14 Best Exfoliators For Your Face: Scrubs, Cleansers, And Gels

by Harini Natarajan
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When it comes to skin care, cleansing is the key to having good and moisturized skin. While a cleanser can help you remove everyday dirt and grime, it cannot help with dead skin cells. What you need is an exfoliator. Exfoliators come in the form of scrubs, cleansers, and gels. In this article, we look at the 14 top exfoliators for the face. Read on to know more!

Products
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M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub
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Era Organics Revive+ Microdermabrasion Mask
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Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub
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Touch Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub and Face Exfoliator
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St. Botanica 24K Gold Face Scrub
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Plum Chamomile & White Tea Brighten Up Face Scrub
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Philosophy Micro delivery Exfoliating Wash
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Clean & Clear Deep Action Oil-Free Exfoliating Face Scrub
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Teami Matcha Green Tea Face Scrub
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Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
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Organic Facial Scrub by Herbal Choice Mari
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14 Best Exfoliators For Your Face

1. Best Overall: M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub

The M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub contains Dead Sea salts to cleanse impurities from your skin. The scrub is infused with collagen and stem cells to increase skin cell longevity and provide anti-aging benefits. It removes unwanted toxins, dirt, pollution, and bacteria from the pores and helps balance the pH level of the skin. It helps reduce pore size, acne, blackheads, cellulite, stretch marks, and scars. It is cruelty-free. This exfoliating scrub leaves the skin feeling moisturized and fresh.

The scrub contains activated charcoal, Dead Sea salts, collagen, fruit stem cell, coconut oil, aloe vera, jojoba oil, and spinach. Activated charcoal traps chemicals and prevents them from being absorbed into the skin. Dead Sea salts are mineral-rich and can reduce skin issues, like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Collagen helps rejuvenate the skin and repair damaged skin tissues. It also protects the skin from free radicals. Fruit stem cells are rich in antioxidants, and they increase cell turnover and collagen production. Coconut oil is a great emollient and moisturizes the skin. Aloe vera is also a good emollient and has antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Jojoba oil contains vitamins B and E and minerals. Spinach also helps hydrate the skin.

Apply the scrub on damp skin. Massage it in with a circular scrubbing motion. You can also use a body brush to increase the scrubbing effects and increase stimulation. Rinse it off. This exfoliating scrub can be used on the face and body too.

Ingredients

Dead Sea Salt, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Emulsifying Wax NF, Stearic Acid, Aleurites moluccana (Kukui Nut) Oil, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Extract, Activated Charcoal, Xanthan Gum, All Natural Fragrance Blend, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract.

Pros

  • Makes the skin soft and smooth
  • Creamy lather
  • Minimizes pores
  • Hydrates and moisturizes the skin
  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • Reduces wrinkles 

Cons

  • May be difficult to wash off.
  • May not suit sensitive skin.

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2. Best Microdermabrasion For Dry, Dull And Sensitive Skin: Era Organics Revive+ Microdermabrasion Manuka Honey & Walnut Scrub & Mask

The Era Organics Revive+ Microdermabrasion Manuka Honey & Walnut Scrub & Mask is suitable for dull, dry, and sensitive skin types. It removes blackheads and dead skin cells, exfoliates dull skin, minimizes and cleans pores, and moisturizes your skin. This scrub gently loosens dirt, grime, and dull skin. It also nourishes the skin cells, repairs damaged skin, and fades stretch marks and acne scars. It makes the skin soft and youthful. You can leave the scrub on as a facial mask. It helps balance the skin tone and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. The scrub uses minerals and vitamins that heal the skin and restore it. It also has anti-aging ingredients that keep the skin youthful.

The scrub uses natural ingredients like aloe vera, manuka honey, walnut, and vitamin C.  Aloe vera has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that protect and soothe the skin. Manuka honey hydrates the skin and increases cellular recovery. It also prevents aging and boosts collagen production. Canola oil has a high omega-3 content that makes the skin smoother. In the place of microbeads, this scrub uses walnut shell, which exfoliates the skin and removes old and dead skin cells. Orange oil is antifungal, anti-aging, and antibacterial. It is also rich in vitamin C, which protects the skin and treats acne. Cehami has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and has also been proved to be thrice more effective than aspirin as an analgesic.

The scrub is for all skin types. You don’t require a micro dermabrasion machine to use it. Massage the scrub on your face for a few minutes and then rinse it off. If you want to use it as a mask, leave it on for 5-10 minutes.

Ingredients

Organic Aloe Barbadensis Gel (Aloe Vera), Emulsifying Wax, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), PPG3 Caprylyl Ether, Leptospermum Scoparium Mel (Manuka Honey), Lecithin, Oat Amino Protein, Organic Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Oil, Cehami (Centipeda Cunninghamii), Phenoxyethanol.

Pros

  • Makes the skin soft and smooth
  • Removes blackheads
  • Reduces ingrown hair
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin 

Cons

  • May cause breakouts or an allergic reaction.

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3. Best Pore Refining: Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub

The Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub can be used as a face wash, cleanser, acne treatment, and exfoliator. The scrub clears the skin and is specifically made for acne-prone skin. It is formulated with 99% natural ingredients. It soothes irritated skin and redness. The scrub contains salicylic acid naturally obtained from willow bark. This helps reduce acne breakouts and results in clearer skin. It also contains jojoba beads and a fruit acid complex that gently exfoliate dead skin and make your skin smooth and clear. This scrub is non-comedogenic and tested by dermatologists.

The scrub contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that replenish the skin. It renews the skin and nourishes the new cells. It enhances the skin texture by making it smooth, bright, and refreshed. It is clinically proven to rejuvenate dead skin cells and refine the appearance of pores without over drying or irritating the skin.

Pros

  • Softens the skin
  • Makes the skin smooth
  • Cleanses the pores
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free 

Cons

  • Packaging issues

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4. Touch Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub and Face Exfoliator

The Touch Micro dermabrasion facial scrub exfoliates the skin with micro crystals infused in the moisturizing cream. It leaves the skin polished, smooth, and glowing. It reduces wrinkles, dullness, blemishes, acne scars, and blackheads and minimizes the size of pores. The alumina micro crystals are finely ground with even edges to gently exfoliate the skin. The scrub helps even out the skin tone and tightens pores.

The scrub contains chamomile, green tea, and aloe vera extracts that protect the skin with their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hydrating properties. It also contains allantoin, which has healing properties and can stimulate the growth of healthy tissues. The scrub improves skin elasticity and enhances the absorption of skin care products.

This cruelty-free scrub is suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone, dry, oily, and combination skin. It does not contain irritating acids but only moisturizing non-comedogenic agents. It is an anti-aging face exfoliator. It does not contain artificial coloring, parabens, sulfates, or drying alcohols.

Ingredients

Purified Water, Alumina, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Jojoba Oil, Allantoin, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Magnesium Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance.

Pros

  • Makes the skin soft
  • Cleanses and minimizes pores
  • Reduces blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Improves skin elasticity
  • Enhances absorption of skin care products
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Alcohol-free 

Cons

  • May cause breakouts

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5. St. Botanica 24K Gold Face Scrub

St. Botanica 24K Gold Face Scrub is the best anti-aging and skin-brightening scrub. It is infused with 24K gold, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol, hydrolyzed collagen, walnut shell granules, and natural oils. This skin-firming scrub helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is formulated with a blend of skin-loving nutrients that act against blemishes, blackheads, in-grown hairs, and blocked pores.

24K gold is the main ingredient in this scrub that imparts an opulent and radiant glow to your skin. It also locks in moisture to give you ultra-hydrated skin. Gold has anti-inflammatory properties that treat acne and swelling to leave your skin nourished and hydrated. Retinol repairs and defends your skin from free radicals and promotes skin cell renewal. Hydrolyzed collagen is another important ingredient that helps maintain skin elasticity and improves moisture levels. The pure and cold-pressed oils in it – like argan and jojoba oils – revitalize and hydrate your skin and fight the signs of aging.

Ingredients

Walnut Granules, Glycerin, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl phosphate), Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Retinol (Vitamin A), Hydrolyzed Collagen, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid (Cassia Hyaluronate 1% Soln), Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) Essential Oil, Vitamin E, Golden Virgin Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) Cold Pressed Oil, Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) Leaf Extract, Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) Leaf Extract, Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) Leaf Extract, Bisabolol Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, 24k Gold Pure, Organic Moroccan Argan (Argania Spinosa) Cold Pressed Oil.

Pros

  • Anti-aging formula
  • Promotes skin renewal
  • Improves skin elasticity
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Minimizes blackheads and blocked pores
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Imparts a youthful glow
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Packaging defects

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6. Plum Chamomile & White Tea Brighten Up Face Scrub

Plum Chamomile & White Tea Brighten Up Face Scrub is an antioxidant-rich face scrub. It scrubs away dirt and dullness to reveal a brighter side of your skin. This face scrub is enriched with antioxidant-rich botanical extracts that leave your face looking brighter, fresher, and healthier.

It is infused with chamomile extract, white tea, and sunflower oil that soothe sun-exposed skin with phytonutrients. It acts against free radicals that cause oxidative damage and helps your skin bounce back. The cellulose beads and walnut powder balance out the scrubbing. It also contains aloe that soothes stressed skin. It removes all dead skin cells without drying out your skin, making it perfect for dry, normal, and combination skin types.

Ingredients

Water or Aqua, Sunflower Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Walnut Shell Powder, Cellulose Beads, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Glycerine, Titanium Dioxide, Polysorbate-80, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyglycerine, Aloe Vera Juice, Chamomile Flower Extract, White Tea Leaf Extract, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, and Rooibos Leaf Extract.

Pros

  • Long-lasting moisturization
  • Scrubs away dead skin cells
  • Revives sun-exposed skin
  • Balanced exfoliation
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • SLS-free
  • No harmful ingredients

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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7. Philosophy Micro delivery Exfoliating Wash

The Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash uses a unique sulfate-free formula that is gentle enough for daily use. The mild exfoliating wash can be used as a facial cleanser. It is designed to cleanse and replenish the skin. It also provides resurfacing benefits, like stimulating collagen for firmer skin, improving skin texture, and evening out the skin tone. It also minimizes acne scars and fine lines and prevents sun damage. It may also help treat skin lesions. Apply two to three pumps of the wash on slightly damp skin. Massage it in for 30-60 seconds. Follow it up with moisturizer and needed treatment.

Ingredients

Water (aqua), decyl glucoside, sodium cocoyl apple amino acids, diatomaceous earth, acrylates⁄steareth-20 methacrylate crosspolymer, glycerin, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, borago officinalis seed oil, phytosterols, tocopherol, tocotrienols, squalene, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, panthenol, sodium magnesium silicate, tetrasodium edta, sodium hydroxide, citric acid, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone.

Pros

  • Makes the skin soft and smooth
  • Sulfate-free
  • Resurfacing benefits
  • Gentle 

Cons

  • The bottle is difficult to squeeze.

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8. Clean & Clear Deep Action Oil-Free Exfoliating Face Scrub

The Clean & Clear Deep Action Oil-Free Exfoliating Face Scrub helps clean the pores and exfoliates the skin’s surface to remove oil, dirt, and makeup. It was made to invigorate and refresh the skin. The scrub is made from a unique oil-free formula and does not contain plastic micro beads. It rinses your skin clean without clogging the pores. It soothes the skin and leaves it feeling soft and fresh. It is suitable for oily, normal, and combination skin types. When you apply it on your face, it provides a tingly, cooling sensation, which revitalizes the skin.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Oil-free
  • Does not clog pores
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • No plastic microbeads 

Cons

  • May cause breakouts
  • Does not exfoliate much 

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9. Best Green Tea Ex foliator: Teami Matcha Green Tea Face Scrub

The Teami Matcha Green Tea Face Scrub is gentle and non-abrasive. It exfoliates the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. It contains matcha green tea extract, lemon grass, and sugar. The matcha green tea extracts help fight acne, reduce the size of pores and blemishes, and purify the skin from within. Sugar stimulates new skin generation and improves the complexion. Lemongrass cleanses the skin deeply, removing dirt, dust, and greasy residue. It also unclogs the pores.

This scrub removes makeup residue and dead skin cells, leaving the skin looking cleaner. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines, brightens the skin, and hydrates it. It is non-greasy and can be used by men and women. The scrub is vegan-friendly, 75% organic, non-GMO, and free of chemicals and artificial fragrances. It helps reduce spots, skin imperfections, large pores, and blemishes and balance the skin tone and pH level. It can also be used as a body scrub.

Apply the scrub on damp skin and massage it in circular motions. It turns into a creamy lather, and the oils get absorbed into the skin. The skin is left hydrated, smooth, bright, and even-toned. Use it twice or four times a week for best results.

Ingredients

Sucrose (Cane Sugar), Glycerin (Vegetable Based), Aqua (Distilled Water), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Matcha Green Tea), Sorbitol, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Prunus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil), Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Green Tea & Lemongrass Botanical Essence, Chromium Oxide.

Pros 

  • Non-abrasive
  • Non-greasy
  • Vegan
  • Brightens and rejuvenates your skin
  • Gentle
  • Cruelty-free 

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin.
  • May cause breakouts

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10. Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

The Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser removes makeup and impurities from deep within the skin. This cleanser can also be used as an exfoliating mask. It contains strawberry seed oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and tomato extracts, which strengthen the skin. These ingredients also firm and protect the skin, leaving it hydrated and glowing. It brightens the skin and smoothes uneven skin tone. It also removes waterproof makeup like eyeliners. It is suitable for all skin types.

Apply the cleanser on damp skin and massage it in. Rinse it off with water. Wipe it off with a cotton ball or pad to remove makeup. Follow it up the CoQ-10 Toner. This cleanser doesn’t contain parabens, aluminium, petrolatum, BHA, BHT, phthalates, coal tar dyes, siloxane, DEA, MEA, & TEA, sulfates, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrance, talc, mineral oil, nanoparticles, and triclosan.

Ingredients

Purified Water (Aqua), Decyl Glucoside (Veg. Oils & Sugar), Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, Coco Glucoside (Coconut and Sunflower Oil), Glyceryl Oleate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Xanthan Gum, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Lycopene (Tomato), 1,3 propanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate.

Pros 

  • Makes the skin soft
  • Gentle
  • Firms and protects the skin
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Talc-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • No nanoparticles 

Cons

  • Contains gluten
  • May dry out the skin

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11. Organic Facial Scrub by Herbal Choice Mari

The Organic Facial Scrub by Herbal Choice Mari removes the dead skin cells and deeply cleanses the skin. It minimizes pores, leaving the skin smooth. The scrub is made with pure and organic ingredients like organic olive oil and she a butter that moisturize the skin and impart an even glow to it. It also contains grape seed extract that firms the skin, reduces wrinkles, and helps repair damaged skin. It also protects the skin from sun damage. It contains vitamin E that makes your skin look youthful.

The scrub converts dry, rough, and damaged skin into soft, smooth, and hydrated skin. It does not use microbeads, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, alcohol, or any synthetic ingredients that aggravate sensitive skin. It is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. Apply a quarter-size dollop of the scrub and gently massage it onto the skin. Once massaged in, rinse it off thoroughly.

Pros

  • Deeply cleanses the skin
  • Minimizes pores
  • Made with pure, organic ingredients
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • No synthetics
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free 

Cons

  • The product is hard to dispense from the jar

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12. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Exfoliating Facial Scrub

The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Exfoliating Facial Scrub uses natural milk exfoliants, crushed walnut shells, and cocoa powder to gently exfoliate the skin. It also contains evening primrose that hydrates and soothes the skin. It contains cocoa butter, coconut oil, she a butter, olive oil, and vitamin E. The butters and oils exfoliate skin and make it glowing, soft, and nourished. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that prevent blemishes and early aging.

The scrub leaves the skin smooth and bright. It also increases the absorption of other skin care products. It hydrates and moisturizes the skin. The micro-fine crushed cocoa beans exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells to leave the skin feeling smooth and younger. Apply the scrub to clean and damp skin in circular motions. Wash it off after a minute or two.

Ingredients

Water, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydropropylsulfonate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycerin, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Stearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Fragrance (Parfum), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leal Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Lactose, PVP, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Acetate, Cellulose, Methylisothiazolinone, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool.

Pros

  • Makes skin smoother and brighter
  • Enhances the absorption of other skin care products
  • Gentle
  • High-quality, plant-based ingredients 

Cons

  • Not suitable for acne-prone skin.
  • May be harsh for sensitive skin

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13. Best Exfoliating Gel: Le Mieux Exfoliating Cleansing Gel

The Le Mieux Exfoliating Cleansing Gel is an oil-free deep pore cleanser that is infused with natural salicylic and lactic acids that remove blemishes. They also prevent new breakouts by removing excess oil and dead skin cells. It contains 13 botanical extracts that soothe and restore balance to the skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, which provide the moisturizing base for this clarifying deep clean gel. It does not contain thickeners, binders, fillers, sulfates, or parabens and is cruelty-free. It is made specifically for combination skin and oily and blemish-prone skin.

Apply a small amount of the gel and massage it onto your skin gently, allowing it to lather nicely. Massage it in circular motions. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Use the gel twice a day for best results.

Pros 

  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • No thickeners, binders, or fillers
  • Contains 13 botanical extracts
  • Prevents new breakouts
  • Lathers well 

Cons

  • Packaging issues 

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14. Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

The Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser is a gentle exfoliator that purifies and smoothes the skin with natural botanicals. It uses orange extract to purify and firm the skin. Orange contains vitamin C, which helps in collagen production that firms and tightens skin. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps keep the skin young and prevents aging and damage due to free radicals. The cleanser enhances the skin’s softness and improves suppleness. It protects skin and preserves its natural pH balance.

Pros 

  • Gentle
  • Makes skin soft and supple
  • Refreshing smell
  • Suitable for daily use 

Cons

  • Some skin types may develop an allergic reaction

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That’s our list of the top 12 exfoliators for your face. Remember, it is very important to keep your skin protected and clean. Dirt can damage the skin and the clog pores, making the skin age faster. These cleansing face exfoliators help keep your skin youthful and radiant. Pick any of these products and include them in your regular skin care regimen for best results.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the difference between exfoliators and cleansers?

Cleansers are meant to remove dirt, makeup, and grime that clog pores. They also remove any bacteria on the skin. They can be used on an everyday basis.

Exfoliators remove the layer of dead skin cells along with impurities that clog your pores. They reveal a new smoother and younger layer of skin cells. Exfoliators are often used once or twice a week.

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Harini Natarajan

Harini has over 12 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of business, health and wellness, and lifestyle and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). As the Chief Editor, Harini ensures that her team delivers interesting, engaging, and authentic content. Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.
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