Exfoliating is essential when it comes to keeping skin looking even and feeling smooth. And while it doesn't need to become a part of your nightly routine, those with oily and/or acne-prone skin can especially benefit from regularly using one of the best face scrubs for oily skin to clear out pores and control excess shine.
Before you choose your scrub, it's helpful to know which ingredients will work best for your skin type. In general, you'll want to steer clear of grainy physical exfoliators like walnut shells and apricot kernels because they can damage the skin by scratching it. Instead, look for finer physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants. A chemical exfoliator like salicylic acid is especially helpful for oily skin types because it can easily cut through all the pore-clogging oil and dead skin.
Other ingredients that are helpful for oily skin include tea tree oil, clay, and willow bark. Tea tree oil can help control oil production and prevent blemishes, while clays like kaolin absorb excess sebum and mattify the skin. Willow bark, on the other hand, works similarly to salicylic acid.
To avoid overdoing it, don't use your face scrub more than three times a week, as over-exfoliating can leave your skin irritated or dry, which causes your skin to produce even more oil to compensate. And this may seem kind of obvious, but be sure to gently work the scrub around your face and steer clear of the delicate skin under your eyes.
For a clearer, shine-free face, these are five of the best face scrubs for oily skin you'll want to try.
1. The Overall Best Face Scrub For Oily Skin
The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub
Community Trade organic tea tree oil sourced from The Kenya Organic Oil Farmers Association is the star ingredient in this exfoliating scrub. The tea tree leaves are hand-harvested by small-scale organic farmers around Mount Kenya National Park, and are formulated in The Body Shop's Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub to help treat oily and acne-prone skin. Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can lower potential acne-causing bacteria, while also reducing inflammation and eliminating excess oil from pores.
One Amazon reviewer writes that since using the scrub, "I don't get shiny by lunch time anymore." Another adds, "My face has cleared up, and my skin is no longer oily."
2. A Cooling Salicylic Acid Scrub At A Great Price
Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cooling Gel Scrub
Oil-free and noncomedogenic, Neutrogena's Deep Clean Purifying Cooling Scrub uses salicylic acid to cut through oil and clear out pores. The brand has also included their Barriercare cleansing technology, which helps leave skin purified without stripping it of moisture, something that's especially helpful for oily skin types, since drying out the skin can just lead to more oil production. It also landed a spot on Allure's 2018 Best of Beauty Awards list for the best drugstore beauty products.
"It is enough of a scrub that you know you are getting your skin good and clean, but not too much to irritate your skin," writes on Amazon user who gives the scrub five stars. "It smells like a combination of peppermint and cucumber, [and] it leaves your face feeling clean and cool."
3. A Skin-Polishing Scrub Made With Glycolic Acid
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub
This exfoliating scrub from Nip + Fab uses glycolic acid to increase skin cell turnover for a brighter, more even complexion, and salicylic acid to deep-clean pores of oil, dirt, and bacteria. The formula also includes ingredients like glycerin, aloe leaf, and sweet almond oil to moisturize and soothe, so the acids don't dry out your skin.
"Your skin is like silk after using it," raves one reviewer who adds, "I have oily skin, so I use it almost every day, and am never disappointed with how my skin glows."
4. A Natural Face Scrub For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub
Oily skin and acne go hand-in-hand, which is why you'll notice many of the same ingredients from acne treatments in oil-fighting scrubs. The Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub is no exception, but it does aim to use more natural ingredients, switching out traditional salicylic acid for willow bark extract (it contains salicin, which salicylic acid is derived from). Willow bark extract has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being an exfoliating ingredient that can help control oil production. A fruit acid complex further helps to gently exfoliate the skin, while ingredients like jojoba oil and grape seed oil keep skin smooth and hydrated.
"I have combination-oily skin with a tendency to having breakouts, and this scrub has been working wonders," writes one Amazon reviewer. "It does not make my face oily … my skin looks more radiant, and my acne scars are clearing out a bit."
5. A Sulfate-Free Scrub That Uses Kaolin Clay To Detox Skin
Bliss Micro Magic Skin-Renewing Microdermabrasion Scrub
The Bliss Micro Magic Skin-Renewing Microdermabrasion Scrub is free of questionable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, but full of ingredients that help absorb excess oil and clear skin of toxins and pore-clogging debris. To get the job done, the brand uses kaolin clay to detox and volcanic pumice to exfoliate. To soothe and hydrate, ingredients like pro vitamin B5, jojoba seed oil, and chamomile extract are included in the formula, while peppermint oil and aloe leave skin feeling cool and refreshed. Reviewers also say this scrub is excellent at preventing breakouts and fading signs of hyperpigmentation.
One Amazon user calls it "a facial in a tube," while another says, "True bliss and magic — finally a microdermabrasion that doesn't make my skin break out."
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