15 Best Drugstore Exfoliators For Clean And Clear Skin

by Kirtana Divakar
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With the rising pollution and lifestyle stressors, skin concerns have become more common. Exfoliation is a crucial skin care step, which clears away dead skin cells to prevent dryness and flakiness. It also improves the overall skin tone by boosting collagen and elastin for a luscious, dewy glow. Not only this, but exfoliators also fight skin aging and minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagginess.

There are 2 main exfoliation methods — physical and chemical exfoliators. The former uses granular substances for exfoliation, while the latter uses chemical acids like AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA’s (beta hydroxy acid) to remove dead skin cells. If you are tired of dealing with clogged pores and dull skin and tirelessly looking for an affordable option, you have arrived at the right place! Take a look at our curated list of the 15 best drugstore exfoliators for clean and healthy skin, and choose one that suits your unique skin requirements.

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
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Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
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Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
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Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Facial Scrub
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Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub
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M3 Naturals Charcoal Scrub
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Brickell Renewing Face Scrub
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Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub
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Loreal Paris Smooth Sugars Clearing Scrub
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The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub
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15 Best Drugstore Exfoliator For Glowing Skin In 2021

1. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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. It contains no added chemicals to ensure that it is suitable for all skin types.

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.

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2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

Who wouldn’t love to have smooth and bright skin? Check out Aveeno’s positively radiant exfoliating face scrub, which dramatically reduces the appearance of pores and visibly brightens skin tone. The soy extract in this formula gently cleanses the skin and removes impurities. This drugstore physical exfoliant also contains jojoba oil and castor oil, which improve skin texture for skin that feels clean, soft, and healthy.
Pros

  • Soap-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • May not be suitable for dry skin

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3. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

Have you heard of a skin detox? If not, it is the process of removing impurities like dust, bacteria, excess oil, and grime from your skin. This product from Acure is the best drugstore exfoliating face scrub that detoxifies and softens your skin. Its gentle 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Some may find the scent unpleasant.

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4. Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Facial Scrub

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, it ensures skin is left feeling squeaky clean, without irritating or over-drying your skin.

Pros

  • Dye-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalates-free
  • Super hydrating

Cons

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

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5. Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub

Too many cosmetic products damaging your skin? This product from Clean & Clear is part of the good drugstore exfoliators in the market, which deeply cleanses your 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

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6. M3 Naturals Charcoal Scrub

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 your pores and boosts natural collagen production. This 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • May contain petroleum

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7. Brickell Renewing Face Scrub

To all the men out there, here’s a renewing face scrub from Brickell that is exclusively made for men. With pumice, avocado, and jojoba beads, this scrub works like a charm on any skin type. It unclogs pores, clears dead skin cells, and draws out impurities for skin that feels smooth and healthy. Not only this, but it also works well with oily skin that is prone to blackheads and ingrown hair. Use it as a skin care product or as a pre-shave scrub for a deep cleanse and a smooth shave.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Phthalates-free
  • Contains vitamin E

Cons

  • May not be best suited for sensitive skin

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8. Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub

This dermatologist-recommended exfoliator from Cetaphil is extra gentle on your skin, keeping it moisturized and hydrated. It gently removes dead and dry skin cells and smooths skin texture for bright, clear skin. This exfoliating facial cleanser and scrub 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Might have a strong fragrance

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9. Loreal Paris Smooth Sugars Clearing Scrub

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
  • Quick visible results
  • Can be used for lips
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Might be a little greasy

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10. The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub

Are you looking for a good drugstore exfoliator? The Body Shop’s squeaky clean exfoliating face scrub infused with green tea extracts is specially made for acne-prone skin 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

Cons

  • Contains synthetic fragrances and colors

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11. Bliss Jelly Glow Exfoliating Peel

Are you on the hunt for a gentle exfoliator that not only exfoliates but also keeps your skin hydrated? Give this one by Bliss a shot! 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 drugstore exfoliating face scrubs, 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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12. La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub

Do you have sensitive skin which is prone to rashes and allergies? Don’t miss out on this mild exfoliator by La Roche-Posay! 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, even, and bright complexion. 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

Cons

  • Contains added fragrances

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13. Beauty By Earth Facial Scrub

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. If this wasn’t all, it also includes microdermabrasion crystals, which fights tough acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and breakouts.

Pros

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

Cons

  • May contain an overpowering scent

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14. Touch Microdermabrasion Facial Exfoliator

Here is a good drugstore exfoliator by Touch that embraces all skin types! It is formulated with glycerine, jojoba oil, chamomile extract, aloe extract, and green tea to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. This microdermabrasion scrub contains micro-crystals to cleanse away the worn-out skin cells and delivers fresh, glowing, and younger-looking skin. Besides this, it also treats acne, fine lines, dullness, wrinkles, and blemishes effectively.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Exfoliates gently
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Free of harmful chemicals

Cons

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

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15. TULA So Polished Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

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 and uneven skin tone while effectively clearing hyperpigmentation.

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.

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Choosing the best drugstore exfoliator is essential for your healthy skin as it clears away dead skin cells, boosts collagen, enhances skin elasticity, and adds hydration while also retaining moisture. When looking for the perfect one to add to your skin care routine, opt for toxin-free products that do not contain chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, gluten, mineral oil, alcohol, SLS, sulfates, and silicones. This is to prevent dryness, dullness, and breakouts. Exfoliators with natural ingredients cleanse, hydrate, repair, correct, revitalize, and protect your skin, ensuring that impurities are removed without blocking your pores. So then, what are you waiting for? Go find the best drugstore exfoliator to achieve clean, even and soothing skin!

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Kirtana Divakar

Kirtana developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was a little girl after reading the brilliant works of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. She completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A fashion enthusiast who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about beauty, skin care, fashion, and just about anything else.
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