The 12 Best Exfoliating Face Scrubs in 2021

Find out our top picks for best exfoliating face scrubs

Sometimes you just really need a physical scrub to get rid of that extra dry skin and pore-clogging debris. The best exfoliating face scrubs are gentle enough not to damage your skin but will leave it feeling silky smooth. Loaded with acne-fighting and antibacterial ingredients, these face exfoliator scrubs will certainly help those experiencing skin troubles.

asap-daily-exfoliating-facial-scrub-200ml_woman applies exfoliator to face with pink background_500 x 327asap-daily-exfoliating-facial-scrub-200ml_woman applies exfoliator to face with pink background_500 x 327

"I received a decent size sample of this scrub in a recent Adore order. I have dry and sensitive skin and was a little worried this would irritate my skin. I was so surprised by how effective the scrub is in removing dead skin and best of all, it did not irritate my skin at all! A little really goes a long way with the scrub as well." - Kate ★★★★★

This unique, dual-action exfoliator combines physical exfoliants (biodegradable microbeads) with Glycolic acid, an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid that exfoliates on the surface by breaking down dead skin cells.

Looking for the best exfoliating face scrub that goes easy on the environment? Theasap daily exfoliating facial scrub truly does it all while reducing environmental impact with this dual-action exfoliator. Using gentle, biodegradable micro-beads in place of harmful plastic, you can rinse away excess dead skin with this face scrub without worrying about how your routine affects wildlife.

These gentle micro-beads slough away dead skin physically while Glycolic Acid, a chemical exfoliant Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, gently smooths skin by loosening dead skin cells for seriously glowing complexion. Trade the scratchy, harmful exfoliator scrubs of your youth for a grown-up option that does more than just scrub. Ideal for those with skin texture, breakouts, and uneven skin tone. Ensure you wear a sunscreen while getting your glow on with this face scrub, as Glycolic acid can cause sun sensitivity.

"I was nervous about trying this for quite a while, as I have eczema (granted, on my arms and legs, not face) and quite sensitive skin. I was getting lots of little pimples on my chin and forehead, and was trying lots of other products so I eventually bit the bullet and bought this. That was a couple of years ago now, and I ALWAYS have this scrub now. It's super sensitive (doesn't sting/burn/leave skin red) but does an extremely thorough scrub and clean. I use it maybe 3 times a week." - Carrie ★★★★★

A deep and invigorating cleanser, formulated for use on the face and body. Enriched with Glycolic acid, Jojoba Beads, and Tea Tree Oil, this exfoliating cleanser clears and brightens the complexion.

Get glowing with natural botanicals with Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14%. Best for those who have used acids before and know their skin can stand up to some serious exfoliation, this killer face scrub uses a dual-action approach to sloughing away dead skin with a potent 14% Glycolic acid.

While Glycolic acid works to exfoliate at a deeper level, Jojoba beads serve as a physical exfoliant, scrubbing away dead skin gently to reduce irritation while refreshing your complexion. A great choice for those with breakouts, this non-abrasive scrub is fortified with tea tree oil, a natural antibacterial and brightener, for even more botanical skin-saving goodness. Ensure you’re wearing sunscreen while using this product, as Glycolic acid can cause sun sensitivity.

"Very surprised at how soft my skin felt after! It is very hydrating as it penetrates deeply into the skin and leaves a lovely scent afterwards" - Sally ★★★★☆

Skin feeling a little rough around the edges? Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream is a non-granular exfoliator that yields deeply cleansed, smooth, and radiant skin. This natural formula is rich in Oats, Almonds, and Honey to loosen and lift away dead skin cells.

Dry, sensitive skins will feel comfy, cosy, and fresh with Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream 100ml. A soft, gentle cream suitable for daily use, simply smooth on this luxe concoction and massage into skin in slow circular motions to loosen and sweep away dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria for a brighter, more even complexion in minutes.

Formulated with skin-soothing Almonds, Oats, and naturally antibacterial Honey, skin is comforted throughout exfoliation. Rose, Green Tea, Chamomile, and Marshmallow refine and soothe while hydrating Grape Seed and clarifying Daisy round out this truly luxe exfoliating cream. Perfect for those with dry, sensitive skin, this non-scrubby scrub is ideal for those with serious inflammation and breakouts who still need an exfoliating boost- without the burn.

"Love this product - never met an Alpha H product I didn’t like for that matter! The glycolic does cause a slight tingling which I love. If using during the day, make sure to use a good spf - I prefer to use this at night. Perfect for both dry and oily skin types. If your skins on the very dry/dehydrated side this may not be moisturising enough though it’s perfect for my oily skin! Highly recommend!" - Jinaya ★★★★★

A lightweight face lotion that gently exfoliates skin for improved texture and a hydrated complexion. Harnessing the powerful qualities of Glycolic Acid, this nourishing moisturiser helps clear congestion and brighten skin.

Alpha-H, an industry leader in exfoliation that works for all skins, brings their unique botanical approach to high-quality, scientific skincare with the Alpha-H Balancing Moisturiser & Gentle Exfol.. A lightweight, luxe moisturiser, this perfect weight lotion is great for all skin types looking to multi-task with their skincare, bringing Glycolic acid to your moisturising routine. Not enough time for an extra exfoliating step in your nightly skincare? No worries! Alpha-H sloughs away dead skin during wear-time, bringing you hydration and treatment all in one easy step.

This sublime formula blends chemical exfoliation with Hyaluronic acid, Green Tea, Vitamin E and soothing Aloe Vera to nourish and revive tired skin. Perfect for combination or oily skins, ensure you’re wearing sunscreen during the day when using this product to combat the sun sensitivity that can occur when using Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

"Although it is expensive, this stuff has literally changed the tone and clarity of my skin. You don't need alot, therefore it will last you a really long time. Helped to clear my acne-prone skin and keep it looking bright and glowy. Will be repurchasing 110%!" - Holly ★★★★★

A product that truly needs no introduction, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is a bestseller, providing light daily exfoliation to keep skin healthy, bright, and smooth in a snap.

Take it from the experts at Dermalogica- exfoliating daily doesn’t have to be a pain. Dermalogica’s well-loved cult classic Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is your new favourite daily exfoliator, providing gentle removal of excess dead skin cells without stripping the skin or causing irritation. This silky rice-based powder formula is infused with exfoliating plant extracts and enzymes, gently eating away at dead skin and excess oil on the skin’s surface to refresh and renew your complexion with daily use.

The botanicals and enzymes work in perfect harmony with the lightly exfoliating rice powder base to improve skin tone, texture, and minimise breakouts and scarring for a unique resurfacer that won’t result in irritated, dried-out skin. Ideal for those looking to fight uneven tone, texture, breakouts and scarring on a daily basis. Ensure you’re protected with sunscreen when using this product, as enzymes can cause skin to become more sun sensitive than normal.

This dual-action face scrub uses a powerful combination of both physical and chemical exfoliators to completely transform your complexion as they gently remove all dead skin cells and impurities, while clearing pores.

Achieve an effortless radiant look with this impressive dual-action scrub, that clears pores with ease.

This chemical and physical exfoliant hybrid is a powerhouse that provides efficient results. Benefiting from the combination of natural Jojoba Grains, as well as Salicylic and Mandelic Acids, this exfoliant leaves skin bright and smooth. Dead skin is scoured from the surface, while your pores are cleared and cleansed.

Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub 75ml  also works to tighten your pores, and provide the skin with a healthy glow. With a light honeysuckle smell this cream is light and refreshing to use on a regular basis, for a radiant and smooth complexion. Suitable for all skin types, this scrub is a real all rounder.

"I love to keep these in the fridge. Feels very soothing applying a cold pad on irritated skin. I find it does slightly help to brighten my face" - Abbey ★★★★★

Reclaim skin’s lost glow with these intensive skin care treatment pads that promote a healthier, more radiant complexion.

Pixi is a brand that’s synonymous with a gorgeous glow, and now you can achieve that Glow Tonic look on the go with Pixi Glow Peel Pads. Pixi’s universally loved industry standard Glow Tonic is renowned for its’ top quality results at a price most everyone can afford, and their Glow Peel Pads bring that same magic to your routine.

Simply sweep these pre-soaked pads along the surface of the skin after cleansing and before treatments and moisturisers to prep skin like a pro, sweeping away dead skin cells and strengthening skin with a whopping 20% Glycolic Acid, calming Rose Water, and brightening Licorice Root. Perfect for all skin types, this gentle, potent formula should always be paired with sunscreen, as chemical exfoliants can increase sun sensitivity.

"This makes my skin feel really clean but not tight, I love using it my nose and feel like its really getting rid of dead skin cells and dirt" - Elizabeth ★★★★★

If you’re in need of some serious exfoliation, Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant is the perfect choice for you. Formulated with a blend of high-potency actives, this daily-use exfoliator smoothes, softens, and brightens skin, revealing a more even, youthful complexion with every use.

Love the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, but looking for an extra boost for those particularly clogged pore days? Dermalogica has you covered there as well with the Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, a heavy duty twist on the classic Microfoliant with an added dose of skin-sloughing power. The Daily Superfoliant contains all the great gentle ingredients of the Daily Microfoliant with the addition of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, boosting the classic powder & enzyme formula to create a truly unique triple-action exfoliator.

These high potency actives slough away dead skin cells for a complexion that seriously glows - without irritation. Ensure you rock a sunscreen when using this daily exfoliator, as acids and enzymes can cause sun sensitivity.

"I found an improvement in my skin’s texture after regular use. This is definitely slightly more expensive, but worth it for the great quality!" - Sally ★★★★☆

Through physical and chemical exfoliating agents, this face wash polishes skin to remove dead skin cells and impurities, clearing pores to enhance the complexion and improve overall skin texture.

Stop acne and pigmentation in its’ tracks with Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 200ml . This seriously refining formula from the experts at Murad, a name well-known worldwide for its’ clinical in-home skincare solutions, crushes uneven tone, texture, breakouts, and scarring in seconds. This unique triple-action exfoliator uses Lactic and Glycolic acids to exfoliate on the skin’s surface while Salicylic acid exfoliates within the pores, penetrating deep into skin to remove dead skin cells and excess oil that can cause acne.

This potent exfoliator works head to toe, combating stubborn bumps and breakouts on the body as well as the face for a full-body refresh. Best used two to three times a week, this product is ideal for all skin types, though those with easily irritated skin may want to limit use to one to two times a week. Like any other acid product, be sure to use sunscreen when using this product to combat sun sensitivity from the use of acids.

"Yep, this actually works! I have always had blackheads on my nose from hell. Nothing worked. those nose pore strips are too rough for me, and I've never had a good result from them anyway. No amount of scrubbing reduced the size, and I was just getting concerned about the long term affects on my skin from the constant cleaning and pulling. I just resided to the fact I'd have massive ugly blackheads for the rest of my life. Thank god, not anymore. I only write a review when I feel people really need to know about a product that works very well, and very good price too considering they're on a gem recipe here."- Erica ★★★★★

Multifunctional formula works as a daily cleanser/scrub and deep-cleansing mask to visibly reduce the appearance of pores and blackheads. Controls excess oil and smooths the way for clearer skin, helping to prevent future blackheads.

Leave blackheads in the past with Clinique Blackhead Solutions 7 Day Deep Pore Cleanse & Scrub 125ml . A unique exfoliating formula, this exfoliator works as both a scrub and mask to uncork stubborn clogged pores and smooth the surface of the skin for an even, glowing complexion. Salicylic acid, the main active in this product, is blended with Glucosamine to exfoliate deep within the pores, removing dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria to rid skin of breakouts and blackheads without a trip to the spa.

This oily skin saver also includes Silica, Kaolin Clay and Laminaria Saccharina Extract, which attract and absorb excess oil, dirt, and debris to leave skin fresh, bright, and thoroughly cleansed while Vitamin E soothes, minimising irritation. A perfect choice for those with oily, breakout or blackhead prone skin, ensure you’re using a sunscreen with this product to minimise sun sensitivity that can come with using acid exfoliators.

The Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Brightening Exfoliator will have your skin radiant and glowing in no time. The blend of natural and organic ingredients work to reveal a bright complexion that feels silky smooth.

Transform dull complexions with this gentle formula perfect for sensitive skin types. Reveal smooth, clear and radiant skin.

When it comes to all-natural effective exfoliators, you can’t do much better than Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Skin Polishing Exfoliating Powder. A gentle cream formula, this nourishing scrub is formulated with Yoghurt, Grapefruit Extract, and Rice Enzymes to gently slough away dead skin while soothing and cooling the skin’s surface to minimise irritation. 

Prebiotics minimise redness and inflammation while grapefruit, rich in Vitamin C, helps to fight environmental damage and irritants, leaving skin bright, smooth, and even. A great option for those looking for daily exfoliation without drying or stripping the skin. Those with dry, irritated, or acne-prone skin will love this calming formula. To protect skin ensure you wear sunscreen during the day when using this product.

"I love this product! It is very similar to Dermalogica's Microfoliant but a little less drying and it gives the skin a nice glow. A little goes a long way. Great for the most sensitive of skin types." - Jules ★★★★★

Brighten and smooth lacklustre skin with Ella Baché Revealing Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant, a high-performance bioactive exfoliator. This potent exfoliator delivers microdermabrasion-style results without the stress or abrasion.

Harness the power of natural fruit enzymes for exfoliation with Ella Baché Revealing Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant . Rich in natural bio-actives, this dual action exfoliator blends the skin-refining power of fruit enzymes with pore-clearing Salicylic acid for a deep clean that leaves skin smooth, polished, and radiant. This powerful formula does all the work of more intensive exfoliators without the sting that can sometimes occur when scrubbing more sensitive skin, helping you achieve a gorgeous, clear complexion with minimal discomfort.

Anti-inflammatory Licorice extract helps maintain that smooth, calm complexion, minimising redness and inflammation and infusing skin with luminosity, while additional hydrators preserve moisture. Perfect for more sensitive skins, it’s recommended that all skin types work this product into their routine gently, about once a week at first, to help skin adjust. Always use a sunscreen when using this product, as enzymes and acids can cause sun sensitivity.

If you want to learn more about when and how to exfoliate please follow our guide Should I Exfoliate Before, During, or After Cleansing? or for more specific concerns try How Should I Exfoliate My Skin If I Have Acne?

Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14% - hand on chin as model looks to the side with exfoliator on cheek - 600 x 400Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14% - hand on chin as model looks to the side with exfoliator on cheek - 600 x 400

So, Let's Recap the 12 Best Exfoliating Face Scrubs

  1. asap daily exfoliating facial scrub

  2. Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14%

  3. Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream 100ml

  4. Alpha-H Balancing Moisturiser & Gentle Exfol.

  5. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

  6. Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Skin Polishing Exfoliating Powder

  7. Pixi Glow Peel Pads

  8. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

  9. Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 200ml

  10. Clinique Blackhead Solutions 7 Day Deep Pore Cleanse & Scrub 125ml

  11. Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Skin Polishing Exfoliating Powder

  12. Ella Baché Revealing Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

This article has been updated on 15/02 to replace discontinued products with our recent product recommendations. Brooklyn from our Customer Service team has helped to bring you our most recommended products and up-to-date information.

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