Enlarged pores, redness, discoloration: These common skin concerns all tied back to how your skin looks. Equally important, however, is how your skin feels—in other words, your skin texture. Contrary to what Instagram filters and airbrushed ads may lead you to believe, all skin is textured (and it’s supposed to be; if your skin was perfectly smooth, you’d look like a bad CGI render). While some texture is normal, concerns like excessive dryness, blemishes, and fine lines can make your skin look rough, uneven, or just plain dull. Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on Instagram filters to achieve soft, smooth-looking skin: The right skincare products for rough, textured skin will do the trick.
Here, we’ll introduce you to 10 of our must-have products for refining uneven skin texture. You’ll also learn a little bit about what can cause your skin to look rough and discover our top tips for keeping your skin looking and feeling its very best. Settle in and keep reading to find our favorite products for smooth, glowing skin.
Smooth Skin Staple #1:
Ultra Facial Cleanser
Smoother-looking skin starts at the sink (or in the shower). As the first step in your skincare routine morning and night, we recommend washing your face with a gentle, non-irritating cleanser like Ultra Facial Cleanser. This pH-balanced formula, which contains olive-derived squalane, helps remove excess oil, dirt, and other impurities without stripping your skin’s natural moisture barrier. The non-drying formula is suitable for all skin types and can be used morning and night for clean, balanced skin.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: When washing your face, use cool or lukewarm water. Hot water can over-dry your skin, causing it to feel rough and flaky.
Smooth Skin Staple #2:
Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion
Often, rough skin texture results from a buildup of dead skin cells. Manual exfoliation can help remove the dead cells, giving your skin a smoother look and feel. Two to three times per week, reach for Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion, a powerful face scrub made with glycerin and diatomaceous earth. The highly effective formula instantly smooths the skin and helps facilitate better absorption of your topical treatments (like serums, face oils, and moisturizers). Regular use also helps improve the appearance of fine lines, enlarged pores, and discolorations for clearer, smoother-looking skin.
Smooth Skin Staple #3:
Milk-Peel Gentle Exfoliating Toner
Scrubs aren’t the only way to exfoliate your face: Chemical exfoliants (such as alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids) can help improve uneven skin texture, too. To try this type of exfoliant, use Milk-Peel Gentle Exfoliating Toner after washing your face. The mild toner with lactic and lipo-hydroxy acids gently exfoliates and dissolves impurities while replenishing the skin’s natural moisture levels. It’s clinically-demonstrated to smooth and soften skin within just one week, while continued use helps promote a brighter, more refined appearance.*
*Results based upon expert grading in a clinical study of 44 panelists, aged 30-50, after four weeks of use.
Smooth Skin Staple #4:
Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum
With age, skin becomes drier and less elastic, which can ultimately result in fine lines and deeper wrinkles. While you can’t completely prevent wrinkles, retinol can help reduce their appearance and give your skin a smoother, more even texture. If that sounds like something you could use, incorporate Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum into your daily skincare routine. This lightweight face serum, which also contains ceramides, helps renew and restore skin’s youthful appearance. The non-irritating formula absorbs quickly and helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles while minimizing discomfort to reveal visibly smoother, more refined skin over time.
Smooth Skin Staple #5:
Hydro-Plumping Hydrating Serum
Dryness is another common concern that can cause the skin to feel rough and uneven. To give your skin the hydration it needs, we recommend applying Hydro-Plumping Hydrating Serum after cleansing every morning and night. This unique serum helps encourage the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid, an essential molecule closely involved with maintaining skin’s hydration and elasticity. It also helps plump the skin, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture. The ultra-gentle formula is suitable for all skin types and mild enough for use on the delicate under-eye area.
Smooth Skin Staple #6:
Avocado Eye Cream
The skin under your eyes is the thinnest on your entire body. As such, it’s uniquely vulnerable to the natural effects of aging, including dryness and wrinkling. To keep your eye area looking and feeling its best, a hydrating eye cream is essential. We recommend Avocado Eye Cream, which contains creamy shea butter and avocado oil.
This Kiehl’s must-have provides long-lasting hydration and immediately improves the appearance of under-eye skin texture. With regular use, it’s clinically-demonstrated to de-puff and brighten tired-looking eyes and help protect your skin against the damaging effects of blue light (like that emitted from your phone).* The concentrated formula is ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested and can be applied alone or worn under makeup in lieu of a traditional eye makeup primer.
*Results based upon expert grading evaluated with product in a 4-week clinical test.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: When applying your eye cream, tap the formula on instead of rubbing it in to avoid inadvertently stretching your skin.
Smooth Skin Staple #7:
Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Face oil can be intimidating if you’ve never used it before, but it’s well worth trying if you’re looking to visibly improve your skin texture. Our beloved Midnight Recovery Concentrate, in particular, is a must-have for rough-feeling skin. The moisturizing face oil with evening primrose oil and lavender essential oil boosts essential moisture to help restore the appearance of dull, tired-looking skin. In one night, it visibly improves radiance and refines the skin’s texture, while continued use helps diminish the look of fine lines. The lightweight oil absorbs quickly and can be used nightly for firmer, younger-looking skin by morning.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: For an extra relaxing nighttime routine, treat yourself to a quick five-minute facial massage after applying your oil.
Smooth Skin Staple #8:
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment
Hydrate and smooth your skin simultaneously with Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment. This creamy moisturizer, which contains exfoliating glycolic acid and activated vitamin C, provides intense, continuous hydration for up to 24 hours. The clarifying formula is clinically-demonstrated to help correct the appearance of rough skin texture and skin discolorations and can be used morning and night as part of your regular skincare routine.*
*Results based upon a clinical study on the upper layers of the skin.
Smooth Skin Staple #9:
Pure Vitality Skin-Renewing Cream
Another moisturizer worth adding to your skin-smoothing arsenal is Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream. This creamy gel-like moisturizer is made with 99.6% naturally-derived ingredients, including New Zealand Manuka honey and red ginseng root. The revitalizing formula helps fortify the skin’s natural moisture barrier, allowing it to better bounce back from the visible signs of aging. When used regularly, it also helps boost the skin’s vibrancy, promoting a glowing, youthful appearance.
*We consider ingredients to be naturally-derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.
Smooth Skin Staple #10:
Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask
No skincare routine is complete without a mask that you can apply when you’re trying to pamper yourself. De-stress while addressing your skin texture concerns with Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask, an ultra-hydrating face mask made with avocado oil and extract. The addictively creamy, grassy-hued formula helps seal in moisture to protect skin against water loss. It leaves skin feeling hydrated and softer after just one application, while continued use helps keep the skin feeling conditioned and supple.*
*Consumer perception study, US: 55 subjects, all skin types, immediate time point.