10 Best Esthetician-Approved Face Scrubs Without Microbeads (2024)

For exfoliated, soft skin without dirt and impurities and improved skin texture.

Reviewed by Becky Sturm, Esthetician Becky Sturm Becky SturmEsthetician facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
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Physical exfoliators contain microbeads that are a form of plastic. So, the best face scrubs without microbeads are a safer alternative for your skin and are environmentally friendly. Microbeads are tiny pellets in your facial scrubs aimed at cleansing your pores. But, these most often scrape off the top layer of the skin quite harshly and leave micro cuts and tears. They also leave your skin very dehydrated and prone to allergies and breakouts. In addition, these abrasive plastic particles are harmful to your skin and the environment, especially marine life.

Exfoliation is an important part of our skin care. It removes the dead skin cells from the surface of our skin and makes it smooth and supple. There are physical and chemical exfoliators available on the market. However, if you are looking for physical exfoliators or face scrubs, we suggest you avoid ingredients like polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), as they make up the microbeads. Did you know that most countries have banned the cosmetic usage of microbeads due to their negative impact on human and planet health? In this article, we have compiled a list of the best face scrubs without microbeads to help you make an informed choice. So, go ahead and take a look now.

Top Picks
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Best For Improving Skin Texture:Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub & Cleanser
Price on Amazon
Best For Softening Dull Skin:Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
Price on Amazon
Best Cruelty-Free:Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub
Price on Amazon
Best Anti-Inflammatory Properties:THRIVE Energy Scrub
Price on Amazon
Best For Acne-Prone Skin Type:Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
Price on Amazon
Best For Oily Skin:Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Drying Formula:Garnier Clearly Brighter Argan Nut Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
Price on Amazon
Best Natural Exfoliant:DHC Facial Scrub Exfoliant
Price on Amazon
Best For Cleansing Your Skin:Brandless Grapefruit Facial Scrub
Price on Amazon
Best Hydrating:Hand In Hand Sugar Scrub
Price on Amazon

Beat The Dirt With These 10 Best Face Scrubs Without Microbeads

1. Best For Improving Skin Texture:Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub & Cleanser

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4.2
Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub & Cleanser, Exfoliating & Restoring Cleanser That Enhances Skins Radiance, With Antioxidants, Lemon Balm Extract, & Vitamin C, Natural, Vegan & Cruelty Free, 4 Oz Dull & Uneven Skin Image: Yes To

This daily gentle exfoliator from Yes To is packed with 95% natural ingredients formulated without petroleum and parabens. This microbead-free face scrub helps slough away dead skin cells to restore your skin’s natural radiance. Grapefruit extracts help even skin tone and with the presence of vitamin C, your skin will be boosted with brightness. Sunflower seed oil, coconut extracts, and natural exfoliator polylactic acid are used to enhance and improve your skin’s smoothness and hydration. Above all, this anti-microbead face wash is certified vegan, cruelty-free, and non-comedogenic.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.88 x 3 x 5.75 inches | Weight: 4.8 Ounces

Pros

  •  Daily use exfoliator
  •  Vegan
  • Infused with grapefruit, sunflower seed oil, and vitamin C
  •  Improves skin texture
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  •  Contains fragrance

protip_icon Remember
Be careful not to over-exfoliate since it can permanently harm your skin barrier. Use the scrub 2-3 times a week, depending on how your skin handles it.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 2,625 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

2. Best For Softening Dull Skin:Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub

The next contender is a drugstore face exfoliator from Tree Hut. This non-abrasive exfoliant features a natural blend of 6 oils consisting of avocado, macadamia, sweet orange, sweet almond, evening primrose, and safflower oils. Hemp seed oil, a key ingredient in this face scrub, is known for its powerful antioxidants and soothing properties, and with it is infused lavender oil. Sugar is a commonly known natural skin exfoliator that is teamed up with natural shea butter to provide ultra moisture and soften dull skin. Freesia, sandalwood, and vanilla extracts make this product smell luxurious. The exfoliating scrub without microbeads is formulated without harsh chemicals so you can expect it to come without parabens, gluten, alcohol, sulfate, alcohol, and formaldehyde donors. It has also received many positive reviews online for its pleasant fragrance and luxurious scrubbing experience.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 3.69 x 3.69 x 2.84 inches | Weight: 1.25 Pounds.

Pros

  • Consists of 6 skin-loving oils
  • Consists of 6 skin loving oils
  •  Key ingredients lead to polishing of dull and dry skin
  •  Leaves skin with ample hydration and moisture
  •  Non-irritating

Cons

  •  Contains added fragrance

Our Tester's Experience

"I love the smell of this scrub. The formula softens my skin and improves its elasticity. It restores my natural skin texture and soothes itchiness. I love that it never leaves residues on my skin and makes it greasy."


3. Best Cruelty-Free:Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub

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4.6
Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub Image: Alba Botanica

Multi-use products may be hissed at in the beauty department, but the Acnedote by Alba Botanica might give multipurpose products a run for their money. This manual exfoliator without plastic beads is for both face and body to help scrub off acne, yes including bacne! Though gentle, when applied on the face with its 2% concentration of salicylic acid and willow bark extract, it helps treat and restore your skin’s texture. Salicylic acid is a known chemical exfoliant or beta hydroxy acid that goes deep into your skin to remove gunk and prevent acne triggers. The microbead-free exfoliator draws out oil, dirt, and dead skin cells to create a barrier for breakouts ultimately resulting in clearer skin and long-lasting effects. This clinically-proven formula has shown visible results with improved effectiveness in just seven days among 70% of participants tested in the consumer perception study.

Skin Type: Acne Prone | Product Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 4 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  •  Plant based
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Duo-purpose scrub for face and body
  •  Visibly improves skin texture
  •  No artificial colors, or phthalates
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Sulfate-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  •  Over exfoliation may lead to irritation as it contains walnut shells.
Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub & Cleanser
Best For Improving Skin Texture
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
Best For Softening Dull Skin
Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub
Best Cruelty-Free
Skin Type All All Acne Prone
Dimensions 1.88 x 3 x 5.75 inches 3.69 x 3.69 x 2.84 inches 6 x 5 x 4 inches
Weight 4.8 Ounces 1.25 Pounds. 8 Ounces
Rating
Reviews2,6252,2361,887
Price$8.98$15.89$6.18
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

4. Best Anti-Inflammatory Properties:THRIVE Energy Scrub

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4.4
THRIVE Energy Scrub Image: Thrive Natural Care

Microbeads in face wash may not be advisable but this face scrub from Thrive also avoids natural extracts of walnut and apricot shells that are most commonly used as microbeads substitute. It is a gentle scrub that diligently removes dead skin cells, dirt, oil, or product residue. Costa Rican super-plants like juanilama and fierrillo are extracted for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Juanilama is a citrus-scented antioxidant herb that fights back irritation and redness, while fierrillo on the other hand is a rainforest vine that has anti-inflammatory properties. This GMO-free product unclogs pores and deep cleans to provide you with brighter and refreshed skin.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 3 x 1.8 x 5.25 inches | Weight: 3.36 Ounces

Pros

  •  Plant-based face scrub
  •  Rich in antioxidants and germ-fighting ingredients
  •  All-natural exfoliating face scrub
  •  Cruelty, GMO, and microbeads free
  •  Prevents ingrown hair and unclogs pores

Cons

  •  Fragrance of the product could be an issue
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 1,561 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

5. Best For Acne-Prone Skin Type:Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

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4.4
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment Image: Kate Somerville

To bridge the gap between chemical and physical exfoliants, Kate Somerville introduces ExfoliKate. This revitalizing face wash chemically and physically eliminates clogged pores and dead skin cells with natural silica exfoliating beads, and AHA Lactic and BHA salicylic acids. Papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes are used to provide you with glowing skin whereas rosewood and cinnamon extracts are infused to reduce the appearance of aging and fine lines. Your skin will feel ever so soft and smooth with the goodness of aloe vera, honey, and vitamin E.

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily., Skincare Concerns: Dullness and Uneven Skintone, Pores, and Fine Lines and Wrinkles See more | Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.52 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 2.12 Ounces

Pros

  •  Contains natural microbeads
  •  Infused with chemical and physical exfoliants
  •  Natural ingredients help improve skin’s condition
  •  Ideal for acne-prone skin type
  •  Reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles
  • Clinically-proven to enhance skin texture

Cons

  •  Not suited for sensitive skin

protip_icon Caution
After exfoliating, your skin is more susceptible to photo damage. Always wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 during the day.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received 1,478 reviews on Amazon and is a popular choice among shoppers.

6. Best For Oily Skin:Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub

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4.5
Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub Image: Neutrogena

Thoroughly cleanse and pamper your skin with the extra gentle formula of Neutrogena Deep Clean® Facial Cleanser. It leaves your skin feeling softer, healthier, and fresh with every wash. Its oil-free formula is enriched with beta hydroxy for deep-cleaning your pores by dissolving dirt and impurities and preventing the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. It rinses off easily and does not leave any residue. Use it regularly to enhance skin complexion and get rid of dead and dull skin cells.

Skin Type: Oily | Product Dimensions: 5.98 x 2.01 x 2.01 inches | Weight: 0.4 Ounces

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Alcohol-free
  • Value for money
  • Mild fragrance
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

Our Tester's Experience

"This scrub lathers nicely on my skin and deep cleans it. It leaves my skin soft and clean. The formula dissolves the clogged dirt in my pores and eliminates it. It does not irritate my skin or sting my eyes."


7. Best Non-Drying Formula:Garnier Clearly Brighter Argan Nut Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

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4.4

One of the best drugstore exfoliating scrubs, this is a gentle and effective everyday exfoliating cleanser that promises instantly visible results within a week. It is a non-drying formula that serves to brighten and deeply cleanse your skin with key ingredients such as argan nut shells and vitamins C and A. The nut shells act as a natural exfoliant that scoops out dirt and impurities from the skin while the acids and AHAs in this product’s formulation help remove dead skin cells and in pore refinement and improve skin tone.

Skin Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 2.36 x 7.48 inches | Weight: 2.4 Ounces

Pros

  •  Daily use exfoliator
  •  Contains natural exfoliants
  •  Removes oil and makeup residue
  •  Gentle on skin
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  •  May not be suitable for extremely sensitive skin

Our Tester's Experience

"This face wash gently cleanses my skin and reveals its natural glow. It removes dead skin cells and pollutants from my pores and smoothes out my skin texture. The formula does not irritate my skin or leave residues behind."


8. Best Natural Exfoliant:DHC Facial Scrub Exfoliant

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4.4
DHC Facial Scrub Exfoliant Image: Dhc Beauty

What if we told you that not all apricot prime exfoliators are harsh on your skin? The DHC Facial Scrub is a creamy, nourishing cleanser that comes without microbeads. It is the perfect scrub with a fine texture that leaves your skin smooth and hydrated as the finely milled apricot seed granules gently slough away dull and dead skin. Natural extracts of soapnut, licorice, and allantoin thoroughly cleanse, nourish, and soothe the skin, making it ideal for sensitive skin types. This exfoliating face wash without microbeads balances pH, refines, polishes, and prepares your skin to absorb nutrients from the post-cleansing session, giving you hydrated skin and a radiant complexion.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.88 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 4.16 Ounces

Pros

  •  Infused with natural exfoliant
  •  Organic ingredients help soothe and soften skin
  •  pH-balanced
  •  Nourishes skin with vitamin E extracts

Cons

  •  Not suited for combination to oily skin type

Our Tester's Experience

"This creamy cleanser spreads nicely on my skin and tackles my clogged pores. It gently exfoliates my skin and removes the dead skin cells. The formula improves my skin’s ability to absorb skin care products. I love how glowing and smooth my skin looks after I use this product."


protip_icon Quick tip
The best time to use a scrub is at night. This will help you reduce sun exposure and allow ample time for exfoliated skin to heal overnight.

9. Best For Cleansing Your Skin:Brandless Grapefruit Facial Scrub

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3.8
Brandless Grapefruit Facial Scrub Image: Brandless

If you’re up for a no-fuss microbead-free exfoliator, Brandless Grapefruit facial scrub is the one to opt for. Free from all sorts of harmful ingredients like sulfates, phthalates, dyes, and of course, microbeads, this product gently softens and cleanses your skin. It is a clean facial scrub that simply helps enrich your skin tone while removing dirt and unclogging pores. With silica as the natural exfoliant, this facial scrub without microbeads infused with fruit enzymes replaces any need for harsh substances to be used for deep cleaning your skin and pores.

Skin Type: Oily,All Skin Types

Pros

  •  Clean and refreshing exfoliant
  •  Uses natural scrubbing ingredient
  • Vegan-friendly
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Does not contain sulfates, phthalates, or dyes

Cons

  •  Contains fragrance

Our Tester's Experience

"What I love the most about this product is how soothing it feels on my skin. It clarifies my pores and boosts my skin’s radiance. It has a mild scent that never gets overwhelming. It does not trigger my skin to break out."


10. Best Hydrating:Hand In Hand Sugar Scrub

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4.2

Our last contender is also an all-natural face scrub that is formulated without a trace of fragrance. The skin renewal scrub is formulated with extra-finely milled sugar, organic coconut oil, and shea butter among other skin-loving ingredients. Sugar is an excellent exfoliant that acts as a skin-brightening agent to remove any dull and dead skin cells and help reveal a healthy skin glow. Sunflower seed oil used in the formulation is profusely active in vitamin E, thus providing you with the much-required deep hydration and prevents aging signs. Coconut oil is a holy grail ingredient that quickly seeps into the skin and locks in moisture, while shea butter strengthens and repairs rough skin.

Skin Type: All, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 12 x 2 x 3 inches | Weight: 6.08 Ounces.

Pros

  •  Contains natural hydrating ingredients
  •  Uses sugar for exfoliation
  •  Does not have any artificial fragrance
  •  Provides a natural glow
  •  Fragrance-free

Cons

  •  Not suited for oily skin

Our Tester's Experience

"My skin looks plump with the consistent use of this product. It restores my skin's natural glow. The formula clarifies my pores and moisturizes my skin. It smells yummy. The best thing about this scrub is that it washes out of my face without leaving residues."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose A Face Scrub Without Microbeads?

The first step is to find a product with a formulation that works best for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, opt for one that has heavily milled exfoliators that will not irritate or be too abrasive on your skin. Dry skin can surely be impacted by the presence of creamy and hydrating elements in the ingredients list. Gel or water-based or even light texture face scrubs are best suited for those with oily skin.

  •  Always avoid coarse grains

Irrespective of your skin type, you should remember to steer away from facial scrubs that have big and coarse grains in them. Coarse grains mean harsh application and skin irritation upon regular use. The finer the grain, the gentler it will be on your face when you rub it in circular motions.

  •  Look for physical scrubs that have chemical exfoliants

A combination of a physical scrub and gentle chemical exfoliant will help you refine your skin texture without causing much friction or redness to your skin. If you have normal to combination or oily skin, chemical exfoliants-infused face scrubs rejuvenate and restructure your skin. As for the case of sensitive skin people, chemical exfoliants should be tested in patches first in order to prevent any allergy or irritation.

The notion around face scrubs with microbeads is archaic, back when it was assumed that a harsh gritty substance and rigorous movements would somehow peel off the dirt and drab appearance of the skin. However, we have come a long way in which microbead face wash or scrubs are now frowned upon because of extensive research proving the presence of plastic particles in them. Since then, companies and even countries have vowed to create products without microbeads in cosmetics, however there are instances where some products still use these microbeads under a guise. Thus, to ensure you no longer use a face scrub that contains microbeads, we hope you find your perfect physical exfoliator in the above list containing the 10 best face scrubs without microbeads.

Infographic: Common Ingredients In Face Scrubs Without Microbeads

Using a face scrub does not mean giving a green signal to harsh ingredients that may affect your skin’s texture. There are many face scrubs that are extremely gentle and come with skin-friendly ingredients for proper nourishment without any potential triggers. Learn more about these ingredients in the infographic below.

Common Ingredients In Face Scrubs Without Microbeads (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a safer alternative to your facial scrub, you should consider the best face scrubs without microbeads. These face scrubs will not scrape off the top layer of your skin or make it dehydrated and prone to allergies and breakouts. The reviewed options in the curated list are infused with natural ingredients, can be used as a daily exfoliator, and improves the overall texture of your skin. The Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub & Cleanse is an all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free option for that unmatchable glow. For gentle exfoliation on acne-prone skin, the Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub is ideal. Finally, the THRIVE Energy Scrub ensures you feel revitalized after using the scrub. Consider your skin type, avoid coarse grains, and look for physical scrubs with chemical exfoliants while choosing the best face scrubs without microbeads.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I exfoliate without microbeads?

Exfoliate with honey scrub, konjac sponge, or lactic acid peel, instead of microbeads.

Do microbeads damage the skin?

Yes. Microbeads scratch your skin and damage healthy skin cells. Their high abrasive power can accelerate the aging process.

How can you tell if a product contains microbeads?

Look for ingredients named ‘polypropylene’ or ‘polyethylene’ on the label. These elements indicate the presence of plastic microbeads in the products.

Are microbeads banned?

Yes. Many countries like South Korea, the UK, Sween, France, and New Zealand have banned plastic microbeads in their cosmetic products.

What are natural microbeads?

Some natural microbeads are jojoba beads, sugar, salt, coffee, bamboo powder, and pumice powder. They gently scrub your skin and offer deep cleansing and nourishing benefits.

What is natural exfoliation?

Natural exfoliation includes using natural ingredients to exfoliate your skin. This enhances the blood circulation of your skin and improves its appearance.

Are microbeads biodegradable?

No. Microbeads are not sustainable or eco-friendly as they are made of tiny plastic pieces that have a damaging effect on marine life and human health.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Krati Darak, the author, is a skin care enthusiast with a passion for keeping herself updated with emerging trends. She is big on clean cosmetics and beauty products. As cleansing is an essential part of skin care, she set out to uncover the best face scrubs without microbeads. She conducted thorough research and read through multiple customer reviews on trusted online platforms. The products on this list are formulated with gentle and non-harmful ingredients that can deeply cleanse your skin without causing any damage.


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Becky Sturm

Becky SturmEsthetician

Becky Sturm is a multi hyphenate beauty maven who has been in the salon and spa industry for 30+ years as a hairdresser, esthetician, as well as product development and product expert. After graduating in the HORST/Aveda Institute Advanced Training program in 1985, she went on to do an apprenticeship at The Red Carpet Salons for three years in Minneapolis...read full bio

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