They say it’s the little things that matter, and when it comes to skincare, we have to agree. Few things feel better than the sensation of a freshly scrubbed face. Trouble is, few of us know how to actually get that feeling consistently. Sure, you may know that the key to a clear, healthy complexion is exfoliation (i.e., shedding the uppermost layer of dead skin cells). But what you use to exfoliate makes a big difference in whether you come away with a radiant glow or a mask of raw, irritated epidermis.
There are a few types of products that will do the job, but exfoliating face scrubs are often the most preferred. Known as physical exfoliants (as opposed to chemical exfoliants), these facial scrubs use tiny abrasive grains that act like sandpaper on your face, using friction to buff dead skin cells away. Physical exfoliants can be made from natural ingredients like apricot kernels, sugar, even coffee, or they can be synthetic “beads” that dissolve as you use them. Some guys love this type of exfoliant because you can really feel it working. However, it can be pretty harsh on some sensitive skin, leaving your face red and irritated, which leads to dry skin, increased oil production, or even scarring (and not in a sexy Jason Momoa kind of way).
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use an exfoliating scrub. It just means you have to do your homework … or, if you’d rather, have us do it for you. We’ve put together a list of our favorite exfoliating face scrubs that contain quality ingredients for buffing away dead skin, and soothing the new skin underneath so that it stays happy, hydrated, and balanced. Gently (and we mean gently) massage these facial exfoliator scrubs into your forehead, chin, and cheeks, splash with cold water, pat dry, and finish with a kiss of moisturizer, and you’ll feel your face glowing all day long.
Disco Face Scrub
Finely ground apricot seed sloughs away yesterday’s skin, with a little extra help from papaya extract enzymes, while chamomile, aloe, and sea kelp nourish and hydrate what’s underneath.
Alder New York Clarifying Face Mask
For nights when you’re ready to do some deep cleaning, pick this ultra-pure exfoliating mask. Activated charcoal and bentonite clay absorb impurities from your skin while the mask remains on your face. Scrubbing it off leaves your face not only clear, but also unbelievably soft, thanks to the addition of willow bark, rosemary extract, and sulfur mud.
Black Wolf Nation Exfoliating Bamboo Face Scrub
Ground walnut shells and bamboo stem polish your skin, while jojoba esters and tropical fruit extracts break down pore-clogging oils, and special hydrating sugar technology blend rebuilds your skin’s moisture barrier before you rinse clean.
Facetheory Glycolic Acid Face and Body Scrub
This super-concentrated, double-action exfoliating face scrub doesn’t play around. Tiny jojoba beads offer a physical exfoliation that is boosted with the chemical exfoliating power of glycolic and salicylic acid. Five minutes with this scrub, and you’ll look and feel like a new man.
Burt’s Bees Cooling Facial Scrub
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. This easy-to-find face scrub boasts natural ingredients such as aloe, hemp, and other nutrient-rich botanicals that ensure your newly scrubbed skin doesn’t get dry or irritated.
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