What Are the Best Face Scrubs?

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Oatmeal is an effective facial exfoliator.
Oatmeal is an effective facial exfoliator. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Daily cleansing is important to keep your face looking fresh and radiant. Face scrubs exfoliate skin, removing dead skin cells so that moisturizers soak into your skin, leaving it soft and supple. Removing dead skin cells also allows new cells to grow in their place, resulting in a brighter complexion. In addition to facial scrubs, a number of products may be purchased or made at home to keep your skin healthy.

Scrubbing Agents

Some facial scrubs contain scrubbing agents to gently remove the top layer of skin on your face. Broken pieces of seeds, like apricot seeds, or nutshells are commonly used. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center warns that these ingredients may damage skin. Instead, choose scrubbing cleansers that use microbeads, which are less likely to scratch skin.

Acid Exfoliators

WebMD recommends looking for a face scrub containing specific ingredients such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, like those found in milk, and salicylic acid and malic acid, or the acids that are present in apples. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, cleansers that use acids to exfoliate, rather than scrubbing agents, are better for the skin because they will not scrape or otherwise damage the skin.

Homemade Exfoliating Cleansers

You can turn your regular facial cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser with a few simple steps. WebMD recommends adding a small amount of white sugar or corn meal to your cleanser, then rubbing it gently onto your face to avoid scratching your skin. Additionally, cold coffee grounds and baking soda added to your regular cleanser will help to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. Oatmeal is also effective as a gentle scrubbing agent, and scrubbing your skin with a soft washcloth or other fabric with texture will remove dead skin cells as well.

Over-the-counter Daily Cleansers

When purchasing a daily cleanser, WebMD recommends choosing a liquid cleanser rather than a bar soap because bar soaps tend to dry out the skin. Choose cleansers that contain ceramides, which help your skin hold on to moisture. Avoid cleansers that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which has a drying effect on skin.

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