The Best Physical Face Scrubs That Won't Damage Your Skin

With the rise of liquid exfoliators (think the likes of Pixi Glow Tonic & Alpha-H Liquid Gold) there doesn't seem much room for the good old physical exfoliator anymore. But once there was and there's nothing like the physical act of massaging a grainy facial scrub over the skin for instantly smooth and buffed results.

I know while I like the effects of using an AHA-based toner at night, I kind of love the above mentioned instant gratification of a good face scrub but know now what feels like a good scrub and what is a good scrub for the skin are two different things. That's why I wanted to share a range of reliable facial exfoliators all with different 'intensities' that won't tear/damage the skin.

This post contains both affiliate links and PR samples. 


L'Occitane Radiance Face Scrub 75ml/£29.00
For me summer is the time I often think about exfoliating my face more often and when I do it's a bonus if the product feels summery and uplifts the senses in some way. This is why this summer my go-to scrub is the fabulous new orange scent and jam-like Radiance Face Scrub from L'Occitane.

Housed in a solid glass jar with metal lid this is the type of product to keep near the sink and use as needed throughout summer and beyond. Containing natural fruit acids the fresh jam-like texture containing small seeds that glide over the skin lightly buffing as they go. This isn't a scrub that will leave the face red but one that will give a healthy radiant glow with dead skin well removed in a mild manner. 

Note: For travel or a way to test out the scrub before committing, you can find the same Radiance Face Scrub in a small pod format here for only £4.50. 


Clarins Comfort Scrub 50ml/£26.00 
Described as a nourishing oil scrub with sugar microcrystals for dry, sensitive skin this one of the nicest physical face scrubs I've come across. Applied to dry skin the gel-in-oil formula melts over skin with the non-abrasive sugar microcrystals gently removing dead skin cells while adding a lovely warm sugary gourmand scent to the scrub. Then upon adding water the gel formula instantly turns to a light milky layer that is easily washed completely away, leaving the skin residue-free, comfortable and ultra-soft. 

This basically feels like the perfect face scrub, working well on all skin types, while also being a joy to apply and use. The natural sugar scent is also a lovely bonus as not only does it make the scrub smell incredible but it means it can be used over the lips as a lip exfoliator (Clarins actually suggest this!) making this an amazing 2-in-1 product. 


Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask 75ml/£11.24 (currently on offer) 
If you are looking for the best of both worlds with both a physical and chemical exfoliator then this is your product. I've been using it mask for years and while the scrubbing action is present it's light yet effective thanks to the micro volcanic rock particles. 

Sitting in a cooling gel-like formula the face mask is easy to apply, requiring only 5 minutes for the AHA fruit acids to work. Then as a final step before removing you massage the microparticles over the skin, this does cause the skin to redden however on cleansing this dual action really does leave the skin feeling brand new! The perfect product if you love to apply face masks and have stubborn patches of congestion or dry skin. 


Pixi Peel & Polish 80ml/£26.00
When my skin is looking dull I turn to this product, it's my all-year-round saviour. Why? While feeling like you have scrubbed your skin it's never too harsh and with the combination of AHA fruit acids, it leaves the skin baby smooth every time. 

Unlike all other scrubs I've mentioned, there is a grittiness to this formula making it a satisfying product to use when you want to rid the skin of congestion, a build-up of dead skin or you simply suffer from dry patches. While this does feel like you are giving yourself an at-home facial there is one downside that I had to mention - the smell. It's not awful but it's unique and takes a little getting used to. 


Emma Hardie Rosehip Exfoliating Seeds £15.00 
If you are a fan of Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm or any solid oil-based balm cleanser for that matter then these interesting exfoliation seeds may be all you need to up your exfoliation game. 

Designed to be sprinkled into a heavy duty balm such as the Moringa Cleansing Balm only a pinch of these fine yet effective seeds is required to polish the skin in a deep cleansing way without damaging it. Yes, you can definitely get heavy-handed and overdo it with these marvellous seeds but get the balance right and your skin will be transformed all while using your favourite cleanser. 

A little goes a long way with this 5g pot, easily lasting 2+ years, so this is a great cost-effective product for fans of deep exfoliation. 

Are you still a fan of using a physical face scrub or are you all about chemical exfoliation these days? 

Fee xo. 

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