Top 10 Best Face Exfoliators for Acne Reviews and Buying Guide

Top Best Face Exfoliators For Acne 1

Exfoliation is a process that involves the removal of dead skin cells. It is a natural process that the skin cells in humans will die and new cells develop. This is a process that naturally happens in the skin of every human. In some cases, the dead skin cells block the pores that are naturally present in the skin. These pores allow the skin to breathe properly. When the dead skin cells clog these pores, the skin will not get the essential nutrients and so it leads to acne breakout in some people.

To prevent this from happening, skin exfoliation should be done regularly, particularly if you have acne-prone skin. Even, it is recommended as a step in acne treatment.

Why You Need Skin Exfoliators?

Earlier, people used some tools and even painful processes to remove dead skin cells from their faces. But, now, thanks to the face exfoliators available in the market. When you apply these exfoliators that will be in the form of a cream or lotion, you can easily get rid of dead skin cells and even dirt from your skin. When you do this, the pores in your skin will open and the chances of acne breakout will be reduced.

Even, some exfoliators will help with treating acne. But, how to choose a face exfoliator for acne will be your question. To help you with this, we have shortlisted some best exfoliators available in the market:

#1 Extra Gentle Daily Scrub from Cetaphil

Vitamin E is the key ingredient in this exfoliator from Cetaphil. This ingredient is touted to help with acne treatment. The reason is that it has an anti-inflammatory property. It means that it will help with cell regeneration by boosting the immune system.

These properties of vitamin E will help with addressing inflammatory acne. For gentle exfoliation of acne-prone skin, this product uses micro-fine granules. Also, the non-comedogenic and non-irritating property of this product will help with safely curing acne.

Many users stated that this exfoliator gently cleaned their face to bring out the radiance by clearing out acne.

RELATED: Top 10 Best Cetaphil Skincare – Expert Reviews

#2 Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub from Burt’s Bee

This face wash for oily skin will help with effective exfoliation. For acne treatment, this product includes salicylic acid that has been derived from willow bark. The former is known for acne-fighting properties, while the latter will remove dead skin cells from clogging the pores. So, in addition to helping with acne treatment, this face exfoliator for acne will prevent further breakouts as well with these two key ingredients.

Many users of this product stated that they were able to see improvement overnight with this product for acne relief. This product has been tested clinically to provide gentle skin exfoliation without causing any ill effects.

RELATED: Top 10 Best Burt’s Bees Skincare – Expert Reviews

#3 Charcoal Lemonade Incredibly Clear Facial Scrub from Acure

The purpose of this serum for acne treatment is a deep cleaning of your face to prevent acne breakout. It suits normal to oily skin and uses charcoal, gentle plant cellulose, blueberry, and lemon peel to revive your dull skin that has occurred due to the acne problem that you have been facing for a long.

The argan oil used as a key ingredient in this product is rich in essential fatty acids, proteins, and antioxidants. It helps with boosting skin radiance besides rejuvenating the skin. Also, it helps with alleviating congested pores.

Charcoal is another key ingredient in this serum that helps with skin detoxification and decongestion. It aids in drawing out skin impurities without drying skin besides reducing acne breakouts.

The Lilac extract used in this product provides antibacterial support, besides reducing breakouts and acne. It also supports skin healing.

Further, salicylic acid in this serum helps with gentle skin exfoliation besides minimizing the appearance of acne and breakouts.

Many users of this product appreciated how this product relieved their acne.

RELATED: Top 8 Best Acure Skincare Products – Expert Reviews

#4 Ultra-Fine Scrub for Sensitive Skin from La Roche Posay

Suitable for combination, sensitive and normal skin types, this serum from La Roche Posay gently exfoliates the skin without affecting its physiological balance. This unisex product works against acne by cleaning the skin of its impurities that lead to acne breakouts. In addition to acne treatment, this serum helps with acne prevention.

The ultra-fine pumice particles that this product uses help with gentle skin exfoliation without causing any ill-effects even to sensitive skin.

Many users appreciated the refreshing water-gel texture of this serum that calms their acne-prone skin effectively.

RELATED: Top 10 Best La Roche-Posay Skincare

#5 Acne-Proofing Facial Scrub for Daily Use from Neutrogena

This tube from Neutrogena has been created as an oil-free day-to-day exfoliating facial scrub. In addition to treating breakouts, the ingredients in this serum help with defending the skin against the new ones.

Neutrogena has formulated this serum with the utmost strength salicylic acid to fight acne along with ClearDefend Technology. To make the skin more resistant to acne with regular use, this product helps with preserving the skin’s essential defenses.

Many users of this product have stated that this face exfoliator for acne works like a shield and prevents acne breakouts effectively.

RELATED: Top 10 Best Neutrogena Skincare

#6 InstaNatural Glycolic Exfoliating Face Mask & Scrub

This exfoliator for acne treatment uses glycolic acid as the key ingredient that works against acne by removing dead skin cells and oil from the skin. It provides blackhead and acne treatment for all skin types and naturally brightens the skin.

Turmeric used in this product helps with addressing the inflammation caused by acne, while Vitamin C supports collagen production besides tightening and toning the skin. Aloe Vera works by supporting the natural skin barrier. Even, with its richness in minerals and vitamins, it replenishes the skin.

Many users of this acne treatment remedy feel that it effectively exfoliates the skin to relieve acne.

#7 Arabica Coffee Scrub from M3 Naturals

M3 Naturals has infused this coffee scrub with stem cells and collagen. These ingredients help with boosting natural collagen while increasing the longevity of skin cells. Together these ingredients deliver anti-aging performance.

Also, this scrub fights acne by detoxifying the skin. The scrub does it by drawing out the unnecessary toxins, bacteria, pollution, and dirt from the skin pores and balancing the systemic pH level. The unique blend of ingredients in this product can help you with the reduction of scars, stretch marks, cellulite, blackheads, and acne.

Many users are highly happy about the acne treatment this scrub provides besides smelling great.

#8 Gentle Exfoliating Gel from Eau Thermale Avène

Suitable for sensitive skin, this face exfoliator for acne from Eau Thermale Avène suits sensitive skin. The product uses cellulose microbeads for gentle exfoliation. In addition to helping with exfoliation, this product cures acne and helps users achieve a radiant and refined complexion.

As the product uses Avène thermal water as the key ingredient, this exfoliator will be gentle on the skin. Yes, it will exfoliate without removing the natural moisture level in the skin.

Many users of this product stated that this face exfoliator helped with gentle scrubbing without disturbing their already compromised acne-prone skin. Further, many users also stated that this product makes them feel refreshed whenever they use it for exfoliating their acne-prone skin.

#9 Acne Face Scrub With Baking Soda from Bioré

This product from Bioré gets deep into the pores to repair the foundation of acne. In turn, this face exfoliator for acne prevents future outbreaks as well.

When salicylic acid present in this product helps with present acne treatment, baking soda helps with preventing future outbreaks.

Baking soda will also aid with soothing the inflammation caused by acne besides helping with the removal of dead skin cells. Suitable for combination skin, this product is free of oil.

Many users of this product are highly satisfied with how this product effectively treats acne besides improving skin health quickly.

RELATED: Top 8 Best Bioré Skincare – Expert Reviews

#10 Deep Cleansing Exfoliator from Caudalie

Suitable for all skin types, this face exfoliator for acne from Caudalie uses lactic acid as the key ingredient. Lactic acid is popular for effectively controlling breakouts. Even, it will help with reducing the appearance of pores. In turn, the chances of future breakouts are minimized. This product has been designed as a natural and effective exfoliator that quickly relieves smoother, even and purified complexion.

The two key ingredients used in this product are natural corn beads and borage oil. When the former takes care of exfoliation and cleansing, the latter helps with moisturizing and soothing the skin.

Many users state that they recommend this product as the best face exfoliator for acne as it is very gentle.

RELATED: Top 10 Best Caudalie Products

Why Do You Need Face Exfoliator for Acne?

Dead skin cell buildup becomes a major cause of acne. An Exfoliator can help you break off and remove dead skin cells. Continue reading and you will learn why face exfoliator for acne is essential and how to choose it. 

Exfoliation has become an essential part of the modern skincare routine. Acne is a skincare issue troubling millions of men and women. Face exfoliator has the potential to eliminate some major causes of this skin issue. Let’s find out how a face exfoliator can help you cope with the acne problem. 

1. Unclogs pores

Most people experience breakouts due to clogged pores. Are you one of them? It’s important to reveal the cause because you got the solution for this problem! 

Both physical and chemical exfoliators are capable of unclogging pores. You can sweep away dead skin cells and dry skin if you gently massage your face with an exfoliator. It can loosen dried impurities that clog pores and remove them. 

The skin releases sebum to create a protective layer if pores are unclogged. Suppose pores are clogged, they become a breeding ground for acne bacteria. Those tiny bumps become itchy and spread quickly. Therefore, you need an exfoliator to get rid of them as soon as possible. 

2. No dark patches 

Dark patches look ugly and nobody wants to spot them on the face. If you got an uneven skin tone, numerous dead skin cells have accumulated on your skin. You can get rid of those ugly spots and get a fair complexion. You have to cleanse your face with an exfoliator twice or thrice a week. 

Skin cells die and rest on the skin. It is a natural process and it is quite essential to maintain the natural glow of the skin. Dead skin cells can blend with sebum and other impurities. They clog pores and affect the natural tone of the skin. Face exfoliators scrub dead skin cells and other impurities to offer a clear skin tone. 

3. Better skin texture

Facial skin is delicate and requires special attention. Environmental aggressors, chemicals, toxins, and germs can easily damage the facial skin. You need a proper skincare routine to protect and nourish the skin for a better appearance. A face exfoliator should be a part of that routine. 

A face exfoliator speeds up the cell regeneration process. It removes all dead cells from your face to cleanse the skin properly. As a result, your skin looks brighter and imperfections fade away with time. 

4. Better blood circulation

Skin issues can also occur due to poor blood circulation. Your skin requires fresh blood to gain oxygen and nutrients. It prevents the risk of oxidative damage and keeps skin cells healthy. You boost blood circulation in your face when you massage the skin with an exfoliator. It keeps you young and relaxed. 

5. It is refreshing

It takes 2-3 minutes to massage the face with a face exfoliator for acne. Suppose you try this treatment in the morning, it will help you relax and you will feel energized. You won’t be sleepy anymore, look more attractive, and become more productive for your firm. 

How to Choose the Right Face Exfoliator for Acne?

Since face exfoliators are pretty popular, numerous brands produce and sell them in the offline and online market. You should assess the following factors to pick the best face exfoliator for acne. 

1. Type of exfoliant

Most exfoliators use two types of exfoliants, which are physical and chemical exfoliants. Learn about both types of exfoliants to reveal which one will work the best to cure acne!

Physical exfoliants

People used to massage their faces with a product containing physical exfoliants. There were no chemical alternatives in the 90s. Therefore, walnut or apricot scrubs were quite popular. Brands used to blend naturally granular ingredients in the face wash to offer exfoliating benefits. 

People still use physical exfoliators for quick and satisfying scrubbing results. Many DIY scrubs include coffee and sugar to offer cheaper exfoliation solutions. However, physical exfoliants are not beneficial for every user. 

Many people have sensitive and extra delicate skin. They cannot take the risk of scrubbing granular ingredients on the face. Things can get more problematic if you got acne with sensitive skin! 

Chemical exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants are skin-friendly chemicals that loosen pore-clogging impurities and remove them. There are three types of chemical exfoliants, which include:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs

These exfoliants are suitable for users with normal skin. AHAs can easily remove stubborn dead skin cells and help you manage hyperpigmentation issues as well. You are picking the right face exfoliator if it contains AHAs to prevent and treat acne. 

  • Beta-hydroxy acids or BHAs

This type of exfoliant is commonly found in exfoliators designed for oily skin. BHAs can help the user manage excess sebum production and prevent acne. 

  • Poly-hydroxy acids or PHAs

These are recently introduced chemical exfoliants and many believe PHAs are more effective. PHAs have much bigger molecules and therefore, they don’t penetrate as deeper as AHAs and BHAs do. These chemical exfoliants are perfect for users with sensitive skin because they are less irritating. 

2. Is it appropriate for your skin type?

When looking for the right exfoliant, you should first assess the skin type. 

  • Dry skin

Whether your skin is dry or flaky, you should use an exfoliator to cleanse it. A mechanical exfoliator is quite harsh and physical exfoliators can also hurt your skin. Use a chemical exfoliator to smoothly remove dead skin cells. 

Experts believe AHAs are an excellent solution for users with dry skin, who are dealing with an acne issue. Glycolic acid will help you unclog pores and boost cell turnover rate to offer glowing skin. The use of humectants-rich moisturizer will help you moisturize the skin and prevent acne. 

  • Oily skin

Physical exfoliants can help you remove dirt blended with sebum on the face. Physical and manual exfoliation is two beneficial ways of unclogging pores when you got oily skin. A product with granular exfoliants will do the job. Besides, AHAs and BHAs present in the product will offer more aid. 

  • Sensitive skin

Your options are pretty limited if you got sensitive skin and dealing with an acne problem. A mechanical or physical exfoliant can damage your skin. Use an exfoliator that contains a gentle exfoliant to gently remove dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is a good alternative to other slightly harsher exfoliants. 

Users with normal skin feel they can try anything available in the market. Do not make that mistake because excess exfoliation can damage your skin. Try a product that gently scrubs the skin to loosen pore-clogging impurities and boost cell turnover. 

3. Which ingredients you should seek in a face exfoliator for acne?

You should choose a walnut or apricot exfoliator if you are going for a physical exfoliator. Look for the following ingredients if you want to try a chemical exfoliator!

  • Glycolic acid

This acne-fighting acid is extracted from sugarcane. It is an AHA and it’s extremely beneficial for users who experience frequent breakouts. If applied properly, this ingredient can break the bonds between dead skin cells. It has a peeling effect on impurities and frequent massaging helps the user remove most dead skin cells. 

  • Lactic acid

It is another AHA blended into many face wash and exfoliating products. It helps users unclog pores by removing impurities clogging pores. It eliminates major causes of breakouts to prevent acne and help the user maintain clean and healthy skin. 

  • Tartaric acid

Being a gentle exfoliator, tartaric acid does not hurt the user’s skin will exfoliate impurities to cleanse pores. It is a dicarboxylic acid that is derived from plants. It is commonly found in grapes and therefore many users have consumed it. Applying a face wash that contains this AHA is extremely beneficial because it promises quick cure and future prevention. 

  • Salicylic acid

It is a beta hydroxy acid and it is commonly found in blackheads and whiteheads curing ointments. This BHA cleanses pores and helps the user in preventing the buildup of comedones. Therefore, it is beneficial when combined with other ingredients in an exfoliator. 

  • Benzoyl peroxide

The American Academy of Pediatrics has considered benzoyl peroxide the most important ingredient to cure acne. This ingredient kills bacteria and prevents the future occurrence of pus-filled acne. This ingredient also helps the user in cleansing excess oil and mattifying the face. 

  • Retinoids

Retinol has become one of the most popular ingredients in beauty products. This ingredient is blended into a face exfoliator for acne because it unclogs pores and prepares the skin for further treatment. 

Being a popular anti-aging ingredient, retinoid helps the user in slowing the aging process. It helps you reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other aging signs. You should seek it in your face wash and face cream to hide acne marks and scars. 

Retinoids are not suitable for all users! You should avoid products that contain this ingredient if you got dehydrated and sensitive skin. It may irritate and therefore it’s suitable for users with normal and oily skin. 


Some people feel highly awkward with lots of pimples and acne on their faces. This is where the best face exfoliator for acne will help to relieve acne. To help you with the selection, we have further shortlisted the best face exfoliator for acne based on skin type:

Oily Skin: Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub from Burt’s

All skin types: InstaNatural Exfoliating Glycolic Face Mask & Scrub

Normal skin: Charcoal Lemonade Incredibly Clear Facial Scrub from Acure

Make sure that the product you choose suits your skin type before choosing it. Only then, you can reap the benefits of acne treatment!

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