best exfoliating face wash

What Is The Best Exfoliating Face Wash?

Exfoliation is essential for healthy skin. It sloughs away dead cells on the uppermost layer of your skin and allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach your lower layers. It also removes any blackheads, whiteheads, and other dirt from pores, making the skin look healthy, lustrous, and vibrant. Over time, exfoliating face wash can also remove all the fine lines and wrinkles, replacing them with firm skin.

There are many kinds of exfoliation, but let’s focus on the facial cleansing routines that you do at home. Using a good exfoliation face wash will get rid of dry patches of skin on your face. It will make you look younger within a matter of weeks. So what are the best exfoliating face washes? Let’s take a closer look!

best exfoliating face wash
Exfoliation is essential for smooth, even-toned skin.

Photo by Ali Pazani from Pexels

The Benefits Of Exfoliation

When you exfoliate, you remove dead skin cells and allow fresh skin to show through. Exfoliating helps reduce your risk of skin imperfections like acne and wrinkles.

Here’s how:

When dead skin cells build up on the surface of your skin, they can create a thick, rough layer called a stratum corneum. It can slow down your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and make vitamin C less effective. That could lead to or worsen problems with acne, wrinkles, or rashes.

Exfoliating helps loosen up that layer so that vitamins and moisture can penetrate more deeply. It also helps reduce problems with dryness and flaking.

Removing dead skin cells allows the newer cells below to become more effective at regulating oil production and protecting your complexion from harmful bacteria. If you want clearer, healthier-looking skin that feels softer and smoother, exfoliation is the way to go!

What To Look For In An Exfoliating Face Wash?

When you look for an exfoliating face wash, there are a few key points to keep in mind. First and foremost, the product should have exfoliating beads, which act to remove dead skin cells and have been shown to increase blood flow and improve skin tone. It is also important that the product be non-comedogenic, meaning non-pore clogging. This will ensure that the product does not cause acne or pimples. Additionally, review the ingredients list and look for a product containing salicylic acid.

When choosing an exfoliating face wash, you should consider:

Do You Have Acne?

Some people suffer from acne, which can cause serious skin issues. One of the most important things is to find an exfoliating face wash that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps clear away the dead skin cells and oils that clog your pores, which keeps them from being blocked by dirt and oil.

best exfoliating face wash
Steer clear of chemical exfoliators if you have sensitive skin.

Photo by Gabb Tapique 

The next thing you’ll want to look for is a face wash that contains lactic acid. Lactic acid helps to keep your pores clean and clear as well. It’s important to get some nutrition into your body when you’re dealing with acne issues, so try adding plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Those foods contain antioxidants, which help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals. The last thing you’ll want in an exfoliating face wash is retinol. Retinol helps the cells on your skin regenerate faster, which means you’ll have fewer blemishes and blocked pores than before.

Do You Have Sensitive Skin?

If you have sensitive skin, you may find it more difficult to find the right products for your skincare needs. While it can be challenging, it is not impossible to do. You need to know what to look for in an exfoliating face wash that will work for your sensitive skin.

Here are some things you should look for:

  1.   Look for an exfoliating face wash that does not contain any harsh chemicals or ingredients that may irritate your skin. If you are looking for a gentle product, you want to stay away from products containing alcohol and other strong ingredients like parabens and fragrances.
  2.   Look for an exfoliating face wash that contains natural ingredients like Jojoba oil or Aloe Vera gel, which can help calm down redness and inflammation in your skin and make it look healthier overall.
  3.   Look for one that contains natural ingredients like chamomile extract, which can help soothe irritation in your skin and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
  4.   Look for an exfoliating face wash containing vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that will help reduce free radical damage in your skin and protect it too!

Do You Live In A Cold Climate?

If you live in a cold climate, there are a few things you should look for in an exfoliating face wash.

First, you need to find one that does not contain alcohol. Alcohol will dry out your skin and cause it to crack and peel. Alcohol also makes it harder for your skin to retain moisture when temperatures drop below freezing. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin.

Second, look for something that has glycolic acid in it. Glycolic acid helps remove dead skin cells from your face without damaging healthy ones. It also helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines caused by aging or sun exposure.

Next, look for something that contains vitamin C because this can help protect against UV rays which may cause premature aging and cancerous cells such as melanoma if left unprotected against sunlight long enough over time.

Above all, try finding something with avocado oil. This is because it works wonders at keeping moisture levels up while providing extra hydration during the winter months when temperatures are low outside but high inside. This is due to central heating systems being used indoors more often than not these days.

Top Picks

Here’s a list of some of my favorite exfoliating face washes I recommend.

best exfoliating face wash

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

  • Exfoliating Face Wash

Give your skin the gentle exfoliation it needs and deserves with the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser. It removes dead skin cells while smoothing, softening, and improving skin's texture without damaging the protective skin barrier. Unlike microbeads or harsh beads, this facial cleanser removes roughness using 100 percent naturally-derived exfoliants.

This is an exfoliating face wash that contains no harsh beads or grains and is gentle on the skin. This cleanser contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acid that help moisturize and soften skin.

If you struggle with acne, discoloration, or rough, flaky skin on your face, CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser may be the right product to add to your skincare routine. The formula contains ingredients that work together to remove dirt and makeup while smoothing skin's texture.

best exfoliating face wash

SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Gel Cleanser

  • Exfoliating Face Wash

The SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Gel Cleanser exfoliating face wash is a daily pore cleanser with glycolic acid, natural fruit extracts, and moisturizing ingredients. The foaming liquid exfoliates dead skin cells from the skin's outer surface, leaving the skin clean and soft. This daily pore cleanser with glycolic acid and natural fruit extracts has a gentle foaming action that enhances exfoliation, revealing more even-toned, smooth skin.

I have combination, acne-prone skin, and this cleanser strikes the perfect balance between non-drying and effective. It leaves my face feeling clean and looking polished without the need for harsh scrubbing. Bonus – it smells like a Spa because of the citric acid scent.

best exfoliating face wash

The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Acne + Pore Cleanser

  • Exfoliating Face Wash

The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Acne Pore Cleanser Exfoliating Face Wash is a cream cleanser that you can use daily to help exfoliate dead skin cells and clean out pores. It's an effective exfoliant and pore-clarifying formula that targets your skin concerns while being gentle on the skin.

With the power of salicylic acid, combined with exfoliating and pore-clearing ingredients like blueberry extract, this face wash will help fight clogged pores while exfoliating your complexion. This powerful face cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid, an ingredient that works to loosen dead skin cells and remove dirt, bacteria, and other debris from clogged pores. Pamper your skin while you wash away blemish-causing impurities with this exfoliating face wash.

best exfoliating face wash

Tata Harper Regenerating Exfoliating Cleanser

  • Exfoliating Face Wash

Tata Harper Regenerating exfoliating cleanser is a dual-purpose daily face wash and exfoliator that helps refine the appearance of pores, even skin tone, and smooth roughness without drying out the skin. As a cleanser, its non-stripping formula lifts away dirt, oil, and makeup without causing redness or irritation. The weekly exfoliant treatment promotes cell turnover to help improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of pore size for a refined, radiant complexion.

It contains a combination of jojoba beads, pink clay, and pomegranate enzymes to resurface the skin and smooth out fine lines, texture, and pores. Salicylic acid helps unclog follicles. The cleanser also contains aloe vera juice, rose water, and chamomile to soothe the skin.

I bought this cleanser in a tiny size as a sample and loved it so much that I now own a full size bottle. It is a part exfoliating, part moisturizing cleanser that is quite satisfying to use. It does not dry skin like some exfoliating cleansers, but I can feel my dead skin getting buffed away as I use it. The smell is fantastic, and the texture feels luxurious going on. Also, because you only need to use a very small amount, this little pot seems to last forever!

best exfoliating face wash

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

  • Exfoliating Face Wash

Murad's AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser is the best exfoliating face wash for dry skin because it exfoliates dry and dead skin cells, cleanses pores, removes makeup residue, and lasts all day.

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is a mild chemical exfoliator that removes dead skin cells and promotes new cell growth, both of which are key to maintaining a youthful appearance. This face wash also unclogs pores and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores. Overall, it makes your skin look smoother and softer while minimizing enlarged pores.

This exfoliant contains three different types of acids (glycolic, lactic, and salicylic), so it can be applied to your entire face without irritating the skin and preventing acne breakouts. Although this product contains unrefined jojoba beads, which are said to provide gentle physical exfoliation, this product did not feel any more scrubby than any other facial cleanser that I have tried.

best exfoliating face wash

Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser

  • Exfoliating Face Wash

Oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin types experience a gentle but effective scrub exfoliating face wash with Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser. This silky-smooth scrub cleanser takes care of the skin thanks to its mild exfoliating formula that cleanses while buffing away dead skin cells, oil, and debris. Skin is left luminous and smooth after the formula is rinsed away, and pores appear minimized. Skin texture is left refined in the process of this cleanse.

As a daily cleanser, Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser gently removes impurities and dead skin cells without stripping away the skin's essential moisture. Finely ground apricot and lemon fruit extracts exfoliate, while coffee beans help energize the complexion.

How Can I Exfoliate My Face Naturally?

Natural exfoliators include bicarbonate of soda, clays, oatmeal, honey, and yogurt. These may be combined with other ingredients to achieve desired results. The key is to use natural ingredients that gently remove the dead skin cells. This will leave your face clean, smooth, and refreshed. Many natural and homemade scrubs include sugar, which is great for exfoliating the body. However, sugar in a face scrub is a no-no. The larger sugar granules can cause small cuts and tears in the delicate skin of your face. Exfoliating your face is something you need to do regularly to help slough off dead skin. It will also clear up clogged pores, and give your skin a healthy glow.

Why Is Exfoliating Good For Your Skin?

Exfoliating is good for the skin because it removes impurities. These impurities include dirt, dead skin cells, and pollution. Exfoliation also helps remove excess oil and sebum, which is responsible for clogged pores and acne.

It’s a simple process that can be performed at home using a facial scrub or exfoliating brush. These tools are available in drugstores, supermarkets, and online from many retailers. Regular exfoliation can help keep your skin feeling softer, smoother, and more radiant than ever!

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Skin?

Exfoliation improves your skin significantly, but if you do it too much, your skin will be irritated and red. So how often is just right for exfoliating?

The answer is: it depends on your skin type and the other products you’re using. But to get the best results, try this once-a-week schedule.

You should use an exfoliating cleanser or a facial scrub at least once a week to get rid of dead skin cells that clog pores and make you look tired. Look for a gentle formula with natural ingredients like bentonite or kaolin clay when choosing one.

If you want to go all out and treat yourself, go for an exfoliating mask or peel instead of a cleanser once or twice a week. You can also use them in addition to your weekly cleanser if you want extra glow!

And don’t forget about moisturizer afterward—it’s important for keeping skin soft and hydrated after exfoliation.

Is It Okay To Exfoliate Your Skin Everyday?

Yes, it is okay to exfoliate your skin every day, however you should use a gentle daily exfoliator rather than a more textured one for everyday use. Some people may experience irritation after exfoliating every day. If you feel that your skin is becoming irritated, we recommend cutting back on how often you exfoliate.


After reviewing multiple exfoliating face cleansers, I’ve shared a list of some of the best exfoliating face washes. I hope this article will help you choose one for your skin type. Since no one has the same skin, a few of these exfoliators may work better for you than others. With that in mind, remember exfoliation is the key to helping your skin breathe! Let me know if any of these worked well for you.

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The Green You


Priyanka Monteiro

Priyanka Monteiro


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