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Retexturing Activator Face exfoliator

Retexturing Activator is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 72.
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This oil-free serum simultaneously exfoliates skin and replenishes moisture for radiant, smooth, skin

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Product Details

Retexturing Activator is a revolutionary replenishing and resurfacing serum that helps reinforce the skin’s barrier for healthier, more radiant skin. Using patented technology, this unique serum is highly effective in promoting proper exfoliation while optimizing the skin’s amino acid supply to reinforce the external barrier. Formulated in an efficient oil-free delivery system suitable for all skin types to replenish and exfoliate skin for noticeably soft, smooth skin texture. This oil-free serum has the resurfacing power of daily 20% glycolic acid treatment.

  • Bi-functional exfoliation and hydration
  • Diminishes the appearance of surface lines and smoothes skin
  • Increases the look of overall radiance
  • Balances moisture levels
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Stimulates enzymes that help break the bonds that bind dead cells to the surface of the skin, to diminish surface lines and wrinkles

How To Use


Twice daily, apply 4-6 drops of serum to the face, neck, and chest, or use as directed by a skincare professional.

  • Science & Proof

  • Science

    Retexturing Activator harnesses two polar mechanisms – exfoliation and hydration – to activate skin’s natural desquamation, or removal of dead skin cells, and visibly diminish surface lines without dryness. This replenishing serum is shown to have the resurfacing power of a daily 20% glycolic treatment.

Key Ingredients

  • 25% hydroxyethyl urea/aminosulfonic acid compound
  • Kombucha
  • Hyaluronic acid

This unique patented combination of ingredients is designed to stimulate enzymes that help break the bonds binding dead skin cells to skin’s surface, to evenly exfoliate skin while maintaining the skin’s moisture levels

Learn more about hydroxyethyl urea

See all ingredients

aqua / water / eau, hydroxyethyl urea, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, pentylene glycol, saccharomyces/xylinum/ black tea ferment, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, methylparaben, phenoxyethanol

Physician Insight

Physician image

My favorite product is Retexturing Activator. I love that it gives the exfoliation and glow of a retinoid, while replenishing moisture for smooth skin.

Dr. Sarah Sawyer – Dermatology and Laser of Alabama

Learn about Dr. Sarah Sawyer

Complete Your Regimen


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Like it!!! My second bottle. My skin looks lighter, I used at night time.
Date published: 2019-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great product Definitely has evened out my skin. I love that it has a moisturizing and not a drying effect.
Date published: 2018-12-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Could Be Better The packaging for this product needs to be fixed because some of the product leaks and drips out from the area towards the handle of the applicator, which is a bummer because it wastes product (this isn’t the only one that does that; the Phyto Plus product I have does that too. And although I have yet to notice any surface lines diminishing, I do like that this makes my skin really soft and is a good hydrator.
Date published: 2018-12-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the results I expected I’ve been using this for 6 months and while my skin was softer, I didn’t see any change is tone or clarity.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moisture happy face! Love how this helps in keeping your face from drying out each day! Apply before regular moisture & feel the difference of how it goes in the skin so well.
Date published: 2018-11-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No difference yet I have been using it for about 2 weeks now but i havent noticed any difference yet. I will continue using it and hopefully will see some good results.
Date published: 2018-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I’m in love with this product! I just started using it and I can see the difference on my skin.
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from part of my regime 30 woman oily comb skin some dark spot The product specifically helped brighten my skin and a little bit the overall appearance i love it i use it in combination with other products that specifically help me with other issues too
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Game changer! This product helped me simplify and improve my skincare routine. It gently exfoliates and lifts congestion from pores without irritation. At the same time, it diminishes the appearance of fine lines. I no longer get that 'one spot a month' as this addresses the breakout and mitigates it before it becomes noticeable. I have been very satisfied with all of the products I have tried from this brand, and I feel like this is the capstone in terms of what it delivers and the immediacy in which it delivers improvements.
Date published: 2018-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heidi K This, along side my Phloretin CF, is the foundation of my skinecare regimen! My skin's texture and overall appearance is smoother and more even, because I use Retexturing Activator! I can't imagine my skin, without it!
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing I live in a harsh high alpine desert climate and have struggled with skincare. I want to use anti aging products but never want to be dry, irritated, red, and flakey. This is what I’ve experienced with retinols and other exfoliating products over the past decade. I want to prevent and correct and look good while doing so, and enjoy my 30’s! I was holding onto this sample for some time and randomly decided to give it a go. I’ve only used it for one week, alone at night, and am shocked by the results. My skin is so moisturized, clarified, soft, smooth, and bright, I don’t even have to use a moisturizer during the day if I don’t feel like it, it’s unbelievable. I have zero irritation and my pores seem to be shrinking, the product is an excellent exfoliater. It feels light and smooth, and somehow has dramatically improved the moisture level of my skin, even after I wash it off. I have never been a fan of heavy moisturizers because I think they create dependency, and look greasy and gross. The moisture I get from this product seems to come from the exfoliating process, it’s really unique in that way. I felt compelled to write this review because I had no idea this awesome product existed, and I think other people also want to simplify, improve the health and vibrancy of their skin immediately, and stop the viscous cycle of irritation that most exfoliating products cause! definitely give it a try!
Date published: 2018-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Saw Improvements but not completely.. I am 20 y/o African American Woman who works in Dermatology. I heard really great reviews for Skin Ceuticals so I decided to give it a try. Ive been using this product along with Phloretin CF for over a month and my face is GLOWING! I received a lot of complements. However, I do still get some acne..but not nearly as much as I used to.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This product is nothing short of amazing. It's incredibly powerful and effective at softening fine lines, smoothing out roughness, evening skin tone, lessening hyperpigmentation, and hydrating! What more can you ask for without going and getting work done? My skin is incredibly intolerant to retin-a and retinol. While this isn't exactly the same, I'll take it!! My skin has never been brighter!
Date published: 2016-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Serum! I just started using the Retexturing Activator about a month ago and I have seen INCREDIBLE results. I have dry skin (especially because I live in a cold climate) and its been a year since I've been able to get a chemical peel. This serum in combination with the Salicylic Acid Wash Cleanser has renewed my skin. I also use the Serum 15 AOX+, but I first started using the Retexturing Activator on it's own. My face is soft and supple, and the name of the serum is correct: it truly retexturizes your face. I am in love! Highly recommended for sensitive, dry skin.
Date published: 2016-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Changing my mind about serums Up to this point I have struck out with serums. They usually break me out within 1 week of use. This product has not broken me out and my skin feels softer and looks brighter. I am only 3 wks in but I do think my forehead lines have softened. For reference I'm 35 with very sensitive skin. Struggle with adult acne along chin and have mild rosacea.
Date published: 2015-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Effective gentle exfoliator This is an excellent product for people who have sensitive skin, use retinol products, and/or those whose skin cannot handle a physical or chemical exfoliator - I am one of those people. I could never get the benefits that others got while using AHA or BHA products. And the difference that I saw in my skin after using this product for a couple of days was amazing. The clarity and texture of my congested skin dramatically improved and I had absolutely no irritation - a plus that someone with sensitive skin like me appreciates. I also love that they formulated this product with hyaluronic acid - genius! I use this along with the Phloretin CF and Retinol 0.5 and my skin has never looked better. I will now only use SkinCeuticals products :)
Date published: 2014-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great serum I feel hydrated after I use this serum. I wish I could feel more of texture change. I would likely purchase it again because I typically steer clear of traditional moisturizers.
Date published: 2014-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Softened my Skin in less than 2 weeks! Within a week of starting a SkinCeuticals regimen including this product, my skin was already noticeably softer to the touch and more hydrated. I will be a devotee from now on!
Date published: 2013-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Feels so comfortable on my skin. I have had negative experiences with past products that left my skin dry and irritated. I have been using SkinCeuticals for two weeks. The product makes my skin feel like it belongs; it makes my skin soft and supple. I look forward to continued improvement and adding other products to my regime.
Date published: 2012-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best Having tried a number of products to increase moisture in my skin, I was really pleased with the effects of this serum. In addition to moisturizer and sunscreen, it has really made a difference. SkinCeuticals make some of the best products in my opinion. I also love the sunscreens and have used them for a number of years.
Date published: 2012-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brighter skin I've noticed that my skin is brighter when I'm using this, and as long as I am consistent with it, I have smaller pores and almost no blemishes. I especially like it with phyto +, which I started using again recently.
Date published: 2011-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great product for my aging skin This product is one of my favorites from SkinCeuticals. My skin looks refreshed and replenished each morning after using it the night before. I find it works very well with A.G.E. Interrupter.
Date published: 2011-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorites! After the birth of my 3rd child, I noticed my skin all of a sudden started to age...I didn't want to do anything too drastic so my dermatologist suggest this line. I love it and the Retexturing Activator has really helped reverse the signs of aging in my skin. Love it!
Date published: 2011-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous product! I absolutely love this product. I have extremely sensitive skin, so I normally don't try new products too often. However, this product was recommended to me so I decided to give it a try. I am able to use it every night and it hasn't irritated my skin. It makes my skin feel smoother and it is also helping to lighten my blemishes. I will definitely continue to use this product!
Date published: 2011-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievable I never leave the house without this product on my skin!! My skin looks the best it ever has. A definite keeper!
Date published: 2011-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This product has changed my skin I was having skin problems as I got older and my esthetician suggested I use this product twice a day. I was a little weary of the price, but I gave it a shot. I've been using it for over 2 years now and it completely solved my skin problems. I love it and highly recommend it!
Date published: 2011-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I use Retexuring Activator all the time, I absolutely love it. I've recommended it to friends and they're using it too. My favorite Skinceuticals product! Can't say enough good things about it.
Date published: 2011-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Switched from Intense Line Defense I just bought the Retexturing Activator and would agree with others it is a bit sticky but I have to say I feel like it is working very well and only been using it 10 days now. When I wake up in the morning my face feels great, I put the Night time oily cream over it. I really like the results and when my husband noticed I knew it had to be working!
Date published: 2011-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for Sensitive Skin! This product is one of my favorites! The esthetician at Spa Merge introducted me to it when I was having some break outs and uneven skin tone. Now I can't go a day without it.I am an avid beauty product junkie and have tried everything for my sensitive skin. This product evened out my skin texture and made my skin feel baby smooth. I usually expect serums to be sticky, but this one glides on your face. I definitely recommend it for any type of skin!
Date published: 2011-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of SC's better products! Excellent product so far; I've only been using for two weeks but have seen an overall improvement in skin tone plus I'm noticing less breakouts. I was using twice a day to see what kind of results I would get, but that proved to be a bit too much as some places began to exfoliate more than I wanted, so, I switched to using every other evening. Although, some mornings, I do mix with a little aloe vera gel from the Best Bath Store which contains manuka honey and makeup application is smoother than with the serum alone. The gel also keeps the serum from being so sticky when turning in for the night. Goes great under the tinted sunscreen!
Date published: 2011-07-11
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