The 20 Best Exfoliators for Your Face

A skincare step you should not skip.

Skincare model
(Image credit: Sergey Mironov)

My skincare regimen consists of a laundry list of steps that I deem necessary for maintaining a healthy, glowing complexion. But I must admit, through all of the double cleansing, (opens in new tab) layering of serums, (opens in new tab) and face masking (opens in new tab), exfoliating is hands down my favorite step. With the right exfoliator, there's nothing more satisfying than cleaning out the pores (opens in new tab) of dirt and surface debris—and the velvety-smooth, even skin you're left with feels pretty good, too.

What are the benefits of exfoliating your face?

If exfoliating feels foreign to you, or you know, just an extra step in a skincare routine you'd rather skip, know this: The benefits of regularly exfoliating include an increase in cell turnover, even skin tone, acne and sebum reduction, plus, a much deeper penetration of other topical treatments to follow—and that’s just to name a few.

Also, all exfoliators are not one and the same. From a physical exfoliator with microbeads or granular powder to a chemical exfoliator (opens in new tab) containing acids (opens in new tab) and enzymes, settling on the perfect exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells without leaving your skin dehydrated and irritated can be daunting. But I'm here to assure you that there are effective and gentle exfoliators out there that don't do any of the above. Ahead, the top-rated face exfoliators on the market suitable for every skin type and comfort level.

Alexis Gaskin is a Freelance Beauty Writer for Marie Claire who can often be found painting her nails to match every outfit. She covers beauty, skincare, and fat fashion and will get distracted by any and all Halsey-related content or anything glittery.