At our best we make time to cleanse, tone and moisturise our skin, and use serums and face masks, at our worst we barely wash our makeup off. So adding the best face exfoliator to this mix seems like an unnecessary extravagance.
Yet, if you’re not exfoliating regularly, any other effort you’re managing to put in could be all for nothing!
Face exfoliation, using face scrubs, is one of the best ways to rid yourself of dead skin cells and replenish moisture.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best face exfoliator products on the market and rounded up our favourites to give your skin a glowing and healthy look.
Before we list these products, however, we spoke to an expert to find out why exfoliation is so important.
“Our skin naturally exfoliates, but because we use products like moisturisers, sunscreen and makeup, we don’t allow that natural exfoliation of skin cells,” Kate Kerr, clinical facialist and founder of Kate Kerr London Advanced Skin Therapy told mamabella.
“We need to go in and mimic that process. When you’ve got an accumulation of dead cells on the skin, your barrier becomes impaired because the cells are very loosely glued together, with no moisture in them, so anything can get it.
“This means more irritants get into the skin, such as pollen, which can cause more reactions.
“A strong barrier also counteracts water loss from the skin, keeping moisture in, making the skin more acidic, protecting against acne.”
Kerr recommends exfoliating every day using products with ingredients such as magnesium, lactic acid and salicylic acid.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best BB cream | Best moisturiser | Best tinted moisturiser | Best toner | Best primer | Best cleanser| Best eye cream| Best anti-ageing cream | Best hand cream | Best foot cream | Best face mask
£4.99 | Buy from Superdrug
Why we love it: An uplifting daily facial scrub available at your local supermarket, this face exfoliator will help you achieve clear, fresh and radiant skin on a budget.
Cleaning deep down into the skin, it unclogs pores and purifies the skin without overdrying it.
FURTHER READING: What causes blackheads?
£6.30 | Buy from Cult Beauty
Why we love it: This peeling solution moves away from the traditional facial scrub we’ve come to know and love, combining acids such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and inflammation reducers and antioxidants like Tasmanian pepperberry and black carrot to provide a radiant glow and banish blemishes.
These ingredients offer deep face exfoliation to clean the pores as well as reduce the look of fine lines.
How to exfoliate: Used in the evening and no more than twice a week, this solution is not only great for those on a budget, but also those of us who don’t have time on our side. This product should not be left on for more than 10 minutes and should be applied to dry skin.
FURTHER READING: The best The Ordinary Products
£28 | Buy from Cult Beauty
Why we love it: How often have we dreamed of having a Hollywood facial? Well, this product promises a two-minute facial from the comfort of your own home. The American brand has finally made its way over the Atlantic and offers a “dual-action” face exfoliation.
Featuring physical and enzymatic exfoliants such as lactic acid and fruit enzymes, this product removes dead cells to uncover “unrivalled radiance” and a “fresh from the skin clinic” result.
How to exfoliate: This face exfoliator should be used twice a week on wet skin, applying a light layer across the face and massaging in a circular motion for 30 seconds. It is then left on for two minutes before being rinsed off and patted dry. For those with dry or sensitive skin, leave it on for a minute or less.
£12.99 | Buy from Holland and Barrett
Why we love it: Caffeine is known for reducing the appearance of redness and puffiness, which is why this product is perfect for dry skin.
While it seems to be made for combination and oily, when we tested the product on dry skin it absolutely did the job.
The citrus oils make us wonder if this scrub would be too much for oily skin, which normally looks to reduce the appearance of oil rather than enhance.
However, for those with oily skin that want to give this product a try, it does contain ingredients such as tea tree essential oil.
How to exfoliate: This face exfoliator is perfect for everyday use, though we’d recommend using it in the shower—the coffee beans in the scrub do tend to make a mess.
£15 | Buy from Tropic
Why we love it: Firstly, this face exfoliator smells divine. The polish combats rough and uneven skin using macadamia oil, bamboo silica and acai berry.
Paired with essential oils, this product also softens, smoothes and brightens your complexion gently and effectively.
How to exfoliate: To be used twice a week, users need only a marble sized amount on damp skin to reap the benefits of this face exfoliator.
£9.95 | Buy from Nip+Fab
Why we love it: Including salicylic acid and volcanic rock – a natural and effective exfoliant – this face exfoliator is great for oily skin. It reduces the appearance of sebum on the skin while conditioning your complexion for a silky smooth feel.
How to exfoliate: Not to be used every day, this product is to be gently massaged into damp skin and rinsed with lukewarm water.
FURTHER READING: The truth about the acids in your skincare
Sophia is an international journalist covering technology, healthcare, culture and lifestyle. Her words appear in outlets such as Newsweek, Forbes, Metro UK, New Scientist and more