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11 Skincare Products To Upgrade Your Exfoliating Game

Your skin would have never felt so smooth.

Exfoliation is one of the important steps in skincare, and also one of the most forgotten. Oftentimes people tend to think of cleansing, toning, and moisturising only as basic skincare, but that’s not all. Exfoliating is a step that exists to get rid of dead skin cells, grime, dirt, and skin impurities. 

Exfoliators come in two different types, physical and chemical. The former makes use of contents like microbeads or granules to scrub off the nasties from our skin. Whereas, the latter makes use of acids like AHAs and BHAs, which is commonly formulated into cleansers for a gentler and milder use. 

Most of us looking into exfoliators usually mean physical exfoliators, which is what we’re focusing on today.

Benefits of using a face scrub

Using a face scrub has plenty of upsides for your skin. The first one is skin texture improvement. Our skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 2-4 weeks which can be aggravated by dirt which we face everyday when we go out or even when we are at home. 

Needless to say, our skin can turn rough from dead skin cells. Hence, with the help of a face scrub, all that can be slough off and skin will be clean and smoothened.

Next is moisture absorption improvement. With all that dirt and dead skin cells out of the way, there is nothing standing between your skin and skincare products. Right after using a scrub, your skin is clean and is at its best state to absorb any hydration and moisture from your toners, serums, and moisturisers, leaving you with plump, healthy skin.

Lastly, exfoliating helps to fight the aging process. Everyone gets old eventually, but that’s not to say we can only just sit back and watch it happen, especially when you’re facing premature ageing. 

Understand that a scrub alone cannot contribute to the anti-aging process. But it all links together when you realise exfoliating helps your skin to keep that natural glow by removing those layers of impurities on the skin. This in turn helps your skin to look clear and even more youthful than it is.

Now that we have seen how face scrubs can benefit us, let’s move on to our list of recommended face scrubs for different skin types and scenarios.

Best face scrub for dry and sensitive skin
St. Ives
Check St. Ives Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Face Scrub and Mask price below:
add_circle Suitable for sensitive skin
add_circle Gentle physical scrub
add_circle Dual function as a mask

Used as a 2-in-1 face scrub and mask, the St. Ives Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Face Scrub + Mask softens skin, soothes away dryness, and nourishes the skin to reveal radiance within. 

This scrub is ideal for sensitive skin as it’s made from 100% natural exfoliants like walnut shell powder and is hypoallergenic. Moreover, the use of oatmeal helps to soothe redness in the skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it is dermatologist-tested, cruelty-free and paraben-free. 

What immediately catches the eyes of many is that the scrub is marketed as a face scrub cum mask. And thankfully, many raved about its efficacy. 

Countless of users have fallen in love with this product as it delivers in terms of gentleness despite being a facial scrub. It is also on the milder end on the exfoliating scale which makes it gentle enough even for sensitive skin. 

It is said to work great on reducing acne too, and we have oatmeal to thank for that. However, it does not clear scars. Moreover, the scrub has an added fragrance, so depending on your preferences, this could affect your purchasing decision. All in all, it is a great buy as this facial scrub brings a lot to the table for those with dry and sensitive skin.

Best face scrub for sensitive skin alternative
Check Simple Kind to Skin Facial Scrub price below:
add_circle helps get rid of blackheads
add_circle affordable
add_circle gentle yet effective
remove_circle Not suitable for many other skin types
remove_circle smell can be a turn off for some - chemical smell

This Simple Facial Scrub brings exfoliating to the next level for sensitive skin. With pro-vitamin B5, vitamin E, and rice granules, it works to provide nutrients to the skin while removing dead skin cells. What’s amazing is that this scrub has no added fragrance, no artificial colour or dye, and no harsh chemicals. It certainly lives up to its name —‘Simple’ and ‘Kind to’ the ‘Skin’.

You need not worry about abrasiveness as this scrub exfoliates off the dead skin, dirt, and impurities very gently, leaving you with even skin texture. The scrub is simple, yes, and is also truly effective as some have reviewed its effectiveness in ridding their skin of blackheads too. 

It proves to be a friend in need but falls a little short on the nose area. Not only that, but its gentleness on the skin makes it a holy grail product for those with sensitive skin. With that being said, it proves to be much too gentle for those with other skin types. 

And while it does not have added fragrance, it gives off a chemical smell that puts off some users. Even so, that does not deter them from using it as it gives them results.

Seeing all of that, it is time to get your hands on this affordable facial scrub if you have sensitive skin.

Best face scrub for acne and oily skin
St. Ives
Check St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub price below:
add_circle nice smell
add_circle refreshing
add_circle soft skin
add_circle affordable
add_circle gets all the nook and cranny
remove_circle can be too harsh on some skin

Never heard of the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub? This infamous scrub is among one of the first skincare products recommended to just about anyone starting on their skin journey. Especially for those who have stubborn skin, it gives a deep exfoliation to rid impurities, dead skin cells, and grime. 

Like all of St. Ives’ other scrubs, it is made from 100% natural walnut shell powder as well as natural exfoliants and extracts. It is also non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog up pores; a constant problem for those with acne-prone and oily skin. 

As expected, this scrub is not suitable for those with sensitive skin as it can be too harsh and even cause redness if rubbed too hard on the skin. 

That being said, if it suits your skin, you might just join the huge reviewer base whom expressed their undying support for this facial scrub as it brings such positive results. Positive notes include its nice, fruity smell, how refreshing it feels and how soft the skin is after usage, as well as how it manages to clean every nook and cranny. 

Inexpensive face scrub for the win!

Best face scrub for men
Check Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Scrub price below:
add_circle great pre-shave product
add_circle immediate results
add_circle suitable for all skin types
add_circle smooth texture
add_circle non-drying

Contrary to popular belief, men do have their own skincare routine, albeit slightly different from women’s due to different needs. As many men shave on a daily basis, it can be tough in getting close enough without hurting the skin. Moreover, men skin is thicker compared to women. 

With all those woes that gentle scrubs may not solve, this facial scrub addresses the issues right there. 

The Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub for men does not just exfoliate the skin and cleanses away impurities, oil, and dirt. It also helps to soften facial hair for a more comfortable and closer shave, doing such a great job that it has become a popular favourite. 

In addition, the caffeine in it energises the skin while reducing dullness, whereas its apricot kernel oil ingredient moisturises the skin. Speaking of which, apricot kernel oil is packed with vitamin E, which helps to reduce UV damage.

Men of different skin types ranging from oily and combination to dry and sensitive, cannot speak highly enough of this face scrub. They enjoy using it as a pre-shave as it does what it advertises and they get to see instant results. Other fantastic outcomes they stand by are the wonderful skin texture afterwards and also how non-drying the product is.

It’s hard to find a bad thing to say about it which just proves that it’s time for you to get one for yourself.

Best drugstore face scrub
St. Ives
Check St. Ives Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Facial Scrub price below:
add_circle Moderate level of exfoliating; not too harsh and not too gentle
add_circle Cruelty and paraben free
add_circle Thoroughly cleanses dirt and oil
add_circle Has nice, citrus smell
remove_circle Some have used this for daily wash, but still not recommended

For those who fancy a scrub after a hot day out or just need some freshening up, this scrub by St. Ives will offer a moderate-level of exfoliating those daily dirt and grime off. 

Formulated with pink lemon and mandarin peel extracts, the citrus scrub works to clear dead-skin cells and lighten the skin overall. It’s a great pick-me-up for anyone who doesn’t want an overly strong or mild scrub.

Referring to a popular belief that pink lemons are GMOs; they aren’t. In fact, what gives them their pink hue is the presence of lycopene. It is the same antioxidant in tomatoes which protects the skin from free radicals as well as maintain the skin smoothness. 

Together with St. Ives’ infusion of walnut shell powder and vitamin C found in lemon, this scrub offers anti-aging properties that contributes to lightening dark spots by exfoliating dead skin off.

Most users love the fact that this scrub is gentler compared to the popular Apricot variant. It’s highly favoured for its ability to leave the skin smooth and brighter overall, followed by its nice smell and affordable price.

For your peace of mind, the product is hypoallergenic, paraben and cruelty-free, non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested.

Best face scrub for normal skin
Check Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub price below:
add_circle gentle
add_circle smooth skin
add_circle skincare products apply smoothly after using it
add_circle fresh
add_circle no residue
remove_circle can cause skin bumps and zits
remove_circle strong smell
remove_circle beads don't dissolve

It is time to get luminous skin with Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. This scrub exfoliates, brightens dull skin, and evens out skin tone as well as texture. Made with ingredients like soy extract, jojoba oil, and caster oil that rebalances and clarifies skin, you will be on your way to smooth, moisturised skin.

The feeling of soft skin after using this daily scrub is really what makes it the number one choice for its fans. As it is really gentle on the skin, many have found that it allows for smooth application and better absorption on skincare products after. What’s more, it does not leave any residue on the skin, only freshness.

There have been a few negative comments on the beads in its formulation though, where they do not dissolve as they are made of plastic. And using the face scrub actually caused white bumps and zits on the face, although these are in the minority. Like all other products, one must be careful in selecting skincare. But when it suits you, it’s there for life.

Best face scrub for combination skin
Check Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Scrub Cleanser price below:
add_circle gentle
add_circle foams well
add_circle refreshing smell
add_circle does not strip natural skin oil
remove_circle pricey
remove_circle not for dehydrated skin
remove_circle no plastic microbeads

The Origins Ginzing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser is a 2-in-1 skincare product that acts as a cleanser and an exfoliator. Fortified with ginseng, caffeine, and jojoba oil, it cleanses skin while boosting radiance, exfoliating, and unclogging pores. Also, it perks up your skin with its natural blend of essential oils from grapefruit, lemon, and spearmint. So skin is refreshed, soft and clean all day.

Following all that fruity ingredients are a refreshing citrus smell, and it’s sure to puts you in a good mood upon usage just like most reviewers. This scrub is said to be very gentle and not at all stripping as it leaves the natural oil on your skin untouched for water-oil balance. Moreover, it foams up well and leaves the skin squeaky clean. 

The microbeads in it are sufficient in sloughing off impurities and dead skin cells, although there are those with dehydrated skin who did not react well to this scrub cleanser. That being said, the beads are not made of plastic so it is not as harmful to the skin. 

Now, the price might cause some hesitation when it comes to the decision to purchase it, but results seem to be worth it, as proven by its tremendous reviews. This is indeed a product to get.

Best face whitening (brightening) scrub
First Aid Beauty
Check First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish price below:
add_circle minimise breakouts
add_circle no added fragrance
add_circle instant results
remove_circle pricey
remove_circle unflattering smell

Need a boost in radiance? Containing natural exfoliants is the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish. You can cleanse your face to luminosity as the scrub is made with shea nut shell powder and willow bark extract that gently buffs and polishes the skin. With those ingredients, skin is clarified, soft, and refreshed, leaving a radiant glow.

This scrub has been said to show instant results. One of the more notable results is that the skin is left feeling smooth like a baby’s bottom. Reviewers have also seen their breakouts reduced and more controlled afterwards. Furthermore, there is no added fragrance.

However, the smell is quite intense. Majority of the buyers do not like the smell it gives out as there is no fragrance or perfume added to mask it.

Although advertised as a daily use scrub, it can be too harsh on the skin if doing so, especially for those with eczema and sensitive skin. Many recommend using it every other day or once a week instead of every day as the abrasive scrub can impact the skin negatively and cause more problems in the long run. So use it with caution and care.

Best natural face scrub, second best for whitening/brightening
Mario Badescu
Check Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub price below:
add_circle hydrating, moisturising
add_circle gentle
add_circle great smell
remove_circle mixed reviews on its beads

Made of natural ingredients, the Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub is a mild exfoliator that rids your skin of impurities and dead skin cells. With the sweet scent of strawberries, it is like entering fruity heaven while you get your skin cleansed and refreshed. 

Moreover, strawberries themselves have antioxidants to help fight free radicals and protect the skin from UV damage. Not forgetting, strawberry juice contains an extract to lighten up blemishes, as well as ellagic acid to reduce dark spots on the skin.

Thick and creamy, this scrub has gotten plenty of mixed reviews in terms of its grittiness and beads. For some, it is too harsh on the skin, whereas the rest say that it is almost non-existent to their touch. So depending on your preference, this could be the deciding factor. 

The one thing that these reviewers agree on though is the hydrating and moisturising properties of the scrub. 

Regardless of how effective the exfoliating properties are, they all felt their skin pumped with hydration and moisture. Even if the beads are not harsh enough as a physical exfoliator, they still enjoyed how supple their skin is. Thus, it is still a worthy purchase to be part of your skincare regime.

Best sugar face scrub - natural scrub alternative
Check Fresh Sugar Face Polish price below:
add_circle nice smell
add_circle gentle
add_circle beads dissolves easily
add_circle texture is not too rough on the skin
add_circle fresh like its name
remove_circle not cruelty-free

Created with an innovative formula of brown sugar and real strawberry seeds, the Fresh Sugar Face Polish is made suitable for all skin types. It exfoliates and hydrates at the same time to give supple skin, a radiant complexion, and not to forget, improved skin texture. At the same time, is also nourishes and refines the skin.

This ‘face polish’ smells amazing, a citrus scent, which gives it a good brand image as it is fresh like its name. The beads in the scrub dissolve easily and is said to moisturise the skin well. What people like about this scrub is how gentle it is. Brown sugar can actually be quite rough on the skin, but Fresh has made this gentle formulation that cuts down on the abrasiveness. 

It is, however, not cruelty-free. So if you are among those for cruelty-free products, this might not be for you. Otherwise, it is a superb scrub that can contribute to a lot of your skincare health—a good addition to your skincare routine.

More: Top 9 Korean Facial Cleansers for Your Skincare Routine

Best coffee face scrub
Majestic Pure
Check Majestic Pure Arabica Coffee Scrub price below:
add_circle Great coffee smell
add_circle Soft skin
add_circle Not drying
add_circle Smoothened wrinkles
add_circle Can reduce cellulite
add_circle Useable on body
remove_circle small size, not enough for long-term use if for body
remove_circle very abrasive
remove_circle pricey

The Majestic Pure Arabica Coffee Scrub is a versatile product that can be used all over the body and face. Said to aid in cellulite, spider veins, wrinkles, age spots, and stretch marks, to mention a few, it is truly a wonder product for the skin. And if you’re a coffee lover, this scrub will make your day with its heavenly smell.

Perhaps one of the most excellently reviewed products in the market, it definitely lives up to its name. Many have seen terrific results such as reduced cellulite and spider veins, and smoothened wrinkles. Moreover, it provides a good amount of moisturisation as skin is left feeling very smooth and supple even until the next day.

The only thing that customers are a little dissatisfied with is the size. As it is a scrub meant for the body and face, the amount of product does not last long; in one particular case, the tub emptied after 5 uses. 

This also means that commitment to this scrub can equate an increase in expenditure. Of course, you can always use this just for the face, but it’s costly for both the face and body, something to take note of.

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