15 Best Face Exfoliators For Clean Skin In 2021

by Sneha Manandhar
This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Our product selection process.

Exfoliation, the process of removing dead skin cells, dirt, excess sebum, etc is an important part of keeping your skin clean. Exfoliators are mostly grainy or gritty in texture to aid in scrubbing away the skin impurities. Sugar, salt, coffee, oatmeal, almonds, walnut shell powder, apricots and other hard fruit shells and pits are some of the natural ingredients used in exfoliating products. Chemical exfoliation is done using gentle acids like lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acid), and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acid).

Exfoliating your skin once in a while can be very beneficial for the skin as it helps in unclogging the pores by getting rid of dead cells, dirt, and excess sebum. With a host of natural and chemical exfoliators available in the market, it becomes difficult to make a choice. Fret not, as we have listed down the 15 best face exfoliators to choose from for skin texture that is supple and radiant.

Top 15 Face Exfoliators In 2021 For Skin That Glows From Within

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid ExfoliantCheck Price
M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt ScrubCheck Price
Acure Brightening Facial ScrubCheck Price
Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System Puff Refills ExfoliatorCheck Price
Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating CleanserCheck Price
Era Organics Revive+ Microdermabrasion Scrub And MaskCheck Price
QRxLabs Glycolic Acid Resurfacing PadsCheck Price
DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion ScrubCheck Price
NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion CrystalsCheck Price
Ives Acne Control Apricot Face ScrubCheck Price

1. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant

Improve the texture for your skin with the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant. It is formulated with beta hydroxy acid, commonly known as salicylic acid, which is known to be a super cleanser. It penetrates deep into the skin to get rid of dirt and sebum and it also unclogs pores. This non-abrasive leave-on exfoliant also has green tea extracts, which help soothe irritated skin. Using this gentle salicylic acid exfoliating cleanser helps minimize wrinkles, fine lines, redness, pores, blackheads, and other skin problems and leaves you with soft and clean skin.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Some may find the smell pungent

Buy Now From Amazon

2. M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub

Hydrate, rejuvenate, and exfoliate your skin with the M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub. This himalayan salt scrub is infused with collagen and stem cells, which aid in new cell growth and offer anti-aging properties. It includes a list of natural ingredients like aloe vera, grapeseed, sunflower, and jojoba. Apart from these, the extracts of fruits like grapefruit, apple, almond, etc. make it one of the best exfoliating face scrubs. Cleanse the impurities of your skin and restore its natural glow with this natural face exfoliator.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive

Buy Now From Amazon

3. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

 The Acure Brightening Facial Scrub is a skincare product that is suitable for all skin types. It’s all-natural formulation with sea kelp, kaolin clay, aloe vera, walnut, lemon, and olive, etc. makes it one the best exfoliating products for the face. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, it helps to improve the appearance of dull, tired skin and removes skin imperfections. It also has argan, chlorella, cica, kale, niacinamide, pomegranate, which help remove dead cells and keep skin healthy and glowing from within.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • Some might find it slightly watery

Buy Now From Amazon

4. Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System Puff Refills Exfoliator

Get salon-like skin treatment at the comfort of your home with the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System Puff Refills Exfoliator. These pre-dozed puffs are meant for single use and are among the good chemical exfoliators for face available in the market. It uses micro-vibrations to help in boosting new skin cell production. Each puff features ultra-fine crystals and mild purifiers that work on the skin to immediately make it luminous and bright. With time, the skin becomes firmer and healthier-looking too.

Pros:

  • Silicone-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Single-use puffs
  • Easy and convenient

Cons:

  • Contains parabens and sulfates

Buy Now From Amazon

5. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

Are you tired of acne-prone, oily skin? Worry no more as Botanic Tree brings you a glycolic acid exfoliating cleanser that will fight all your skin woes. It is enriched with ingredients like tea tree, peppermint, lavender, shea butter, seaweed, willow bark, bamboo, and others. The formulation of this pregnancy-safe face exfoliator helps to cleanse the skin and keep it hydrated and supple. The inclusion of ascorbic acid or vitamin C ensures that the skin gets its dose of antioxidants to boost cell renewal, reduce skin imperfections, and fight the signs of aging.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Safe for pregnant women

Cons:

  • As it contains menthol, some may feel a sharp tingling sensation on their skin.

Buy Now From Amazon

6. Era Organics Revive+ Microdermabrasion Scrub And Mask

Bid farewell to dull, dry skin with the microdermabrasion scrub and mask from Era Organics. It is formulated with extracts from aloe vera, walnut, orange peel, manuka honey, cehami, canola, etc. All these ingredients come together to help remove dirt, excess sebum, blackheads, dead skin, and other impurities. Exfoliate your dull skin to reveal a brighter complexion with this face exfoliator for acne-prone skin.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • It may not be non-comedogenic.

Buy Now From Amazon

7. QRxLabs Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Pads

Everyone wishes to have skin that is free of impurities and imperfections. The QRxLabs Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Pads help make this wish come true. These waffle-shaped cleansing pads are made of soft non-woven materials and have a textured surface that ease out the process of skin cleansing. They are formulated with witch hazel, vegetable glycerin, calendula, green tea, menthol, spearmint, eucalyptus oil, etc. that help in soothing the skin and also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Enriched with vitamin C, E, and B5, this glycolic acid exfoliating cleanser helps to reduce skin imperfections and minimizes the signs of aging, leaving you with younger, brighter, flawless skin.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Eco-friendly packaging

Cons:

  • Might make the skin feel sticky to the touch

Buy Now From Amazon

8. DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Scrub

Say hello to flawless skin and wave goodbye to skin imperfections and impurities with the DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Scrub. It provides medical grade skincare and helps the skin get rid of dead skin, blackheads, acne scars, blemishes, etc. Made from the extracts of green tea, apple, sugarcane, and lemon among other ingredients, this gentle exfoliator for sensitive skin also helps minimize the appearance of signs of aging.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Oil-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive for the quantity provided

Buy Now From Amazon

9. NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals

Give your skin a total makeover with the NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals. These crystals are made from corundum sourced from Brazil and France. Exfoliate your skin and drive away dirt, sebum, uneven skin tone, and other skin impurities and imperfections. All you have to do is to mix these crystals with your favorite cleanser to make your own dead skin exfoliator and watch your skin transform into its younger, brighter self.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO
  • Cruelty-free
  • Suitable with most cleansers
  • Suits all skin types

Cons:

  • May not be best suited for dry skin

Buy Now From Amazon

10. Ives Acne Control Apricot Face Scrub

The St. Ives Acne Control Apricot Face Scrub helps promote skin health as it uses natural and gentle exfoliants. One of the best exfoliators for acne, it contains apricot extract and walnut shell powder in its formulation. It helps to remove dead skin, blackheads, scars, and other skin imperfections. It is enriched with salicylic acid and is effective in controlling acne breakouts and leaves you with softer skin that is free of acne and blemishes.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically-tested

Cons:

  • Contains sulfate

Buy Now From Amazon

11. InstaNatural Exfoliating Glycolic Mask And Face Scrub

Refine the look of your pores and get a clean face with this exfoliating mask and scrub from InstaNatural. The gentle yet effective formulation of this organic face exfoliator includes safflower, turmeric, aloe vera, pumpkin, meadowfoam, sunflower, rosemary, jasmine, etc. It exudes the aroma of spices like ginger, cassia, cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, and others. Use it to keep dirt and sebum away and remove skin imperfections and signs of aging, while locking in moisture and keeping the soft glow of the skin intact.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Some may find the scent intense

Buy Now From Amazon

12. Ebanel Ultimate Brightening Peeling Gel

The Ebanel Ultimate Brightening Peeling Gel is a skincare product that can be used on all skin types. It gently exfoliates the skin and helps remove the impurities and imperfections of the skin. It has extracts from ingredients like mushroom, tomato, persimmon, birch, willow bark, aloe vera, etc. It is also enriched with vitamin C and E, cellulose, castor oil, and other potent ingredients. Get rid of dark spots, uneven skin tone, blackheads, dead skin, and signs of aging with this exfoliating gel for face.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Soap-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons:

  • Some may find it slightly greasy

Buy Now From Amazon

13. Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator

Say hello to smooth skin that feels fresh as a daisy with the Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator. It’s main component is benzoyl peroxide that eliminates acne causing bacteria and keeps the skin healthy. It is enriched with glycolic acid that helps to brighten the skin. Keep skin imperfections at bay and flaunt skin that is hydrated, supple, and free of flaws with regular use of this gentle chemical exfoliant.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically-tested

Cons:

  • May take a long time to see visible results

Buy Now From Amazon

14. Vasanti BrightenUp! Face Exfoliator

The Vasanti Brighten Up! Face Exfoliator suits all skin types and stays true to its name to a great extent. It is enriched with the extracts from papaya, aloe vera, castor seed, coconut, and other potent ingredients. One of the best exfoliators for combination skin types, it helps clear out pores of dirt and sebum and removes skin impurities. It also works as an anti-aging skincare product and helps minimize the appearance of the signs of aging. Considered one of the best enzyme exfoliators, it leaves you with skin that looks younger, radiant, and flawless.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • Some users may not like the emulsion-like waxy texture

Buy Now From Amazon

15. Toyo Cure Natural Aqua Gel Skin Exfoliator

Want to know what the Japanese do to keep their skin looking forever young? The answer lies in the Toyo Cure Natural Aqua Gel Skin Exfoliator. Considered one of the best exfoliating gels for face, it is made with extracts from aloe vera, rosemary, gingko, and others. It also has elements like activated hydrogen water, which is known to have anti-aging and anti-oxidation properties. Exfoliate with one of the best chemical exfoliants for face to get rid of skin impurities and imperfections, and flaunt flawless, glowy, and youthful skin.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive

Buy Now From Amazon

Exfoliating the skin keeps the skin healthy as the impurities are gotten rid of. But what is the right type of exfoliator for your skin? Let us make your task easy by helping you choose the right exfoliator for your skin type.

How To Choose The Best Exfoliant For Your Skin Type

  • Dry skin

Dry skin demands an exfoliant that isn’t gritty or grainy as it may cause micro tears on the skin. Exfoliants like honey and other gentle acids, combined with moisturizing agents work well for dry skin without being too harsh.

  • Oily skin

Pooling up of excess sebum in the pores is one of the problems of oily skin. Scrubbing the skin with exfoliants that have a grainy texture might be very helpful as these help to remove the oil from the pores and unclog them.

  • Combination skin

Combination skin is neither too dry, nor too oily. In such cases, an exfoliant that isn’t very gritty can be combined with moisturizing agents to unclog the pores as well as to keep the skin from becoming too dry.

  • Acne-prone skin

Acne-prone skin can be further irritated if the wrong kind of skin products are used. Grainy scrubs can worsen inflamed skin with acne, hence chemical exfoliants are the best choice for acne-prone skin.

  • Mature skin

Skin becomes sensitive and dry with age. Mature skin needs an exfoliant that helps reduce the wrinkles and fine lines while keeping it hydrated. When looking for an exfoliator for aging skin, keep in mind that chemical exfoliators and microdermabrasions work well.

Benefits Of Face Exfoliator

Exfoliating the skin a few times a week can leave one  youthful, radiant skin. Here are some benefits a face exfoliator offers:

  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Unclogs pores and prevents acne
  • Keeps dirt and sebum at bay
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Helps remove blackheads
  • Minimizes visible signs of aging
  • Boosts blood and lymph circulation
  • Helps the skin absorb other skin products well

Exfoliation, whether physical or chemical, is important to keep your skin healthy and shiny. There is an abundance of exfoliators available with different exfoliating ingredients, both natural and chemical. Natural ingredients like fruit shells, pits, sugar, salt, coffee, etc can be used for exfoliation as they have a gritty, grainy texture. Gentle acids like AHA, BHA, lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, etc. can be used for chemical exfoliation. Exfoliating the skin 2-3 times a week can leave you with smooth and soft skin, but remember not to overdo it as it might leave the skin with micro tears and can rob the skin of its moisture.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Are face exfoliators good for your skin?

Yes. Exfoliators help the skin get rid of impurities like dead skin cells, dirt, sebum, etc, and help in unclogging the pores.

How many times a week should you exfoliate your face?

Ideally, it is best to exfoliate the skin 2-3 times a week to keep the skin soft and smooth and free of impurities. Exfoliating too frequently might leave the skin dry and damaged.

How long does it take to see results from exfoliating?

One can see the change in complexion almost immediately after exfoliating. But the long-term results can be seen after exfoliating 6-7 times.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sneha Manandhar

Sneha Manandhar holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Pune. She has previously worked with media and publication houses in varied capacities as a lifestyle writer, an editor, a copywriter, and a translator. She reviews beauty, skin care, and wellness products from specialized curated lists. She believes that SEO-driven content is the present and the future and keeps herself busy by dabbling in SEO-related tools and honing her editing skills.
scorecardresearch