The best exfoliators for acne-prone skin

Like all skin types, acne-prone skin needs regular exfoliation to remove the dead skin cells that linger on the surface of the skin and cause dullness or dryness. Acne-prone skin needs gentle but effective skincare in order to care for, and boost, the overall complexion. If you’re thinking about purchasing an exfoliator for your acne-prone skin, check out our top recommendations.

Why does acne develop?
Acne can occur at any age but it mainly affects teenagers. It can occur on the face, neck, back and body and happens when oil and dead skin cells become trapped in the hair follicle. Bacteria causes this to become inflamed and sore so it needs to be treated with care. Those with acne generally suffer from oily skin so finding a product with oil control can help to clear up blemishes.

Why does acne need gentle exfoliation?
Exfoliation is important as it removes dead skin cells. Exfoliating acne-prone skin can reduce breakouts. Acne-prone skin may produce more dead skin cells than other skin types so regular exfoliation will help to unclog pores and decongest the skin. Over-exfoliating the skin can overstimulate oil production causing flare ups and irritated skin so it’s best to exfoliate no more than three times per week, depending on the product.

The best exfoliators for acne-prone skin
If you’re looking to purchase an exfoliator for acne prone skin then look for one that contains glycolic acid. The Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14% contains jojoba beads to gently unclog pores, tea tree oil to treat blemishes and glycolic acid to renew. Its best used two to three times per week, however if your skin is very inflamed you should avoid this type of treatment, as it may be too harsh.

Another exfoliator you could try is the Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Blackhead Clearing Pore Control Scrub a blend of tea tree, purifying clays and menthol oils to deep cleanse, remove excess oil and remove dead skin cells.


The Terre and Mer by Thalgo Marine Scrub is an organic scrub that’€™s effective to use on sensitive, acne-prone skin types. With particles of organic almond shell to exfoliate dead skin cells and impurities, this scrub works well to leaves glowing, fresh skin that’€™s soothed and calmed.

For a hint of salicylic acid, opt for the Burts Bees Anti-Blemish Pore Refining Scrub with jojoba beads to exfoliate without drying. It’€™s also great for helping to reduce blemishes as salicylic acid is a well known spot-fighting ingredient.

If you suffer from acne on your body then an effective body scrub will help to remove dead skin cells on your body. The Jurlique Exfoliating Body Gel is rich in antioxidants and walnut shells to gentle exfoliate whilst refreshing and soothing with a hint of tea tree.

Another great scrub to try is the Subtle Energies Rasayana Detox Body Scrub with limbu, tulasi and wild turmeric oils to detoxify and balance the skin whilst decongesting pores.


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