We all know we need to exfoliate our face – especially if our skin is dry.
Think about it: dry skin cracks, flakes, and peels off. But then it just sits there on your face, clogging your pores and preventing the new skin layers from coming to the surface.
But with so many choices out there, how do you know which is the best exfoliator for dry skin?
We’ve assembled this massive list of products to help you do just that – pick the right scrub for your face. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
What is an exfoliant/exfoliator?
An exfoliant is any substance that gently removes dirt, oil, and residue from the surface of your face, revealing the healthier skin below.
Gritty scrubs are usually the most traditional form of exfoliators, but there are now many other ways to exfoliate – including chemical peels, enzyme scrubs, and even microneedling.
For this article, we will be focusing on facial scrubs and creams – with a few “devices” thrown in for fun.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you use a scrub for your face, be sure to follow it immediately with a face serum or cream to take advantage of that extra absorption!
What are the benefits of exfoliating dead skin?
There are many benefits to exfoliating dead skin.
First off, it reveals healthier and more radiant skin by removing dead cells from the surface layer.
But this isn’t the only benefit of exfoliation: studies have shown that regular exfoliation allows facial moisturizers to absorb easier into your face, which boosts hydration levels dramatically.
Dry skin usually indicates a lack of hydration, so by removing the dead cells you’re allowing your moisturizers to absorb better and lock in that precious hydration.
Lastly, exfoliation can encourage collagen production – which not only plumps up your face but adds a healthy glow as well!
Why should you remove dead skin cells?
If your skin is dry, it’s dead. There’s no two ways about it.
And while some people object to this, science has known the truth for a long time: exfoliating dry skin will cause healthy skin cells to take their place.
This is even more noticeable if you’re exfoliating regularly – dead, dull skin doesn’t just sit there on your face, they fall off.
So if you want to reveal the healthy skin underneath, regular exfoliation with an effective scrub or resurfacer is the only way to do it.
Does exfoliating improve skin texture?
Exfoliation is one of the most effective ways to improve skin texture, especially if you suffer from dull skin.
Dead cells create a barrier on the surface of your face, preventing serums and moisturizers from penetrating your skin.
However, removing that excess layer of unexfoliated skin allows that hydration and skincare goodness to sink into your face, giving you a smoother and more radiant complexion.
Does exfoliating improve skin tone?
It also brightens skin tone – the more waste you remove from the skin’s surface, the better your skin texture will be.
This means that not only do exfoliators for dry skin eliminates fine lines and wrinkles, but they can help fade acne scars as well!
To improve skin tone, try ingredients like aloe vera and lactic acid – two powerful substances that keep skin soft and supple, while increasing blood flow to problem areas.
When should I exfoliate in my skincare routine?
Conventional wisdom says to exfoliate every day, but that is not the best choice for everyone.
Why? Because too much exfoliation can break down your skin’s natural moisturizing barrier, which prevents moisture from sinking into your face in the first place!
So instead of exfoliating daily, make it part of your weekly skincare routine.
If your skin is dry, you should be exfoliating every other day at most. And again, be sure to follow it right away with a serum or oil!
What is the best exfoliator for dry skin? Our top 21 choices.
A good exfoliator for dry skin boosts healthy ingredients like glycolic acid to break down dying cells without destroying the protective moisture barrier on your face.
Only a few types of exfoliators meet that criteria, so we’ve pulled a list of the 21 best exfoliators for dry skin on the market today.
This way you can find exactly what you’re looking for without having to spend hours sifting through products!
And while our focus in this article is on dry skin and not other skin types, almost all of these scrubs are suitable for sensitive skin as well.
So if you’re on the hunt for an exfoliator that will balance out your skin tone (without irritating it), this list has some great options to try!
ORG Body Scrub Deep Gel Exfoliator
ORG’s Body Scrub exfoliator is one of the best ways to exfoliate dry skin.
This doesn’t just have great reviews – it has more than 1,000!
Why? Because it uses alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid alongside fruit extracts to gently tone the skin on your face.
Since glycolic acid is oil soluble, it dissolves unwanted skin cells without damaging the protective barrier on your skin. Perfect for all skin types!
boscia Berry Blend Smoothing Facial With 28% Acid Complex
Boscia’s Berry Blend exfoliator is a gentle yet effective option for dry skin.
This cream-based scrub contains AHAs to dissolve dead cells without drying out your face, along with berry extracts and green tea that provide antioxidants and soothing agents.
This will work for all skin types, so if you have sensitive skin – no worries! Your skin tone will be looking radiant and balanced in no time.
Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub
Era Organics’ Microdermabrasion scrub uses fine pumice powder to remove dead skin cells, restoring your skin’s youthful glow.
Once your dead cells are removed, serums and moisturizers sink into your face much easier – so even though this is a fine scrub it still leaves your skin feeling hydrated.
This is a great scrub if you’re looking for something that will help with dry skin as well as a gentle exfoliation.
InstaNatural Brightening Vitamin C Face Scrub
InstaNatural’s Brightening Vitamin C Exfoliator is a great scrub for dry and sensitive skin.
This citrus-scented option uses vitamin C from fruit extracts to gently exfoliate your pores without irritating them.
The result is clean, smooth skin that looks younger and more radiant.
Their choice of soothing ingredients like aloe vera and jojoba oil makes this a great choice for sensitive skin as well as dry.
Neutrogena Skin Perfecting Daily Liquid Facial Exfoliant with 7% AHA/PHA Blend
If you’re looking for an effective exfoliator that is gentle enough to use every day, Neutrogena’s 7% AHA/PHA Blend should be at the top.
This AHA/PHA blend is very gentle on sensitive skin, yet still powerful enough to remove dead dermis without irritating your face.
My favorite part about this scrub is the fact that it does more than just exfoliate – it also moisturizes your face while you use it!
So not only will this leave your skin smooth and bright, but it will also leave your face feeling hydrated and healthy.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub
Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub is another easy way to exfoliate dry skin.
This scrub uses fine jojoba beads to gently remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells while menthol works with glycolic acid to stimulate cell renewal for smooth, glowing skin.
Not only that, but this product is safe enough to use on a daily basis – even if your skin is dry. It also contains lactic acid – a powerful toning agent that leaves skin feeling soft and supple.
Sand & Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment Face Scrub
The Exfoliating Treatment Face Scrub from Sand & Sky is a fantastic exfoliant for all skin types and especially dry and sensitive skin.
These gentle fruit acids (malic, glycolic, tartaric, citric, lactic) work with grape seed oil to gently slough away dead skin cells while stimulating cell renewal.
Plus, green tea extract and salicylic acid smooth your face as the exfoliant balances your skin tone!
NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals DIY Facial Scrub
One of the most powerful exfoliators for dry skin on our list is this one from NeedCrystals.
For glowing skin at home, NeedCrystals’ Microdermabrasion Crystals might be the way to go.
This DIY microdermabrasion scrub uses food grade crystals (salt, sugar) alongside almond oil and Vitamin E to exfoliate your face using only pure ingredients.
This is an especially good option for dry skin since it doesn’t contain citrus or alcohol-based ingredients that can strip the natural oils from your face.
Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Face Scrub and Body Scrub Mitt
As an Amazon #1 Best Seller, Dermasuri’s Deep Exfoliating Face Scrub is a great option if you want to gently scrub away dead skin cells – especially for dry skin. The scrubbing mit also increases blood flow – a great way to fix an uneven skin tone and leave skin feeling soft.
The exfoliating mitt that accompanies this product is washable and reusable up to 100 times – so it will last you quite a while!
In addition, the fine almond shells leave your face feeling silky smooth and hydrated.
Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Sugar Facial Scrub
This product from Palmers offers a powerful scrub that works well on even tough to remove dry skin cells.
The use of sugar as the exfoliant means this is a much gentler option than salt-based scrubs – and it leaves your face feeling smooth and hydrated as a result!
And since fruit extracts are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, this scrub is an effective way to improve your skincare routine without destroying the benefits you get from your moisturizers!
First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA
If you’re looking for a scrub that will add moisture to dry skin removing excess oil, this product from First Aid Beauty is a great option – especially if you’ve got bumps and ingrown hairs on your body.
The 10% AHA (derived from salicylic acid) gently exfoliates while fruit extracts, glycolic acid, and aloe vera hydrate skin.
These hydrating ingredients help the skin retain moisture and leave skin glowing, perfect for sensitive skin types.
M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Body Scrub Infused with Collagen and Stem Cell
Another option that uses sugar as the exfoliant, this brand offers a gentle scrub that works well on all skin types – especially dry and sensitive skin.
Since vitamin C and green tea extracts are included, you can be sure your skin is getting great benefits during and after use!
Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Body Scrub
If you have a dry skin type, look no further than this moisturizing scrub from Brooklyn Botany.
This scrub is moisturizing thanks to moisturizers like glycerin and lactic acid that gently slough away dead skin cells while hydrating your face.
In addition, shea butter and brown sugar make this a gentle but powerful option for dry skin – especially if you’ve got bumps from ingrown hairs!
Toyo – Cure Aqua Gel – Facial/Full-body Peeling Gel
Everyone knows you can’t apply foundation to dry, flaky skin – which is why moisturizing products are a must.
However, if your skin is particularly dry and flaky, you might also need a gentle exfoliant to rid your face of the dead cells that are causing it.
Toyo’Cure Aqua Gel is an especially good option for dry skin because it contains glycolic and lactic acids – two exfoliating acids that act as a gentle exfoliator to keep skin healthy and fresh.
In addition, this product also contains hyaluronic acid that moisturizes your skin while cleansing it.
M3 Naturals Arabica Coffee Body Scrub with Collagen & Stem Cell
If you’re looking for something that can both exfoliate and moisturize your skin – try this product from M3 Naturals.
One of the best exfoliators for dry skin, this coffee scrub gently removes excess oil and can even eliminate acne scars. The arabica oil deeply moisturizes skin to leave it silky smooth and supple to the touch.
In addition, collagen is great for firming skin (and it’s one of the best supplements for skin, too), while stem cells work to improve the youthfulness of your skin.
Majestic Pure Lavender Oil Body Scrub Exfoliator with Shea Butter and Grapefruit Oil
Sometimes, dry skin can become flaky as well – which is why a moisturizer with gentle exfoliants can be a great option.
This lavender oil scrub from Majestic Pure works to remove dead skin cells as it moisturizes your face with shea butter and grapefruit oil – plus vitamin E for an extra boost of hydration.
Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Dry skin can be especially problematic for those with sensitive skin since it’s often difficult to find a moisturizer that will properly hydrate without causing irritation.
As an exfoliator with moisturizing properties, this product from Paula’s Choice is a great option for those who have dry and sensitive skin.
The 8% glycolic acid gently sloughs away dead skin cells, while the formula is highly moisturizing thanks to hyaluronic acid and olive oil.
M3 Naturals Superfood Body Scrub (revive dull skin!)
If you’re looking for a scrub that will moisturize your face while gently exfoliating, look no further than this product from M3 Naturals.
This body scrub contains superfoods: ingredients which give you clear skin on demand thanks to their antioxidant properties. These ingredients, such as green tea and papaya enzymes, heal skin damage and soothe skin from the inside out.
We like this product because it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, but effective enough to remove dead skin cells!
MARLOWE. No. 102 Men’s Body Scrub Soap
Since dry, flaky skin can be more difficult to manage for men with sensitive and/or oily skin , this scrub is a great option.
This product from MARLOWE contains rejuvenating marigold flower extract which helps moisturize your skin as it increases skin cell turnover – leaving you with soft and smooth skin!
Lumin Exfoliating Rub for Men (1 oz) – Activated Charcoal Face Exfoliator Rub
If you have oily skin and are looking for a scrub that will deep-clean your pores, this charcoal exfoliator is a great option.
This natural product contains activated charcoal – which can help to neutralize oily skin in a much gentler way than salicylic acid.
The addition of aloe vera extract makes skin soft as well, leading to brighter skin and un-clogged pores.
La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, it can be difficult to find a scrub that doesn’t irritate your skin while still effectively exfoliating.
This product from La Roche-Posay is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin but gets into pores to eliminate dirt and oil – getting you ready to apply your foundation to your newly-smooth skin.
InstaNatural Exfoliating Glycolic Face Mask & Facial Scrub
This overnight exfoliator works while you sleep to deeply clean your skin without causing irritation.
It contains glycolic acid which removes dead skin cells – leaving you with soft, smooth skin after rinsing it off in the morning!
If you have dry skin, exfoliating can feel like a game of tug-of-war between removing flakes and nourishing your face.
However, with so many options available – from daily scrubs to overnight masks – it’s easy to find an option that works for you!
Just keep in mind that when it comes to exfoliating, less is more.