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Dead skin cells can be the culprit of your skin's peskiest problems. To banish breakouts and combat dull skin, it's essential to slough off those cells on a regular basis. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this at home is to incorporate a scrub into your skin care routine. While scrubs are arguably the most popular, there are several different ways to exfoliate, from physical exfoliation using an abrasive product to remove this debris, to a chemical exfoliation using an enzyme exfoliant to break down the buildup on your skin. Both methods are equally effective, but have pros and cons depending on your skin type and personal preferences.
Selecting the proper product for you often includes an endless cycle of trial and error, so we put our skin to the test to find the best of the best! Read on to learn more about the best face exfoliators, and our tips on how to best use each type.
Volition Beauty is one of the newer gals on the beauty block, but it's quickly gaining some serious notoriety in the industry. The company crowdsources its products, putting the power in the hands of the consumers. This turmeric brightening polish was the brainchild of a consumer with a dream, and we owe her a lot.
How did we ever live without this product on our shower shelves? Appropriate for use on face and body, this fine scrub utilizes the power of turmeric to polish the skin and brighten it while sloughing off dead skin cells gently. We're obsessed!
Ah, St. Ives. This throwback scrub works just as well now as it did back in sixth grade when you began your skin care routine. It's a dependable classic that we still vouch for to this day! It features 100% natural exfoliants, like crushed walnut shells, to buff your skin clear and prevent breakouts before they start.
While extremely effective, it's on the grittier side of the physical exfoliant variety, so this may not be the pick for you if you have overly sensitive or delicate skin.
We love to smooth on this creamy enzyme mask first thing in the shower to transform our skin in the time it takes to shampoo our hair. It leaves skin exfoliated and hydrated, so this is a great pick if you suffer from dry skin.
Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant is a gentler alternative to your traditional scrub. This daily-use exfoliating powder features a unique rice-based formula that activates upon contact with water, releasing salicylic acid and rice enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin looking smoother and brighter.
If you're too far away to book a session with celeb facialist Joanna Vargas, this exfoliating mask is the next best thing. Vargas says, "Foundation is used to cover up flaws, but my exfoliating mask will eliminate them and give you even-toned skin."
We can attest to this, and love the radiant glow we wear after using this enzymatic exfoliating mask.
One of our favorite drugstore brands, Yes To packs a punch with this 2-in-1 scrub and cleanser stick. It's formulated with charcoal powder to remove impurities and excess oil, as well as tomato extract to help leave skin naturally clear.
Adding to its appeal, the unique shape acts as a built-in tool to help polish and refine your skin effectively.
For some serious physical exfoliation, we love Bobbi Brown's Buffing Grains. This unique additive transforms any cleanser into a scrub in an instant! Add to your regular face wash, or whip it into some coconut oil for a DIY treatment.
Another great face exfoliator at a reasonable price, the Biore Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub provides that extra-clean sensation in addition to effective scrubbing capabilities. This innovative powder-to-foam scrub is activated by water to create tiny bubbles that break up dirt and oil within the pores, then buff away dead skin cells and debris on the skin's surface.
Some seriously interesting ingredients mingle to create this brightening scrub by Acure. Sea kelp super-nutrients work to soften and detoxify the skin, while lemon peel and French green clay cleanse without stripping away your skin's natural moisture. It also contains lily to restore brightness and revive your complexion.
Another great option if you prefer a powder exfoliator, Tatcha's The Deep Polish visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone. Formulated with a trio of anti-aging Japanese superfoods — green tea, rice, and algae — this powder exfoliant restores youthful radiance and is safe enough to use every day.