Exfoliation isn’t a dirty word, we promise. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Exfoliating is actually the key to having more beautiful and luminous skin, whether you have dry, oily or combination skin. The fact of the matter is, no matter what skin you’re in, you still need to slough off dead skin cells to smooth and soften the surface of your face. And what’s even more important, is that exfoliating also deeply cleanses your pores, meaning that your face will soak up your favorite moisturizers far more effectively.
There are plenty of ways to exfoliate, from facial scrubbing brushes to facial peels and facial scrubs. The beauty of facial scrubs is that they’re a simple addition to your beauty routine that can deliver dramatic results in fairly short order. Best used once or twice a week, to avoid irritating your skin, even a small tube or jar will have a reasonably long shelf life. That’s good news, because a few of our favorite facial scrub products could cause a bit of sticker shock, but believe me, they’re worth it.
While facial scrubs and exfoliants help to minimize the signs of aging, smooth your skin and help increase the effectiveness of your other beauty products, they can also dramatically reduce blackheads and breakouts because they so efficiently unclog pores. Another benefit, should you happen to use facial hair removers, either lasers, creams or waxes, exfoliants combat issues with ingrown hairs that can become swollen, clogged and leave scarring.
Be sure to take note of each product’s micro scrubbers. Some use natural granules that include bamboo, almond shell, citric crystals and even palm seeds and clay granules. Others use micro-granules that are actually polluting our rivers and oceans, so I tend to favor the most natural ingredients whenever possible. Because of the powerful exfoliation created by these scrubs, be careful not to overdo it, or try to resurface your skin by scrubbing longer or more frequently. You’ll only end up with a rashy, irritated face, which isn’t likely the look you’re after. And you might be wondering if you can just use your body scrubs on your face. The answer is a resounding NO. The granules in those scrubs are larger, and they’re meant for far less delicate skin than you’ll find on your face. So let’s dive into the Top 10 Best Facial Scrubs for Women. Here’s to a beautiful, more luminous, and clearer complexion, starting now.
1. Best Facial Scrub: StriVectin-SD Instant Retexturizing Scrub
If you’re hoping for healthy, ageless looking skin, StriVectin engineered this formula with their powerful, patented NIA-114. Invented by Skin Scientists and clinically proven to strengthen and nourish your skin’s moisture barrier, NIA-114 amazing results have been well-documented in multiple global patents and years of clinical studies. StriVectin’s Instant Retexturizing Scrub, features NIA-114, encapsulated in spherical jojoba beads. It is clinically proven to smooth skin and improve texture with regular, twice a week use. Fight the visible signs of aging and improve the look of deep-set wrinkles, firmness, skin tone, texture and radiance with the midnight miracle worker, StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer.
- Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth
- Helps to fight blemishes
- Diminishes fine lines
- A little goes a long way
- Can leave skin somewhat red
- Fairly expensive compared to some
- Scrubbing granules can be difficult to completely wash off
2. Best Facial Scrub: AHAVA Time to Clear Facial Mud Exfoliator
AHAVA’s Time to Clear Facial Mud is a great facial scrub that exfoliates and renews your skin to reveal a smoother, softer, more radiant complexion. It clarifies and evens your complexion using dead sea mud to deeply cleanse and stimulate cell renewal. While it also purifies your skin to leave it smooth and clear, this scrub also improves your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, leaving it clarified and hydrated. To remove makeup and impurities everyday, try AHAVA Time to Clear Refreshing Cleansing Gel. To simplify your beauty routine, try AHAVA’s one-step mineral-based cleanser, toner, and makeup remover for face and eyes.
- Cleanses gently while improving moisture
- Helps to firm and tone skin
- Good for combination and sensitive skin
- Helps prevent breakouts
- Not as effective on older or dryer skin types
- Pretty darned spendy
- Scent not appealing to everyone
- May cause rash if used too frequently
3. Best Facial Scrub: La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub Exfoliating Facial Cleanser
La Roche-Posay’s facial scrub smooths and gently exfoliates skin, while respecting its physiological balance. Because some scrubs can be harsh on skin, this cleanser is especially formulated to be suitable for sensitive skin. The exfoliating gel has ultra-fine scrubbing particles to remove dead skin cells and leave your complexion radiant and soft. Its refreshing water-gel texture feels super good on your skin and this cleanser is soap, alcohol and paraben free. Because you shouldn’t use facial scrubs every day, La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Cleanser is a great facial cleansing option on all other days. Be sure to moisturize and protect your freshly exfoliated skin with La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense UV 24-Hour Intense Rehydration Moisturizer.
Price: $13.49 (25 percent off MSRP)
- Gentle enough for sensitive skin
- Provides serious exfoliation
- Leaves skin tingling and refreshed
- Makes your skin smooth and soft
- A bit spendy
- May irritate skin and cause breakouts
- Small amount for the money
4. Best Facial Scrub: Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish Scrub
Fine grains of rice bran combine with bamboo and gentle cleansing agents to create a luxuriously foaming scrub that washes away dry skin. Yu-Be’s formula contains extracts of ginger root and ginseng to tone and balance your skin, while green tea, geranium oil and camphor provide a soothing, refreshing sensation. Use the hugely popular original Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream and Yu-Be Moisturizing Body Lotion after bathing to maximize your skin’s hydration and help improve the overall feel of your skin from head to toe.
- Exfoliates well
- Awesome foamy texture
- Great for face and body
- Herbal ingredients tone and firm skin
- Not as heavily exfoliating as some
- A bit spendy
- Doesn’t contain acne fighting ingredients
- Can be harsh around eye area
5. Best Facial Scrub: Eau Thermale Avène Gentle Purifying Scrub
You’ll reveal a brighter, smoother complexion with the dual exfoliation of this gentle facial scrub. It helps to eliminate surface impurities while it unclogs your pores with the mild exfoliation of non-abrasive beads. This facial scrub is also great at smoothing your skin with the gentle chemical peeling effect of sodium salicylate. Formulated with soothing avène thermal spring water, this scrub is safe for sensitive skin which is a bonus as many can be somewhat harsh. Even better, this facial scrub is paraben-free, oil-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. To gently remove your makeup and the day’s grime everyday, you might also try the creamy, no-rinse Eau Thermale Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser. If you have hyper-sensitive skin, Eau Thermale Avène makes a full cleansing regimen just for you that is gentle, gentle, gentle.
- Great for sensitive skin
- Does double duty as a scrub and gentle facial peel
- Works well on dry or aging skin
- Somewhat expensive
- Can be irritating on hyper-sensitive skin
6. Best Facial Scrub: Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub
Say goodbye to lifeless skin and cell buildup, and banish dullness, with the newest addition to the Mario Badescu line of skin care products. This exfoliating scrub is formulated to refine and perfect your complexion with a unique combination of finely ground Ecuadorian ivory palm seeds and nourishing botanicals including ginger, ginkgo, green tea, aloe, and coconut. This gentle, gel-based formula sloughs off the dulling dead skin cells that can lead to breakouts and cause skin to look aged, helping you to achieve clearer, younger looking, more radiant skin. If you’re looking for something a little more gentle on your skin, you might consider a non-abrasive face scrub to gently exfoliate and refine flaky skin. Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Face Scrub is made with finely ground almonds and cornmeal, natural buffing ingredients that gently remove dead skin cells. If acne is your issue, Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser contains aloe vera and chamomile, two natural ingredients that calm and soothe acne inflamed skin.
- Leaves skin smooth and soft
- Not overly drying
- Works well for back breakouts
- A little goes a long way
- Pretty darned spendy
- Can cause rash if over-used
- May be too rough for sensitive skin
7. Best Facial Scrub: Kale Naturals Bamboo Face Scrub
Kale Naturals Bamboo Face Scrub gently exfoliates and cleanses. It is perfectly formulated for those who desire smoother, youthful skin in one easy step. It is made with bamboo stem powder and natural cleanser, combined with moisturizing and healing aloe, vitamin E, and jojoba that will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. With a spa-inspired wild mint scent, you’ll enjoy an aromatherapy experience along with cleansing. If you care about the planet, a plus for this product is that it doesn’t contain commonly used skincare micro beads (Polyethylene, or PE) found to pollute many lakes and oceans around the world. Wash away post-workout, pore clogging impurities with Kale Naturals Sport 3-in-1 Wash. It creates a thick rich, lather for hair, face and body. Moisturizing elements act to hydrate and refresh your skin. Licorice root and soap bark cleanse and purify, while green tea stimulates and renews your skin and hair. Follow up your cleansing regime with Kale Naturals Daily Face Lotion. It targets fine lines, fights signs of aging and provides essential antioxidants.
- Great product for both women and men
- Refreshing and light
- Chemical free
- Awesome minty scent
- A bit expensive
- Slightly sticky texture
- Small volume for the cost
8. Best Facial Scrub: Rodial Super Acids X-treme After Party Scrub
This three-in-one micro-polish is specially formulated to refine, brighten and renew the appearance of your skin from the very first use. An effective combination of purifying bentonite clay beads and micro-scrub beads roll gently over the skin, buffing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores. Then glycolic and salicylic acids take over, working to deeply cleanse and retexture, diminishing the look of imperfections and smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E and shea butter calm and soften and moisturize your skin, while beneficial biotilys probiotic technology helps to strengthen and protect skin from external toxins by boosting hydration. Your complexion will look instantly re-energized and radiant, plus you’ll notice more even skin tone after regular use. If you’re looking to test out the entire Rodial skincare regimen, try out all the favorites in travel sizes with the Rodial Heroes Collection Kit. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel is a tummy tightening formula that improves the look of that ever-so-difficult belly bulge.
Price: $52 (7 percent off MSRP)
- Effectively exfoliates
- Acid formula helps to even skin tone and fend off toxins
- Diminishes fine lines and wrinkles
- Tones and moisturizes skin
- Formula may be too harsh for sensitive skin
- Super spendy
- May not be effective for everyone
9. Best Facial Scrub: Vernal Advanced Age-Defying Microdermabrasion Scrub
The Vernal Age-Defying Microdermabrasion exfoliating and brightening facial scrub promises an even and bright complexion. This multi-tasking scrub eliminates dirt, oil and blackheads, while it cleanses and minimizes the appearance of pores, all in one step. Natural jojoba seeds deliver a gentle yet powerful exfoliating experience, leaving your skin’s complexion radiant and refreshed without any harsh chemicals. This formula retexturizes your skin’s surface by removing the build-up of dead skin cells, leaving behind a more youthful, smooth complexion. This formula contains pharmaceutical-grade crystals, lactic acid, and skin-soothing botanicals that help to diminish the appearance of fine lines, acne marks, and other skin discolorations. Follow up with Vernal Anti-Aging Moisturizer Cream, to lift and diminish the signs of aging. To target those tricky spots around your eyes, try Vernal Repair Care Eye Gel.
Price: $46.08 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Microdermabrasion beads are more gentle on skin
- Moisturizes while cleansing
- Paraben and sulphate-free
- Improves dark spots and overall skin tone
- Awfully expensive
- Not abrasive enough for some facial scrub aficionados
- Somewhat odd scent
- More difficult than some to fully wash off
10. Best Facial Scrub: Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Scrub
This gentle exfoliating scrub eliminates dead skin cells to restore your skin’s natural radiance and luminosity. It’s infused with a gel-like micro-granulated citric extract that helps smooth the surface of your skin and minimize the appearance of pores. The formula, based on natural botanical and mineral extracts, deep cleanses the skin and provides a clear and even-toned appearance. It also has a deliciously invigorating citric aroma. Natural botanical and mineral extracts deep clean and help promote a more even skin tone. To restore your skin’s healthy glow and protects the lipid barrier, Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Complex is the perfect addition to your beauty routine. Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Cream instantly delivers elasticity and vitality to your skin, while the anti-oxidant power of Vitamin C, together with sunscreen (SPF 10), defends skin against free radicals throughout the day, preventing and reducing dark spots.
- Natural ingredients
- Leaves skin soft and velvety
- Promotes even skin tone
- Delicious citrus aroma
- Really spendy
- Citric extracts may irritate sensitive skin