6 Best Facial Scrub Exfoliators for Men

6 Best Facial Scrub Exfoliators for Men


After 25 hours of research evaluating 60 products, we picked Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub as our top choice.

Men’s grooming has come a long way. Gone are the days when you had to steal your wife’s facial scrub to get a really good clean. We’re almost gobsmacked by the number of exfoliators for men. (Never mind the number of moisturizers for men.)

And, we’ve taken the time to consider the best of the best.

More than that, we’ve looked at factors that many review sites haven’t – like whether products are safe for men with tree nut allergies or are completely vegan and cruelty-free. Although the jury is still out on parabens, we’ve included that information too. (Take a look here if you’re very concerned about the ingredients in facial cleansers that could cause allergic reactions.)

Whatever your needs, take a look at the best exfoliators for men. They may just change your life. At the very least, they’ll refresh your face, leaving it smoother and cleaner than ever before. 

Our editors independently research, test, and recommmend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

6 Best Facial Scrub Exfoliators for Men

  • 6. Dove Men+Care Face Scrub
  • 5. Baxter of California Facial Scrub
  • 4. Rugged & Dapper Daily Power Scrub Facial Cleanser for Men
  • 3. Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub for Men
  • 2. Kyoku for Men Exfoliating Facial Scrub
  • 1. Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub

Best Budget Facial Scrub Exfoliator for Men


Dove Men+Care Face Scrub

Best Budget Facial Scrub Exfoliator for Men: Dove Men+Care Face Scrub
1,399 Bought
86 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it


  • Effective cleanser 
  • Great smell 
  • Non-drying; leaves skin feeling clean 


The price for this exfoliator is unbeatable (and it’s available as part of Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program). It’s gentle enough for daily use. 

It’s less of an exfoliator and more of a deep-cleaning cleanser. Plus, you’ll find parabens in this formula.

If price is the biggest concern for you, this is the facial scrub you’ll want to look at first. But, we need to put a few disclaimers on that. This isn’t the scrubbiest of exfoliators and more like a wash with gentle exfoliation.

The good news? That means it’s gentle enough for daily use. Given the price, that’s not a problem. And, given the fragrance, you’re likely to look forward to your daily scrub. Users definitely feel it’s effective.

But, there are parabens in this product – and Dove isn’t a cruelty-free brand either. That’s going to put some people off. And, although there aren’t any nut extracts listed in the ingredients, it’s not marketed as tree nut free. But you just can't forget about the price – and the ability to add it to your Subscribe and Save order.

  • Who is it for? Men of all skin types. 
  • Active ingredients: Natural pumice for gentle exfoliation .
  • Other notable ingredients: A lot of chemicals. Sorry, but look at the price.  
  • Does it have parabens? Yes 
  • What about other nasties? There are definitely fragrances and colorants plus alcohol .
  • Vegan? We don’t think so, nor is Dove a cruelty-free brand .
  • Safe for tree nut allergies? While there are no nut extracts listed in the ingredient list, it's not marketed as tree nut free.
  • Texture: Cream-based cleanser.
  • Fragrance: Fresh and clean scent.
  • Does it fight acne? Regular use will prevent acne from developing.
  • Container sizes: 5 ounces 
  • Will it break the bank? This is a super cost-effective facial scrub for men. You should pay about $4.50 for the tube which is about 85 cents per ounce. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better price. 

Best Heavy-Duty Men’s Facial Scrub Exfoliator


Baxter of California Facial Scrub

Best Heavy-Duty Men’s Facial Scrub Exfoliator: Baxter of California Facial Scrub
873 Bought
86 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it


  • Amazingly gritty texture 
  • Offers an intoxicating smell 
  • Super-effective 


This exfoliator offers a strong scrub that rejuvenates skin effectively – more like a peel than a mask. It smells wonderful and also helps to prevent ingrown hairs. 

It’s definitely not cheap and it does contain a couple of parabens. 

This doesn’t just clean your face, it scrubs away all the dead skin cells and promotes cell renewal while doing so. You’ll be left with an amazingly refreshed face. It’s the thick, grittiness of this facial scrub that does it.

Sadly, it does it with some parabens and walnut powder which means there are plenty of men that won’t go for it (or can’t). And, sensitive skins should count themselves among those numbers; it’s a little too powerful.

It’s really strong and effective for those that can use it – but it costs a pretty penny too.

  • Who is it for? All skin types, but sensitive skins should be careful.
  • Active ingredients: Cornmeal and walnut shell powder.
  • Other notable ingredients: Honey and lavender.
  • Does it have parabens? Yes 
  • What about other nasties? You’ll find fragrance and a few other chemicals you may want to double check. 
  • Vegan? No, but it is cruelty-free. 
  • Safe for tree nut allergies? No 
  • Texture: Features a very granular texture.
  • Fragrance: A delicious blend of almond, honey, and berry aromas.
  • Does it fight acne? Not specifically.
  • Container sizes: 4 ounces 
  • Will it break the bank? It costs $19 for four ounces. That makes it $4.75 per ounce. It’s not the most expensive facial scrub on the list, but it costs enough to make you think twice.  


Best Men’s Facial Scrub Exfoliator for Sensitive Skins


Rugged & Dapper Daily Power Scrub Facial Cleanser for Men

Best Men’s Facial Scrub Exfoliator for Sensitive Skins: Rugged & Dapper Daily Power Scrub Facial Cleanser for Men
1,347 Bought
88 % Editor Score
86 % User Score

Why People Love it


  • Leaves skin feeling clean and fresh 
  • Effective at cleaning and balancing skin 
  • Wonderful manly smell 


This facial scrub has a lot of good stuff in it and none of those nasty elements. The container is large and carries a 60-day 100% guarantee. 

You’ll need to shell out quite a bit to cover the 8 ounce size, though the price per ounce isn’t terrible. Also, some users feel the scent is a little too much like Pinesol for their liking. 

Okay, this isn’t 100% natural as you might expect given the branding. But, it doesn’t include the ingredients that will make your skin crawl, like parabens and toxins. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan. And free of tree nuts. Really, what more could you ask for?

Better still, it’s strong enough to battle acne-causing bacteria and overproduction of oil, though it’s definitely mild enough for sensitive skin.

It would be nice if this was sold in smaller packaging – or at least if that option was available. Then again, most users – especially those with sensitive skin – don’t worry about that at all.

  • Who is it for? All skin types, but definitely best for sensitive skins.
  • Active ingredients: Aloe Vera and willow bark.
  • Other notable ingredients: Burdock root, tea tree oil, and Vitamin C.
  • Does it have parabens? No 
  • What about other nasties? Free of harmful chemicals, toxins, and preservatives.
  • Vegan? Yep and cruelty-free!
  • Safe for tree nut allergies? Yes 
  • Texture: It’s thick and creamy without too many beads, but still light enough for sensitive skins. 
  • Fragrance: Most find it to have a manly scent, though there are those that find it smells a little like Pinesol. 
  • Does it fight acne? Powerful enough to battle with sebaceous glands.
  • Container sizes: 8 ounces 
  • Will it break the bank? It costs about $25 for an 8-ounce container. That works out to $3.11 per ounce. Of course, if you pay the $39 MSRP, you’re paying way too much. 

Best Pre-Shave Facial Scrub Exfoliator for Men


Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub for Men

Best Pre-Shave Facial Scrub Exfoliator for Men: Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub for Men
1,232 Bought
90 % Editor Score
89 % User Score

Why People Love it


  • Smells incredible 
  • Effectively leaves skin clean, soft, and fresh 
  • Perfect for use before shaving 


Packed with mostly organic ingredients, this facial exfoliator has a rather manly aroma and the finer texture is effective at preparing your face for a smooth shave. 

Many find the container to be too small, especially given the price.

Mostly, it’s all pros for this facial scrub. Inside the bottle, you’ll find 98% natural ingredients and 70% of them are organic. And, it’s one of the best smelling exfoliators that you’ll ever come across.

It’s definitely the best at creating a smooth surface for clean shaves, even though there are other facial scrubs that make this their primary objective. You also don’t need to use a lot of it and, although there are plenty of comments regarding the packaging, it should last about two months if used as directed.

Okay, now for the price. That’s where this facial scrub looses a few points. Even when you don’t need to use a lot, the $5.50 per ounce that you’ll pay is a little too much for many men. At $22 per tub, that’s $132 on a facial scrub per year. Ouch.

  • Who is it for? Men, all men. 
  • Active ingredients: Pumice, Aloe Vera, avocado butter, and vitamin E.
  • Other notable ingredients: Coffee extract and green tea. Yum!
  • Does it have parabens? No 
  • What about other nasties? Zero sulfates, parabens, glycols, phthalates, petrochemicals, silicones, PEG’s, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or gluten. How great is that?
  • Vegan? Yes 
  • Safe for tree nut allergies? There aren’t any nut extracts listed on the ingredients list.  
  • Texture: A fine, paste-like scrub with beads. 
  • Fragrance: Natural, with coffee, tea, and patchouli undertones.
  • Does it fight acne? Not specifically.
  • Container sizes: 4 ounces 
  • Will it break the bank? While it would be very difficult for any facial scrub to bankrupt most men, this is definitely one of the priciest options. It’s $22 for 4 ounces. Yep, $5.50 per ounce.  


Best Men’s Facial Exoliator for Pore Reduction and Blemish Correction


Kyoku for Men Exfoliating Facial Scrub

Best Men’s Facial Exoliator for Pore Reduction and Blemish Correction: Kyoku for Men Exfoliating Facial Scrub
3,145 Bought
86 % Editor Score
93 % User Score

Why People Love it


  • Leaves skin feeling and looking clear and fresh 
  • The cool tingle is a rush 
  • Wonderfully effective 


This rich formula offers a 90-day money back guarantee. It’s great at deep cleaning pores and ridding men from pesky blackheads.

Besides being on the pricey side, it can also be a little drying. 

This men’s facial exfoliator is an award winner (Men’s Health, Esquire, and GQ magazines) for a reason. It does more than strip away dry skin; it’s really fantastic at opening pores and preventing ingrown hairs.

The interesting array of ingredients is complimented by its dreamy, manly scent. The composition actually works to balance your skin’s pH levels and promotes elasticity.

Overall, the price is right down the middle with an Amazon Subscribe and Save option and a 90-day money-back guarantee. It’s paraben-free, which we appreciate, but it’s not entirely free of nasties nor is it safe for vegans or men with tree nut allergies. 


  • Who is it for? All skin types, but men with dry skin may find this a bit too strong.
  • Active ingredients: Volcanic ash and Japanese adzuki bean powder.
  • Other notable ingredients: Rice bran, vitamins A and E, plus SPF 15.
  • Does it have parabens? No 
  • What about other nasties? It does have added fragrance.
  • Vegan? No 
  • Safe for tree nut allergies? No 
  • Texture: Very thick, without too many exfoliating beads.
  • Fragrance: It’s got a nice, manly scent.
  • Does it fight acne? Not specifically, but it does work to reduce large pores due to blackheads. It also helps to even out skin tone and blemishes.
  • Container sizes: 3.4 ounces 
  • Will it break the bank? The MSRP is $18 for 3.4 ounces. You should pay somewhere between $12 and $15 which works out $3.50 to $4.40 per ounce. It’s not bad really; and about the middle of the road as far as facial scrubs go. You can also add it to your Amazon Subscribe and Save order. 


Best Overall Facial Exfoliator for Men


Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub

Best Overall Facial Exfoliator for Men: Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub
4,533 Bought
92 % Editor Score
97 % User Score

Why People Love it


  • Invigoratingly fantastic smell 
  • Leaves face feeling refreshed 
  • Terrific texture and effective product 


Works with most skin types, including oily and sensitive skins. Thick texture and a non-drying formula from a respected brand. 

It can be pricey if used every day. And, some men find the minty menthol scent too strong. 

This product is an awesome all-rounder. It works fantastically on most skins and offers excellent pre-shave protection. It’s perhaps not the best for men with dry skin, but it works well with sensitive skins.

It’s the menthol in this men’s facial exfoliator that makes you feel refreshed, but it’s the excellent pore opening qualities that also makes you look fresh and clean.

What do we really love about this? It’s paraben-free, cruelty-free, vegan and safe for guys with tree nut allergies. On top of that, it smells incredible. It works like a dream – and you can expect your wife or girlfriend to steal it. Sorry.


  • Who is it for? All skin types, though perhaps better for slightly oily skins. Works well for men with sensitive skins.
  • Active ingredients: Vitamin C, menthol, and eco-friendly bamboo powder.
  • Other notable ingredients: Mentha arvensis leaf oil, licorice extract, allantoin, and peppermint.
  • Does it have parabens? No 
  • What about other nasties? No added fragrance or colorants.
  • Vegan? Yes, and cruelty-free. 
  • Safe for tree nut allergies? Yes 
  • Texture: It’s thick – almost like wet sand.
  • Fragrance: It smells of a minty menthol which reviewers love.
  • Does it fight acne? Not specifically.
  • Container sizes: 3 and 6 ounce tubes. Packaging could be more conducive to squeezing out the last bits.
  • Will it break the bank? At $30 for 6 ounces, this isn’t the cheapest stuff around. But, you’re paying for quality at $5 per ounce.  



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Faveable Expert Tips

Why do you need a facial exfoliator?

It’s really easy to think of yourself as a single living organism. You are that, make no mistake. But, you’re made up of all sorts of tissues and organs - and even though it may have been awhile since you studied biology, we’re certain you can name a lot of them: liver, heart, lungs, and one of the largest, skin

Not only is your skin an organ, it’s one that everyone sees. So, you shouldn’t be ashamed that you want to care for it. And, whether you’ve consciously used an exfoliator in the past or not, these products definitely play a role.

How so?

Your skin is continually rejuvenating itself. The top layer dies off and flakes away (rather than shedding like a snake) as new skin grows underneath. New skin feels soft and looks young and radiant, while dead or dying skin appears just as dry as it feels. Exfoliation scrubs off the old skin, to make room for the new skin. In addition to this glow, it also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help to even out dark spots and skin tone.

And, don’t worry, unless you’re using chemical peels, you’re not going to exfoliate your skin faster than your body can produce it. Indeed, because men’s skin is thicker and has more collagen than women’s skin, you’re going to reap more benefits from the process than your girlfriend will.

What are the benefits of scrubbing your face?

Not sold on the generalities of exfoliation? How about some specifics? You can also expect:

  • Deep pore cleansing - Whether you like it or not, your pores are going to fill with dead skin cells unless you do something about it. There are also oils and dirt that you need to clear out so you can expose the healthy skin growing underneath the top layer.


  • Acne reduction - Those nasty little white heads on your face are what appear when your pores are clogged with sebum oil which is produced at the base of hair follicles. You may not even see the fine hairs all over your face but, feel free to get a magnifying mirror to check them out. When you experience these pimples, regular exfoliation can help reduce outbreak frequency and strength. Facial exfoliators can get into your pores to break down the oil and just generally keep them from filling up. If you have terrible acne, look for a scrub with salicylic acid which will help to clear the problem.


  • Pore reduction - Your pores may appear larger than they are; if they look a little like blackheads, then you know what we’re talking about. Your pores aren’t actually that huge, they just look that way. Exfoliating will get into those spots, cleansing where normal face soaps can’t reach - and your pores will look smaller. Please note, however, we are saying “appear” and “look” because you can’t actually reduce the size of your pores, all you can do is reduce their appearance.


  • Anti-aging - Men have more collagen in their skin than women do - and that’s a real benefit when it comes to appearing youthful. But, your skin will eventually begin to show the signs of aging, including dark patches, uneven skin tones, and a loss of elasticity. Depending on the exfoliator that you use, you can expect a reduction of red, irritated patches as you remove those dead skin cells. And, by scrubbing your face, you will simultaneously increase circulation which will even out any other blotches and splotches.

And that’s on top of removing those dead skin cells and making your face appear more vibrant and healthy.

What’s the difference between a face wash and a face scrub?

Face wash is there to cleanse; that’s its job. It removes the impurities from your skin. An exfoliating scrub also cleanses, but it works to remove dead skin cells at the same time.

In case you’re wondering, there is a difference between a scrub and scrubbing your face with cleanser and a washcloth. A washcloth can only go so deep whereas a scrub can get into your pores and cleanse extra deep. Nice, right?

Why should I choose a facial exfoliator for men?

Don’t feel bad about borrowing your girlfriend’s exfoliator for the first time or two that you use one. But, eventually, you’ll want to get one of your own. There are a couple reasons for that.

The first reason has to do with the composition of your skin. Because it’s thicker and has more collagen than women’s skin, you want a product designed for men so that it’s actually effective when you use it. Scrubs designed for women won’t be as effective as those created for you.

And, there’s another benefit you don’t want to miss. Men’s exfoliators will help to prepare your skin for shaving. Good, right? You may find that razor burn and ingrown hairs are a thing of the past.

How often do you need to exfoliate?

You’re probably sold on the benefits of facial exfoliators already - and maybe even took a moment to order one of our top faves, but you need to hold your horses before you begin with your new scrubbing routine. It’s not something you want to do twice a day; not even once a day. If you exfoliate too often, it’s very likely that you’ll mess with your skin’s natural balance. You don’t want to muck with the oils that should be in your skin or you may find yourself with a case of acne. At the very least, you’ll experience some dryness and irritation.

When you begin using an exfoliator, you should use it once a week. It’s enough to get your face used to increased cell turnover rates. After awhile (at least a couple of weeks), you can work your way up to three times a week, but dermatologists recommend that you don’t exceed that frequency. And, don’t forget to cleanse your face twice a day, every day - whether it’s a scrubbing moment or not.

When should you exfoliate your face?

There’s no hard and fast rule for which days of the week or what time of the day you should exfoliate your skin. But, you should keep in mind that scrubs are, obviously, more abrasive than cleansers and you may want to do it with your nightly wash, rather than your morning wash.

That said, if your facial scrub specifies that you should use it in the evening rather than in the morning, pay attention to those directions. Your exfoliator may contain retinol or another ingredient that makes you more susceptible to sunlight.

How do you use a facial exfoliator?

It’s not exactly rocket science, but you should pay attention to what you’re doing when you first begin using a facial exfoliator. It’s not really that you can do it wrong, only that you want to do it right so you can reap the benefits of the product and the process.

Begin by washing your face with a mild cleanser, and rinse as you normally would. Squeeze a small dollop of exfoliator onto your fingertips (about the size of a dime - maybe even less to start) and massage this slowly onto your face. Work from your chin upwards and outwards along the jaw to your forehead. Use circular motions and don’t press too hard - especially in sensitive areas or across acne spots.

When you’ve worked in the product, rinse with warm water first - remember that you’ve just gotten into your pores and you don’t want to shock your skin with a blast of cold water. But, you do want to do a final rinse with cold water before applying a quality moisturizer.

What should you look for in a good facial exfoliator?

Apart from the exfoliating agent - which shouldn’t be microbeads (see below), you’re looking for pretty much the same things as you would in a regular facial wash. (You can find a complete list of amazing ingredients in the tips section of our Best Face Wash Cleansers for Men list.)

As for the exfoliation ingredients you do want, consider the best natural options including:

  • Pumice
  • Cornmeal
  • Walnut shell powder
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Oats
  • Coffee
  • Baking soda

And, you want to consider your skin type when choosing the best exfoliator for your face as well.

How should you choose a good facial exfoliator for your skin type?

You should already have a vague idea about your skin type and whether it is oily or dry, a combination or somewhere in the middle.

  • Dry skin - If your skin is rough, flaky, or tight feeling, you definitely have dry skin. The good news is that you’re going to truly benefit from a facial exfoliator. But, you don’t want to overdo it as you can exacerbate the problem. And, you definitely want a product that’s filled with jojoba or essential oils to replenish the moisture lost. Often, these products are on the creamier side.


  • Oily skin - If your face is shiny and feels a little greasy all the time, you have oily skin. The big tip off is pore size - if you can easily see them and tend to have breakouts, you want to ensure you choose a product with salicylic acid which will break down the oil and dry out some of the acne. Look for larger grain exfoliation ingredients; the word “clarifying” is a clue that you have the right product.


  • Sensitive skin - Do experience lots of red patches on your skin and some bumps or irritations when using skin care products? Then you probably battle skin sensitivities. You can still use facial exfoliators, but you want to make considered decisions. Look for products labeled "allergy tested" or "hypoallergenic." And, you probably want to stick to finer grain scrubs and allow your skin plenty of time to adapt to your new care regime.


  • Normal or combination skin - If you’ve got normal skin that’s not too dry, not too oily, and isn’t terribly sensitive, you can pretty much choose any facial exfoliator that floats your boat. However, if you have combination skin, you will either want to choose a mild product and realize that it won’t work as effectively across your entire face - or, you should consider purchasing multiple products and using them in the different areas. Just don’t mix them up.

How large should the scrubbing beads be?

You’ll find there is a range of scrubs ranging from super fine to super coarse and everything in between.

If you take a razor to your face every day or every other day, you want to stay away from coarse grains as they will be too abrasive for your face. The same goes for those that want to use their exfoliator a couple times a week; the larger the grain, the more likely it is to irritate your skin.

Fine grains are great for more frequent use and for men that don’t shave regularly (those that trim only or keep a full beard).

Should I be concerned about those scrubbing beads?

You may have heard that scrubbing beads are bad news when it comes to the environment. And, you should be concerned about microbeads, but that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of all exfoliators. The situation has changed rapidly over the past few years, and the products available now shouldn’t pose any problem.

Microbeads made of polyethylene plastic were widely introduced in the 1980s and soon found themselves in many of our cosmetic products. The trouble with these plastic bits is that they don’t decompose. And, to make matters worse, water sanitation plants weren’t designed or equipped to filter microbeads. In some cases, they became part of the sludge left behind at these plants - which is used to water and fertilize crops. But, more often than not, microbeads just find their way into lakes, streams, oceans, and our water systems in general.

Besides the fact that they don’t decompose and, therefore, pollute our environment, microbeads look and feel a lot like fish eggs. Marine life has been consuming these microbeads for decades. Indeed, at least one study shows that one-quarter of fish for sale at California fish markets consumed these microbeads - which means you may have consumed them. Yuck.

The situation was so serious that President Obama signed a law banning these plastic microbeads in 2015. Most major companies complied quickly and changed their formulations and over the years, you can bet they will be safer. Still, if you’re very concerned (or travel overseas often), you may want to check out the lists of clean (and not so clean) products at BeattheMicrobead.org.

In the best products, you’ll find natural, biodegradable scrubbing alternatives. So, you shouldn’t need to worry, but you do need to be aware.

Is there anything else I should know about facial exfoliation?

While exfoliation should be a part of your skin care routine, it shouldn’t cause you any grief. If you experience any negative reaction to a product, you should discontinue use immediately. And, if problems continue, then you must consult a GP or a dermatologist.

Additionally, although far less scary, is the necessity of moisturizer. You should be using an amazing facial moisturizer every day, but you definitely need one after exfoliating. You don’t want to damage the new skin you’ve revealed. So, if you don’t have one, make sure you pick up a moisturizer along with one of our fave facial exfoliators.

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Article Staff

Katie’s Cleveland proud; but she’s also lived in Australia, Switzerland and now stays in South Africa. That’s a roundabout way of saying she can’t sit still; she’s always moving, always busy.

She has a BA in International Relations from Kent State University and work towards a Masters in Human Rights. She speaks French, is learning German and used to dream in Spanish. For years, Katie worked as a producer on fashion and advertising shoots before she realized her passion was the written word.

Katie’s far more interested in guy’s gear than women’s, except she has a wardrobe brimming with little black dresses. She drinks her beer out of the bottle and is raising her two boys to be better men.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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