You can simply wash your face, or you can REALLY wash your face.
What I mean is that there are plenty of good soaps out there for men, but if you aren’t also exfoliating you’re only doing things half way.
I hate to add to the list of ever growing must have grooming essentials, but you do need to have a good men’s face scrub. I’ll get into the reasons why in a bit.
Here are the three must have skin care products if you want to look good from your teens to your 90’s.
Check out those articles for the other two and read on for our list of the best face scrubs for men below! With this guide, you should be all set for your face grooming for years to come.
What to look for in a face scrub for men
Before you can find the best men’s face scrub for you, you have to take a few things into consideration. Your own particular circumstances, ie skin type, and what you need the exfoliant to do for you.
Here are some things to keep in mind before you buy.
Know your skin type
Everybody’s skin is different so what may work for me may not work for you. It is important to understand what kind of skin you have so you get the product best suited for that.
If your skin is often tight and feels brittle, then you likely have dry skin. If you have rough patches and flaky skin, then you surely have dry skin.
Try this out to be sure, slightly scratch your face with your fingernail and look in the mirror. Did it leave a white line?
If it did then you definitely have dry skin.
You’ll need to be careful when choosing a men’s face scrub as the wrong one will dry your skin out further.
And you will definitely need to use a moisturizing emollient afterwards too.
You probably already know that you have oily skin. You often have a greasy look and your skin is never dry or flaky.
Your skin does need that oil, called sebum, to naturally moisturize, but your skin is producing too much of it.
You may have clogged pores, which can collect bacteria, causing acne or other skin conditions if you don’t have one already.
It is especially important for a guy to use a good face scrub for men to really clean out those pores and start regulating your sebum production.
Exfoliants are made mostly for people with oily skin in general.
When your skin is often dry and irritated and using a skincare product is uncomfortable you probably have sensitive skin.
Using an exfoliant can be very harsh if you have sensitive skin so it is all the more important to make sure you try one specifically branded for sensitive skin.
If you often find yourself breaking out in a rash when using a skincare product like a face wash or shaving cream, then you will need to find a face scrub that is hypoallergenic.
If you have been blessed with skin that is never dry and your sebum production is always balanced then you hit the genetic lottery and can use pretty much any product that you want.
You are now free to use whichever kind of strength skincare product you want. In fact, you may want to go for the deep cleaning type of men’s face scrub to really get down into the layers of skin.
Ingredients you want to see
With so many natural grooming products on the market these days, I like to look out for the ones that don’t have any harsh chemicals.
This obviously includes exfoliants.
These natural products are equally effective, sometimes more so, than the ones with synthetic ingredients. I don’t see a reason to use one with chemicals that have hidden side effects.
For the scrubbing agent, look for things like oat, sugar, walnut shell powder and other gentle abrasives.
You’ll want to avoid plastic microbeads that are bad for your skin and for the environment. Most plastic based microbeads have been banned, but you still need to read the label carefully as there are some brands using a different kind of abrasive not covered by the ban.
There are even exfoliating ingredients that strip away the dead skin without using an abrasive which can be good for sensitive skin depending on what is used.
What ingredients to avoid
Besides the synthetic microbeads I mentioned in the last section, there are some other nasty chemicals to watch out for in an exfoliant. Actually should avoid these in any grooming products for your skin and hair.
- Parabens – These chemicals are used as a preservative to extend shelf life in many cosmetics. The issue with them is that they penetrate deep into the skin and can have an effect on your hormones, For guys this means that it mimics estrogen and can dramatically lower your sperm count. If you plan to have kids someday, then definitely stay away from parabens.
- Petrolatum – Made from a by product of the petroleum refining process, petrolatum is used as a moisturizer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually moisturize your skin, it just creates a layer on your skin that makes it feel like it is. The other problem is that it can cause skin problems and there is evidence that it is linked to some cancers.
- Phthalates – Just like parabens, these are used to prolong shelf life by acting as an antimicrobial. And just like parabens they can mimic estrogen and have even been linked to some cancers and even liver and kidney disorders.
Why do you need to use a face scrub for men
Exfoliating means literally taking away layers of skin. This sounds way harsher than it actually is. Mainly what the face scrub for men or women does is strip away the top layer of skin that is usually full of dead skin cells.
It’s these dead cells that can cause you problems. They clog your pores and lead to dull and unhealthy skin.
Use an exfoliant and strip those dead skin away and out of your pores. This will help prevent acne as you are clearing out the pores of the dead skin that can collect sebum and trap bacteria. This is what causes most breakouts even if you don’t have excessively oily skin.
If you are prone to ingrown hairs, then using an exfoliant is a good way to go deep under the skin and help those hairs grow right through instead of getting stuck and growing under the top layers.
Probably the biggest benefit is to get rid of the top, rough layer of skin and allow your moisturizers for anti aging cream to penetrate into the lower layers much more easily.
This will have your other skincare products work much faster and more effectively.
When you combine all these things together you end up with much younger looking skin.
Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub
Though this list of the best men’s face scrubs is not in any particular order, I am going to start off with Brickell. I love this brand for the way that all the products work so well and the fact that they are always all natural and mostly organic.
I will say right off the bat that it is not cheap. Now, if you clicked the button above and went over to Amazon you probably thought, Well, that price doesn’t look too bad. Remember that it is a 2 ounce portion. A little does go a long way but it is not going to last you for months.
In my opinion it is worth it, however.
Let me go over the reasons why I think so.
First of all the ingredients. To really scrub the skin it contains pumice from volcanic ash. It isn’t as harsh as it sounds. It is finely ground into a powder that ends up feeling more like a silky clay than an abrasive.
Adding to the gentle abrasive are beads made out of jojoba. Jojoba oil is very similar to your skin’s natural oil called sebum. Instead of using plastic microbeads, this actually adds to the health of your skin serving a dual purpose.
After removing all the dead skin and exposing the fresh, new skin underneath, your face gets rejuvenated by the addition of caffeine and green tea. Caffeine is known to stimulate the skin and bring an increase in blood flow. This fresh blood brings nutrients and oxygen your skin cells need to stay young, healthy and vibrant.
And as is the case with any Brickell product it contains no sulfates, parabens, glycols, phthalates, petrochemicals, silicone, PEG’s, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or gluten.
Thrive All Natural Men’s Face Scrub
It’s one thing for a face cream to contain caffeine to rejuvenate and stimulate the skin, but Thrive is on another level. To scrub away the layers of dead skin and clear out the pores it uses actual coffee grinds.
There are a lot of people whose skin is too sensitive for abrasives like walnut or almond shells so this is a nice alternative. The coffee grinds will gently scrub while adding some of the effects of caffeine to your skin. In addition to that is carnauba wax to add to the exfoliation without being rough on your skin and it also helps lock in moisture at the same time.
The formula is entirely plant based and is all natural. The oils come from botanicals fromCosta Rica while the coffee grinds are 100% Arabica.
There are two very unique ingredients which I have never seen in a skin cream before. Juanilama and fierillo. The juanilama is an antioxidant that is almost twice as powerful as Vitamin E. This rids your skin cells of free radicals that cause premature aging and dull skin.
Fierillo is an antimicrobial that disinfects your skin and clears bacteria from your pores for an effective and natural way to prevent acne. If you have problems with using creams with salicylic acid then this is a good alternative.
Add coconut oil to the mix and you have a powerful ingredient that absorbs quickly into the skin. The oils used are predominantly lightweight so your face is never left with a greasy residue.
Thrive also smells really nice. It has a fragrant and bright citrus quality with some spices like star anise and clove to round it out.
A bonus which I really like is that you’re supporting small farmers in Costa Rica with a product that uses all the fruit of their labor and adding a new source of revenue. If it didn’t work then that wouldn’t mean much, but since it is so effective it just adds to the value of it as a brand and good corporate citizen.
Milk & Co. Men’s Natural Face Wash and Scrub
Made by an ex Olympian Gold winner Michael Klim, (get it? Klim is Milk spelled backwards) this is a great way to really scrub your dead skin away and leave a fresh, glowing layer in its place.
This is definitely good for guys with oil skin or combination. I wouldn’t use this if I had dry skin as the walnut shells can be a bit rough on sensitive skin.
It makes sense that a swimmer would choose to load a skin care product with tons of marine extracts to nourish your skin.
It is packed with things like spirulina to tone the skin and encourage regeneration of the cells to always be producing fresh layers. Also porphyra umbilicalis, another algae similar to spirulina, protects the skin from aging prematurely. If you spend a lot of time in the sun then this is definitely very helpful to prevent your skin from going dull and listless.
To scrub away the dead skin and clean the pores, it uses a combination of ground walnut shells and kaolin. Kaolin is a great way to absorb away the excess oil that is clogging your pores without needing to scrub it away. Your skin ends up feeling smooth and light without any signs of grease. Or, without a sensation of overdrying.
With glycerin and aloe vera juice, your skin gets hydrated and the porphyra umbilicalis helps lock that moisture in. Your skin will feel smooth, yet plump and glowing with a youthful look.
With the addition of rosemary and peppermint oil, your skin also gets a nice boost of stimulation to bring added nutrients to the outer layers thanks to the increase in blood flow.
The scent is light and refreshing that dissipates quickly. The point of a face scrub for men is not to use it as a fragrance, so the smell is not so important. It does smell nice though so that is a bonus.
All in all, this is a very good men’s face scrub that will do everything you need it to and then some.
Lather & Wood’s Face Scrub
If you have read any of the shaving product articles I have written then you no doubt understand my love for Lather and Wood.
It may seem odd then to have a skin care product that doesn’t seem on its face to have anything to do with shaving.
Well, they understand the formula necessary to leave you with healthy skin, for one. The other thing is that exfoliating is very important when you want to execute a proper shave that gets as close as possible. The key is that the hair follicles are cleaned out down to the root so it helps lift the hair to be easily shaved.
The best part? It smells absolutely manly and will remind you of going to the old school barber with your Granddad.
It smells a lot like a shaving cream from back in the day with notes of sandalwood and cedar with a little spice.
If you already wear an old school scent, then this will not clash with it. In fact it may actually compliment it.
Now, as for how it works, it uses gentle jojoba beads to scrub away the dead skin and clean the pores. These microbeads end up dissolving and leaving your skin moisturized and healthy. The jojoba helps to regulate how much sebum your skin produces so it will leave your skin just right.
Since it is gentle, it works on any kind of skin. If your skin is dry or sensitive then this will not leave you irritated. But, at the same time, it works great on oily skin and won’t end up drying it out or even leaving your skin feeling greasy.
Without using any harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients this does the job you need it to do and does it well.
RUGGED & DAPPER Face Wash for Men
No list of skin care products would be complete without Rugged and Dapper making an appearance.
In this case, we have a sort of non traditional face scrub. This is moe like a 3 in 1 face care system.
First, it works as a daily cleanser. Just like your typical face wash, it cleans and moisturizes the skin. But, with the addition of exfoliants, it really scrubs it more than a regular face wash could ever do. Then it tones the skin to smooth everything out.
As a scrub, it is gentle enough to use every day. It contains finely ground olive pit and jojoba beads to exfoliate the skin and clean out the pores. If you are prone to acne, then this should help. Not only because it is effective at removing the excess oil and dead skin cells, but the addition of salicylic acid is the same ingredient found in anti acne creams and lotions.
You won’t need a moisturizer afterwards since it contains aloe vera juice and coconut oil to really hydrate and lock in that moisture deep into the skin.
Then your skin is tightened with the addition of willow bark extract and burdock root. This acts as the toner phase and will give your skin a smooth surface that looks younger and healthier. It also creates an environment where bacteria can’t get a foothold to prevent any future outbreaks. All without drying out the skin.
If you hate the thought of having a Dopp kit or medicine cabinet in your bathroom full of products, then you will love having this all in one solution. Sometimes you really can keep it simple and still get everything you need.
Get the most out of your exfoliator
To go from dull and listless to polished and tone, you should take a few things into consideration when using your face scrub for men to really get the most out of it.
How often to use a mens face scrub
Unless the instructions on your face scrub for men says explicitly that you should or can use it everyday, then don’t.
You may end up doing the opposite of what you set out to do when you bought it. You could end up disrupting your sebum production instead of helping to regulate it. This will have you end up with dried out skin that is irritated and open for blemishes.
To avoid this, you should only be using an exfoliant according to your skin type as often as it needs.
If you have oily skin, then you can probably get away with using it every other day. It really depends, though as not all oily skin means that you’re going to have excess dead skin cells building up that quickly. Use it every other day to start and monitor how your skin reacts. If it starts getting dried out and irritated then scale back how often you use it.
For dry and sensitive skin I would not use it more than once or twice per week. Again, see how your face reacts and then continue accordingly. Make sure you are using an exfoliant from the list above that uses fine abrasives like pumice so you don’t end up damaging your skin or over scrubbing it.
Using an exfoliant before shaving
Using a face scrub for men is a great way to get a closer shave. By clearing the pores out, you are allowing your follicles to stand up and be ready to be cut away. This makes for a very easy time for your razor which means you won’t be going over the same spot multiple times.
Getting down to a lower layer of skin also helps to cut the hair at its lowest possible point. This makes for the closest shave you can possibly get and easily adds a day before you need to shave again.
If you have sensitive skin, then you may want to skip out on this idea, however.
How to use a men’s face scrub
Step One – Pregame
To really open up the pores and have your skin ready to be properly exfoliated, then make sure to rinse your face with warm water first. Take a couple of minutes to make sure that your face is properly hydrated and the pores fully open before scrubbing.
Step Two – Scoop
If you have a container that doesn’t squeeze out then scoop out about a dime sized portion. Or, squeeze out a tiny bit from a tube, being careful to not overdo it.
A little goes a long way here.
Step Three – Do It In Circles
Now is the time to apply. Using a circular motion, start at your cheeks and widen the circle until you have your whole face covered.
You can use your fingers to do this as long as they are clean or a clean face cloth will work.
Don’t use too much force. Let the microbeads do the work here or your face will end up irritated very easily.
Step Four – Rinse It Off
Once you have covered your entire face, you should simply wash it off. Just rinse your face as normal with warm water and rub with your hands to really get it off. Many of these scrubs are sticky and will want to cling to your skin.
Then finally rinse with cold water to tighten up and smooth out the skin.
Step Five – Pat Dry
Don’t use a towel to vigorously dry your skin. Make sure instead to pat it dry and leave it a bit moist. Let it dry on its own as much as possible. Your skin is going to be a bit raw so towel drying may prove to be uncomfortable.
Step Six – Post Exfoliant
If your face scrub doesn’t have any moisturizers, which I cannot imagine in this day and age, then you need to replenish your skin’s moisture ASAP. Use a good moisturizer for your face and then go about your day.
Look for something with jojoba oil, shea butter or aloe vera if your face scrub doesn’t already have these ingredients. They will add moisture back into your skin and keep it plump and elastic. The aloe in particular will soothe your skin in case of any irritation caused by the microbeads.
I know you may not want to add even more products to your skin care routine, but you really should be exfoliating. That is if you want to keep your skin youthful and vibrant, anyway.
Using a men’s face scrub cannot be replicated by using other products. It should be an integral part of every man’s routine at this point.
Any one of the ones found in the list above is going to do a great job while being easy on your face and good for the environment.
It’s good to be a guy these days as there are so many products for us to choose from that will keep us looking good and feeling better.
You owe it to yourself to use a good face scrub for men!
If you have any questions at all about this or any other product then let me know by adding a comment to the box below. I’ll answer any questions as soon as I can.