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26 Best Exfoliators and Scrubs for Blackheads: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 30th December 2020
Best Exfoliators and Scrubs for Blackheads

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They look like dirty pores.

But all they are is oxidized sebum and dead skin cells.

Still, you don’t have to put up with them.

Use the best exfoliators and scrubs for blackheads, and your skin will be clear and smooth.

What are the best face exfoliators?

There are two ways to exfoliate your skin: mechanically and chemically.

If you wash with a scrub or a facial cleansing brush, that’s mechanical exfoliation.

Or you can cleanse with salicylic acid or another kind of hydroxy acid for chemical exfoliation.

Each method has its pros and cons.

Here are the downsides first.

For example, if you scrub too hard, you could tear your skin (1).

Or, if you have dry skin, salicylic acid might dry you out more.

On the other hand, regular exfoliation with either technique offers vital benefits.

It keeps your pores clear to prevent blackheads.

And it resurfaces your complexion to reduce scars, discoloration, and fine lines.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.

Can scrubs get rid of blackheads?

Scrubs can get rid of blackheads that don’t go very deep (2).

If you have severe blackheads with large, congested pores, you may need to extract those individually.

But exfoliating your skin regularly will prevent new blackheads from forming.

Also, you might try a scrub with salicylic acid. It has a dual-action to dissolve built-up oil and remove dead skin cells (3).

Let’s look at the best scrubs and exfoliators for blackheads so that you can find what you need today.

26 Top Exfoliators and Scrubs for Blackheads (2021 Update)

1. Clarisonic Mia Prima

We’ll begin with a facial cleansing brush that you can use in the shower.

Clarisonic developed the world’s first sonic cleanser in 2004. One of their most favorite models is Mia Prima.

It takes only 60 seconds to clean your face.

But clinical tests show that it washes six times better than just using your hands alone.

It’s also soft enough and gentle enough to use every day.

Instead of spending, the bristles vibrate ultrasonically to lift away impurities. You can use it with your favorite cleanser.

Plus, each time you charge it, it’s good for 100 minutes. And the replaceable brush heads will show you a reminder when it’s time to change them.

2. Facial Cleansing Brush by Olay ProX

Olay also created a face cleansing brush that you can use in the bath.

Their tests show that after five days of use, your skin will feel silkier.

This kit comes with a brush head, a thermal crystal polisher, and a microdermabrasion foam head, plus an exfoliating cleanser.

It gives you a choice between everyday cleansing and microdermabrasion. But don’t overdo the microdermabrasion – they recommend only twice a week.

3. Skin Scrubber Face Spatula

If you’ve been shopping for blackhead removal products, you might have seen this tool. It’s a stainless steel spatula that vibrates. You use it to scrape the surface of your skin.

It’s a fancy way to extract blackheads and do a “deep cleanse.”

At this time, I wouldn’t recommend it as the best face exfoliator for the average consumer.

4. MY Konjac Sponge

Go low-tech with a Konjac sponge (4). It’s made from a type of Asian potato.

Konjac sponges are a Korean beauty product that has migrated to the USA.

They’re perfect for sensitive skin.

Not only do they gently exfoliate, but they also impart essential nutrients.

Just soak the sponge in water to soften it. Then rub it gently in circles across your face.

This particular sponge is embedded with bamboo charcoal to remove impurities and cleanse excess oil.

5. Konjac Sponge 5-Piece Sampler Pack Infused with Charcoal & Turmeric

If you’re not sure which kind of Konjac sponge to start with, get a variety pack.

This set includes bamboo charcoal, turmeric, green tea, purple sweet potato, and pure Konjac powder with no additives.

Everything is biodegradable and compostable. There are no artificial additives or colors.

6. Silicone Face Scrubbers Exfoliator Brush

For maximum reusability, try a silicone face scrubber.

It’s made from food-grade silicone that’s very soft.

There’s even a little handle on the back to help you grip it.

Combine it with your favorite cleanser to massage away blackheads.


This cute little octopus hides a special exfoliating scrub inside.

The stick is made of black mud and cellulose beads to draw out excess sebum and unclog pores. There are marine extracts and charcoal to purify your skin.

Roll it across problem areas to exfoliate and cleanse your complexion.

This product is made by a popular K-beauty brand.

8. Mario Badescu Silver Powder

Remove persistent blackheads without squeezing or scrubbing. Use this silver powder to draw them out naturally.

The powder consists of calcium carbonate, kaolin clay, and zinc oxide. Together, they soak up excess oil and dirt to refine pores.

Mix the powder with a few drops of water to make a mask. Apply the mixture with a brush, then let it dry on your face.

Users say wiping with witch hazel removes the mask easily.

9. AcneFree Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Face Scrub with 2% Salicylic Acid and Charcoal

Perhaps one of the best scrubs for blackheads and whiteheads is this one that’s made by AcneFree. It’s fragrance-free.

It features 2% salicylic acid to unclog pores. That’s the maximum strength you can get over-the-counter.

It penetrates pores to make them look smaller, too.

10. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Scrub with Salicylic Acid

Neutrogena is the expert in combating acne.

Their oil-free scrub with salicylic acid won’t clog pores or leave a residue on your skin.

Instead, it clears away dead cells, dirt, and oil to reveal smoother, softer, and glowing skin. It doesn’t just reduce blackheads, but it also prevents pimples.

There’s a little menthol in the recipe tingles and soothes while the cleanser is working.

11. DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub

DRMTLGY offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t impressed by their scrub. It promises to get rid of blackheads, reduce the appearance of pores, acne scarring, and make your complexion radiant.

It’s free of harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates.

The active ingredient is glycolic acid derived from sugarcane. It’s a chemical exfoliant that’s more gentle and more moisturizing than salicylic acid.

12. ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub

Acure’s scrub is made for all skin types. Use it three times per week.

It’s not specifically for removing blackheads, but rather for evening out tone. It detoxifies and removes dead skin cells with French green clay.

Of course, the side effect is that it cleanses clogged pores.

If you have discoloration from old acne, try this scrub.

The formula is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, silicone, and petrolatum. It’s vegan and cruelty-free.

13. Bioré Daily Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser for Combination Skin

Have you heard that baking soda makes a good homemade scrub for blackheads?

Well, it can be a bit drying. But Bioré has a solution.

They are scrub conditions while it cleanses. It has blue agave to moisturize and soothe irritation.

14. St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Face Scrub

As I’m sure you know, St. Ives makes more than one kind of scrub. I chose this one because of the green tea and salicylic acid.

While the salicylic acid dissolves oil to decongest pores, the green tea shrinks the pores to make them less noticeable.

It’s pretty mild and definitely feels refreshing.

Like the classic scrubs, this one has walnut shell powder, too.

15. Era-Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub

Era Organics starts with organic aloe, not water when they make this scrub.

They add walnut shell powder to remove debris and Manuka honey to prevent infection.

Then, there’s cehami and organic orange oil for powerful anti-aging effects.

16. [KLAIRS] Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish

Here’s a gentle scrub that moisturizes while you cleanse. It melts into your skin to lift away debris and oil.

It’s enriched with shea butter, vitamins A and E, and soothing licorice root powder.

The little exfoliating beads are made from microcrystalline wax. It’s biodegradable and won’t harm your skin or the environment.

Users say the scrub has a delicious sweet woodsy fragrance.

17. The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky-Clean Exfoliating Face Scrub

Here’s a scrub to get rid of blackheads on your nose.

Use it two or three times a week to keep your skin smoother and clear.

It also has the effect of reducing oiliness to keep your complexion fresh and soft but not shiny.

It’s made by The Body Shop; therefore, it has Community Trade tea tree oil. When you purchase it, you’re helping local farmers in Kenya thrive.

18. Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub

Guys love the Brickell scrub. Not only does it clear away blackheads, but it also helps with ingrown hairs.

Use it before you grab the razor to get a closer shave.

The ingredients are a blend of natural and certified organic components. It’s free of sulfates, parabens, glycols, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, and so on.

A blend of pumice and jojoba beads give it that exfoliating action that you crave.

Then, avocado butter and aloe vera leave the skin conditioned and smooth.

19. Clean & Clear Oil-Free Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub

Probably everyone’s heard of Clean & Clear’s blackhead scrub.

It feels refreshing. And it’s free of those nasty little plastic microbeads. It has microcrystalline wax and cellulose instead.

Unfortunately, it has an artificial fragrance, parabens, sulfates, talc, and artificial dyes. All of these ingredients could cause skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, I’d recommend trying something else.

20. SKIN FOOD Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub

Skin Food’s scrub doubles as a mask.

It contains rice wine, plant oil, and fine black sugar.

That only does it clear the complexion, but it also moisturizes and improves blood circulation.

21. Vivo Per Lei Retinol Face Exfoliant for Sensitive Skin

Here’s a leave-on exfoliator. It’s made with retinol to resurface your face overnight.

That only does it remove impurities, but it also fights signs of aging.

It has active ingredients like cucumber, coconut, chamomile, and green tea. The chamomile prevents redness that happens with exfoliation, and green tea strengthens the skin against inflammation.

22. CURE Natural Aqua Gel – Hydrogen-Activated Water Skin Exfoliator

This is a unique type of exfoliator from Japan. It starts to work once your skin is wet.

Instead of acid or exfoliating beads, it simply washes away dead cells.

The formula is free of artificial dyes, perfumes, and preservatives, too.

23. Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub

If you’ve read this far and despaired because you have very sensitive skin, here’s something you can use instead.

Cetaphil makes a gentle scrub that’s been tested by dermatologists specifically for sensitive skin.

It’s mild enough to use every day.

This is not a product that will give you an instant reduction in blackheads. It works slowly but steadily over time.

In the meantime, you’re likely to see that your face looks younger and more healthy. That’s due to the skin conditioners and vitamins plus exfoliating action.

24. Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant & 2% BHA Liquid Travel Duo

Skip the scrubs and use these liquid exfoliants instead.

One bottle contains 2% salicylic acid, and the other has 8% glycolic acid. Both remove dead skin cells in a gentle, natural way.

Salicylic acid has the added benefit of dissolving pore-clogging oil.

Both formulas are free of artificial fragrances and harsh chemicals.

25. Ebanel Face Exfoliator Facial Peeling Gel

Ebanel’s facial peel isn’t as potent as what a dermatologist uses in the office. But that’s good news because you can use it at home without startling side effects.

It dissolves the dead cells and oil that cause blackheads.

At the same time, it has skin-fortifying ingredients like peptides and plant stem cell extracts. There are more exotic components as well. The label lists Agarikon Mushroom that acts as an astringent. There’s also edelweiss that attracts moisture and prevents premature aging.

When you apply it, rub the gel gently to make the product more effective.

26. Humane Clarifying Toner BHA

Humane’s toner is a leave-on exfoliator that makes your pores less obvious. It’s best for oily and combination complexions.

It has 2% salicylic acid and green tea. The former treats acne and blackheads while the latter calms and nourishes the skin.


Blackheads can be real displeasure when we look in the mirror.

But regular cleansing can diminish them and prevent new clogs from forming.

If you discovered a new exfoliator that works well for you, please tell us about it in the comments below.

Also Read: Best Exfoliators You Must Use Before Spray Tanning


1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311991.php#what-to-avoid by Adam Felman, published October 12, 2017, accessed December 16, 2019

2. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/understanding-acne-treatment#1 accessed December 16, 2019

3. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/deep-blackheads by Kristeen Cherney, published October 30, 2018, accessed December 16, 2019

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konjac#Other_uses accessed December 16, 2019

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