The 10 Best Face Exfoliator Brands of 2022

Evelyn Davis
Feb 16, 2022

Face exfoliator is very important to promote absorption of skincare products. The buildup of keratin causes clogged pores and weakens the skin's ability to absorb skincare products.

Exfoliators quickly remove dead skin cells on the skin, thereby unclogging the pores and promoting the absorption of skincare products. Facial skin is soft and delicate, so you should use mild exfoliators, including acids and enzymes. The principle of chemical peeling is to help excrete excess dead skin cells and promote the metabolism of cells by regulating the acidity of the skin surface, which is scientific and efficient. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Danny Del Campo said that many of his patients prefer to use gentle scrubs to clean their superficial skin as well as exfoliate.

We rounded up a host of brands with a cult following, like Philosophy, Dermalogica, CLARINS, and so on. Each brand boasts a wide range of super-quality products, most of which are the winners of multiple beauty awards. Now, if you’re ready to get the perfect face exfoliator, scroll down to check the following list of brands we’ve compiled for you.

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  • 1. Philosophy
  • 2. Dermalogica
  • 3. CLARINS
  • 4. Fresh
  • 5. IPSA
  • 6. ROSETTE
  • 7. Cure
  • 9. Kanebo
  • 10. Kiehl's


Philosophy is a popular American beauty care brand founded in 1996, and famous for the inclusion of various well-selected plant extracts and rich vitamin ingredients. Philosophy has many bestsellers with mild and anti-allergic features.

The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash exfoliates the skin by using physical methods, but it is very mild without grainy caused by exfoliating particles. In addition, essential oils and vitamin E are added to the Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash to nourish and moisturize the skin, leaving your skin sleek. This Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash is suitable for dry skin use in summer, and people with oily skin can use it all year round.

Philosophy Microdelivery Vitamin C Resurfacing Peel has more powerful exfoliating effect, which is suitable for oily skin. The set contains a bottle of Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel and a jar of VC/peptide resurfacing crystals. The Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel is laced with fruit acid and salicylic acid to dissolve the keratin, unclog pores, and promote the metabolism of skin cells. Infused with scrub particles and 1% VC components, the VC/peptide resurfacing crystals can remove dirt and dead cells, and brighten the skin tone, leaving skin sleek and soft. You should use Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel and VC/peptide resurfacing crystals to exfoliate and remove blackhead effectively and then to improve your skin condition.

Skin cleansing can be divided into daily cleansing and deep cleansing. Daily cleansing is only to clean the dirt and dust on the skin, and you just need a facial cleanser. For deep cleansing, Exfoliators can help remove old cutin, leaving skin supple and smooth. Meanwhile, you can use exfoliators to achieve a better skin condition after makeup.

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Dermalogica is one of the American well-known skin care brands specialized in exfoliating. The brand adheres to the professional skin care concept that does not contain any chemical preservatives, which are safe and free of breakouts and allergies. Dermalogica has many types of exfoliating products, mostly are scrub cream and exfoliating powder. Exfoliating powders are more portable and easier to store than other exfoliating products.

Dermalogica daily microfoliant is a typical powdery exfoliating product, which has been ranked at the top of the Rank&Style (a page on Amazon recommending products) facial exfoliating product list a long time. The daily microfoliant is a chemical exfoliating product with the ingredients that can dissolve old cutin. At the same time, the Dermalogica daily microfoliant also contains plant extracts, which can even skin tone with a certain degree of a whitening effect, leaving your skin brighter.

Exfoliating products have various forms. Most of water-like and creamy exfoliating products are chemical exfoliants, which are suitable for normal skin and dry skin; physical exfoliants use particulates or granules to physically rub off the dead cells on the skin, which are more suitable for oily skin and skin with thick cutin. The exfoliating powders are classified by their exfoliating ingredients. For example, exfoliating powders with papaya enzymes and enzymes are chemical exfoliants, while those with clay ingredients are physical exfoliants.

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Clarins is a famous French brand established in 1954. Clarins has many exfoliating products for different skin types, so you can find a right one. Most of its facial scrubs have a creamy, fine and smooth texture. You may feel comfortable and pleasant when applying and never worry about damaging your skin.

The Clarins Comfort Scrub Nourishing Oil Scrub in yellow packaging is suitable for dry skin and thin skin. This gel-like scrub can be emulsified. Gently massage helps moisturize and smooth your skin and brighten skin tone thanks to nourishing and repairing ingredients. The Clarins Comfort Scrub Nourishing Oil Scrub has a good exfoliation effect, and it not only can be used on the face and neck, but also can be used as on lips.

The Clarins Pure Scrub Purifying Gel Scrub in green packaging has a foaming gel texture, leaving your skin refreshing with strong cleaning power. You can rinse easily thanks to the subtle particles. It is more suitable for combination skin and oily skin, because it can inhibit excess oil and has a certain degree of oil-control.

The Clarins Fresh Scrub Refreshing Cream Scrub in blue packaging claims to be suitable for all skin types. It specializes in removing whiteheads and blackheads with a soft and creamy texture.

When it comes to exfoliation, scrubs are the most common products that use physical exfoliants. However, many people feel pain when applying because of its coarser particles, so they only rub the body or apply it on rough skin. In fact, the use feeling varies from texture and particles of the scrub. The extremely subtle particles will not damage your skin, but clean the keratin better, leaving your skin smoother and brighter.

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Fresh started with handmade soap founded in 1991. It launched the world's first Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator that can be used to the whole body as early as 1998. In terms of exfoliating scrub, sugar scrubs have fine particles, and they are less harmful to the skin when massaging. Sugar scrubs can moisturize your skin, leaving your skin refreshing without tightness.

Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash has an extraordinary exfoliating effect with scrub particles, combined with strawberry extract that not only can bright the skin tone, remove makeup residues and excess facial oil, but also can exfoliate and remove makeup.

Umbrain Clay Pore Purifying Face Exfoliator is a clay facial cleansing product, the effect is similar to a cleansing mask.

The scrub can adsorb dirt on your skin, which can clean the pores to a certain extent, leaving the skin translucent and bright.

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IPSA is a Japanese independent beauty brand under the Shiseido Group and is available at beauty counter.

For those who have a thin cutin and worry about over-cleaning, it is more recommended to purchase IPSA Lumunizing Clay. It has been awarded the best product in Urcosme (cosmetics review site in Taiwan, China) for 6 consecutive years due to its fine particles and extraordinary exfoliating effect, which can exfoliate effectively. It has a creamy white texture, which can lift dirt out of pores. You never feel pain and tingle when applying. IPSA Lumunizing Clay can also be used for dry skin with strong adsorbing ability. The cream can quickly fit and nourish your dry skin. If your skin is wet, you can massage gently to remove dirt and cutin at the same time, leaving your skin smooth and translucent.

IPSA Lumunizing Clay is highly praised and recommended by many influencers. The moisturizing clay can be spread it easily. It can remove melanin, aging cutin and excess sebum effectively. The subtle particles penetrating pores and fine lines help promote blood circulation by massage, thus improving the dull skin and leaving your skin supple.

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ROSETTE, a Japanese brand, specializes in skin cleansing as the first cleansing cream manufacturer in Japan. The ROSETTE facial cleansing products have an extraordinary adsorbing effect, which can maintain the balance of skin water and oil, and purify pores. They also bring a satisfying face-washing experience with a strong cleansing power. ROSETTE won awards in Cosme Awards many times.

As one of the deep facial cleansing products, ROSETTE Peeling Gel also has an excellent cleansing effect which can soften the cutin and help exfoliate the old keratinocytes. At the same time, you may never feel tingle after washing. ROSETTE Peeling Gel is divided into refreshing and moisturizing types, which are packaged in blue and red respectively. ROSETTE GOMMAGE, SKIN-SMOOTHING MASSAGING GEL offers a subtle fragrance and good bendability, you may feel soft and comfortable when applying. It can be spread to the whole face with a small amount, leaving your skin refreshing and smooth after rinsing. Rosette—Gommage Peeling Gel Moist has weaker cleansing power than SKIN-SMOOTHING MASSAGING GEL, but it improves the moisturizing effect based on SKIN-SMOOTHING MASSAGING GEL. It helps moisturize and smooth the skin, more suitable for people with dry skin.

Although fruit acid has been regarded as the "best exfoliant", it may cause allergy. So you’d better not use it too frequently. It is recommended for oily skin or combination skin to apply it once for 1-2 weeks, and people with thin cutin or sensitive skin are not advisable to apply it.

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Cure is a Japanese skin care product brand that features on natural, mild and non-irritating formulas.

Cure Natural Aqua Gel is the bestseller among gel-based exfoliating products. Unlike regular scrub-based exfoliating products, gel-based exfoliating products offer a good exfoliating effect with a gentle using feeling. These products usually adopt acids to dissolve the connection of keratinocytes, so that the old keratinocytes can fall off, leaving the skin smooth and supple.

Cure Natural Aqua Gel contains 91% water, so it turns into water after wiping. The fluid Cure Natural Aqua Gel may never irritate the skin. Moreover, it is easier to rinse without sticky. Cure Natural Aqua Gel is fragrance-free and preservative-free. Infused with the soothing ingredients like aloe vera, it offers a certain effect on relieving redness and allergy. However, with 3-4 PH value, Natural Aqua Gel is relatively acidic and contains alcohol, so it is not recommended for damaged skin.

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Clinique is well-known for its cult classic 3-step skin care system. After daily cleansing, the second step is to clean the skin with a clarifying lotion. In addition to being used for deep cleansing and moisturizing, toners can also be used for daily skin care. Clinique launched 4 cleansing lotions for different skin types in 1986. And all of them contain highly volatile alcohol, leaving a cool and smooth skin feeling.

CLINIQUE CLARIFYING LOTION 0 is an alcohol-free clarifying lotion with mild ingredients released in 2016, which has better cleaning power. It is more suitable for daily cleaning. This clarifying lotion adopts a small amount of salicylic acid instead of alcohol to exfoliate cutin, so it causes less irritation. CLINIQUE CLARIFYING LOTION 0 is more suitable for people who don’t like alcohol.

Unlike the traditional scrub and gel exfoliating products, the clarifying lotion focuses on removing the dirt and cutin gently. With a cotton pad, you can gently wipe the skin, and it will rejuvenate the texture and improve the dullness. Many people refuse to use skin care products that contain alcohol and consider it may cause irritation. In fact, cosmetics contain dedicated SD40 alcohol rather than high-concentration medical alcohol. You don’t have worried to much.

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Kanebo is a Japanese famous cosmetics brand. The time-honored Kanebo brand has earned a good reputation since it hit the makeup industry 60 years ago. The word "enzyme" originated from Japan. As a mild exfoliating ingredient in cleansing products, it can promote the metabolism of skin cells. Suisai Beauty Clear Powder is the best selling enzymatic exfoliating products, and has been ranked the first on Japan Cosme Awards for many years.

Suisai Beauty Clear Powder is infused with rich cleansing ingredients. Packed with the protease and lipase, it can dissolve old cutin and excess sebum,as well as prevent production blackheads. At the same time, it takes amino acids and amphoteric surfactants as cleansing agents to achieve a strong cleaning power. Suisai Beauty Clear Powder is fragrance-free, pigment-free and mineral oil-free, which may never cause allergy. The Suisai Beauty Clear Powder has less friction than the scrub particles. People who are not suitable for applying scrub exfoliating products should consider it.

It is not recommended to use it everyday in order to protect the skin. People with normal to dry skin can use it in summer, and it’s not recommended for people with thin cutin.

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Kiehl's was founded in Manhattan, New York in 1851. As a typical 19th century pharmacist in the early years, Kiehl's provided potions and ointments for New Yorker. Since its development, Kiehl's launched many well-known products, and skin care products are favored by many Hollywood celebrities.

Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque has a fine texture and a strong oil-absorbing power. Compared with gel exfoliating products, this Cleansing Masque may cause slightly irritating when applying. It is recommended to use it on the T-zone for people with non-oily skin, and people should moisturize the skin timely after application. In general, it is more suitable for people with combination and oily skin.

As the deep cleansing products, the difference of cleansing masks and exfoliating products is that the cleansing masks focus on absorbing skin oils and lifting dirt out of pores, while exfoliating products emphasize on removing old cutin. It is not advisable to use it frequently. The cleansing mask with micro-exfoliators not only can absorb oil but also offer a more moderate cleansing power compared with regular exfoliating products.

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