The 8 Best Exfoliators of 2023

Published on March 17, 2023

Research skincare routines, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a list without an exfoliator. The skincare essential is basically a skin scrub that brushes away dead cells to make way for fresh, clean skin. The problem with exfoliators is that there are far too many exfoliators. How does one choose among the countless options on the market? Check out our tip right list, and hopefully, it’ll help anyone pick the right exfoliator for their skincare needs. 

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top 3 quick picks for the best exfoliators:

Criteria for Choosing the Best Exfoliator

Effectiveness: One issue with exfoliants is that they can be too harsh for some skin types. Is your skin more on the sensitive side, or can it handle a deep scrub? A good Exfoliator will leave your skin feeling fresh and new, not on the verge of a breakout. 

Versatility: This criterion is simple. Can the scrub be used all over your body? Or just your face? 

Scent: One of the big reasons that the Tree Hut scrubs get such high marks is because of the company’s assortment of pleasant-smelling scents. Do you want your exfoliator to smell like a tropical breeze or nothing at all? 

Environmentally-friendly? Is your exfoliator made with environmentally friendly ingredients for the scrub?

The 8 Best Exfoliators

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub

Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub, in a 5-ounce tube, is designed to cleanse and buff away dead skin, surface impurities, and oil. The scrub helps improve the skin’s tone and texture, revealing a radiant-looking complexion. It features a unique formula of moisture-rich soy extract and naturally derived granules for gentle exfoliation. Suitable for sensitive skin and everyday use, this product is free from soap, oil, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, and is hypoallergenic.

  • Gentle and suitable for sensitive skin
  • Improves skin tone and texture
  • Free from many potentially harmful substances
  • Not particularly useful for acne or aging skin

InstaNatural Vitamin C Face Polish Scrub and Face Exfoliator

InstaNatural’s Vitamin C Face Polish Scrub uses quartz crystals, strawberry seeds, and jojoba beads for a natural, gentle exfoliation, resulting in a smoother skin texture. The scrub combines Vitamin C with Lactic Acid, aiming to brighten dull skin and soften fine lines and wrinkles. Suitable for all skin types, it also contains green tea, coconut water, and aloe vera for hydration and protection against environmental damage.

  • Uses natural elements for gentle exfoliation
  • Includes hydrating and protective ingredients
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Not the best for sensitive skin

Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator

The Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator aims to rejuvenate dull, dry, and sensitive skin. It promises to remove blackheads, cleanse and minimize pores, exfoliate dull/dead skin cells, and provide deep hydration. This product is formulated to be gentle on the skin and has the added bonus of doubling as a facial mask. It’s a non-toxic scrub with no parabens or alcohol, containing ingredients like organic Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, Walnut, and Vitamin C.

  • Provides a wide range of benefits, including exfoliation and hydration
  • Can double as a facial mask
  • Non-toxic and gentle on skin
  • Can be difficult to spread

St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Face Scrub

St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Face Scrub is a product made with 100% natural exfoliants (walnut shell powder and bamboo powder) and salicylic acid, designed to clear skin of blackheads and acne. It promises a moderate exfoliation factor to help clear pores. The scrub also aims to prevent acne from face masks (“maskne”) and promote a natural glow. The product is paraben-free, dermatologist-tested, oil-free, and non-comedogenic.

  • Specifically targets acne and blackheads
  • Made with 100% natural exfoliants
  • Prevents acne from face masks
  • Not the best for sensitive skin

St. Ives Acne Control Face Scrub Apricot

The St. Ives Acne Control Face Scrub Apricot utilizes 100% natural walnut shell powder and apricot extracts to remove impurities, providing deep exfoliation. Containing 2% salicylic acid, it is designed to prevent blemishes from forming. The scrub is dermatologist-tested, paraben-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and St. Ives does not test its products on animals.

  • Targets acne and blemishes with salicylic acid
  • Made with 100% natural exfoliants
  • Paraben-free and non-comedogenic
  • Isn’t the best for dry skin

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

Acure’s Brightening Facial Scrub uses sea kelp super-nutrients, lemon peel, and French green clay for exfoliation and detoxification. This 100% vegan product is designed to draw out impurities, remove dead skin cells, and soften skin. It’s free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and formaldehyde.

  • Contains natural ingredients for exfoliation and detoxification
  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  • Packaging issues

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Daily Facial Scrub

Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Gentle Daily Facial Scrub is an oil-free scrub designed to clean pores deeply. With a gentle exfoliating effect, the scrub aims to remove dull, dead surface skin and unclog pores. The product is oil-free, non-comedogenic, and dermatologist-tested. It includes microbeads and a beta hydroxy formula to penetrate deep into pores.

  • Oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Deep cleans pores
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Contains microbeads
  • Mainly targeted toward oily skin

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is an exfoliating powder that polishes skin and helps balance uneven skin tones when mixed with water. It promises to remove dulling surface debris and even skin tone, revealing brighter, smoother skin. The product is cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, paraben-free, and free from artificial fragrances and color.

  • Gentle enough for daily use
  • Free from artificial fragrances and colors
  • Powdered form is not for everyone

In Conclusion 

Nobody likes having dry or tough skin. Finding a good exfoliator is a great way to combat dryness, aging, acne, and more. The list mentioned above has some great versatile items, and just keep in mind to really research what your skin needs. Is it acne-prone and/or sensitive? Or do you just need something to scrub the day away? Do you want eco-friendly options or just a less expensive item that won’t break the bank and get the job done right? Exfoliators shouldn’t break the bank, but they also shouldn’t break your skin. A good exfoliator scrubs dead skin cells away, ideally leaving your skin feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to go.

Other Products You May Need

We hope you enjoy these products! But keep in mind, Grit Daily might take a small commission on the items recommended here—but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in them. We only recommend products that we would buy or use ourselves, so don’t be wary of our suggestions. 

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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