15 Best Face Exfoliators For Oily Skin To Brighten Your Complexion

by Priyanka S
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Natural oil acts as a skin barrier. But excess of it can cause the build-up of impurities and other issues like breakouts. While regularly cleansing, toning, and moisturizing may help, oily skin needs something more. An exfoliator specifically meant for oily skin can help. It not only sloughs away dead skin but also removes excess oil and grime by unclogging the pores. It even reduces the frequency of breakouts (a problem quite common to oily skin).

Here we have listed the 15 best exfoliators specifically meant for oily skin. Take a look!

ProdcutCheck Price
St Ives Blackhead Clearing Face ScrubCheck Price
Best Affordable Exfoliator: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial ScrubCheck Price
AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating ScrubCheck Price
DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Facial ScrubCheck Price
Unique Leave-On Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Facial ExfoliantCheck Price
Neutrogena Deep Clean Shine Control Daily ScrubCheck Price
L’Oreal Paris Pure-Sugar ScrubCheck Price
Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating CleanserCheck Price

15 Best Exfoliators For Oily Skin

1. St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Face Scrub

The St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Face Scrub is made with 100% natural exfoliators. These offer a deep cleanse by unclogging the pores. This is a multi-award winning classic scrub infused with Chinese green tea leaves, walnut shell powder, and handpicked apricots from California and North Africa. The active ingredient in the scrub is 1% salicylic acid that helps heal acne, relieve redness and pain, and remove blackheads.

The epigallocatechin galette (EGCG) in the scrub is an antioxidant. It protects the skin from environmental aggressors. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea reduce redness and irritation, and are effective in treating acne scars. The polyphenols in green tea reduce excess sebum formation and help prevent acne. The walnut shell powder with apricot fruit extract gently exfoliates the skin for a clean, glowy appearance.

Pros

  • Dermatologically approved
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Made with 100% natural exfoliators
  • Oil-free formula
  • Absorbs oil and dirt
  • Clears blackheads
  • Relieves acne
  • Smells great
  • Provides instant nourishment

Cons

  • May roughen your skin
  • The smell could be too strong

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2. Best Affordable Exfoliator: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Scrub

The Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Scrub is a gentle exfoliator, cleanser, and clarifier that rebalances skin tone, smoothens texture, and nourishes the skin. The invigorating formula is infused with moisture-rich soy extract and naturally derived granules that remove excess oil and impurities from the skin’s surface. The scrub stimulates the production of natural hyaluronic acid in the skin that fights the signs of aging, seals in moisture, and improves skin elasticity. The fatty acids in hydrogenated castor oil and jojoba oil restore the skin’s natural tone.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Soap-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gentle skin exfoliator
  • Evens skin tone and texture
  • Brightens dull skin
  • Gentle enough for everyday use
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Improves natural radiance

Cons

  • Sensitive to eyes
  • May cause skin irritation

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3. AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Scrub

The AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Scrub is a charcoal gel-based formula that contains maximum strength 2% salicylic acid. This acid helps minimize breakouts. The scrub also contains natural jojoba oil that further nourishes skin. Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble exfoliator that helps treat acne and blackheads, clears skin debris, and penetrates deep into the pores and tightens skin. The activated charcoal penetrates into the inner layers of the skin to absorb excess oil, dirt, and impurities. It also unclogs pores. The jojoba oil provides hydrating and soothing benefits. The fragrance-free scrubber reduces irritation and deep cleanses the pores.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Tightens pores
  • Absorbs excess sebum
  • Minimizes breakouts
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Heals acne symptoms
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Smoothens skin
  • Gentle for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

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4. DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub

The DRMTLGY Microabrasion Facial Scrub is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that buffs away dead cells from the outer surface of the skin. It also reduces fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This micro-abrasive formula contains glycolic acid derived from sugar cane, apple fruit, lemon, and green tea extract. Sugarcane extract is a natural humectant, and the glycolic acid in it removes dead skin cells. It also extracts dirt and impurities by unclogging the pores.

Apple fruit extract is rich in antioxidants. It contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that gently exfoliate the skin and enhance the regeneration of new skin cells. It is packed with vitamins B5 and B9 to combat acne and inflammation. The green tea leaves are naturally rich in antioxidants and protect the skin from oxidative damage. They also reduce puffy eyes, dark circles, and delay the signs of aging. The lemon fruit extract enhances skin clarity and imparts a natural glow.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Oil-free
  • Hormone-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Gluten-free
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Improves skin tone and complexion
  • Increases skin elasticity
  • Reduces acne scarring
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Tightens enlarged pores
  • Lightens melasma
  • Easy to apply
  • Gentle on oily skin
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May dry skin out

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5. Unique Leave-On Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Facial Exfoliant

The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Facial Exfoliant contains 2% BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that imparts a natural glow to the skin. The key ingredients infused in this liquid exfoliant are salicylic acid and green tea extract. Salicylic acid is a gentle exfoliant that removes dead skin cells by providing gentle exfoliation. It helps unclog pores, removes oil, grime, and impurities, and reduces enlarged pores to tighten the skin. This leave-on skin-perfecting exfoliant reduces acne scars and inflammation and removes blackheads. The green tea extract is a popular antioxidant that exhibits anti-aging properties. Use this scrub twice daily for brighter, softer, younger-looking skin.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Contains 2% BHA
  • No artificial fragrance
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Unclogs pores
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Protects from sun damage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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6. Neutrogena Deep Clean Shine Control Daily Scrub

The Neutrogena Deep Clean Shine Control Daily Scrub absorbs excess oil, dirt, and impurities for a brighter, healthier skin. This dermatologist-recommended, award-winning, and oil-free formula deeply cleanses the skin and absorbs over 85% of the built-up oil. The key ingredients used in the scrub are rice protein and salicylic acid. The hydrolyzed rice protein retains skin moisture. It is an effective anti-irritant. The salicylic acid clears acne scars and reduces blemishes.

Pros

  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Controls shine for full 8 hours
  • Deeply cleanses
  • Absorbs over 85% of surface oil
  • Makes skin breathable
  • Controls shine

Cons

  • May contain plastic microbeads

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7. L’Oreal Paris Pure-Sugar Scrub

The L’Oreal Paris Pure-Sugar Scrub comes with a rich, buttery exfoliating formula. It contains a natural blend of three sugars mixed with finely crushed cocoa, emollient coconut oil, and moisture-rich cocoa butter. The blend of brown, blonde, and white sugar is rich in minerals. It easily absorbs into the skin for gentle exfoliation. This sugar scrub buffs away dead cells from the surface of the skin and extracts excess oil by unclogging the pores. The nourishing blend of coconut oil and cocoa butter moisturizes skin.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • No harsh microbeads
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Perfect for dry or sensitive skin
  • Smells great

Cons

  • Consistency could be too thick
  • Greasy feel

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8. Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

Cleanse and brighten your complexion with the invigorating formula of the Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scrub. The combined exfoliating powers of 2.5% glycolic acid, willow bark, and jojoba wax beads help unclog pores, slough away dead skin cells, and extract the excess grime and oily build-up. The formula also includes kojic acid and a blend of elixir plant oils (olive oil, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, rosehip oil) that nourish, moisturize, rejuvenate, and revitalize skin. This gentle exfoliator reduces the signs of aging, dark spots, and acne. Its antioxidants protect the skin from oxidative damage.

Pros

  • Cleanses skin and brightens complexion
  • Helps fight acne and acne scars
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Removes dark spots
  • Helps remove makeup
  • Tightens enlarged pores
  • Cruelty-free
  • Safe for everyday use
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Not for teenagers

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9. Garnier Clean Blackhead Eliminating Scrub

The Garnier Clean Blackhead Eliminating Scrub unclogs pores, and removes dirt, oil, and impurities for a brighter complexion. It is formulated with 2% salicylic acid, which is a potent exfoliator that removes dead cells from the surface of the skin. It also decreases the appearance of large pores and surface wrinkles. It unclogs pores to prevent acne, helps enhance new skin cell turnover, evens out skin tone, and improves overall skin texture. The scrub also contains charcoal powder, hydrogenated castor oil, jojoba oil, and natural fruit extracts. The charcoal powder draws out impurities, and the castor and jojoba oils and the natural fruit extracts rejuvenate skin.

Pros

  • Deeply cleanses pores
  • Clears complexion
  • Treats acne
  • Tightens pores
  • Helps in new cell generation
  • Oil-free formula
  • Soothing fragrance

Cons

  • Not suitable for dry skin

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10. Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub

The Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub is designed to invigorate skin by cleansing the pores and gently exfoliating the skin surface. It provides a cooling sensation as you gently massage it on the skin. The classic microbead scrubs remove dead skin cells, pull out excess oil, and remove gunk by unclogging the pores. This oil-free deep pore-cleansing formula leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed all day long.

Pros

  • Unclogs pores
  • Gentle exfoliator
  • Contains cooling microbeads
  • Great for treating acne

Cons

  • May make skin very dry

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11. Neocutis Neo-cleanse Exfoliating Skin Cleanser

The Neocutis Neo-Cleanse Exfoliating Skin Cleanser is formulated without the harsh sulfates and chemicals. Its key ingredient is 9.9% glycolic acid that offers gentle exfoliation and buffs away dead skin cells. It is infused glycerin that is a humectant and emollient; it pulls water from the inner surface of the skin and seals it on the outer surface. The exfoliator is dermatologically-tested. It gently re-texturizes and purifies the skin.

Pros

  • No harsh chemicals
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Sulfate-free
  • No color additives
  • Fragrance-free
  • Hydrates skin

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

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12. Best Detoxifier: Acure Incredibly Clear Facial Scrub

The Acure Incredibly Clear Facial Scrub is a deep cleansing formula that revives lifeless skin with charcoal, lemon peel, blueberry, and plant cellulose exfoliating crystals. The activated charcoal effectively removes dead cells by mildly exfoliating, unclogging pores, and removing impurities from the deeper pores. The pomegranate and blueberry extracts are antioxidants that protect skin from oxidative damage. They also delay signs of aging, and reduce pigmentation and blemishes. The emollient aloe vera leaf extract deeply moisturizes skin for a luminous, youthful glow.

Pros

  • 100% vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Reduces acne
  • Anti-wrinkle formula
  • Protects from sun damage
  • Detoxifies skin

Cons

  • Coarse texture

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13. Solimo Oil-Free Acne Scrub

The dermatologist- and pediatrician-tested Solimo Oil-Free Acne Scrub contains 2% salicylic acid as the active ingredient. It is an oil-soluble acid that penetrates deep into the skin and extracts the grime, oil, and impurities. This oil-free acne scrub contains pink grapefruit extract that is high in antioxidants. It protects the skin from free radical damage, reduces aging signs, and treats dull and pigmented skin. The natural acids in the grapefruit extract gently exfoliate dead skin and keep pores clean.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Pediatrician-tested
  • No polyethylene beads
  • Cruelty-free
  • Reduces acne
  • Protects skin from oxidative damage
  • Anti-aging formula
  • Brightens skin tone
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Helps remove makeup
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Less scrubbing effect
  • May cause irritation

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14. Best Naturally Derived Formula: Garnier SkinActive Exfoliating Face Scrub

The Garnier SkinActive Exfoliating Face Scrub is made with 96% naturally derived ingredients. This oil-free deep pore cleanser is made with green tea extract that decongests and gently exfoliates skin. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that protect skin from oxidative damage. They also reduce wrinkles, dark circles, pigmentation, and blemishes. The glycerin in the scrub is a potent emollient and moisturizer. It seals in skin hydration and makes skin supple.

Pros

  • 96% naturally derived ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Free from dyes
  • Free from microbeads
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Purifies pores
  • Refines skin texture

Cons

  • Overwhelming floral aroma
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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15. Best Clay Exfoliator: Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Face Exfoliant

The Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Face Exfoliant is a mineral clay-based formula that polishes and purifies skin for a clear, smooth, and shine-free complexion. The unique formula makes your skin feel exfoliated, deeply cleansed, and purified. This exfoliator is infused with Umbrian clay, bamboo, olive exfoliants, meadowsweet extract, lemon fruit, olive leaf extract, chamomile flower, and lavender water. The Umbrian clay is rich in minerals that deeply cleanse skin and reduce skin imperfections. It helps in reducing larger skin pores without drying the skin. The bamboo and olive oil extract gently exfoliate the skin, dissolve dead skin cells, and refine skin texture. The meadowsweet extract is known to control skin shine, especially in the T-zone. The blend of lemon extract and olive leaf extract helps restore skin suppleness.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Reduces oil and shine in the T-zone
  • Refines pores
  • Brightens skin complexion

Cons

  • None

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These are the 15 best exfoliators for oily skin. But before you make a purchase, it is important to know how to pick the right product. The following guide can help.

How To Choose The Right Exfoliator For Oily Skin

  • Choose an exfoliator with natural ingredients that provide gentle exfoliation. These can include olive oil, jojoba beeswax beads, soft sugar granules, grapefruit extract, and natural glycerin along with 2% BHA.
  • A clay exfoliator can be better. It can slough away dead skin cells, and absorb excess sebum, oil, and grime.
  • The exfoliator should be non-comedogenic and gentle enough to heal acne scars.
  • It must be free from harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and fragrances.

Oily skin does not have to be a problem always. Yes, the skin type tends to attract more dirt and oil. But with the right product, you can enjoy healthier and rejuvenated skin. The right exfoliator meant for oily skin can help. Pick your favorite from the list!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How often should you exfoliate your face if you have oily skin?

If you have oily skin, exfoliate 2-3 times a week. This helps regularly expel the excess oil, grime, and dirt.

Can you exfoliate oily skin every day?

Oily skin with breakouts is not advisable to be exfoliated daily. Use a gentle exfoliator 2-3 times a week for best results.

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