Best Exfoliators and Face Scrubs For Men – Reviews and Buying Guide 2019
In this week’s review and buying guide we are looking at the best exfoliator and face scrubs for men.
A couple of decades ago, grooming was thought of as a thing for the women. But things have changed. Today more men are paying attention to how they look and how they feel about their looks; after all first impressions are everything. Whether it’s hair care, beard care or bathing, men have a lot to benefit from grooming courtesy of the innovative technologies and men grooming product available in the market.
Now, when you think of grooming, the first thing that comes to your mind is a process that takes hours, right? Well, while that might be the case for some ladies, grooming for men takes minimal time. Heck even washing your face counts as grooming for men. Speaking of face washing, the routine has evolved over the years. Today, there are loads of quality face washing products that provide healthier and deeper cleansing in comparison to bar soaps.
And that’s not all. Another product takes things to an even higher level – face exfoliators or as they are commonly known; face scrubs. Using a facial scrub will improve your grooming game tenfold. And here’s the kicker, you don’t even have to use the scrub every day. A few times every week will yield great results.
This is because exfoliators do more than just cleansing the face. They unclog skin pores and get rid of dead cells on your skin.
Now, we should point out that not all facial scrubs are equal. Because of this, you ought to be cautious of the facial scrub you buy. To help you out, we’ve compiled a comprehensive scrub guide including some of the best scrubs on the market.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an Exfoliator For Men
- 1 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an Exfoliator For Men
- 2 Top 5 Exfoliators for Men in 2019
- 2.1 1. Brickell Renewing Face Scrub for Men – Our #1 Choice
- 2.2 2. Kyoku Facial Scrub for Men – Works Well For All Skin-types
- 2.3 3. Jack Black Face Buff Scrub – Paraben Free & Vegan-friendly
- 2.4 4. Rugged & Dapper Facial Cleanser For Men – Great For Sensitive Skin
- 2.5 5. M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub – Face & Body Scrub
- 3 How to Exfoliate
- 4 Scrubs vs. Other Facial Products
- 5 How We Picked the Best Exfoliators
- 6 Popular Face Exfoliators For Men
Do not be deceived; the exfoliator you choose has a big impact on the results that you experience over time. Choosing an exfoliator is just as important as choosing any other skin care product. In line with this, skin type is at the core. Luckily, the industry is full of facial scrubs for all skin types. But how do you tell them apart? Well, here is a quick guide on which types of exfoliators are great for the different skin types.
Believe it or not, many men have sensitive skin. With sensitive skin, you ought to be careful with the products you use on your face. Sensitive skin requires gentle products. You should choose products that are allergy and hypoallergenic tested. If you aren’t sure of the product, always check with your dermatologist before using it on your face. Remember, consulting a pro is always better than not exfoliating.
Exfoliation is the perfect solution for those men who have dry skin. You see, having dry skin also means you have a lot of dead and flaky skin cells. But aside from this, how else do you know you have dry skin? Well, if your skin feels tight after washing it, it is rough, dull and has red patches, then it is dry skin.
Given that your skin is already lacking in moisture, you need to choose an exfoliator with a formula that won’t strip the little moisture that’s left since this will only make the problem worse. The best exfoliators have ingredients that replenish the skin. Usually, those packed with moisturizing ingredients are creamy.
Facial scrubs work overtime on oily skin. They are required to penetrate deep to unclog skin pores to prevent acne breakouts while balancing the skin’s oil production. If you have oily skin, choose an exfoliator with salicylic acid. This is a deep cleaning ingredient that also helps to even out skin blemishes.
Men with normal skin are blessed. They have the luxury of choice. They do not have to worry too much about the skin care products they choose. Their skin works fine with many ingredients. But even with the luxury of choice, you should choose an exfoliator that will deep clean and will maintain your skin’s health. Pick a product with multiple exfoliating agents – you’ve got nothing to lose.
Facial scrubs work wonders through several ingredients which do the heavy lifting of cleansing and unclogging the skin. Though there are synthetic ingredients (and these produce drastic results, we recommend sticking to natural ingredients, including sugar, oats, coffee, cornmeal, pumice, and walnut shell powder.
Skin Exfoliators have scrubbing beads which are intended to get rid of dead skin cells and unclog skin pores. The size of these scrubbing beads matter. Usually, the size ranges from super fine to super coarse with lots of textures in between. While you can choose any texture you please, we recommend staying away from coarse grains if you’ll be shaving and scrubbing on a daily basis. The coarse beads can be abrasive is used often. Also, bear in mind that large grains increase the chances of skin irritations. If you have a full beard and rarely shave, fine grains are perfect.
What you should definitely stay away from are products with microbeads made from polyethylene plastic. The thing with these beads is that they are plastic and don’t decompose. So eventually, they’ll find their way to our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. They will pollute these water sources and put marine life at stake.
And actually, the US government banned the use of microbeads in facial scrubs in 2015. But despite this ban, some products are still using them. For this reason, be vigilant in reading through the ingredient’s list, especially if you purchase an exfoliator made overseas.
So you should consider what type of skin you are working with, the list of ingredients, and scrubbing beads contained in your scrub as you make a choice. Also, you should pay attention to the quality of exfoliator (we shall look at this in detail later on).
Top 5 Exfoliators for Men in 2019
1. Brickell Renewing Face Scrub for Men – Our #1 Choice
While it is true that a facial scrub is important for getting rid of the excess oil, dirt, and grime that clog up skin pores, it’s also important for removing dead skin cells and improving the overall appearance of your skin. Experts have gone on record to state that this is an excellent exfoliator. And many customers who have used it have backed up this claim. But why is this the case? Well, it is probably because of the pumice it features. Pumice is an abrasive that is used in cleansers and soaps. It is loved by manufacturers and customers because it has natural ingredients. Actually, it is a soft rock that is harsh on the dead skin cells and dirt hiding in skin pores. Overall, pumice improves the exfoliation process.
Now, though pumice is soft, it’s also strong. So much so that people often use it to get rid of dead skin on hands and feet. Moreover, it is used in construction and to grind and polish glass items.
However, this scrub from Brickell doesn’t include pumice in its rock form. Instead, it grinds it to fine dust that has great exfoliation properties. The ground pumice will leave the skin feeling clean, fresh, and soft.
In addition to the pumice, Brickell also included jojoba beads to the formula. These beads improve the scrubbing action while helping the pumice to unclog the pores and remove dirt and dead cells on the skin.
We are pleased to mention that the Brickell Face Scrub is made up of 98% natural ingredients and 70% organic ingredients including aloe vera, vitamin E and avocado butter. The list of ingredients is free of colorants, parabens, and a host of other harmful ingredients.
This scrub is perfect for all men, including those with sensitive skin. And if you are into mild scents on your grooming products, you’ll be pleased to note that this scrub features a sweet smelling fragrance made from coffee, green tea and patchouli.
2. Kyoku Facial Scrub for Men – Works Well For All Skin-types
When it comes to unique ingredients, Kyoku is leading the pack. Don’t believe it? Check this out; the scrub includes rice bran, volcanic ash, and Japanese adzuki bean powder. These three are the stars of the Kyoku Facial Scrub for men. But hey, these ingredients are only perfect if they do what Kyoku claims they can do right. Well, they work wonders on the skin, making this Kyoku Scrub one of the best in the industry.
Here’s a little more detail on what this scrub can do for your skin. The Volcanic ash comes in as dirt, grime, and excess oil remover. It unclogs the skin pores and leaves your skin feeling super smooth.
On the flip side, the Japanese adzuki bean powder is added to the list of ingredients for its exfoliating powers. It gets rid of dead skin cells effortlessly. Last but not least, the rice bran gives the skin a smooth finish. It is more like the icing to the cake. But what about hydration? What ingredient plays that role?
The adzuki bean powder also doubles as a moisturizing ingredient that keeps the skin feeling smooth and supple.
In addition to all the above, the facial scrub includes vitamin E and vitamin A, which help in balancing the skins pH levels while improving skin elasticity and revitalizing patchy skin. Best of all, this Kyoku facial scrub is free of parabens and other harsh chemicals.
Courtesy of the main ingredients listed above, the scrub declares war on acne. So if you’ve been struggling with acne, this scrub will work its magic on you. Moreover, in the process of deep cleaning the skin pores, the scrub also gets rid of blackheads and repairs the skin such that it feels as smooth as a baby’s bum. Kyoku also claims the scrub can help slow down the aging process (yes, somehow, they’ve gotten their hands on the elixir of youth).
In case you are here and are wondering if this scrub will work on your skin type, there’s no need to worry. Kyoku has designed the scrub to work on all skin types. And the fact that it balances the skin’s pH means it’s will leave your skin feeling perfect (not dry or oily).
Last but not least, the experts at Kyoku decided to add something extra to the scrub – sunscreen. The facial scrub has a Sun Protection Factor rated at 15. So aside from repairing your skin, the facial scrub will also protect it from further damage that is caused by UV rays from the sun.
So with all that this product has to offer, what do people have to say about the product? Past consumers have nothing but love and good reports about Kyoku Facial Scrub for Men. The company was formed in 2010 by Dr. Akhtar Asim. Akhtar’s focus was on the skin care needs for men. He believed that since men have tougher skin in comparison to women, their skin needs stronger treatment to achieve what women skin care product achieve through gentle ingredients. And boy did his approach work. Over the years, Kyoku has won loads of awards in the men skin care section. Part of the success the doctor enjoys stems from the fact that he has experience with problematic skin. As a youth, he struggled with acne and had a hard time finding products that dealt with the problem permanently.
Though there are lots of internet blogs that cite excess sebum secretion as the cause of acne, Dr. Akhtar doesn’t agree. On the contrary, he believes high testosterone levels cause acne. As such, the excess oils are just a symptom of the hormonal imbalance.
To bring this review to a close, we feel the need to mention a couple of things about this exfoliator. First, it has a manly scent that is pleasing and not too overpowering. Second, the product comes with a money back guaranteed capped at 90 days.
3. Jack Black Face Buff Scrub – Paraben Free & Vegan-friendly
Many of the Jack Black’s men skincare items feature a ‘PureScience’ label. And if you take time to think about it, this label as loads of positive connotations. Some of the connotations include the product is created from organic and natural ingredients and is free of colorants, parabens and fragrances. It is approved by dermatologists.
PureScience forms an excellent foundation for this energizing scrub. It helps the scrub to meet the standards of a quality facial scrub for men in a couple of ways;
- It is an all rounded product that’s perfect for all skin types, including sensitive and oily skin. Speaking of which, it arguably the best oily skin scrub in the market today.
- It features small scrubbing particles which are effective in getting rid of dead skin cells and dirt. These particles make it a perfect scrub for prepping the skin for a quality shave without irritations. In addition to this, it helps to prevent in-grown hairs by unclogging blocked pores.
- It has just the right amount of abrasiveness. It deep cleans dirt from the face without requiring you to apply a lot of pressure. The result is a smooth look and feel.
- The bottle comes with a lot of scrubs to use. A single bottle can last you a couple of months even when you scrub severally in a week. It without a doubt offers value for money.
- The scrubbing heads are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. They decompose easily and don’t pollute the water system and sources.
- Many consumers have fallen head over heels in love with the scrub’s scent. It is minty but still manly. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and cool. The fragrance is similar to a masculine cologne with the added benefit of being mild.
- Using the scrub on areas you intend to shave helps you have a better shaving experience. This is because the scrub gets rid of dead skin cells and dirt that may clog up your razor or cause friction and ingrown hairs.
4. Rugged & Dapper Facial Cleanser For Men – Great For Sensitive Skin
This is yet another great all-round scrub designed with men’s needs in mind. Though it is perfect for all skin types, it is especially best for men with sensitive skin. As we pointed out at the start, men with sensitive skin should tread carefully when it comes to choosing skin care products. Products that have harsh ingredients may work for other skin types but will do more damage than good on sensitive skin.
Luckily, Rugged and Dapper made it their business to solve the sensitive skin problem. They do this by using natural ingredients in their products. These ingredients help to get rid of stubborn dirt and exfoliate the skin pores without causing damage.
This facial cleanser from Rugged & Dapper is strong enough to fight bacteria that cause acne and to stabilize sebum production. The latter is key since many experts believe that it is a contributing factor to acne breakouts.
What ingredients does Rugged & Dapper have in this cleanser? At the top of the list is aloe vera. Aloe vera is perfect for smoothening the skin. In addition to this, and to help maintain smooth and glowing skin is willow bark, which is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Other ingredients featuring in this product include tea tree oil, vitamin C and burdock root. Tea tree oil not a newcomer. On the contrary, it’s a common ingredient in skin care products. It is used because it has anti-inflammatory factors and also helps in treating skin conditions, including acne.
With all that said, this scrub has numerous benefits to the skin. First, it is an exfoliator which gets rid of dirt and second; it’s a revitalizing and refreshing face wash. It plays these roles without stripping the skin of its moisture. Men with different skin types and of all ages benefit from this scrub.
Last but not least, this facial cleanser has a creamy and thick texture. However, it’s still light enough to be used on sensitive skin.
5. M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub – Face & Body Scrub
What in the world is this? Why would anyone want charcoal on their face? Is this a joke? Fortunately, it’s not. As you’ll see, having charcoal as an ingredient is a great thing.
You probably know charcoal as a fuel and have never thought of it as being a great ingredient or grooming products. Today, charcoal can be found in soaps and toothpaste. It is used as a cleaning agent (yes we are back to the caveman ways). But put your doubts aside for a moment and hear us out.
Charcoal is perfect as a facial scrub ingredient. It is because of it that this M3 scrub is getting nothing but praise from experts and consumers. Here is how they pulled it off. First, the charcoal used is ‘activated charcoal’. This charcoal is porous and perfect for drawing out stains, oil, and dirt from the skin. It does all this while it attracts water to hydrate the skin. In simple terms, it is a high tech vacuum for your skin that has the added benefit of infusing moisture into your skin. Isn’t this the product you’ve been after all your life?
But M3 experts did not stop at the activated charcoal. They pushed the limits further and added Dead Sea salts to create a cleanser that packs a punch. The result is a scrub that removes blackheads, fights acne, rejuvenates and detoxifies the skin. Your skin will look brighter and feel even tighter. Because of these, you will aging signs will disappear.
How to Exfoliate
The number one reason why we recommend using a face scrub or an exfoliator is to remove dead skin cells and unclog your pores. It’s true that the skin is created to get rid of the dead skin cells. But unfortunately, it doesn’t do a thorough job to yield a flawless look. For this, it needs your help.
However, to yield the perfect look, you need to know how to use the facial scrub.
Let’s start with how often you should exfoliate.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
The number one rule of exfoliating is that you don’t need to do it on a daily basis. If you do so, your skin will dry out since you’ll be draining too much oil from it and disrupting the pH balance. The ideal frequency is twice (at most) in a week. If you have normal skin, you can afford to do it more.
If your skin is oily, normal or a combination of the two, then you can scrub a maximum of three times a week
If you have dry, acne-prone or sensitive skin, you should use your scrub only twice.
When exfoliating, you should do so with caution. Though you might love how your face looks after, do not give in to the temptation to overdo it. This might end up doing more harm than good.
The Best Technique to Exfoliate
The steps are simple and straight forward.
- Before scrubbing, rinse your face with some warm water. This will open your pores and make it easier for the scrub to penetrate and unclog your pores.
- Only use a pea-sized amount of exfoliator. Use massage the scrub into the skin using the tips of your fingers. Move your fingers in circular motions. You can also opt to use a soft washcloth or a loofah
- Be gentle when applying the scrub. Being too vigorous will only irritate the skin and dry it out
If you want to shave, scrub your face first. The scrub will smoothen your skin and soften the hairs for a better shaving experience.
- When you are done, rinse off the face scrub with some warm water followed by some cold water. The purpose of the cold water is to close the pores and help to prevent impurities from clogging them up again.
- Pat your face dry with a towel
Reasons to Use an Exfoliator
We have mentioned the benefits of facial scrubs in the introduction and review sections. In this section, we shall dig a little deeper.
- It removes dead cells on the skin – this is the primary purpose of face scrubs. Every fortnight new skin is regenerated. The old skin is left looking dull, flaky and uneven. Bathing doesn’t do a good job of getting rid of the dead skin. This is where face scrubs come to the rescue.
- Cleansing – scrubs get rid of excess oil, dirt, and grime. They penetrate the pores and remove the dirt that has accumulated.
- Scrubbing removes ingrown hairs – yes, it’s that thorough. It helps to lift ingrown hair and makes it easier to shave.
- Slows down aging – while there is no product that can make you forever young, some are known to do a great job in getting rid of aging signs including wrinkles and fine lines
Scrubs vs. Other Facial Products
Though we’ve focused on exfoliators, they are not the only products that deep cleanse. Below is a quick comparison of how they stack up against other face cleansing product options.
In comparison to body scrubs, facial scrubs are milder. This is because the skin on the face is thinner than on the body. Body scrubs have larger granules designed to penetrate tougher skin around the elbows, knees, and feet.
Eons ago, the Egyptians used alabaster particles, sand, sour milk and pumice to exfoliate. On the other hand, Native Americans used abrasive materials like corncobs. Today, the physical exfoliators found in the facial scrubs include pumice stone and jojoba beads.
Jojoba beads are round and smooth. They are gentle on the skin but do a good job of removing dead skin cells. On the other hand, pumice is harsher. Because of this, we do not recommend it to men with sensitive skin
These are super mild cleansers. Giving their mild nature, you can use them daily. However, they don’t do a good job of deep cleansing as facial scrubs do.
These have a rougher texture in comparison to regular bar soaps. They are perfect for body exfoliation. Even their liquid versions have larger and harsher granules which make them perfect for body scrubbing.
These products use chemicals to get rid of dead skin cells. The chemicals used bind to the dead skin cells. Examples of the chemicals used include;
- Lactic acid – it is milk based and is perfect for all skin types. It is available in different strengths
Glycolic acid – it is slightly more powerful in comparison to lactic acid. As such, it gives an even deeper cleansing.
- Citric acid – it is naturally produced by citric foods. It helps to dissolve the top-most skin layer for anti-aging, cleansing and smoothing purposes.
- Salicylic acid – it’s also called beta hydroxy acid. It is perfect for skins that experience acne breakouts and oily skin
These are categorized under chemical exfoliators. However, they are harsher. The peels contain a gel-like solution that strips away the top-most skin layer. They yield the best results for people with a lot of blemishes, unwanted facial hair, and blackheads. They also improve the skin’s texture, color, and tone
Note: excess wrinkles and sagging skin don’t respond well to the chemical peels. Laser treatments and facelifts are your best options.
Facial masks come with different ingredients including clay, aloe vera, essential oils, and seaweed. It works to draw out impurities and dirt. The masks also tone, hydrate, rejuvenate and nourish the skin.
Clay masks are mostly used for cleansing while gel/cream masks are used to hydrate
How We Picked the Best Exfoliators
Needless to say, we did a lot of research. We considered different factors during our search, including quality, skin type, and ingredients. From our list, you can tell that we favored products with natural ingredients. And though we wanted the best, we also looked for products that weren’t exorbitant.
Thank you for reading to the end. If you feel we left out anything or you have any questions about facial masks, feel free to comment. Also, share with us your favorite that we have missed and help us help men struggling to find the best exfoliator.
Popular Face Exfoliators For Men
Last update on 2019-08-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API