11 Best Exfoliators for Men to Slough off Dead Skin Cells

Written by Anoushka Sinha, Skincare Coach & Writer
Updated on May 24, 2024
Best Exfoliators for Men
Best Exfoliators for Men
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So you cleanse your face daily and wonder despite doing that, how come you end up with acne, blackheads, and dull skin? Well, that might be because you haven’t yet explored the beauty of exfoliators! Those days are long gone when skincare was confined to women. Today, there are a plethora of skincare products for men to help them upgrade their grooming routine — and the best exfoliators for men are no exception!  

Any skincare routine is not complete without exfoliation and with men realizing that skincare is not just about taking care of their skin but also about feeling good — the demand for exfoliating scrubs for men has increased, and rightly so! Various factors like inadequate cleansing, exposure to sun, climate, aging, etc., contribute to the development of dead skin cells, and while it is a natural phenomenon, when not taken care of, these can cause acne, ingrown hair, and take the charm of your skin away. 

Hence, when I see men embracing exfoliators with gusto, I can’t help but smile — I know I can’t live without one and advocate their use to everyone for healthy skin. But with the market being loaded with so many products, it could be daunting to find a product that’s best suited for you. For sure, there are various formulas tailored to suit your needs and preferences, but choosing the one that addresses your concern is pivotal! Hence, to make shopping a beautiful experience for you and not at all mind-boggling, I have listed the best exfoliating scrubs for men that will shoo away your skin problems! Scroll down to see my top picks!

Best Exfoliators for Men

This exfoliating face wash for men by Olay is a revolutionary product for so many reasons. First things first, it boasts a special formula that boosts surface cell turnover, which helps reduce the appearance of pores. Second, it has a nice gel-like texture that lathers well to clean your skin nicely. Third, it suits most skin types! It’s packed with glycerin and silica, both of which are known to improve skin health, with the former being efficient in hydrating the skin and strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier and the latter increasing collagen production (studies published in the Springer and ResearchGate). 

People love this facial scrub so much that some of them have subscribed to it. A user shares, “I have sensitive skin and was worried about using this product but it’s been so easy on my skin that k decided to subscribe to receive the product quarterly. It leaves a clean feeling after use.” 

Key Ingredients: Glycerin and silica

Skin Type: Normal, dry, oily 

Size: 5 fl oz

Pros
  • Creamy texture
  • Deep cleansing formula
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Gives a refreshing feel
  • Smells nice
Cons
  • Poor packaging

Quick Tip:

This facial scrub for men is suitable for both AM and PM use. When using it during the daytime, make sure to follow with sunscreen. At night, apply a hydrating moisturizer after using this scrub.

  • Best for Gentle Exfoliation

    Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub

    Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub
  • No more irritation while shaving as we have with us a phenomenal pre-shave cleanser and facial scrub from Jack Black. Packed with gentle exfoliants, it buffs away dead skin cells without disrupting the natural moisture levels of the skin. 

    As per the feedback from my friends about this product — it removes oil and dirt swiftly from the skin, paving the way for a smooth and irritation-free shaving experience. So no more itchiness or bumps, as its gentle formula takes care of your skin while its biodegradable particles help unclog pores and prevent ingrown hair. 

    Key Ingredients: Bamboo powder, vitamin C, peppermint, allantoin, and licorice extract 

    Skin Type: Normal 

    Size: 3 fl oz

    Pros
    • Invigorates skin
    • Fights against free radicals
    • Cooling sensation after use
    • Provides gentle exfoliation
    Cons
    • Not suitable for people with sensitive skin
  • Best for Dry Skin

    Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

    Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
  • You no longer have to shell your pockets and invest in a cleanser and exfoliator separately, as this exfoliating cleanser from Murad does both, effortlessly! Formulated with powerful exfoliants, it penetrates deep into the skin to unclog pores and eliminate dirt and all things nasties. 

    Its hero ingredient, sodium PCA, is known for its water-boosting properties. And, products infused with sodium PCA work effectively in helping skin reach maximum hydration (study published in ResearchGate.) Featuring a triple-action formula, it effectively cleanses, exfoliates, and polishes the skin, making you feel great all day long!

    Key Ingredients: Jojoba beads, sodium PCA, and lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids

    Skin Type: Not mentioned

    Size: 6.75 oz

    Pros
    • Phthalates-free
    • Gluten-free
    • No animal-derived ingredients
    • Soothes dry and flaky skin
    • Strengthens skin elasticity
    Cons
    • Not preferable for those with skin sensitivities

    Pro Tip:

    Although this is a face wash, it’s not recommended to use it daily. For best results, use it 2-3 times a week and follow with a lightweight moisturizer.

  • Best for Refining Pores

    Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant Charcoal-based Powder Exfoliant

    Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant Charcoal-based Powder Exfoliant
  • Is pollution wreaking havoc on your skin? Fret not! Dermalogica powder exfoliant is here to scrub away dead cells from the skin, helping you get baby-soft skin, and protecting your skin against environmental aggressors. Infused with activated charcoal, it works wonders in controlling sebum production, clearing acne, and purifying the skin. 

    While charcoal helps purify the skin, its other key ingredients, including niacinamide, red algae, and tara fruit work in synergy in providing vital nutrients to your skin. Its gentle formula and ease of work make it one of the best men’s face scrubs. 

    Key Ingredients: Activated binchotan charcoal, niacinamide, red algae, and tara fruit

    Skin Type: All

    Size: 2 fl oz

    Pros
    • Smoothes skin texture
    • Fight the signs of skin aging
    • Detoxifies pores
    • Fights toxins
    • Antioxidant formula
    • Cruelty-free
    Cons
    • Overpriced
    • Poor packaging
  • Best Dermatologist-tested Pick

    Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser

    Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser
  • Designed with glycolic acid, this Anthony Facil Scrub in the form of a cleanser offers remarkable results in both cleansing and exfoliating your skin without disrupting the natural skin barrier. Its non-foaming formula is gentle enough to wash away dirt and impurities whereas the infusion of AHA makes the product potent enough to exfoliate the skin. Whether you want to prevent clogged pores, boost collagen production, treat discoloration, improve the signs of aging, or get smooth skin — this facial cleanser for men does it all, effortlessly. 

    It’s formulated without harsh chemicals like phthalates, GMOs, triclosan, sulfates, parabens, and DEA, making it an ideal pick for all! Cherry on the top — it’s allergy-tested, so people with sensitive people can also give it a try (after doing a patch test, of course!) For best results, pair this with the Anthony All Purpose Facial Moisturizer, and see your skin getting revitalized in no time! 

    Key Ingredients: Glycolic acid 

    Skin Type: Normal to oily skin

    Size: 8 fl oz

    Pros
    • Dermatologist-tested
    • Gluten-free
    • Delivers quick results
    • Soothes the skin
    Cons
    • The product is difficult to squeeze
    • Expensive
  • Most Budget-friendly

    Scotch Porter Exfoliating Face Scrub

    Scotch Porter Exfoliating Face Scrub
  • Devised solely for the needs of men, this facial exfoliator from Scotch Porter Wild will definitely port you to a heavenly land where all needs of skin are well taken care of! It's crafted with skin-friendly ingredients that help slough away dullness, leaving you with brighter and smoother skin. If trapped dirt in your beard has been giving you troubles in the form of itchiness and acne breakouts, this product is here to your rescue. 

    It not only removes excess oil and bacteria from facial skin but beard areas as well, preventing blackheads and acne. When I discovered this product, I loved how this is made thoughtfully without the inclusion of harmful nasties like parabens, sulfates, silicone, petrolatum, PEGs, synthetic colors, and mineral oil. Users love how this does all it claims for, and that too, without burning a hole in their pocket! 

    A testimonial reads, “My husband has been trying to find a scrub for his face for a long time! I came across this & he loves this product! It works so well & it’s really affordable! Plus, its scent profile, featuring notes of lemon, spicy accord, white flowers, smokey woods, and other mesmerizing scents, makes this skin smell oh-so-good!” 

    Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, burdock root, and pomegranate extract 

    Skin Type: Oily

    Size: 4 fl oz

    Pros
    • Vegan
    • Cruelty-free
    • Color-safe
    • Mild and pleasant scent
    Cons
    • Runny consistency
  • Best Suited for All Skin Types

    Eight Saints Zen Out Of Ten Face Scrub

    Eight Saints Zen Out Of Ten Face Scrub
  • One thing that makes this face scrub from Eight Saints stand out from the crowd is that it is suitable for all skin types! Featuring natural exfoliators derived from seeds and plant fibers, this facial scrub for men truly does all that it takes to reveal brighter skin. 

    From eliminating dead skin cells to accelerating cell turnover, it works wonderfully in delivering your skin the essential minerals it needs to stay healthy and strong. In a world where products are laden with harmful ingredients, Eight Saints take pride in its lean formulations — this face scrub doesn’t contain any toxins or synthetic ingredients, making it a safe choice for every user. 

    Key Ingredients: Bamboo powder, vitamin E, and antioxidants 

    Skin Type: All

    Size: 2 fl oz

    Pros
    • Reduces the appearance of fine lines
    • Boosts healthy skin cell turnover
    • Gentle skin exfoliator
    • Fights against free radicals
    • Feels soft on the skin
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Doesn’t smell nice
  • Most Pleasant Scent

    Brickell Men’s Products Polishing Body Scrub for Men

    Brickell Men’s Products Polishing Body Scrub for Men
  • Brickell Polishing Body Scrub truly lives up to its name — crafted with powerful natural ingredients like walnut powder, glycolic acid, willow bark extract, oat straw, and aloe vera — it penetrates deep into the skin to revitalize it from within. 

    Its formula is a perfect blend of exfoliators and moisturizers to help you get rid of dead skin and grit while also keeping your skin nourished from within. When we tested this product, we found out that it has a refreshing mint fragrance that soothes the senses! The vegan and cruelty-free formulation of this body scrub for men makes it an ideal choice for animal lovers!

    Key Ingredients: Walnut, glycolic acid, willow bark extract, aloe, and oat straw

    Skin Type: Oily, combination, dry, normal

    Size: 8 fl oz

    Pros
    • Combats body odor
    • Prevents ingrown hair
    • Nourishing effects on the skin
    • Restores moisture
    • Invigorating scent
    Cons
    • Not suited for those with sensitive skin
  • Best for Improving Skin Texture

    Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub

     Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub
  • Re-energize your skin with this facial scrub from Kiehl. Its key ingredients are a powerhouse of nutrients that slough away dead skin cells and provide a refreshing effect to the skin. If you have tough facial hair that doesn’t feel soft, this one is for you.  Infused with menthol, it gives a cooling sensation and makes your skin feel more radiant than ever! And, upon testing the product, we found that it softens facial hair and reinvigorates your skin.

    Key Ingredients: Apricot, caffeine, menthol, citrus extracts, and vitamin E

    Skin Type: All

    Size: 3.4 fl oz

    Pros
    • Softens the skin
    • Reduces puffiness
    • Refreshing formula
    • Refines skin texture
    • Sulfate-free
    Cons
    • Expensive
  • Best Travel-friendly

    Only Skin Facial Scrub

    Only Skin Facial Scrub
  • Once you start using this facial scrub from Only Skin, this will be the ONLY product you’ll need for all your skincare woes! Designed specifically for men, it comes with a richness of biodegradable beads to exfoliate the skin properly. Enhanced with white willow bark, it calms and soothes the skin, unveiling fresh and clean skin. 

    In addition, the inclusion of Dragon’s blood in the formulation works to reduce puffiness and inflammation.  Customers love how this feels on their skin, with most of them rating it 5 for its scent, exfoliating ability, and non-residue formula. 

    Key Ingredients: White willow bark, biodegradable beads, and daemenodrops draco (Dragon’s blood)

    Skin Type: All

    Size: 2.5 fl oz

    Pros
    • Plant-based ingredients
    • Cruelty-free
    • Gluten-free
    • Travel-friendly
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Overpowering scent
  • Act+Acre Cold Processed Salicylic Acid Scalp Exfoliator

    Act+Acre Cold Processed Salicylic Acid Scalp Exfoliator
  • Just like your facial skin, your scalp needs exfoliation too. This scalp exfoliator from Act+Acre is formulated with salicylic acid to gently get rid of dead skin while also combatting excess sebum production. The reasons to use this scalp exfoliator are multifold. First, it exfoliates the skin without disrupting the natural barrier of the scalp. 

    Second, it soothes the scalp, helping you alleviate the problems of itchiness. And last but definitely not least, it restores balance, leaving you with a squeaky clean scalp. Users love how this product feels refreshing on their scalp with a minty feeling after usage and exfoliates without having to use a lot of product. 

    Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid (0.15%), papaya extract, and peppermint oil

    Scalp Type: Normal, dry, oily 

    Size: 2 fl oz

    Pros
    • Alleviates itchiness
    • Suitable for curly hair
    • Clears loose flakes
    • Cooling effects on the scalp
    Cons
    • Gives slow results

    So you see, the best scrubs for men offer remarkable results and can help you achieve clear and radiant skin in a jiffy. But with so many products at your disposal, it could be daunting to find the perfect pick. And of course, using the product that doesn’t suit your skin type or address your skin concern can do more harm than good — so here is our buying guide to help you make an informed decision.

    How to Choose the Best Exfoliator for Men?

    Below are a few pointers you should keep in mind before splurging on an exfoliator:

    1. Skin Type: This one is of course a no-brainer. When buying an exfoliator, you must choose a product that suits your skin type. Moisturizing and creamy formulas work the best for people with dry skin whereas non-comedogenic and gel-based formulas are recommended for those with oily skin. People with sensitive skin should be extra cautious as their skin is more prone to allergies and should pick products that are specifically made for their skin type and are sensitive-tested. Having said that, it’s important to do a patch test before use to avoid any complications. 

    2. Skin Concerns: While you may think that an exfoliator does the job of only eliminating dead skin cells, the best ones certainly do more than that. Depending on the formulation, an exfoliator can help you deal with a lot of skin concerns, including aging, sun damage, etc. So if you have any specific skin concern to cater to, read the package properly and choose the one that will help you solve your skin problem. 

    3. Key Ingredients: Always take a close look at the key ingredients before making the purchase. There is no one-size-fits-all in the realm of skincare, and what may be good for others might not be good for your skin. For instance, coconut oil is considered a boon for the skin, however, due to its high comedogenic rating, it might clog pores. Hence, always go through the list of ingredients to make the right decision. 

    Gentle exfoliators like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, ground oatmeal, fruit enzymes, etc., help exfoliate the skin without stripping off its natural moisture — look for these ingredients when investing in an exfoliator. Also, stay away form products containing parabens, drying alcohols, sulfates, and artificial fragrances, as these may further dry your skin. 

    4. Fragrance: While most exfoliators come with fragrances, there are unscented versions, too. You may pick a product accordingly, depending on your needs and preferences, and elevate your skincare regimen! 

    What Are the Benefits of Exfoliating Your Skin?

    As mentioned above, exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, which in turn helps unveil younger-looking skin. Below are some other benefits of exfoliating your skin (study published in NCBI):

    • Helps unclog pores
    • Evens out skin tone
    • Prevents acne
    • Promotes cell turnover
    • Helps control acne and breakouts
    • Helps prevent ingrown hair
    • Assists in fighting the signs of aging

    Conclusion

    With our list of the best exfoliators for men along with the buying guide on how to choose the right one at your fingertips, you can now easily elevate your grooming routine and say hello to healthy skin. Exfoliators, when used correctly and consistently, can help you bid adieu to a host of skin problems and make way for an even-toned complexion. Having said that, make sure to use the product as stated in the packaging — some exfoliating products can be used daily, however, most of them are advised to be used once or twice a day. 

    Remember, using more of any product, no matter how good it is, won’t fetch you beneficial results. If you wish to use an exfoliator on a daily basis, pick the Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant Charcoal-based Powder Exfoliant, as it’s suitable for daily use. Hence, use the product as advised, and see your skin getting more glowing with each passing day! Happy shopping!

    FAQ's

    How often should men use exfoliators?
    It varies from product to product — if an exfoliator can be used daily, you can do the same.
    Is it okay for men to use exfoliators if they have sensitive skin?
    Yes, of course. But make sure to pick a product that’s hypoallergenic and sensitive-tested.
    Can men with oily and acne-prone skin use exfoliators?
    Yes, why not? There are many exfoliators that are suited for oily skin and help control sebum production. Such products typical consist of gel-based formulas infused with salicylic acid, azelaic acid, LHAs, and lightweight humectants.
    What kind of a product should a man use to exfoliate?
    Exfoliators come in various forms, such as cleansers, scrubs, or scalp exfoliators for men to get rid of dirt and impurities and get clean skin. You can choose any depending on your needs and preferences and make your skin healthier and softer.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Anoushka, our in-house skincare expert, truly believes that skincare is not just for women — men must benefit from it too. She loves suggesting products to her friends and family to see what works best for them. This time, after hearing her friends complain about dull skin despite cleansing the skin daily, she suggested they use an exfoliator. Thus, she embarked on a journey to find the best exfoliators for men who have lean formulations and are gentle on the skin. All these products, as tested by her teammates and reviewed by her and work miraculously to exfoliate the skin. 

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust Select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!

    Author BIO
    reviewer
    Anoushka Sinha
    Skincare Coach & Writer

    Anoushka is certified in Professional Skincare and is a Mass Media (Journalism) graduate from Mumbai University. As a More