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The Best Exfoliating Scrubs

Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated December 2021

There's something therapeutic about a fresh, clean face. One of the best ways to get that refreshing feel is with an exfoliating face scrub. Here are some we recommend to help keep your skin fresh and smooth.

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  Top Choice Best Moisturizing Scrub Best Charcoal Pick Best for Acne Most Gentle
 
  Aveeno
Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub
Era Organics
Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator
M3 Naturals
Charcoal Exfoliating Body Scrub Polish with Collagen & Stem Cell
St. Ives
Acne Control Face Scrub
InstaNatural
Brightening Vitamin C Face Scrub
 
Our SummaryYou won’t irritate your skin with this gentle exfoliator that leaves you feeling fresh.You’ll feel like you’ve been to a spa with this exfoliator mask.Give your body the care that you show your face with this scrub.Add an extra punch to keep your skin clear of breakouts with this face scrub.This gentle scrub with natural ingredients promises a clean glow for your skin.
ProsSoap-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, gentle, daily scrub.Natural ingredients, lush feeling, daily or weekly scrub.Activated charcoal, collagen, stem cells, for your body, weekly scrub.2% salicylic acid, daily scrub.Natural ingredients, vitamin C, gentle on all skin types, vegan, daily or weekly scrub.
ConsCan cause irritation on sensitive skin.Can be rough on sensitive skin, contains nuts and honey for those with allergies.Messy to use, especially harsh for sensitive skin.Not very gentle.Some people won't like the smell.
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The Best Exfoliating Scrubs

A young woman in a towel with a towel on her head washes her face with a scrub in the mirror.
Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Exfoliating Scrubs

A young woman cleans her face with an exfoliating product
Geinz Angelina/Shutterstock.com

Why should you buy an exfoliating scrub?

An exfoliating scrub is a great way to deep clean your skin and eliminate dead skin cells and clogged pores. Depending on your skin type and sensitivity, you can choose a daily product or one that’s meant to be used less frequently while still getting the results you desire. Remember that exfoliating too deeply and too frequently is a common skin care mistake, so if you want a product for daily use, a gentler one is best.

What should you consider when purchasing an exfoliating scrub?

  • Skin Concerns: Almost everyone has at least one issue they’re looking to improve with their skin. Maybe it’s blackheads or acne, dry skin, or a desire for better makeup removal. Improving fine lines and evening skin tone are some top concerns as well. Once you determine your main concerns, this will help you narrow down which exfoliating scrub is right for you.
  • Sensitivity: Exfoliating scrubs can be harsh on many types of skin, but those with sensitive skin need to be extra careful when making their choice. First, you will probably want to avoid fragrances or parabens. Next, for a scrub, pay attention to how abrasive the scrubbing agents are and what they’re made from. Certain scrubbers, like jojoba beads, are better suited for sensitive skin.

How often should you use an exfoliating scrub?

After finding your perfect scrub, it can be hard to limit its use to once a week, but it’s important you follow the directions. Some scrubs are gentle enough and intended to be used daily, while others should only be used once a week. Failing to adhere to these instructions can result in skin damage and irritation from a product that otherwise could be delivering amazing results!

Our Picks for the Best Exfoliating Scrubs

Top Choice

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub

You won't irritate your skin with this gentle exfoliator that leaves you feeling fresh.

Pros: This facial scrub is gentle but effective. It’s soap-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic, meaning it’s a safe scrub for sensitive skin. It has soy, jojoba oil, and castor oil in the ingredients to help moisturize your face while it gently exfoliates your skin, leaving it feeling refreshingly clean and soft. It is intended to minimize pores, clean out dirt and excess oil, smooth skin texture, and brighten skin tone. While this is a long list to deliver, users are pleased with how it lives up to the hype.

Cons: Some users with particularly sensitive skin notice that it still may not be best for their skin, causing rashes or burns in specific areas of their skin.

Bottom Line: For most users, this is a gentle product that can be used more often throughout the week for greater exfoliation than a regular face cleanser. It’s intended to have a balance of cleaning and moisturizing ingredients for total care.

 

Best Moisturizing Scrub

Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator

You'll feel like you've been to a spa with this exfoliator mask.

Pros: This mask makes you think “spa.” From ingredients like manuka honey, walnuts, and orange peel to the fact that it’s a mask instead of a cleanser, this exfoliator will make you feel like you’ve just paid a pretty penny at a fancy spa; instead, you get to wear your comfiest unpretentious clothes and slippers. You can use it as a weekly scrub or wear it as a mask to let the powerful ingredients soak into your skin. This scrub or mask is intended to slough away dirt, excess oil, and stubborn blackheads to reveal more even, clean, and healthy skin. It boasts more hydrated and youthful skin thanks to some naturally hydrating ingredients.

Cons: While the ingredients may be ideal for sensitive users, harsh scrubbing can cause irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. If you’re allergic to nuts or honey, it’s important to pass on this pick!

Bottom Line: A luscious sugar scrub with powerful and effective ingredients makes users love this exfoliator. Packed with hydrating ingredients, it leaves skin feeling soft instead of tight, easily taking its place in the weekly self-care routine.

 

Best Charcoal Pick

M3 Naturals Charcoal Exfoliating Body Scrub Polish with Collagen & Stem Cell

Give your body the care that you show your face with this scrub.

Pros: This all-over body scrub is made from activated charcoal and is meant for your face and body to reduce the size of pores and the appearance of wrinkles or cellulite. It cleans out toxins for healthier skin. Formulated with coconut oil, collagen, and stem cells, this scrub is can boost skin’s firmness, improve texture, and keep it hydrated.

Cons: Since activated charcoal is in a loose form, this is a messy scrub to use. It’s a heavy-duty scrub, so it may not be best for those with sensitive skin.

Bottom Line: This face and body scrub will make you feel fresh as it detoxes your pores while helping you feel hydrated. It’s best suited to use once a week. Those with sensitive skin may not be comfortable with this scrub, as it is coarse.

 

Best for Acne

St. Ives Acne Control Face Scrub

Add an extra punch to keep your skin clear of breakouts with this face scrub.

Pros: This exfoliating scrub uses natural ingredients to slough away dead skin cells and impurities. Walnut shell powder is finely ground to be a gentle and effective exfoliant. This face scrub is 2% salicylic acid to help prevent breakouts from forming.

Cons: Don’t scrub too hard with it, as it’s not a very gentle scrub.

Bottom Line: This scrub that has been a favorite for years got an extra boost with the salicylic acid. Many people who struggle with breakouts have enjoyed adding this to their routine.

 

Most Gentle

InstaNatural Brightening Vitamin C Face Scrub

This gentle scrub with natural ingredients promises a clean glow for your skin.

Pros: This exfoliating scrub uses strawberry seeds, quartz crystals, and jojoba beads to clean pores, slough away dead skin, and brighten your skin. The added vitamin C reduces dark spots, evens skin tone, and contributes to glowing radiance. To add extra hydration, this vegan mask uses coconut water, green tea, and aloe vera. With gentle ingredients, this mask is intended for various skin types and can be used more frequently.

Cons: Some people may not like the scent. It has a sticky and gooey consistency.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a gentle, vegan, and natural formula, this is a solid choice. It’s gentle enough for use multiple times in the week but strong enough to show results.

Final Thoughts

Finding a favorite exfoliator takes a bit of consideration, but once you discover it, your skin will love it, and you can have that deep clean, refreshing feel from the comfort of your own home.

Michelle Carellas Michelle Carellas
Michelle Carellas has had a love for writing from as early as her primary school years. Her writing career took her to journalism, copy editing, and email and digital marketing, and for the past 11 years, she's kept writing a strong focus with freelancing for local businesses and national marketing agencies. When Michelle isn't writing, she's homeschooling her four kids and embracing the country life with her husband in a small Texas town. She and her husband own and operate a small garage gym, the perfect endeavor for a couple who met and fell in love at a gym! Read Full Bio »

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