Skin Care

Best Drugstore Exfoliator for Healthy, Radiant Skin



by Lydia


No Comments

Skin exfoliation is important for your skincare routine. When you use the best drugstore exfoliator, you will effectively slough off dead skin to reveal your smooth skin while also boosting collagen production for better skin health. In addition, exfoliating makes it easier for your skin to absorb nutrients contained in your skincare products.

What is a Drugstore Exfoliator?

A drugstore exfoliator is a chemical or physical scrub that you use to remove dead skin cells from your skin to eliminate clogged pores. This type of exfoliator is readily available from your local drugstore, and it comes at an affordable price compared to other products you'd buy from famous brands.

But, even with their affordable price, the exfoliators usually are designed with dermatologists, thus good for your skin health. When buying a drugstore exfoliator, you will need to pay attention to your skin type. You can have sensitive skin or oily skin prone to acne, or you might also be dealing with dry and dull skin that never seems to glow.

Either way, exfoliating with the best product balances your skincare routine. You can find two types of exfoliators; chemical exfoliators or physical exfoliators. While the name may scare you, a chemical exfoliator is a soft product loaded with powerful ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). A physical exfoliator has granular substances for scrubbing.

Are you in need of a new exfoliator? We've made your research easier by rounding up five of the best products in the market. Read on to find which drugstore exfoliator suits you best, as well as the important factors you need to consider when buying an exfoliator.

In a hurry?
This is our Winner!

 Best Drugstore Exfoliator


Product Image

Product Name

Buy on Amazon


[amazon fields="B07C5SS6YD" value="thumb"]


[amazon fields="B0000632EN" value="thumb"]


[amazon fields="B077FZ112C" value="thumb"]


[amazon fields="B00U1YCRD8" value="thumb"]


[amazon fields="B018H32LHQ" value="thumb"]

Best Drugstore Exfoliator - Reviews

[amazon fields="B07C5SS6YD" value="thumb"]

This product is our best drugstore exfoliator when you need something smooth for your skin. It is formulated with three products that leave your skin feeling and looking fresh and young. It contains 2% salicylic acid that helps your skin free clogged pores and eliminate dead skin cells.

In addition to eliminating dead skin, this exfoliator also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, premature aging, and blackheads. If you have sensitive skin, this product's green tea extract is useful for reducing redness and calming your skin to reduce inflammation.

The exfoliator also has glycol, an ingredient that helps your skin attract and hold moisture to remedy dull skin. The formula will also help even your skin tone, reduce acne scars, and improve skin texture. Luckily, the exfoliant does not have harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, fragrances, or alcohol.


  • Best chemical exfoliator for all skin tones
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Does not contain harmful ingredients
  • Contains salicylic acid, green tea extract, and glycol to improve the texture and appearance of your skin
  • It is an oil-free exfoliator
  • Easy to apply and is a leave-in exfoliator


  • Some users find the consistency too watery

When you'd rather use a physical exfoliant, this Aveeno daily scrub is soft on your skin, so you can use it every day before wearing makeup or continuing with your daily skincare routine. It is soap-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic, making it suitable for sensitive skin types.

It is made with naturally obtained granules enriched with soy extract so it effectively removes dead skin cells for brighter skin. In addition, the formula also contains organic jojoba and castor oils that nourish your skin for a softer texture.

This Aveeno exfoliator is also very affordable, but it contains parabens, sulfates, and fragrances. In addition, it is not the best solution for very dry skin since it is a daily scrub,


  • Best physical drugstore exfoliator
  • Non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and soap-free for sensitive skin
  • Made with organic extracts and oils, so it is suitable for daily use
  • Comes at a very affordable price
  • From a dermatologist-tested brand
  • Eliminates dead skin, dull skin, and other blemishes


  • Contains parabens, sulfates, and fragrances
  • Not ideal for dry skin

[amazon fields="B077FZ112C" value="thumb"]

If you have sensitive skin that is tricky to manage, an extra gentle daily scrub, such as this one from Cetaphil, could be what you need to remove dead and dull skin. Cetaphil is a dermatologist-tested and approved brand, and this drugstore exfoliant will help you restore your skin to the best health.

The formula is made with a vitamin complex that includes vitamin B5, Vitamin E, and citric acid, so it acts as an exfoliator and cleanser. As a result, it will minimize the appearance of blemishes, dullness uneven skin tones and improve texture without causing any dryness.

This exfoliator contains micro-fine granules that are safe for daily scrubbing, and it is a non-comedogenic and non-irritant product that won't clog your pores.


  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Best for sensitive skin
  • Formulated with a vitamin complex to remove dead skin while improving the texture and appearance of your skin
  • Suitable for daily use


  • The formula contains a strong fragrance

[amazon fields="B00U1YCRD8" value="thumb"]

When you need the best skin health, you know some ingredients work better together than others. Thus, you can get this cleanser and exfoliator with the best ingredients that suit all skin types.

This CeraVe cleanser and exfoliator is formulated with salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin D, and niacinamide to slough off dead skin and restore skin moisture and hydration. In addition, the formula also contains powerful ceramides that restore the protective skin barrier to wade off impurities that could cause problems.

It is an easy-to-apply formula that foams as you lather, so you can use it daily as part of your cleansing routine. It does not contain any harmful microbeads, fragrances, or even parabens that irritate and damage your skin.


  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-irritating and fragrance-free
  • Formulated with salicylic and hyaluronic acid to remove dead skin and hydrate your skin
  • It acts as a cleanser and exfoliator, so it is best for daily use
  • Does not contain microbeads or tough particles that can irritate your skin
  • Best for all skin types, including acne-prone skin
  • Easy to apply
  • Affordable


  • None

The Era Organics product is a physical exfoliator formulated with organic ingredients to guarantee the best skin health. The scrub performs microdermabrasion to loosen dirt, dry skin cells, and remove blackheads and other impurities.

It is formulated with manuka honey with walnut powder, so it is easy to apply daily without tearing your skin. With such ingredients, this exfoliator not only removes excess skin impurities but also leaves you with smooth skin or softer skin texture and a youthful complexion within minutes.

The product does not contain harmful parabens or fragrances. Instead, it is also fortified with Vitamin C and contains Aloe vera to eliminate acne scars and protect your skin from destructive free radicals. You can use it as a scrub or even a mask when you want to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.


  • Organic facial exfoliator and sugar scrub
  • Best for dull and sensitive skin
  • Made with manuka honey and walnut powder to remove dead skin cells
  • Also contains aloe vera and Vitamin C to protect your skin from damaging free radicals
  • It also works as an effective face mask to remove lines and wrinkles
  • Made in the USA


  • A bit costly

What is the Difference Between Chemical Exfoliation and Physical Exfoliation?

Before buying your best drugstore exfoliator, you will need to understand two ways your can exfoliate. You can use either chemical or physical exfoliators.

When buying, you will sometimes notice an exfoliator has a granular texture while another will have a creamy or even watery texture. An exfoliator with a granular texture is a scrub, and you will need to either apply and scrub it using your hand or use a towel, sponge, or brush to remove dead skin cells.

A chemical exfoliator is formulated with BHAs, AHAs, enzymes, and other chemical ingredients, and you will not need to scrub them in for the best results,

With that in mind, some conditions will make you choose between the two types of exfoliators;

  1. Your skin condition. If you have even acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, or dry skin, you will need gentle exfoliators, in this case, chemical exfoliators. Wondering why? When your skin is as sensitive, the smallest irritation could leave you with worse symptoms, so you need to avoid scrubbing, which can often damage your skin barrier.
  2. How often you need to exfoliate. Your skin naturally sheds and rejuvenates, and this process is different for each person. So, if you need to exfoliate regularly, a gentler, chemical exfoliator will be best. But if your skin holds up longer and you need to exfoliate less frequently, a physical scrub could be the better solution.

Factors to Consider Before Getting Your Best Drugstore Exfoliator

When you have decided which type of exfoliator you need, you will need to also pay attention to these factors before buying.

a) Your skin type

You could have any of the following skin types;

  1. Dry skin. Dry skin tends to be flaky and dull. Thus, you will need an exfoliator with moisturizing properties. In addition, you will also need an exfoliator that contains essential ceramides which repair your skin barrier so it can lock in moisture.
  2. Oily skin. This skin type is oily and thick and often rocked with acne problems. You will need a chemical drugstore exfoliant to eliminate dead skin cells since you can use it daily without any skin irritation.
  3. Sensitive skin. You will need a gentle exfoliator for this skin type, probably one you won't need to use daily.

b) Your skin tone

Too much exfoliation can affect your skin tone, where you could find your skin developing patches of darker spots. Thus, to prevent the damage, pick a product that remedies your skin conditions without the need to scrub aggressively.

c) Ingredients

Some organic and chemical ingredients help you eliminate the appearance of dead skin cells. When buying your exfoliator, look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and more.

In addition, you will also need to pay more attention to other products you are using and look out for those with irritating ingredients such as retinol and benzoyl peroxide. If some products in your cabinet contain these, you will need to look for a gentler exfoliator that does not contain the ingredients.

How to Use the Best Drugstore Exfoliator

An exfoliator is a gentle scrub you use to reveal your smoother skin after scrubbing away dead skin cells. In addition, you will also sport even skin tone and texture with a glowing complexion with continued use. To start your exfoliation routine, these are the steps to follow.

  1. Wash your face with a non-drying cleanser. Alternatively, you can use warm water with a gentle face wash. Lather your face for a few minutes before rinsing and patting dry with a soft towel.
  2. Apply your best drugstore exfoliant. If using a physical scrub, you can spread the recommended amount all over your face and scrub it in until it dries before washing off. Alternatively, you can wear it as a mask and scrub your face when rinsing. When using a chemical exfoliator, lather it evenly on your face before rinsing, or leave it on if it is a leave-in exfoliator.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Drugstore Exfoliators

a) How often should I exfoliate?

When using an exfoliator, dermatologists recommend you exfoliate at least once or twice a week. However, people with normal skin and combination skin can exfoliate three times a week without negative outcomes.

b) What are the benefits of using drugstore exfoliators?

A drugstore beauty product is vetted by dermatologists and considered almost medical. Thus, you will need a drugstore exfoliator for the following benefits;

  1. An exfoliator helps eradicate old skin cells to unclog pores.
  2. Exfoliators help boost collagen production for softer, glowing skin.
  3. Exfoliators help prevent acne breakouts
  4. Exfoliators improve skin tone and keep your skin soothed

c) When should I apply my exfoliator?

For best results, exfoliate in the morning as your first beauty routine of the day. When sleeping, you will need to apply a night cream with glycolic and salicylic acids to smoothen the skin cells so they can easily come off during morning exfoliation.

Additionally, it is best to wet your skin before exfoliating, so it would be best to take your shower first.

d) At what age should I start exfoliating?

Physical or chemical exfoliation needs to start in the teenage years when the skin starts clogging due to excess oil production. Choose the best skin conditioners to scrub and remove acne-causing impurities gently.

e) What should I apply after exfoliating?

It is best to apply a hydrating moisturizer to maintain healthy skin after exfoliating.


Leave a Comment