13 Best Exfoliators For Combination Skin – Get Soft And Glowing Skin

by Charushila B
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Exfoliating your skin is important to keep it clean, soft, and youthful. The process involves the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. But if you have combination skin, finding the right exfoliator could be a challenge. Dry cheeks and an oily T-zone may keep you from using exfoliators that are either drying or moisturizing.

Thankfully, there are a few good exfoliators that balance skin oils, hydrate dry patches and polish the skin to give it a natural glow. Need some recommendations? Here are the thirteen face exfoliators specifically designed for combination skin. Swipe up!

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M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub
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Biore Daily Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser
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Touch Glycolic Acid Face Wash
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Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
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Tatcha The Rice Polish
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InstaNatural Exfoliating Glycolic Face Mask AndScrub
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Clinique Clarifying Lotion
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AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Face Scrub
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Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub
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The 13 Best Exfoliators For Combination Skin

1. M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub



The M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub is formulated with lychee and sweet almond oil that help exfoliate and cleanse the skin. The scrub boosts collagen production, tightens the skin, increases skin longevity, and reduces the appearance of signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. This exfoliating scrub draws out dirt, toxins, pollution, and bacteria from the pores and balances the skin pH. The glycerin, grape seed oil, aloe vera leaf juice, jojoba seed oil, and vitamin E in the scrub help moisturize and hydrate the skin. All the ingredients in the scrub are sourced in their purest forms and are not processed or bleached.

Pros

  • Boosts collagen production
  • Tightens the skin
  • Increases skin longevity
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Draws out dirt and bacteria from pores
  • Balances the skin pH
  • Makes the skin soft, supple, and glowing

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin.

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2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

The Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub is a gentle face scrub formulated with moisture-rich soy extract. It is soap-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and is suitable for sensitive skin. It gently exfoliates the skin, and draws out toxins and dirt from the skin. The jojoba and castor oils make the skin soft, smooth, and even-toned. Using this scrub to cleanse your face once or twice every week will give your skin a radiant glow.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non – comedogenic
  • Soap-free
  • Gentle scrub
  • Removes dirt and toxins from the skin
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Brightens the skin
  • Makes the skin soft and supple
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May not suit people with soy allergy

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3. Biore Daily Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser


The Biore Daily Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser is formulated with blue agave and baking soda. It instantly deep cleanses the skin and removes oil, dirt, and the dead skin layer. The naturally-derived spherical, smooth beads gently slough off the flaky, dry, and dead skin – and reveal the smooth, plump, and healthy skin underneath. The scrub balances the skin pH and cleanses the pores. It is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and vegan.

Pros

  • Soothes the skin
  • Makes the skin smooth, soft, and plump
  • Adds a glow to the skin
  • Balances skin pH
  • Cleanses the pores
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Vegan

 Cons

  • May make the skin dry.

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4. Touch Glycolic Acid Face Wash


The Touch Glycolic Acid Face Wash is a non-drying, exfoliating, and foaming AHA cleanser. It contains 10% glycolic acid that gently exfoliates, revitalizes, and brightens the skin. The low pH of 3.5 effectively fights the signs of skin aging and reduces blemishes, acne, pores, uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, hyperpigmentation, and blackheads. The humectants in the formula keep the skin hydrated. The green tea, aloe vera, and chamomile soften and soothe the skin. The green tea antioxidants reduce inflammation and detoxify the skin. This face cleanser is paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, non-irritating, alcohol-free, and cruelty-free. It is made in the FDA-inspected cGMP/SOP compliant labs in the USA.

Pros

  • Non-drying
  • Aloe vera softens and hydrates the skin
  • Green tea antioxidants reduce inflammation
  • Chamomile soothes the skin
  • Adds a radiant glow to the skin
  • Reduces wrinkles, pores, and fine lines
  • Reduces dullness.
  • Fights hyperpigmentation
  • Evens out skin tone and texture
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Non-irritating
  • Alcohol-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Made in FDA inspected cGMP/SOP compliant labs in the USA
  • Reasonably priced
  • Spill-free packaging

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin.

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5. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant is a gentle, non-abrasive, and leave-on anti-aging exfoliator. It removes the dull and lifeless skin layer to reveal the soft and radiant skin underneath. It revitalizes and hydrates the skin. The glycolic acid, green tea, and chamomile help minimize discoloration. They also reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots, and loose skin. The hyaluronic acid makes the skin plump and firm. The powerful green tea antioxidant detoxifies, protects from sun damage, and reduces inflammation. The lightweight gel cleanser exfoliator soothes the skin and makes it smooth. It delivers hydration to the deeper skin layers and prevents breakouts. It is cruelty-free, fragrance-free, non-irritating, and made in the USA.

Pros

  • Revitalizes and hydrates the skin
  • Helps minimize discoloration
  • Reduces signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots
  • Hyaluronic acid makes the skin plump and firm
  • Green tea antioxidant detoxifies, protects from sun damage, and reduces inflammation
  • Soothes the skin and makes it smooth
  • Delivers hydration to the deeper skin layers
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-irritating

Cons

  • Expensive

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6. Tatcha The Rice Polish


Tatcha The Rice Polish is a creamy and foaming non-abrasive exfoliator. It is formulated with nourishing finely-ground Japanese rice bran and papaya enzymes. This cloud-light foaming exfoliant promotes natural skin turnover to instantly reveal a smooth, radiant skin. The hadasei-3, a trio of anti-aging Japanese superfoods comprising of algae, green tea, and rice helps restore skin health.

The scrubdoes not strip the skin of its natural moisture. It does not break the skin barrier. It effectively treatshyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is free of mineral oil, phthalates, surfactants, detergents, urea, parabens, and DEA/TEA. It is dermatologist-tested, non-sensitizing, and cruelty-free.

Pros

  • Contains Hadasei-3, a trio of anti-aging Japanese superfoods
  • Creamy and foaming non-abrasive exfoliator
  • Promotes natural skin turnover
  • Helps restore healthy-looking skin
  • Keeps the skin hydrated
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Surfactant-free
  • Detergent-free
  • Urea-free
  • Paraben-free
  • DEA/TEA-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-sensitizing
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Veryexpensive

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7. InstaNatural Exfoliating Glycolic Face Mask AndScrub

The InstaNatural Exfoliating Glycolic Face Mask AndScrub is a combination of physical and chemical exfoliators that provides dual-action exfoliation. This intense exfoliator contains glycolic acid and quartz crystals that remove the dead skin layer, dirt, pollution, and excess oil. The pumpkin, turmeric, and vitamin C brighten the skin and even out the skin tone. They promote skin turnover and tighten the skin by boosting collagen production. Aloe vera soothes and nourishes the skin. The skin-replenishing minerals and vitamins in the formula make the skin softer and smoother. Apply a thin layer and let it set. Use lukewarm water to gently scrub on the skin in a circular motion. The scrub is free from parabens, mineral oil, formaldehyde releasers, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petroleum, DEA/MEA/TEA, polyethylene glycol (PEGs), and unsafe preservatives. The product is cruelty-free.

Pros

  • Provides dual-action exfoliation
  • Nourishing mask and a cleansing scrub
  • Pumpkin, turmeric, and vitamin C brighten the skin
  • Aloe vera soothes and hydrates the skin.
  • Boosts skin turnover and tightens the skin
  • Boosts collagen production
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Makes the skin soft and plump
  • Brightens the skin
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Formaldehyde releaser-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Synthetic dye-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • DEA/MEA/TEA-free
  • Polyethylene glycol-free
  • Free of unsafe preservatives
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

None

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8. Clinique Clarifying Lotion

The Clinique Clarifying Lotion is an exfoliator for combination oily skin. It clears away the excess oil, dirt, pollutants, and the dry and flaky skin. It removes impurities from the deep layers of the skin, minimizes skin pores, and prevents breakouts and blackheads. It makes the skin look cleaner, fresher, and healthier. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros

  • Clears away excess oil, dirt, and pollutants
  • Clears the pores
  • Minimizes the pores
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Plumps and softens the skin
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains alcohol

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9. AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Face Scrub

The AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Face Scrub is formulated with 2% salicylic acid, charcoal, and jojoba. These ingredients cleanse the skin pores by removing dirt, oil, and pollutants. It gently removes blackheads and whiteheads, shrinks the pores, and makes your skin feel fresh, clean, and rejuvenated. This exfoliator removes the dead skin layer to reveal the soft, healthy, and glowing skin underneath. This fragrance-free skin exfoliator does not irritate the skin.

Pros

  • Removes dirt, oil, and pollutants
  • Shrinks pores
  • Removes blackheads and whiteheads
  • Fights acne and breakouts
  • Smoothens out skin texture
  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Makes the skin healthy and plump
  • Fragrance-free

 Cons

  • May not suit sensitive skin

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10. Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub

The Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub is formulated with seaweed extract, jojoba oil, and ruby crystals. It provides instant skin exfoliation and cell renewal, removes the dead skin layer, seals moisture, enhances glow, and evens out the skin tone. The hyaluronic acid and organic red tea plump and detoxify the skin. It visibly reduces the appearance of aging and smoothens out the skin under the eyes, neck, and face. This anti-aging exfoliator reduces wrinkles and makes the skin look youthful.

This skincare product is developed by Dr Gary Goldfaden, a dermatologist for over 40 years. It is a trusted and effective brand that is formulated with plant anti-oxidants and rich botanicals. It is free of parabens, alcohol, petrochemicals, mineral oil, and silicone. It is 100% vegetarian, hypo-allergenic, and not tested on animals.

Pros

  • Hyaluronic acid and organic red tea plump and detoxify skin
  • Provides instant skin cell renewal
  • Seals moisture
  • Enhances glow
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Visibly reduces the signsof aging
  • Smoothens out the skin under the eyes, neck, and face
  • Developed by a dermatologist
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Petrochemical-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Silicone-free
  • 100% vegetarian
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • Very expensive

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11. Nip + Fab Glycolic Overnight Purifying Gel

The Nip + Fab Glycolic Overnight Purifying Gel is a gentle exfoliator formulated with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and niacinamide. The glycolic acid exfoliates gently, evens out skin tone, and reduces hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and skin discoloration. The salicylic acid cleanses the dirt, oil, and pollutants. It goes deep into the pores and flushes out the gunk and impurities. It unclogs the pores, reduces blackheads, and prevents breakouts. The niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces sebum production, and shrinks pores. This lightweight gel exfoliant brightens the skin and makes it smooth, soft, and radiant.

Pros

  • Salicylic acid cleanses the dirt, oil, and pollutants
  • Removes impurities from the pores
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Glycolic acid exfoliates gently
  • Makes the skin tone even
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Reduces acne scars
  • Reduces skin discoloration
  • Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduces sebum production
  • Shrinks pores
  • Lightweight
  • Brightens the skin
  • Makes the skin soft and smooth
  • Affordable

Cons

None

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12. Christina Comodex Scrub & Smooth Facial Exfoliator

The Christina Comodex Scrub & Smooth Facial Exfoliator is a multi-functional formula that removes the dead skin layer, excess oil, dirt, and gunk from the pores. It is a gentle creamy exfoliator that works into the layers of the skin and cleanses the skin. It helps even out the skin tone. Its pore-shrinking property also helps reduce blackheads and breakouts. It is free of parabens, SLS, petrochemicals, triclosan, and propylene glycol.

Pros

  • Shrinks pores
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Reduces acne scars
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Creamy texture
  • Exfoliates gently
  • Paraben-free
  • SLS-free
  • Petrochemical-free
  • Triclosan-free
  • Propylene glycol-free

Cons

  • Expensive

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13. Qet Botanicals Hydrating Herbal Exfoliant

The Qet Botanicals Hydrating Herbal Exfoliant is formulated with natural alpha-hydroxy acids. It is also infused with botanicals and minerals that gently exfoliate and hydrate combination skin. It has anti-inflammatory ingredients that protect the skin from irritation. The antioxidants from matcha green tea protect the skin from toxins, sun damage, pollutants, and premature aging. The soothing ingredients cool the skin and hydrate it to give it a soft, plump, and glowing radiance. The Himalayan pink salt sloughs off the dead skin layer gently. The exfoliant’s beautiful aroma promotes relaxation and rejuvenates the skin from within.

Pros

  • Matcha green tea antioxidants protect the skin from toxins and damage.
  • Anti-aging
  • Plumps skin
  • Cleanses dirt, pollution, oil, and gunk from the pores
  • Soothes the skin
  • Anti-inflammatory properties reduce skin irritation
  • Fights sun damage
  • Makes the skin soft and smooth
  • Balances the skin tone
  • Relaxing aroma.

Cons

  • Expensive

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These are the thirteen best exfoliators for combination skin. If you do not find any of these in an offline or online store, you may go for other substitute exfoliators. The following checklist can help you understand what to look for in such a product.

What To Look For In A Good Exfoliator For Combination Skin?

  • Pick an exfoliator that is not too drying (or one that has oil).
  • The exfoliator should balance the skin pH.
  • Choose a physical exfoliator that contains Himalayan pink salt or gentle, spherical wax beads, ground seeds, or rice powder. Avoid walnut scrubs.
  • Choose the best chemical exfoliator that contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or glycolic acid.
  • The concentration of chemical exfoliants should not be more than 10%.
  • If you have mature skin, try an exfoliator with hyaluronic acid to plump it up.
  • The exfoliator should be free of harsh chemicals and dyes.

Following the right skincare routine can further improve your combination skin.

Proper Skincare Routine For Those With Combination Skin

Combination skin requires extra care. The associated products that you use must be balanced. Here’s how you can take care of your ever combination skin:

  • Cleanse – Use a gentle cotton pad and a water-based makeup remover to cleanse your face.
  • Wash – Use a gentle face wash to remove all the dirt and gunk.
  • Tone – Use a toner for combination skin to remove all the traces of makeup. A toner also balances the skin pH and hydrates skin.
  • Exfoliate – Take a small amount of exfoliator, dab it on the skin, and use gentle pressure to apply it to your skin in circular motions.
  • Wash – Use lukewarm water to wash your face. Use a soft towel to pat your skin dry.
  • Apply sunscreen – Use a sunscreen for sensitive skin to protect your skin from sun damage.
  • Moisturize – Use an aloe-based or a water-based hydrating moisturizer.

Conclusion

Exfoliating the skin to eliminate the dead skin layer, toxins, and dirt is important. Lay your hands on a good exfoliator and use it at least once a week. Avoid over-exfoliating as it may cause redness, swelling, and acne. Here are a few tips on how to take regular care of combination skin. Pick your favorite exfoliator from the list.  Follow a skincare routine and you will get flawless skin in no time!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How do you exfoliate combination skin?

Use a physical or chemical exfoliator that does not contain ingredients that cause excess dryness or oiliness. Cleanse your skin with a face wash, use a toner, and then use an exfoliator. Use gentle, circular motions to exfoliate your skin. You will get an instantly glowing skin.

What happens if you don’t exfoliate?

If you don’t exfoliate often, dead skin debris, dirt, oil, and toxins get accumulated. These can make your skin look dull, lifeless, and greasy. Not exfoliating regularly can also make your skin more prone to infections.

How often should you exfoliate your combination skin?

Exfoliate once a week or twice a month, depending on your skin condition. Do not over-exfoliate as it can break your skin and cause redness and inflammation.

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Charushila B

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