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The Best Exfoliators & Scrubs for Dry Skin: Reviews & Buying Guide
Last Updated on Dec 17, 2019Follow us on:
Would you like a brighter complexion? Then try one of the best exfoliators and scrubs for dry skin. Once you leave your 20s behind, your cellular turnover slows down. The result is drier, dull skin. But exfoliating by chemical or mechanical means will make your face more radiant.
Removing the dead skin makes it easier for serums and moisturizers to do their job. And if you use an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic or lactic acid, they are humectants that attract water. That’s helpful for dry skin. (Meanwhile, beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid are best for oily skin.)
How often should you exfoliate? At most, twice a week. We understand that you’re anxious to get your skin in top condition. In this case, though, slow and steady wins the race.
Following are the top scrubs and exfoliators for dry skin. We hope our reviews help you get your shopping done today.
Best Exfoliators & Scrubs for Dry Skin (2020 Update)
Bliss Micro Magic | Skin-renewing Microdermabrasion Scrub
Pamper yourself with Bliss’s spa-like microdermabrasion scrub. Users say the mild tingling sensation and soft fragrance make it a relaxing experience. It contains tiny particles of volcanic pumice to resurface your face. At the same time, aloe soothes and moisturizes while peppermint refreshes.
Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
If you must scrub each day, try this gentle cleanser. Clarins includes microbeads made of organic cellulose. They are biodegradable, not harmful to the environment. They also take it easy on your skin. This cleanser removes dead cells as well as dirt and makeup.
St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Face Scrub and Mask, Oatmeal
St. Ives blends oatmeal with walnut shell powder, silica, and honey to make this scrub. Therefore, it’s exceptionally kind to dry skin. It’s also free of oils and parabens. They recommend leaving it on for up to seven minutes 3 to 4 times a week.
Borghese Intensive Age Defying Exfoliator
Founded by a princess, the Borghese company offers this Italian spa-inspired product. It’s a foaming scrub that unclogs pores to clear up blackheads. Unlike some exfoliators, this one reduces redness and adds hydration.
LIERAC Gentle Exfoliator
The French laboratory behind LIERAC’s Exfoliator has been developing skincare solutions for over four decades. The secret to this product’s success is a blend of natural ingredients with scientific solutions. It has linseed flower and white clay to remove impurities. Meanwhile, microspheres speed up cell turnover. Finally, jojoba esters and mallow extract ensure that your skin ends up firmer and more elastic.
La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Face Scrub for Sensitive Skin
La Roche-Posay’s pH-balanced scrub relies on minuscule particles of pumice. The texture is milder than a classic apricot or walnut scrub. Moreover, it contains no drying alcohols, soap, or parabens.
Face Wash by Olay, Total Effects Citrus Facial Cleanser and Scrub
Olay’s Total Effects scrub is recommended for all skin types and said to be mild enough to use twice a day. Users who identify themselves as having dry skin say that they like how it doesn’t leave their face tight. Others report that they feel oilier after using it. Olay points out that regular use reduces fine lines and pores.
Clarisonic Mia Prima Sonic Cleansing Face Brush
Clarisonic’s sonic cleansing brush comes highly recommended by spas and dermatologists. It doesn’t tear at your skin or rotate. Instead, it moves back-and-forth to suction up dead skin cells, dirt, and impurities from your pores. Since it’s waterproof, you can enjoy it in the shower.
Vivo Per Lei Matcha Body Scrub – Healthy Green Tea Body Exfoliator
Care for your body as well as your face. This scrub uses green tea, a time-tested remedy for aging. Plus, it detoxifies your skin with grapefruit. You may also find that you enjoy their Devotion Scrub with Dead Sea salt. Unlike regular table salt that sucks up moisture, mineral salt from the Dead Sea hydrates.
Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator
Here’s another exfoliator with a grainy texture due to pumice and wax beads. Some customers say that it’s the least scratchy, most gentle scrub they’ve ever tried.
DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub and Face Mask
DRMTLGY tackles a variety of problems with this product. First, it serves as either a scrub or a face mask depending on how long you wear it. Second, it clears up blackheads and shrinks pores, which is a big bonus if you have an oily T-zone. And third, regular use will reduce acne scars and other kinds of discoloration. The main ingredients include glycolic acid, fruit extracts, and green tea.
ArtNaturals Himalayan Salt Body Scrub
The Himalayan Salt Body Scrub is packed with minerals and nutrients. Not only will you feel the tingle as it speeds up circulation and removes dull skin, but it also lifts away toxins. Again, this isn’t the kind of salt that causes dryness. Instead, the scrub softens and smoothes your body with argan, sweet almond, and jojoba oils.
St. Ives Exfoliate & Nourish Facial Oil Scrub, Coconut
St. Ives added coconut oil to make this scrub highly desirable for dry skin. The abrasive particles are made from coconut shell powder. And the creamy texture is full of fatty acids and vitamins to keep your face supple and young.
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, Tropical Mango
The Tree Hut Sugar Scrub features an excellent ingredient that restores dry skin to health. It’s organic shea butter, one of the best moisturizers available. But that’s not all. There are so many natural emollients and extracts in the formula that it seems more like a face lotion than an exfoliator.
One of the highlights includes mango purée which is rich in antioxidants and vitamins to prevent wrinkles. Next, macadamia seed and safflower seed oils lock in moisture. Then, avocado oil diminishes dark spots while orange oil repairs damaged skin.
Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub
Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening Scrub is kind to sensitive skin. It lacks both sulfates and parabens. Plus, it exfoliates with natural ingredients like green clay, sea kelp, and lemon peel. This vegan product seems to have gained in popularity every time we run across it.
Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator
Era Organics puts sugarcane and walnut shell in their microdermabrasion scrub. But it also has aloe, a potent moisturizer. There’s Vitamin C to prevent premature aging and Manuka honey to balance the skin’s pH, too.
Brown Sugar Body Scrub by Majestic Pure
The Majestic Pure Body Scrub can potentially shrink cellulite. To begin, it guards against dehydration with brown sugar. While the sugar crystals buff your skin, they attract moisture to it.
Then, citrus oils add a delicious scent while they add radiance. But prepare yourself for a tingly experience as the scrub has peppermint and ginseng also.
Finally, plant oils like sweet almond, jojoba, and apricot kernel make sure your body feels smooth and soft when you’re done.
Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Foaming Face Scrub
Neutrogena’s foaming scrub does not contain those little plastic beads that are harmful to the environment. In their place, it has synthetic wax and microcrystalline cellulose. Those degrade so that they don’t pose the same risk to wildlife.
The fresh, clean feeling you’ll have after using this scrub comes from menthol. That, combined with the artificial fragrance, might be a little much for sensitive skin. But users say that it doesn’t leave their face dry or tight.
Paula’s Choice-SKIN PERFECTING 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant with Glycolic Acid
The AHA Gel Exfoliant is an excellent choice for dry skin. It features just enough glycolic acid to revitalize your face. There’s also green tea and chamomile to clear up age spots and improve elasticity. Like other products from Paula’s Choice, it’s free of artificial fragrances.
Peter Thomas Roth 3% Glycolic Solutions Cleanser
We mentioned glycolic acid earlier because it’s an alpha hydroxy acid. It’s better for dry skin than salicylic acid as it attracts water instead of melting away all the natural oil. Chemical exfoliants like this one dissolve the bonds that hold skin cells together. They’re less risky for sensitive skin than a scrub with abrasive particles.
This cleansing gel has only 3% glycolic acid, making it a smart choice if you’re prone to rosacea, acne, or other issues. It foams away dead skin and impurities in only a minute.
Vivo Per Lei Facial Peeling Gel
The Peeling Gel from Vivo Per Lei combines Dead Sea minerals, calcium, and glycerin. It lifts away dull skin to leave a smooth, polished surface behind. Massage it into your face twice a week, then rinse with water after 30 seconds.
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
The Nip + Fab Extreme pads are perfect for you whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, or more. That’s because they use glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid to resurface your face. You’ll end up with plumper skin, fewer fine lines, and less visible discoloration.
ELEMIS Papaya Enzyme Peel
The creamy ELEMIS Peel is an award-winning product and a real crowd-pleaser in South Africa. It contains natural fruit acids from African papaya and Asian pineapple. The fruit juices leave your complexion smooth and bright. Extracts of sunflower and bladderwrack condition and strengthen your skin, too.
We hope you discovered a new exfoliator (or two) to try today. You may find that you look forward to using it each week. Let us know which ones are your favorites as we are always on the lookout for the best skincare products.
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A high-quality exfoliator is an important part of your skincare routine!
With exfoliation, you can get rid of excess oil and reduce skin imperfections, among other benefits.
For people with dry skin, however, it is often a different story.
Exfoliation can result in irritation and redness if your skin is dry.
The secret is to choose the right exfoliator. It should contain hydrating and non-irritating ingredients.
Clueless about the best exfoliator to choose? If you cannot decide, we got you covered in this short buying guide.
Why You Need to Be Careful
Before we give you our top recommendations, we’d like to share a word of warning.
If you have dry skin, you are prone to over-exfoliation.
Once your skin dries, it will have flakes.
The natural reaction of most people is to scrub the flakes.
However, this is not the solution. This can only worsen the problem. You can suffer from irritation.
In short, this will only cause the skin to dry more.
It can do more harm than good.
With this, you need to limit your exfoliation only once to thrice a week.
More importantly, you need to choose the right exfoliator. Pick one with ingredients that won’t cause adverse reactions.
Our Top Picks for the Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin Reviews
The options are plenty. However, this does not mean that you can choose just any exfoliator.
For your peace of mind, below are some of the top products that should be on your radar.
#1 L’Oréal Skin Paris Pure Sugar Face Scrub
If you are looking for the best exfoliator for dry skin face, this is not to be missed.
The brand name itself is already a good reason to consider this product.
It uses three pure sugars, which are known for being hydrating. This is unlike other scrubs that can exacerbate dryness.
One of the main ingredients in this scrub is cocoa butter. This provides nourishment to your dry skin. This is also effective in making your skin softer.
Another revolutionary ingredient in this product is kiwi. It has real seeds from kiwi fruits, which will make it deliver more powerful exfoliation.
It is also exceptional because it contains finely-ground Kona coffee, helps to reveal the healthy glow of your skin.
The power of grapeseed is also evident in this exfoliator. It makes the skin smoother to improve its texture.
This scrub is soft and buttery with a smooth texture. The application will be easy and won’t irritate.
#2 St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub
When it comes to an exfoliator, you can never go wrong with St. Ives. Even for people with dry skin, it can be effective.
One of the highlights of this product is the use of 100% natural exfoliants.
If you are searching for the best exfoliator for dry sensitive skin, this also makes a good choice. There are no harsh chemicals that can irritate.
The main ingredient that you will find in this product is apricot. Apricot fruit extracts are high in carotenoids. They are also potent sources of antioxidants.
It also contains corn kernel meal. It is sourced directly from dried corn. This ingredient improves cell turnover and regeneration. The result is that you will have brighter skin.
Another key ingredient in this exfoliator is glycerin. This is useful in replenishing moisture, making it an effective solution against dryness.
For your peace of mind, it is also good to know that this is hypoallergenic and sulfate-free.
#3 Skin Food Black Sugar Mask Wash Off Exfoliator
Made by a cult-favorite South Korean beauty brand, this is another top choice for the best exfoliator for dry skin.
The highlight of this product is the use of black sugar grains. These are the ones that make it effective for exfoliation.
The grains manually dissolve as you apply the exfoliator on your face. While doing this, it gets rids of the dead skin cells. It also smoothens the texture of your face.
It also contains shea butter and lanolin. These are known for being hydrating ingredients. Hence, they are effective in combatting dryness.
To guarantee safety, it does not contain parabens, mineral oils, and alcohol.
It is also worth noting that the pH level is 5 to 5.6.
#4 Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
If you read the best exfoliator for dry skin reviews online, you’ll see that this is often recommended.
Among others, this is praised by many because it uses salicylic acid. It is a gentle and non-irritating acid, which is safe even if you have dry skin.
Salicylic acid is also known for clearing and minimizing large pores. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines, among other signs of skin aging.
Another key ingredient that you will find in this exfoliator is green tea extract. It is a potent source of antioxidants. This prevents skin damage caused by free radicals.
If you have acne-prone skin, this is also a great choice. The manufacturer claims that this is effective in the prevention of breakouts.
Need proof that it has a gentle formula? You can apply it even up to two times a day! In the case of other products, this will already result in severe irritation.
#5 Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
Exfoliating your skin can result in dryness when you use the wrong product.
With this Neutrogena exfoliating cleanser, there’s no need to worry.
It comes with a gentle formula. You have the assurance that it won’t make your skin dryer.
The secret lies in the ingredients that are used.
Among others, one of the best ingredients is hyaluronic acid. It is clinically proven that such an ingredient boosts hydration. This makes it effective in providing relief from dryness.
We also like how it is free of soap, parabens, oil, and other harsh ingredients.
This is also great for those who are on the lookout for the best exfoliator for clogged pores. We love how it is non-comedogenic. This means that it won’t cause clogging.
#6 First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
This is different compared to the other options for the best exfoliator for dry skin.
It exists in the form of pads. Each pad contains lactic and glycolic acids, which are known for safe exfoliation.
The pads also contain cucumber and Indian gooseberry. They will help in toning the skin to reveal a brighter layer. Lemon peel and licorice root also deliver the same benefits.
According to clinical trials, 90.7% of its users saw significant results four weeks after its use. More so, 95% noted that it is gentle.
The manufacturer notes that it is safe for daily use. Even if you have dry or sensitive skin, you don’t have to worry.
#7 Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
If you are looking for the best exfoliator for dehydrated skin, do not ignore this product.
One of the highlights is the use of glycolic acid. Whether for cleansing or makeup removal, the 2% glycolic acid can be beneficial. Best of all, it works for all skin types.
It also contains a unique blend of natural and organic ingredients. The exfoliator contains organic aloe, organic rosehip oil, jojoba beads, willow bark, and cucumber, among others.
For those with dark and uneven skin, this exfoliating wash is also promising. It contains Kojic acid, which will brighten your complexion.
With tea tree oil, on the other hand, it will reveal radiant and younger-looking skin.
#8 Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
Like the product mentioned above, we can also attribute its effectiveness to the use of glycolic acid.
It contains 10% glycolic acid. This is a powerful concentration for removing dead skin cells. It also treats clogged pores to prevent acne.
Other potent ingredients include bamboo, shea butter, willow bark, tea tree, seaweed, peppermint, and lavender. The manufacturer takes pride in how it is all-natural and organic.
The manufacturer also markets this product as an anti-aging cleanser. This makes a good choice for those who are concerned about the visible signs of skin aging.
#9 Teami Detox Green Tea Facial Scrub
The unique formula of this product makes it another effective choice for the best exfoliator for dry skin.
It uses ingredients that won’t dry out the skin. To add, it will provide hydrating and moisturizing benefits. It is also a great addition to your anti-aging skincare routine.
As the name implies, the main ingredient it uses is green tea. This is a powerful antioxidant. This will be effective in getting rid of damages that free radicals can cause.
Lemongrass and sugar are other key ingredients that you will find in this product. They help to get rid of impurities and dead cells on the superficial skin layer.
It is also worth noting that the product is prepared in small batches. It is handcrafted from a small facility in Florida. This way, you can have the assurance of attention to detail.
Not happy with the results of using this exfoliant? Your money will not go to waste! The manufacturer will offer a refund.
#10 Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
This is an exceptional candidate for the best exfoliator for dry skin body. It is a great option for people who are on a budget.
As soon as you open the bottle, it is easy to fall in love with this product. It has a distinct fragrance that can have you instantly hooked.
There are different variants available aside from tropical mango. You can also choose from Amazon pequi, coconut lime, passion fruit & guava, and pomegranate acai, among others.
It also has natural oils that will hydrate your dry skin. These oils are from avocado, saffron, sweet almond, macadamia, and orange.
Even for people who have sensitive skin, this scrub is guaranteed to work. We love how it does not contain parabens and formaldehyde donors.
#11 Herbal Choice Mari Organic Face Scrub
With the use of this intense exfoliating scrub, you can expect smoother and brighter skin. Will remove dead skin cells and provide deep cleansing.
It is packed with natural and organic ingredients that promise to be skin-friendly. It contains olive and geranium oils. They will hydrate and moisturize the skin.
The face scrub also contains Vitamin E, which is good for the skin. Plus, this will help minimize the visible signs of skin aging. It helps in getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines.
Best of all, it is vegan and cruelty-free!
#12 Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub
Our list of the best exfoliator for face will be incomplete without mentioning this product. After all, it is from Cetaphil! It is hard to go wrong!
While it delivers a powerful cleansing and exfoliating action, it is gentle on the skin. It delivers its benefits without drying the skin. It does not strip the natural oils on the face.
The micro-fine granules of the scrub will not be harsh on the skin. The manufacturer recommends that it is safe even for daily use.
The effectiveness of this product is rooted in the use of skin conditioners. It also has a unique vitamin complex to make your skin radiant and smooth.
Still have doubts? You will be more confident knowing that it is dermatologist-tested. It is approved even for the use of people who have sensitive skin.
#13 Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
Aveeno is one of the most reputable skincare brands. This should give you enough reason to trust in the effectiveness of this product.
With the use of this scrub, you’ll enjoy brighter, clearer, and smoother skin, among other benefits.
Among others, we can attribute its effectiveness to the use of soy extracts. By being moisture-rich, they are effective in hydrating your skin. This will provide instant relief against dryness.
For those with acne-prone skin, the scrub can also help. It has a non-comedogenic formula, which means that it will never block the pores.
#14 Ongaro Beauty Probiotic Facial Exfoliator
This is another effective product despite being made by an unpopular brand.
One thing that we like the most is that it is non-abrasive. Unlike granular scrubs, this won’t damage the superficial layer of the skin. Nonetheless, it can provide relief from dryness.
The probiotic technology is one of its best assets. It accelerates the renewal process of the cells to reveal a fresher and brighter skin layer.
It also uses plant stem cells, improves the self-renewal capacity of your skin. This also improves its ability to heal.
You will also like how it uses organic aloe vera. For centuries, this has been revered for its skin benefits, especially for hydration.
Even if you have sensitive skin, this product is safe. As most of our recommendations, it does not use sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, and gluten.
#15 Skin&Lab Gently Vita Exfoliator
Looking for the best way to get rid of dead skin cells without drying your skin? This is another product that should be on your radar!
Made by a Korean cosmetic company, the manufacturer takes pride in the immediacy of its effects. As claimed, within 30 seconds, you will already see and feel the difference.
After exfoliation, your skin will be smoother and brighter! It also controls pores. To add, it is effective in getting rid of whiteheads and blackheads.
Like our other recommendations for the best exfoliator for dry skin, it is free of harsh ingredients. There are no strong chemicals that can irritate.
#16 Oleavine TheraTree Exfoliating Scrub
If you have dry, itchy, or inflamed skin, this is one of the most promising solutions!
The best thing about this product is the use of wild-crafted tea tree oil sourced from Australia. It grows in a native and untouched environment, making it highly effective.
The oil has been through a long-term distillation process. This allows broad-spectrum extraction of the active components. This makes sure that all the beneficial oils are absorbed.
Aside from tea tree oil, the formula also uses bamboo charcoal powder. It helps in the removal of dirt and impurities from the face.
This is also a versatile product since you can use it beyond the face. For instance, some users share that it is also effective for the elimination of foot and body odor.
#17 NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals
Crystals are not the best choice when it comes to exfoliation. However, with the right choice, it is surprising how effective it can be.
Formulated for all skin types, the manufacturer claims that this is effective for enjoying a spa-quality treatment.
With the granules, it is effective in improving blood circulation. It is also good for the removal of blemishes and dark spots. You will also love it if you want to be wrinkle-free.
The crystals that you will find in this product contain white aluminum oxide. It meets the highest industry standards, so you can be confident about its safety.
How to Choose the Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin
Overwhelmed with the plethora of options? Below are the most important considerations to narrow down your choices.
- Look for exfoliators with hydrating nutrients. They will help to lock-in moisture without irritating your dry skin.
- Chemical exfoliators are better for people with dry skin. Do not be afraid of the word chemicals. They can still be gentle on the skin.
- Look at the label and consider the ingredients used. Retinols, lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and beta hydroxy acid are among the best.
- If you are using physical exfoliants, choose one that is cream-based. Make sure as well that it uses moisturizing ingredients.
- Consider whether you are using it for the face or the body. What is good for the body may not necessarily be good for the face.
- Look at the other benefits that the exfoliator can bring. They can also brighten your complexion, remove fine lines, and prevent acne, among others.
How to Deal with Dry Skin
Exfoliation is not the only solution to solve dry skin.
If you want your skin to be more youthful and glowing, here are some things to keep in mind:
- People with dry skin should make moisturizing a daily routine. In the morning, use a lightweight moisturizer with SPF. In the evening, apply a rich moisturizer before sleeping.
- Avoid taking long and hot showers. Limit the time you spend in the shower at a maximum of ten minutes. Avoid washing your face with hot water.
- Do not use skincare products with high alcohol content. They can be harsh on the skin and worsen dryness.
- Cover up when you are outdoors. The harsh UV rays can worsen your dry skin. Wear sunscreen and use a hat.
- Be careful with the other skincare products that you are using. See to it that they do not have ingredients that can strip moisture of your skin.
Before concluding this post, allow us to answer some of your questions.
What are the Benefits of Exfoliation?
Exfoliation get rids of dead skin cells on the surface. It reveals a fresher and younger skin layer. This is also effective in making the skin hydrated.
How Many Times Should You Exfoliate if You Have Dry Skin?
It is recommended that you exfoliate one to three times. However, if you want to be sure, limit it to twice a week if you have dry skin.
Should I Exfoliate Before or After Cleansing?
The common practice is to cleanse before you scrub. Initially, you will be removing dirt, sweat, and makeup on the surface. After this, you can exfoliate to remove dead skin cells.
Regular exfoliation is important to get rid of dead skin cells.
It reveals a fresher layer for healthier and radiant skin.
Not all exfoliators, however, will make an excellent option.
Your skin type is one of the most important considerations, especially if you are suffering from dryness.
Pay attention to the best exfoliator for dry skin reviews above to help you make the right decision.