glove, and brush?

A. Exfoliating mitts and gloves are worn on the hand, while exfoliating brushes have a handle that you grip. A brush can give you access to hard-to-reach places like your back, but a mitt or glove offers more dexterity and control.

Exfoliating gloves and mitts are fairly similar. A glove gives you a high degree of control and the ability to rub smaller circles in areas like between the toes. A mitt tends to be slightly more durable than a glove and may be more effective on tough, dry skin, such as the skin on the bottoms of the feet.

 

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