There are some pretty standard basics when it comes to skincare that you probably already do every day. Wash morning and night, apply sunscreen every day and moisturize before bed.
However, if you want to elevate your skincare to the next level and really see a difference in your skin, there is one extra step that you need to take.
Adding a facial scrub to your skincare routine can make a visible difference to the surface of your skin.
This step is super easy and only needs to be completed a couple of times a week at most. If you have particularly oily skin that is likely to get blocked and dull quickly, you can exfoliate your skin when you wash your hair.
However, if you have a normal or balanced skin type, you can get away with exfoliating only once per week.
Once you have decided to incorporate exfoliation into your skincare routine, the hardest part is finding the best facial scrub for you and your skin type.
The market for facial scrubs for men is almost as saturated as the market for women’s facial scrubs, which proves that it is a good step to add. In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best scrubs for men.
We have also added a helpful buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for in a facial scrub.
OUR TOP PICK
This facial scrub from St. Ives is one of the most budget-friendly options on this list and on the market, however, that shouldn’t put you off. The wonderful thing about modern skin care is that expensive doesn’t always mean good and cheap doesn’t always mean bad.
The green tea and Salicylic acid in this product have been proven to reduce the appearance of acne scars and effectively remove blackheads.
The best thing is, that it does all of this without stripping the skin of the essential oils that your skin produces. This means that it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry and tight.
The formula is free from oil, parabens, and sulfates which make it better for your skin. It is also a non-comedogenic product which means that it doesn’t block your pores when you use it.
- Affordable price
- Reduces the appearance of acne scarring
- Removes blackheads
- St. Ives scrubs can be harsh on sensitive skin
This cleansing facial polish is significantly more expensive than the St. Ives product, but that isn’t difficult when a product is as cheap as that one.
The best thing about this facial scrub from Naturopathica is that it is gentle enough to be used every day.
While there are many dermatologists that would warn you against exfoliating every day, if you find that your skin builds up dead skin cells quickly and isn’t sensitive, it is possible.
Not only is this polish gentle on your skin, but it also is capable of offering generous amounts of hydration to your skin when you use it.
There is nothing better than a facial scrub that replaces moisture that it risks removing.
Another huge benefit of this product, and what makes it worth spending a little extra money on, is the oat content of the formula.
The oat in this product provides a calming effect on your skin. This is great if you have skin that can be left red and irritated by scrubs.
- Great for everyday use
- Contains calming oat
- Made with natural ingredients
- On the more expensive side
Bulldog is a leading brand in men's skincare and is probably a brand that you have seen before if you don’t already use them. This product is another budget-friendly option.
The smaller size of the container, combined with the low price makes it the perfect option for anyone who is dipping their toe into the world of skincare and isn’t sure about exfoliants.
The formula offered by Bulldog contains oat kernels, shea butter, and olive oil that help to gently and naturally buff away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
The product also contains essential oils that help to tone and improve the condition of your skin, as well as adding an appealing fragrance.
One of the best ingredients in this formula, however, is the aloe vera. The aloe helps to provide a cooling sensation that helps to calm and moisturize your skin.
- Very affordable price
- Natural ingredients
- Aloe vera to cool the skin
- Essential oils
- The scent can be quite strong
If you have sensitive skin and the idea of exfoliating your skin every day or with harsh exfoliators makes your skin burn, this product might be for you.
Cetaphil is an expert in providing high-quality skin care products that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.
You can be sure that Cetaphil products will be gentle on your skin and won’t strip it of the all-important oils that help to keep it balanced and moisturized.
This offering from Cetaphil is an ultra-gentle formula that won't irritate or inflame your skin.
This makes it the perfect option for sensitive skin and can even allow you to exfoliate your skin every day.
This is great if you have the unfortunate combination of sensitive skin that struggles with excessive oil production.
The formula is infused with skin conditioners and a vitamin complex that helps to nourish the skin and keep it comfortably hydrated rather than tight and dry.
- Specifically formulated for sensitive skin
- Contains a vitamin complex and skin conditioners
- Trusted brand
- Suitable for daily exfoliation
- Cetaphil is not cruelty-free
If you want to incorporate exfoliation into your skincare routine but like to keep things as simple as possible, this is a great product for you.
The ClarinsMen exfoliating cleanser is the perfect 2-in-1 product that allows you to add exfoliation to your routine without adding an extra step.
The cleansing aspect is completely soap-free which means that it won’t excessively dry out your skin and leave it feeling tight and uncomfortable.
The best thing about this product is that it has been specially formulated to suit men's skin and has been designed to help prevent shaving rashes when you shave.
The formula also includes bison grass which helps to boost your skin tone and make it appear more even.
Regular use of this product will not only help to remove blackheads and dead skin, but it will also clear and prevent clogged pores and reduce the appearance of dry skin and enlarged pores.
- 2-in-1 product keeps your routine simple
- Prevents shaving rashes
- Removes blackheads and dead skin
- Contains bison grass to improve skin tone
- Exfoliating beads can be harsh
This product by M3 Naturals is one of the only products on this list that contains activated charcoal.
If you have done any research into the most effective ingredients used in skin care products, you will have come across activated charcoal and its many benefits.
If you haven’t come across it before, activated charcoal is essentially one of the best clarifying ingredients available.
It has a great ability to remove impurities and leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and smooth.
Another incredible ingredient in this product alongside the charcoal is dead sea salt. This ingredient works as a detoxifying ingredient that cleanses deep inside your pores to create a long-lasting, incredibly clean feeling.
Because there are two active ingredients in this product in high quantities, you can feel it working to pull the impurities out of your skin and leave you with smooth, balanced skin that looks fresh.
The collagen content of this scrub also helps to improve the elasticity of your skin which can also help reduce the size of your pores.
- Contains activated charcoal
- Contains dead sea salt
- Contains collagen
- Provides spa-quality results at home
- Not ideal for sensitive skin
Nivea Men is another well-known skincare brand that is trusted by many men all over the world.
The deep cleaning face scrub does exactly what it says on the tin. Cleaning your pores on a deep level, leaving them clear and decreased in size.
With this level of cleansing and exfoliation, it is common to experience tightness or a dry feeling on your skin, this is not the case with this product.
The fine scrub particles help to gently clear away dead skin cells, excess oil and sebum, and other impurities.
This product has been formulated to refine your skin and leave it looking smooth, balanced, and even.
Your skin is also left feeling hydrated, plumped up, and nourished thanks to the combination of soothing ingredients and vitamins.
Specifically, the formula contains aloe vera which helps to calm the skin during and after the exfoliation, as well as provitamin B5 which helps clarify the skin tone.
- Removes impurities and dead skin
- Fine scrub particles are gentler on the skin
- Refines the skin
- Hydrates and plumps skin
- Not great for sensitive skin
This face scrub from Clinique For Men is one of the best products on this list, especially for men who shave regularly.
The formula has been specifically created to ensure a thorough exfoliation that allows for the closest shave you’ve ever gotten at home.
The exfoliating granules in the product have been designed to be non-abrasive which may sound counter-productive.
However, it simply means that your face won’t be left feeling sore and irritated.
It also minimizes the risk of micro-cuts appearing on your skin which can cause pimples to form.
The formula is free of irritating ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and fragrances.
This means that it won’t leave your skin inflamed and makes it a great option for sensitive skin.
The fine particles that are used to exfoliate the skin are gentle but also effectively reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs.
- Gentle exfoliating particles
- Reduces ingrown hairs
- Designed for men's faces
- Doesn’t irritate the skin
- The thick formula can be difficult to get out of the tube
This is another product that comes from a highly recognizable brand. Although it may be common to associate Clean and Clear with teenage skin, it is also a great option for adults and in particular, men’s skin.
This is a great product if you still struggle with oily or acne-prone skin into adulthood.
One of the main ingredients in this product is salicylic acid which is a common product in all anti-blemish skin care. It is incredibly effective at improving the appearance of acne scars which can have a huge impact on your confidence.
The scrubbing particles in this product are effective at removing dirt and impurities on your skin, even deep into your pores.
With regular and consistent use, this product can not only reduce the number of blackheads and pimples on your skin, but it can also prevent the recurrence of such skin complaints.
Over time, when using this product, you will notice that your pores begin to shrink and become less noticeable as they don’t have to stretch to accommodate dirt and oil.
Despite its reputation among teenagers, this scrub is gentle on the skin and is suitable for daily use to keep your skin in great condition.
- Great for oily or acne-prone skin
- Contains salicylic acid
- Can prevent the recurrence of blackheads
- Suitable for daily use
- Not ideal for sensitive skin
Best Scrubs For Men Buying Guide
There are a few things that should always be considered when looking to purchase an exfoliant, especially if you are using it on your face.
Below, we have outlined some of the most important things to consider before taking the plunge and buying the first exfoliant that you come across.
Exfoliant Particle Size
The size of the exfoliating particles or beads is much more important than many people think. If the beads are too large, they are likely to be irritating or too harsh if you have sensitive skin.
On the other hand, if you don’t have sensitive skin and suffer from excessive oil and sebum production or clogged pores, smaller beads might be too gentle to provide enough exfoliation to make a significant difference to the quality of your skin.
If you are unsure about whether you would benefit from larger or smaller beads, you can consult a dermatologist.
The ingredients of a facial scrub are one of the most important things to examine before you purchase a product. The first thing that it is important to check for is any ingredients that you know your skin is allergic to or sensitive to.
If a product contains any of these ingredients, you should avoid it as it will cause your skin to become inflamed and irritated.
The best options are scrubs that are made with all-natural ingredients. Not only does this avoid the risk of the beads being made from microplastics, but it also significantly reduces the risk of a surprise allergic reaction.
Similarly, the shorter the ingredients list the better and the higher percentage of the ingredients that you can pronounce the better. You should be able to easily identify the ingredients in the products you put on your skin.
Type Of Exfoliant
Most of the exfoliants mentioned above contain a physical exfoliant. This means that the exfoliation comes from physical abrasion. This is often in the form of beads, oats, sugar, or salt.
Anything that physically creates a means of removing impurities and dead skin. These are the most common types of exfoliants. However, it is also possible to purchase chemical exfoliants.
These are products that use acid to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. These products are not as good at cleansing but can be very effective at exfoliating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is It Important For Men To Exfoliate?
Exfoliating your face is particularly important if you are a man who shaves. Although the process of shaving your facial hair provides a low level of exfoliation, it isn’t enough.
When you shave and don’t exfoliate the dead skin cells away, you run the risk of developing ingrown hairs. Not only do these not look great on your skin, but they can also be incredibly painful.
Regular exfoliation can help prevent and alleviate them.
There are many different exfoliation products on the market that have been specifically marketed toward men. There are even more exfoliation products that are marketed as unisex.
This means that there are a plethora of choices out there when it comes to rejuvenating your skin. No matter how sensitive or oily your skin is, there will be a product out there that will give you the results you want.