A basic skin care regimen has three steps: cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Most people – those with any regimen – take the first and last steps, no matter what. That’s because they’re a twice-daily application and your modal wouldn’t exist without their framework. But the third step, the middle step, is often completely eliminated. Trust us, you need a facial scrub.

Exfoliation is integral to getting smooth skin, giving it an even texture and keeping it glowing. It helps remove dead surface cells, which clog pores or prevent softer, healthier cells from being exposed to the sun. By removing dry cells, facial scrubs help remove discoloration and in some cases, can even penetrate your pores to remove dirt, excess oil, and impurities. trapped cells. That’s because some exfoliants are not physical exfoliants; they are instead dead cell alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, citric, and lactic acids, or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid.

And while exfoliation is usually prescribed as a step once or twice per week (do it after cleansing, before moisturizing, ideally before bed), there are plenty of ways you can do it. You can get exfoliation benefits and each has its own scenario. Our favorites are the dual-cleansing scrubs, whether they’re rough physical exfoliants or sneaky chemical ones (though they’re all gentle enough to make the list).

Here are our picks for the best facial scrubs, many of them multi-tasking, some of them stand-alone treatments and others in between. Choose your favorite from the pack to give your basic skin care regimen the three-pronged approach it needs.

1. Peace Out Skincare Blemish Balm Cleanser

Our top pick of the bunch should be the main accent on your ledge. It is a soluble solid that will first melt on your hands, then on your face to remove excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt (from deep within your pores). It’s a gentle way to get your daily dose of skin-cleansing salicylic acid without overwhelming your cup. Add to that, skin-firming niacinamide, surface-strengthening lactic acid and a hydrating eight-amino acid complex… and you’ve got yourself a leader in the category.

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