Best face scrub for men UK from Clinique for Men to Bulldog and more

Face scrub for men: The best men’s facial scrubs to get rid of spots, dry patches and more

The best face scrubs for men can get rid of spots, stop you from looking old and tired, and help make your other skincare products work better


I f the skin on your face is looking a little rough, old, tired or spotty, you could really benefit from a face scrub for men.


A face scrub exfoliates your skin and removes dirt and dead skin cells. A deep cleanse from a face scrub will mean any other products, such as your moisturiser, will be working on the freshest skin cells and will be more effective. This can save you a fortune!


Unlike a face wash which you should use every day, a face scrub should be used up to three times a week at most. If you have particularly sensitive skin, maybe only twice or once a week. Any more and you risk rubbing away healthy skin and causing your face to be irritated.


Once you’ve chosen the best face scrub for your skin type, you’re also going to want to team it up with a good moisturiser. That way you’re going to maximise the benefits of getting rid of all those dead skin cells by rehydrating your fresh skin cells.



Face scrub for men: What to look out for


There are two types of face scrub for men – either they contain what’s known as a physical exfoliator, or they exfoliate using chemicals. It is also possible to buy a face scrub for men that contains both physical and chemical exfoliating properties.


Physical exfoliators: These face scrubs contain tiny particles that rub against your skin. It can feel like rubbing sugar or similar on your skin (and in some face scrubs, they do actually contain sugar). These are also great at helping to get rid of ingrown hairs.


Chemical exfoliators: Chemical exfoliators are those where ingredients such as beta hydroxyl or other acids dissolve dead skin cells. Although the thought of putting acid on your face may sound a bit odd, they’re safe and have been thoroughly tested.


Both types of exfoliation work well, but chemical exfoliants are typically less abrasive. However, unless you have very sensitive or acne-prone skin the physical exfoliants are fine to use.


Other natural ingredients that work great in a face scrub for men include:


  • Charcoal
  • Clay
  • Caffeine
  • Vitamins C & E
  • Camelina oil
  • Green tea
  • Menthol


Best face scrub for men UK


1.  Best face scrub for men: Clinique for Men Face Scrub – £21


2. Best cheap face scrub for men: Bulldog Skincare Original Face Scrub  – £5.39 


3. Best luxury face scrub: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser£39


4. Best face scrub for dry skin: Frank Body Original Face Scrub £11.96


5. Best face scrub for oily skin: L’Oreal Men Expert Pure Charcoal Anti-Blackhead Daily Face Scrub £4.99


6. Best for acne-prone skin: Face Theory Glycolic Face Scrub£10.99



1. Editor’s Pick: Clinique for Men Face Scrub

£21 | Buy now

Clinique for Men Face Scrub reviewsClinique

This face scrub is from a brand you know and can trust – Clinique for Men. While the Clinique for Men Face Scrub doesn’t come cheap, it’s got such a fan following because of how well it performs. Thus making it great value for money.


The texture feels rough, unlike other face scrubs that can feel a bit too liquidy. This helps it to exfoliate your skin well and really helps to eliminate any ingrown hairs.


If you have a beard you’ll like the fact there are no exfoliating beads with this scrub, which have a tendency to get stuck in the hairs around your face. Instead, the Clinique for Men Face Scrub has fine, non-abrasive grains to exfoliate your skin.


It’s a great product to use before you shave because it clears any dead skin, meaning you’ll get a closer shave to leave your skin feeling really smooth.



2. Budget Buy: Bulldog Skincare Original Face Scrub  

£5.39 | Buy now

Cheap face scrub for men from Bulldog SkincareBulldog

This Bulldog Original face scrub contains the natural ingredients camelina oil, green tea, and aloe vera. This means it exfoliates without stripping the skin. In fact, it can even help hydrate as it buffs.


It’s been formulated to remove dead skin cells and for its budget price does a really good job.


If you have an oily T zone and dry cheeks then this face scrub will work really well, as it’s a good all-rounder for combination skin. It’s a physical exfoliator using tiny bits of oat kernel, almond shell, and olive seed powder. Your skin is then soothed by the aloe vera.



3. Luxury Buy: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

£39 | Buy now

Murad face scrub for men premiumMurad

The Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is the best exfoliator for normal and combination skin. That’s because it deals with the oily areas of your face, as well as any dry areas by using both chemical and physical exfoliants.


It helps boost your skin’s hydration with the cleanser part, while biodegradable jojoba beads give you a physical scrub.


The important ingredients with this face scrub are glycolic acid (this ingredient dissolves the oil), lactic acid (which increases skin cell turnover), and salicylic acid (which helps to clear your pores).


It’s not the cheapest face scrub, but you won’t need to use much of the gel when you apply it. Therefore a little goes a very long way and it will leave your skin feeling smoother than some of the cheaper brands.


You’re also less likely to have a reaction to this face scrub. That’s not guaranteed, but more expensive versions contain fewer supplementary ingredients that could irritate the skin.



4. Frank Body Original Face Scrub 

£11.96 | Buy now

Frank Face Scrub for men with dry skin Frank Body

This face exfoliator from Frank Body is the best face scrub for dry skin. It’s a really gentle option that will help your skin look brighter and healthier and its ingredients include coffee, bamboo, and walnut. All of which helps to buff away dead skin.


If you have dry skin you’re going to be using a good moisturiser and to make sure it works as best as it can, it’s vital you have fresh skin cells on your face. This helps your skin to absorb the moisturiser and really makes a difference to the overall quality of your skin.


This face scrub for dry skin also contains rosehip oil, which will help even out your skin tone. You should notice the difference after just one use but because it’s so powerful, we recommend washing with this face scrub once or twice a week, but no more.



4. L’Oreal Men Expert Pure Charcoal Anti-Blackhead Daily Face Scrub

£4.99 | Buy now

Best face scrub for men with oily skin Loreal Men Expert Pure CharcoalL'Oreal Men Expert

L’Oreal Men Expert is a great brand for men’s skincare and its Pure Charcoal scrub is the best face scrub for men with oily skin.


This is because charcoal draws out impurities to clear your pores and protect them from future congestion, too. With oily skin, the oil makes your pores stretch which can cause more dirt and debris to get clogged up inside. This is then why people with oily skin are more prone to breakouts.


This face scrub for blackheads and oily skin will give your face the deep cleanse it needs. You can also exfoliate more with oily skin because it’s more capable of taking it. The 2,000 natural particles in each bottle can also give your oily face the scrub it needs.


If you have particularly sensitive and oily skin this may not be the one for you, just because it’s slightly tougher on the skin. You may instead want to go for the Glycolic Face Scrub from Face Theory (below).



5. Face Theory Glycolic Face Scrub

£10.99 | Buy now

Face Theory best face scrub for men with oily skinFace Theory

The glycolic and salicylic acids in this face scrub for men will really help to clear any skin blockages you have and reduce the appearance of your enlarged pores.


For acne-prone skin, you don’t want a really tough exfoliator, but you still want to remove dead skin cells. Therefore this face and body scrub for acne is the perfect solution because it only uses tiny pieces of jojoba for physical exfoliation. It does feel really gentle when you use it.


It’s a vegan face scrub and is cruelty-free. The Glycolic Face Scrub is also free of parabens, silicones, sulfates, and mineral oils. We really like the scented version (containing mandarin essential oil) but there’s also an unscented version if you prefer.


We recommend anyone with sensitive skin to avoid fragranced products, just to be on the safe side and avoid irritation.



How to use a face scrub for men

To use a physical face scrub:


  • Wet your face with warm water
  • Place a small amount of face scrub on your fingertips – you can always add more if it’s not enough
  • Apply the scrub to your face and massage it in circular motions
  • Move your fingers around your face, focusing on areas of ageing, dullness, breakouts, or pores for up to 60 seconds


MBman tip: You don’t need to use too much pressure as the product itself will be doing the work


To use a chemical exfoliator:


  • Soak a cotton, or reusable pad with the chemical exfoliant 
  • Sweep the pad across your face
  • Leave to dry – do not rinse


Matching a face scrub to your skin type


Different types of skin will react differently to different face scrubs, so you need to pick a face scrub that suits your skin type. If you’re not sure what skin type you have, check out our What skin type do I have? guide.


What skin type am I menGetty Images/iStockphoto


Normal/combination skin


If you have a mix of both dry and oily skin then you can use a face scrub to improve both areas. You’re going to want to use a face scrub for men that includes glycolic acid. This helps dissolve any excess oil and dead skin cells. You might find that at different times of the year your skin can be dry, while at others it can be oily. If that’s the case then you may require a mix of exfoliators.


Sensitive skin


You can use a face scrub on sensitive skin, but you’ll want to limit exfoliating with a face scrub to around once a week. The best face scrubs for sensitive skin include an ingredient called lactic acid. It’s a gentler ingredient that exfoliates and will hydrate your skin, too. You’ll still want to make sure you use a moisturiser afterward though.


Dry skin


If you have dry skin then you’re definitely going to want to use a face scrub. In order for your skin to absorb your other skincare products, you need to make your skin feel softer and less dry. This involves getting rid of the dead skin cells on the surface. By exfoliating your face you’ll also prevent your skin from looking dull and flaky, which is common for dry skin.


Oily skin


If your skin is oily then you can exfoliate more than any other skin type, however, bear in mind that scrubbing too much can still cause your skin to get irritated. In terms of ingredients, you’re going to want to look for charcoal because it can help prevent breakouts by clearing out your pores.




If you suffer from acne breakouts you may find using a face scrub could trigger a reaction you don’t want. That’s because it can tear blemishes and increase sensitivity. Therefore you’re going to want to use a lotion that has the face scrub ingredient salicylic acid instead.





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  • Katherine O'Shea

    Kat is a freelance journalist, photographer, and the founder of Simply Gender Free – a company dedicated to smashing gender stereotypes in kids' products

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