Adding another step to your grooming routine is the last thing you want to do, but hear us out. You need to exfoliate with a scrub in order to reap the benefits of the other products you’re already using. It makes sense when you think about: Shedding the surface layer of dead skin cells will give shaving creams, beard oils, and moisturizers a chance to really sink into your clear pores. Scrubbing can prevent acne-causing oil build-up and free ingrown hairs that lead to annoying razor bumps. It also prepares your face for a super close shave. You only need to polish your mug once or twice a week to unearth healthy skin. Here are The Manual’s favorite men’s face scrubs.
OK, so our favorite isn’t a face scrub, it’s a scrub at all, but a nifty little piece of tech that makes exfoliating and cleansing a one-step process that makes you feel like you’re living in the 22nd century.
The Foreo Luna 2 offers precision exfoliation in a way that no liquid wash, brush, or pad ever could. With two exfoliating sides; one a micro-scrubber for everyday exfoliation and the other a ribbed design used to stimulate collagen and prevent aging. Added to that are various settings on the vibration allowing for a fully custom experience. Got a rough patch? Got at it hard. Looking for something more gentle around the eyes? Opt for the anti-aging side and the lowest vibration setting. Combine this brush with our best face wash and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Foreo Luna 2 for Men is a winner of The Manual Grooming Awards 2018.
Since having an electronic exfoliant isn’t practical for all guys (not to mention the price is a little steep), all our favorite traditional scrubs are below.
Best Face Scrubs
Knock out your blemishes, blackheads, and ingrown hairs with this grime-busting scrub from Billy Jealousy. Dead skin cells are no match for this powerful combination of Tahitian volcanic black sand, crushed walnut shells, vitamins, and essential oils. Conditioning Neem, white tea, and green tea extracts will protect your face from environmental damage while nourishing your skin.
A men’s face scrub shouldn’t be harsh or abrasive. Micro-fine rice granules lift impurities and blackheads while herbal extracts like green yea and ginseng improve skin tone and texture. The rest of the formulation contains the most nourishing ingredients for your skin. Sooth your derm with peppermint oil, tea tree oil, ginseng, chamomile extract, and vitamins C and E.
A good men’s face scrub can be the MVP of your pre-shave game. Clinique’s For Men Face Scrub is made from fine, non-abrasive grains that will lift up your beard hairs and expose the hair follicle, allowing your razor blade to get in super close. Your skin will feel as smooth as a baby’s … well, you know.
Nobody likes a flake. If you need to get rid of beardruff, try exfoliating in the shower. The steam will soften your beard and open your pores so that you can really work the scrub into the skin beneath your facial hair. The natural apricot kernels in this formulation will loosen the dead skin cells and free ingrown hairs. And it works just as well if you’re the clean-shaven type. Slather it on in an upward, circular motion to deep clean pores and clear your complexion.
If your skin is sensitive, irritated, or inflamed with shaving bumps, skip the abrasive facial exfoliation. Instead, try this gentle, creamy scrub made from natural apricot seed kernel powder. It delicately lifts the dead skin cells while Ghassoul clay absorbs skin impurities and excess oil.
Lighten up! When your pores are congested, your skin can appear dull and tired. If you want a younger, brighter looking face — and who doesn’t — you should exfoliate at least twice a week. This botanical- and charcoal-infused men’s face scrub is 100 percent vegan and clears the daily grime using only natural ingredients, leaving your skin looking refreshed and revived.
Healthy skin is all about balance. While it’s important to degunk your pores, be careful not to completely strip all the moisture from your skin. Get it just right with this refreshing peppermint-scented men’s face scrub from Grooming Lounge. Biodegradable jojoba beads exfoliate, jojoba seed oil moisturizes and soothes, and allantoin locks in the moisture for your smoothest mug ever.
When you want to get grooming, we’ve got a playlist of the best music for a man to get ready to:
Article originally published April 8, 2016. Last updated by Chase McPeak on July 10, 2018.