14 Best Drugstore Exfoliators For Clean And Clear Skin

Rejuvenate and smoothen your skin this season to flaunt flawless looks.

Reviewed by Olunife Ofomata, Licensed Esthetician & Makeup Artist Olunife Ofomata Olunife OfomataLicensed Esthetician & Makeup Artist linkedin_iconyoutube_icon
Written by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Kirtana Divakar MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Exfoliation helps deal with dullness and dryness. Some of the best drugstore exfoliators can deliver impressive results, so you don’t need to break the bank. As skin issues worsen due to pollution and lifestyle factors, you must take proactive measures to maintain healthy skin. Keeping your skin moisturized requires dead skin cell removal. This reduces dryness and flakiness. In addition, you can achieve a bright, bouncy finish with exfoliating since exfoliation encourages collagen and elastin production. They also delay the onset of wrinkles, fine lines, sagginess, and other signs of skin aging.

The two most popular methods of skin exfoliation are physical and chemical exfoliators. The former uses granular materials for the exfoliation method, whereas the latter relies on ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) to do the job. Olunife Ofomata, licensed esthetician and makeup artist, says, “It is important to choose gentle physical exfoliators that do not have large or harsh granular materials in them in order to protect the skin from irritation, inflammation, and potential damage. Harsh granular materials, such as walnut shells or pumice, can be too abrasive on the skin, which can lead to micro-tears or fissures in the skin. This can increase inflammation and invite bacteria into the skin, leading to infection and other complications. Using gentler physical exfoliants that contain small beads or non-abrasive materials can help prevent these issues while still providing effective exfoliation of dead skin cells and cleansing the skin.”

Your search ends here if you’re trying to find a cost-effective way to combat dull skin and blocked pores. Find the right exfoliator for your skin type by browsing our list of the 14 best drugstore exfoliators, with a few backed by reviewer’s experience. Keep scrolling!

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Best Clinically-Proven:Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
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Best Dermatologist-Recommended:Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
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Best Oil-Control Product:Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
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Best Chemicals Free:Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Facial Scrub
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Best Oil-Free Formula:Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub
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Best Lightweight:M3 Naturals Charcoal Scrub
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Best Non-Comedogenic:Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub
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Best Minerals Formula:Loreal Paris Smooth Sugars Clearing Scrub
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Best Acne-Prone Skin:The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub
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Best Hydrated:Bliss Jelly Glow Exfoliating Peel
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14 Best Drugstore Exfoliator For Glowing Skin In 2024

1. Best Clinically-Proven:Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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4.4

Are you looking for a drugstore chemical exfoliant that is soft and gentle on your skin? This leave-on exfoliant from Paula’s choice infused with salicylic acid and skin conditioners might be the right choice. This salicylic acid drugstore exfoliant efficiently diminishes enlarged pores, smooths skin texture, unclogs pores, and exfoliates dead skin cells for clear and radiant skin. The glycol in this formula holds and attracts moisture, while the green tree extracts reduce inflammation. The product is clinically-proven to be gentle and non-irritating on the skin. It contains no added chemicals to ensure that it is suitable for all skin types. However, it is advisable to conduct a test on a small area of your skin to determine the overall effectiveness as people’s experience may differ. Here is the video of a detailed review of testing the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

Also Recommended By:Allure, The Cut, and NailArtGear have also listed Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant in their top 10.[1]The 15 Best Face Exfoliators for Clean Pores and Glowing Skin. Allure. https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-exfoliator-by-skin-type[2]21 Best Face Exfoliators for Soft, Velvety Skin. Thecut. https://www.thecut.com/article/best-face-exfoliators.html
[3]Best Drugstore Facial Exfoliator And Scrub. Nailartgear. https://www.nailartgear.com/best-drugstore-facial-exfoliator-and-scrub/

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Works on all skin types

Cons

  • Some may find the texture of this product to be a bit watered-down.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 67,063 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

2. Best Dermatologist-Recommended:Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
Image: By Aveeno

Who wouldn’t love to have a bright and smooth complexion? Check out the Positively Radiant Exfoliating Face Scrub by Aveeno, a dermatologist-recommended skin care brand, which dramatically reduces the appearance of pores and visibly brightens and treats uneven skin tone. The soy extract in this formula gently cleanses the skin and removes impurities. This drugstore physical scrub also contains jojoba oil and castor oil, which improve skin texture for skin that feels clean, soft, and healthy. Look at this video to learn more about the reviewer’s experience of using Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub.

Pros

  • Soap-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Offers a brightening effect
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • May not be suitable for dry skin

protip_icon Quick Tip
Moisten the face before applying the exfoliating scrub with your fingertips in a circular motion for better cleansing and improved blood circulation.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 33,268 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

3. Best Oil-Control Product:Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
Image: By Acure

Have you heard of a skin detox with results-driven approach? If not, it is the process of removing impurities like dust, bacteria, excess oil, and grime from your skin. This oil-control product from Acure is the best drugstore exfoliating face scrub that detoxifies and softens your skin. Its gentle natural ingredients, walnut shell powder, aloe vera, and acai fruit will give you a refreshing effect after every use. The sea kelp, lemon peel, and French green clay exfoliates dead skin cells, draws out impurities, and purifies your skin, ensuring you are left with brighter, smoother skin. Watch this product testing video for an honest personal review of the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub for complete skin rejuvenation.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Free of mineral oils
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Some may find the scent unpleasant.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 20,854 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
Skin Type Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal Sensitive All
Dimensions 2.52 x 0.75 x 0.75 inches 1.95 x 2.9 x 6.1 inches.-
Weight 1.06 Ounces- 4 Ounces
Weight- 5 ounces -
Dimensions ‏-- ‎1.4 x 1.9 x 6.6 inches
Rating
Reviews67,06333,26820,854
Price$30.99$8.17$7.99

4. Best Chemicals Free:Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Facial Scrub

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Facial Scrub
Image: Palmer’s

Sensitive skin can be a huge problem when it comes to trying out new products. But no, you don’t have to feel left out anymore. This incredible product from Palmer is a heedfully made exfoliator for dry, sensitive skin. Infused with vitamin E, raw coconut oil, and chamomile extracts, this facial scrub naturally exfoliates the skin, attracts, and holds moisture while softening the skin. Free of harmful chemicals, the affordable exfoliator ensures skin is left feeling squeaky clean, without causing skin irritation or over-drying your skin. However, ensure using it after it is tested on a patch (small skin area) to steer clear of any future sensitivities.

Pros

  • Non-irritating
  • Dye-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalates-free
  • Super hydrating
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Some may find that the product has a gritty texture that might cause micro-tears.

5. Best Oil-Free Formula:Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub

Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub
Image: By Clean & Clear

Too many cosmetic products damaging your skin? This skincare product from Clean & Clear is part of the good drugstore exfoliators in the market, which deeply cleanses and reduces the appearance of pores, removes oil and makeup, and cleanses skin for clear skin. This oil-free formula is enriched with glycerin and hydrates the skin to generate a tingly cooling effect on your skin, making it a must-have addition to your daily skin care routine.

Pros

  • Unclogs pores
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Gentle exfoliating beads
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Contains sulfate

6. Best Lightweight:M3 Naturals Charcoal Scrub

M3 Naturals Charcoal Scrub
Image: By M3 Naturals

Here comes the ultimate cleansing charcoal scrub from M3 naturals. This natural drugstore exfoliator with dead sea salts, collagen, activated charcoal, kukui nut, and stem cells cleanses the clogged pores and boosts natural collagen production. This deep cleansing scrub is also infused with aloe extract, coconut oil, stearic acid, and spinach extracts to combat signs of skin aging and reduce skin imperfections like acne, blackheads, and stretch marks. Apply and gently rub in a circular motion to pore minimization to offer an even skin texture.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Detoxifies skin
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Improves skin health dramatically

Cons

  • May contain petroleum

protip_icon Pro Tip
Always apply a moisturizer for smooth skin after rinsing off the scrub. Repeat the process twice a week.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has made it to our top favorite list with more than 11,743 rave reviews on Amazon.

7. Best Non-Comedogenic:Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub

Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub
Image: By Cetaphil

This dermatologist-recommended exfoliator from Cetaphil is extra gentle on your skin, keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized. Ideal for daily exfoliation, it gently removes dead and dry skin cells and smooths skin texture for bright, clear skin This exfoliating facial cleanser and scrub is clinically-tested and proven to be non-irritating, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic. It contains citric acid, vitamin B5, and vitamin E to dissolve skin impurities and target dark spots, pigmentation, and uneven skin tone and texture. Within no time, it cleanses your skin without drying it. It is best recommended to check the product efficacy by conducting a test on a small skin area.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non comedogenic
  • Micro fines particles
  • Clinically-tested
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Might have a strong fragrance

8. Best Minerals Formula:Loreal Paris Smooth Sugars Clearing Scrub

Loreal Paris Smooth Sugars Clearing Scrub
Image: By L’Oréal Paris

What can be more effective than a classic sugar scrub exfoliant? Loreal paris’ smooth sugar clearing scrub is one of the best drugstore exfoliators you’ll find. With cymbopogon schoenanthus, peppermint oil, and kiwi seed extracts this clearing scrub purifies and unclog pores gently. The combination of white, brown, and blonde sugars rich in minerals in this formula exfoliates skin efficiently.

Pros

  • Tightens pores
  • Rinses off easily
  • Offers visible results
  • Can be used for lips
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Might be a little greasy

9. Best Acne-Prone Skin:The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub

The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub
Image: By The Body Shop

Are you looking for a professional-grade drugstore scrub with proven efficacy for gentle exfoliation? The Body Shop’s squeaky clean exfoliating face scrub infused with green tea extracts is specially made for acne-prone skin and is one of the best ones in the market. From the foothills of Mount Kenya, pure tea tree oil is extracted and added to this fine formula along with castor oil to give you smooth and glowing skin. The fair-traded ingredients in the formula battle acne and excess oil to ensure soft, clear, healthy skin.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Offers visible results
  • Aids in acne prevention
  • Suitable for oily skin

Cons

  • Contains synthetic fragrances and colors

10. Best Hydrated:Bliss Jelly Glow Exfoliating Peel

Bliss Jelly Glow Exfoliating Peel
Image: By Bliss

Are you on the hunt for an exfoliator that not only exfoliates but also keeps your skin hydrated? Give this one by Bliss a shot for a good hydration boost! Formulated with glycerine, coconut extracts, lavender oil, and niacinamide, it rejuvenates your skin and seals in moisture to avoid dehydration. The non-abrasive agents such as pineapple and papaya enzymes prevent dead skin cells without causing any rashes or irritation. Considered one of the best professional-grade drugstore exfoliating face scrubs for dead skin removal, it is free of harsh chemicals.

Pros

  • SLS-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Might not yield immediate results
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 3,295 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

11. Best Sensitive Skin:La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub

La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub
Image: By La Roche-Posay

Do you have sensitive skin which is prone to rashes and allergies? Don’t miss out on an effective and mild exfoliation by La Roche-Posay with proven efficacy against such skin issues! With its fine pumice particles, this scrubbing cleanser enriched with glycerine removes dirt, grime, impurities, and dead skin cells from your skin, delivering a neat and even skin tone. If you want to achieve purified, smooth, and healthy skin, this one’s for you!

Pros

  • Mild formula
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Retains moisture
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • Contains added fragrances

12. Best Natural Ingredients:Beauty By Earth Facial Scrub

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4.4
Exfoliating Face Scrub & Exfoliating Face Wash (2 in 1) - Face Exfoliator Scrub, Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub, Exfoliating Scrub in Natural Face Wash Base, Facial Exfoliator, Exfoliante Para La Cara? 4 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Beauty By Earth

Pamper your skin with this 2-in-1 cleanser and scrub that offers multiple skin benefits! Powered with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, blueberry, pomegranate, chamomile, peppermint, and vitamin E, it effectively washes away dead skin cells, dirt, and oil. It also attracts and locks in moisture to your moisture-deprived skin, resulting in glowing skin. If this wasn’t all, it also includes microdermabrasion crystals, which fights tough acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and breakouts.

Pros

  • Gentle formulation
  • Vegan
  • 100% natural
  • Repairs skin
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Offers visible results
  • Gentle formulation
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • May contain an overpowering scent

13. Best For Wrinkles:Touch Microdermabrasion Facial Exfoliator

Touch Microdermabrasion Facial Exfoliator
Image: By Touch

Here is a good drugstore facial exfoliator by Touch that embraces all skin types! It is formulated with clinically-proven ingredients like glycerine, jojoba oil, chamomile extract, aloe extract, and green tea to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. This microdermabrasion scrub for dull skin contains micro-crystals that offer visible results to cleanse away the worn-out skin cells and deliver fresh, glowing, and younger-looking radiant skin. Besides, this product can treat acne, fine lines, dullness, and blemishes effectively, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Exfoliates gently
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Made with clinically-proven ingredients
  • Free of harmful chemicals

Cons

  • Some may find that the consistency of this product is slightly greasy.

14. Best Mild Formula:TULA So Polished Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

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4.6
TULA Skin Care So Polished Exfoliating Sugar Scrub | Face Scrub, Gently Exfoliates with Sugar, Papaya, and Probiotic Extracts for a Softer and Radiant-Looking Complexion | 2.9 oz. Image: Tula

Check out this nourishing and revitalizing sugar scrub which leaves your skin soft and clean! With candelilla wax, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit, the mild formula washes away dirt and impurities from your skin. The best part about this gentle exfoliating cleanser is that it delivers softness, radiance, and evenness to your skin. The lactic acid helps in correcting age spots, acne scars, and uneven skin tone while effectively clearing hyperpigmentation. However, make sure to patch-test this scrub before usage to avoid potential reactions.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Free of mineral oil
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • The sugar might dissolve quickly.
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Infographic: How To Choose The Best Drugstore Exfoliators

A good exfoliator is one of the best products to regain your skin’s natural glow. It penetrates deep into your skin and removes unwanted dirt, grime, and pollutants. So, include an exfoliator in your skin care routine and achieve healthy, clear skin. Check out the infographic to understand what to consider when selecting a formula for your skin type. Scroll down for more information.

How To Choose The Best Drugstore Exfoliators (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Removing dead skin cells and dirt from the skin’s surface is called exfoliation. Unlike traditional scrub exfoliators, drugstore exfoliators contain granular material and acids like AHA, salicylic, and BHA that penetrate deep into the skin to remove impurities from the blocked pores. The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is suitable for all skin types, while the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub is a great choice for those who want to focus on getting a radiant complexion. However, if you are looking for a gentle formulation especially suited for sensitive skin, try the La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub. Adding them to your skincare routine will help improve collagen production and reduce the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, they help in improving skin elasticity. Most of the drugstore exfoliators on our list are cruelty-free, vegan, and paraben-free. However, some exfoliators may have an overpowering fragrance. Therefore, it is best to test these beforehand to keep skin irritation at bay! The product reviews will help you choose what AHAs and BHAs exfoliators suit your skin type.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Kirtana Divakar, the author of this article, is a skin care enthusiast. She loves to explore various skin care products, and her extensive research helps her compile a list of products from which readers can easily choose. The best drugstore exfoliators are curated after thorough research and reading many online reviews. She says that exfoliation is a key step in a skin care routine, and one should invest in the best exfoliator to reap the benefits of a skin care regime.


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Olunife Ofomata

Olunife OfomataLicensed Esthetician & Makeup Artist

Olunife Ofomata, founder and CEO of Sweeter Juice Skin, is an expert in the fields of esthetics, medical esthetics, and makeup artistry with over 14 years of experience. She is a licensed esthetician and certified makeup artist and obtained her makeup and esthetics education from Makeup Designory in Soho, NYC and Long Island Nail & Skin Care Institute. She also...read full bio

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