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, layering of serums, and face masking, exfoliating is hands down my favorite step. With the right exfoliator, there's nothing more satisfying than cleaning out the pores 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?

When it comes to the products Marie Claire recommends, we take your faith in us seriously. Every product that we feature comes recommended by a MC writer or editor, or by an expert we've spoken to. Learn more about how we review products.

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 containing acids 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.

Chelsea Hall

Chelsea Hall is the Assistant Fashion and Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers celebrity style, fashion trends, skincare, makeup and anything else tied into the world of fashion and beauty