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Face scrubs are a physical form of exfoliation that typically uses plastic pellets or other materials to remove dry skin and dirt from the face. Some face scrubs also use chemicals, such as beta hydroxy, to dissolve dead skin cells.

The benefits of using face scrubs include removing:

  • dirt
  • dead skin cells
  • sebum or oil

Using face scrubs is a way of quickly removing outer layers of the skin and helping people maintain their skin’s appearance.

Face scrubs are generally safe, but there are some risks to consider. Individuals with sensitive skin may find face scrubs to cause irritation or redness on the skin. Moreover, some face scrubs can cause breakouts in people who are prone to acne.

Individuals with dark skin tones who get dark spots on their skin after bug bites may find that certain face scrubs also cause such spots.

To be safe when using face scrubs, people should choose products that suit their skin type, and follow tips such as:

  • avoiding using face scrubs on damaged skin
  • applying face scrubs gently, with a circular motion, for no more than 30 seconds before rinsing
  • moisturizing afterward
  • avoiding using face scrubs too frequently

The key factors to consider when purchasing face scrubs include the following:

  • Compatibility with skin type: People with sensitive skin or those who are prone to acne require gentler face scrubs than individuals with more oily skin.
  • Synthetic or natural exfoliants: Natural exfoliants may be better for people with sensitive skin than synthetic ones, such as plastic beads. Jojoba meal is an example of a natural exfoliant.
  • Soothing ingredients: Face scrubs rub against the face with varying intensities, and some individuals may appreciate the presence of ingredients that will calm the skin, such as oatmeal. Some face scrubs contain fruit enzymes or lactic acid, which will intensify the exfoliating scrubbing.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: Products list all ingredients clearly.
  • Skin concerns: Products target a specific skin concern, such as dryness or oiliness.
  • Safety: Products contain ingredients that are safe for topical use.
  • Reputability: Products are from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub

This product is suitable for dry, normal, or oily skin. It gets its scrubbing power from hydrated silica to remove dead skin cells from the face.

The product contains aloe and glycerin, which has hydrating and softening properties.

According to the manufacturer, it is suitable for those with more mature-looking skin or as an acne prevention product and is gentle enough for daily use.

A 150-milliliter (ml) tube sells for $31.

Avène Gentle Scrub

This product contains two different sizes of biodegradable beads for gentle exfoliating. It also includes safflower, camelina, and shea oils to nourish and smooth the skin.

The directions for use include massaging the product into wet skin once or twice per week before rinsing it off.

It is available for $24 in a 6.7-fluid ounce (fl oz) tube.

Peach & Lily Non-Stimulus Face Polisher

The manufacturer claims that this is a very gentle exfoliator that is suitable for oily, dry, and sensitive skin types. This face scrub uses apricot kernel and glycerin to polish and moisturize the skin.

Directions for using this product include massaging a dime-size amount into dry skin 1–3 days per week to remove dead skin and dirt before rinsing the exfoliator off.

This product comes in 100-ml tubes for $25.

Skin Authority Exfoliating Cleanser

This face scrub washes away dirt and dead skin cells while hydrating the skin with a blend of micro pumice and botanicals.

A tube containing 6 fl oz of the product sells for $44.

Mad Hippie MicroDermabrasion Facial

This product uses alpha hydroxy acids as chemical exfoliants, and physical exfoliants, such as bamboo and volcanic ash. It also contains probiotics to soothe and nourish dry skin.

Massage this product into clean, damp skin up to twice per week.

A 2.1-oz jar sells for $31.99.

Tatcha The Dewy Serum

This facial scrub gains its exfoliating strength from lactic acid. Also, it uses hyaluronic acid and squalene to smooth the skin.

The manufacturer recommends making it part of a morning and potentially evening skin care routine.

A 1-oz bottle of this facial scrub sells for $88.

Éminence Organic Skin Care Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser

This vegan face scrub is free from nuts and gluten. The manufacturer claims the product provides deep-cleaning and anti-aging benefits.

The face scrub contains ground olive seeds, fruit extracts, and Tahitian oil.

A person needs to mix this product with water before massaging it into their face for 1–3 minutes. They then need to remove it using a damp cloth or towel.

An 8.4-oz bottle sells for $42.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This product contains a variety of ingredients to soothe the skin, including:

  • rice bran
  • white tea
  • licorice
  • colloidal oatmeal

This exfoliant is gentle enough for everyday use.

A 0.45-oz container sells for $15, and a 2.6-oz container costs $59.

OleHenriksen Pore-Balance Facial Sauna Scrub

This product contains Icelandic volcanic sand and alpha hydroxy acids. It loosens dead skin cells, absorbs face oil, and unplugs pores.

It has a eucalyptus-peppermint scent.

A 3.4-oz jar costs $28.

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

This is a cruelty-free and vegan face scrub that cleanses with French green clay and lemon.

It also contains sea kelp and Madonna lily to soften the skin.

It costs $9.99 for a 4-fl oz tube.

Face scrubs can be an important part of any skin care routine. They can remove dirt, dead skin cells, and oils.

However, people should be sure to use face scrubs that suit their skin type, as exfoliating can irritate the skin or cause dark spots on the skin.