10 Exfoliating Scrubs & Cleansers That Will Give You Glowing Skin In 2023
All exfoliating scrubs are not created equal.
Some scrubs use high-quality ingredients that give your skin tone a natural glow, while others have actually been banned! (Read reviews and through to the end of this post to see why).
To make sure the new you in this new year knows just what to do when it comes to exfoliating face scrubs and body polishes, peruse our top ten list below.
See Related: How To Use Exfoliating Body Scrub
1. JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub
Of all the face scrubs getting buzz in today's beauty circles, JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub sits at the top of our list - and for good reason.
First off, it feels amazing, and it really does give you a radiant complexion, as the name suggests.
The formula combines physical as well as chemical exfoliants to clear clogged pores and slough off dead skin cells. Apple enzymes gently exfoliate by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, making it easier for the jojoba beads to brush away dirt and debris from the surface.
Along with botanical brightening agents like turmeric, cinnamon, and clove flower, this exfoliating scrub gives you a gorgeous glow and leaves your skin feeling soft.
(Pro tip: those who also use our turmeric eye cream know just how amazing this ingredient is. It's the real deal!)
Candlenut oil for every skin type, including oily skin
The Radiance Enzyme Scrub also incorporates nourishing candlenut oil to moisturize and soothe skin. Rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, candlenut oil contributes to a healthy cell membrane and can help block the release of substances that eat away at the skin's collagen after sun exposure.
These essential fatty acids (EFAs) reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin barrier, and Omega-6 specifically helps clear up clogged pores.
Candlenut oil is naturally antimicrobial, making it especially beneficial for an acne-prone skin type. The turmeric and green tea extract lend antioxidant action to acne while also helping to reduce the signs of premature aging.
2. SKINCEUTICALS Micro-Exfoliating Scrub
SKINCEUTICALS Micro-Exfoliating Scrub is another face scrub that works for just about any skin type, and is especially adept at addressing hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
This gentle exfoliating gel contains hydrated silica microbeads that remove dead skin cells from the surface and improve the overall texture of your skin. This gentle facial exfoliating scrub helps prepare skin for better absorption of whatever serums, creams, or other concoctions you subsequently use.
Give dull skin a hydrating boost
We know hydration is a big help when it comes to your skincare routine. The glycerin in this face exfoliating scrub is a powerful humectant that draws moisture to the top layer of skin. It has water-binding properties that plump skin so your skin and make your face look a little younger.
Aloe vera lends additional hydration, which soothes and refreshes skin. Whether you use it once a day or a couple of times a week, you will benefit from less congested pores and a clearer complexion.
3. JUARA Invigorating Coffee Scrub
Sometimes it's the hands, heels, elbows, and other bendy bits that give us grief by getting extra day and rough.
Harsh winter weather can exacerbate these conditions, since there tends to be less humidity in the air, and we're spending time trying to warm up by the fire. Even in the summer, though, dry skin is real.
Luckily, JUARA Invigorating Coffee Scrub is packed with skin-loving ingredients that will give you softer skin all over. It also boosts circulation. With repeated use, you may notice firmer skin where you used to experience frustration with sagging or cellulite.
The history of coffee as a face exfoliator
For centuries, the Sumatran coffee bean has been used in Indonesian spa treatments to heal dry skin. Now you can take advantage of all those skin benefits, along with more recent dermatological developments and discoveries. It's the best of both worlds, which is something we really love at JUARA.
The coconut cleansing agents bring in vitamin E and vitamin A while the rice starch cleansing agent satiates thirsty and stressed skin. You can massage this exfoliating scrub into your skin in the bath or shower, and you'll see a difference as soon as you towel off.
Here's an example of a coffee scrub you can make for yourself, though there is something to be said for JUARA's dermatologist-tested, tried and true formulas.
4. Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub
This next face scrub is great for a sensitive skin type as well as those who are more mature and looking for some anti-aging benefits.
Like other facial exfoliating scrubs, Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub helps clear away dead skin cells and sets your face up perfectly for subsequent products. Because dirt and oils aren't blocking pores, they can absorb all the good stuff in the serums and creams you count on.
An exfoliating scrub with anti-inflammatory properties
In addition to Horse chestnut, which strengthens connective tissue, this formula also contains purslane, an ingredient that has anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates collagen production. Add vitamin A to that, and your skin will soon be firmer with fewer breakouts or irritation.
Since vitamin A speeds up skin cell turnover, you'll likely notice less prominent lines and wrinkles over time. With a smoother complexion and more hydrated skin, you'll probably notice anti-aging effects all around.
5. Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator
Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator is another face scrub that rightfully receives accolades from beauty buffs.
Like the other scrubs on our list, it removes surface cells and debris before they can clog pores and pose a problem. You can say buh-bye to those bumps that bum you out and look forward to perfectly polished, glowing skin.
Dull skin? Meet your new skin type
This face exfoliating scrub saturates the skin with soothing jojoba oil, which brings much-needed moisture to dry skin. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it works along the chamomile extract to calm skin and reduce redness.
It's a lightweight, creamy gel that just gets it. If you're not ready to get (or prepared to pay for) professional microdermabrasion, this face scrub mimics some of the benefits. Aluminum oxide crystals are used to resurface the skin and smooth fine lines.
6. Tula So Polished Exfoliating Sugar Scrub
Tula So Polished Exfoliating Sugar Scrub has some features that are similar to the Radiance Enzyme Scrub by JUARA. Of course, we love our Jamu-inspired recipe, but this scrub deserves a spot on this top ten list as well.
While the sugar granules provide physical exfoliation, the papaya & pineapple enzymes use chemical (or enzymatic, to be more exact) exfoliation to remove impurities and brighten skin. It also incorporates probiotic extracts that help to smooth skin and ensure that it's not left feeling overly tight.
The price point of this face scrub makes it popular with a lot of people. However, just know that how you store it can make a difference in how long it maintains its consistency and efficacy.
How to store this facial exfoliating scrub
Since this is a sugar scrub, storing it in the shower or alongside the bathtub may expose it to too much humidity, which can cause the sugar to clump. Store this scrub in a cool dry place, so you can take advantage of it's purifying powers that much longer.
There's no synthetic fragrance, but it has a rather pleasing tropical aroma. It's dermatologist-tested and also steers clear of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
7. SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
The SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is another one of our favorite face scrubs that feels great going on, and even better as you gently massage it in. When you rinse it away you may see that your skin's a little brighter and smooth.
This face scrub and exfoliating cleanser contains exfoliating chemicals to unclog pores and slough off dead or oily skin. And as the name implies, this cleanser uses both kinds of chemical exfoliants: alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) to brighten your complexion.
Just be sure to use the cleansing agents in this exfoliating face wash appropriately. And avoid contact with the eye area, especially if you're taking off any makeup application.
Improve skin texture with this face exfoliator
AHAs are water-soluble acids that aid in removing dead skin cells. They help with hyperpigmentation issues (like age spots), improve skin tone, and minimize fine lines. AHAs like glycolic acid make skin smoother to the touch.
Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are oil-soluble chemical exfoliants, so they can penetrate sebaceous glands and get to deeper layers in the skin. BHAs are often used to deal with acne-prone skin, sun damage, or any other related skin concern.
This face scrub uses salicylic acid, a BHA, which exfoliates by delving deep into the skin to remove both skin cells and excess oil, or sebum, that causes acne. The AHAs in this formula - like glycolic acid and lactic acid - dissolve the bond that holds dead skin cells together. Then the soft jojoba beads help sweet all that dirt and detritus away.
8. Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Micro Face Polish
If you're looking for an effective face scrub, but you're on a tight budget, the Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Micro Face Polish might be your best bet. It brightens and softens skin, and doesn't break the bank.
The secret behind this exfoliating miracle
This face scrub uses glycolic and mandelic acids, both of which are alpha-hydroxy acids that help do away with dullness. Again, the key is nudging along skin cell turnover so that more evenly-pigmented cells can make their way to the top.
This process can even minimize the appearance of pores, and as mentioned earlier, helps with hyperpigmentation. With daily use, you'll keep dirt and bacteria at bay.
This face scrub works well for any and all types of skin. Whether you have oily skin, combination skin, or tend to be on the drier side, this is a scrub you can consider incorporating into your radiant skin care routine.
9. Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant
This face scrub is slightly different from some of the others you'll see on shelves. Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant utilizes an exfoliating rice-based powder. When you activate it with water, it releases papain, salicylic acid, and rice enzymes that get right to work improving the tone and texture of your skin.
Use warm water to coax out the magic
The brightening and balancing exfoliation effect comes from the phytic acid in rice bran, as well as the white tea and licorice. Colloidal oatmeal and allantoin calm skin and reduce redness.
It is one of the more gentle face scrubs, since the rice bran is milled into such a fine powder. Still, it's more than capable of sloughing off dead cells and clearing away additional oil, so if you have combination skin or oily skin, you're set!
10. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
Sea kelp and French green clay are fan favorites in the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub formula.
A natural exfoliant, French Green Clay draws out impurities from the pores and does away with dead skin cells. It helps clear the skin's surface, so it's smoother and softer.
Improve texture and skin tone with this face exfoliator
This scrub is also infused with walnut shell powder and lemon peel, which can deeply clean and purify the skin. However, walnut shell powder, like some other physical exfoliants, can irritate sensitive skin. Some claim that it can cause micro-tears in the skin, leaving it open to bacteria and infection.
We weren't being over dramatic at the top of this post when we mentioned banned scrubs. But let's not let the mystery linger any longer - we were referring to plastic microbeads in particular.
Plastic microbeads were all the rage for a hot minute, but when their negative impact on the planet was better understood, a law was established to prevent companies from producing products with microbeads, and stores were subsequently prohibited from selling them.
But back to the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub.
Gentle, gentle, gentle is the way to go
The goal is to support the skin barrier that keeps moisture in and irritants out. The stratum corneum, the outermost layer of our skin is tasked with this responsibility, so we want to make sure we're always gently exfoliating and not overdoing it.
With this face scrub, the skin feels clarified and looks a bit brighter.
Exfoliating your cares away
Facial exfoliating scrubs are an important part of any skincare ritual. Whether you use a product with papaya enzymes or jojoba beads, exfoliating is a great way to keep skin clean, clear, and glowing.
So if you're looking for a way to give yourself that indulgent spa-at-home treatment, include a facial exfoliating scrub. You might find yourself whisked away by the botanical scent.
Or maybe you'll find yourself reinvigorated and ready to get back to your glowing skin. After all, your skin deserves all your attention.
Because it's the only one you have. So why not pamper it with a scrub that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and renewed all over?
Keep Reading: What's The Best Natural Moisturizer For Your Face?
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