The Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

The Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

In our commitment to help you find products that actually deliver great results, we’re presenting this list of the best exfoliators for dry skin after more than 15 hours of going through 21 different products based on effectiveness, compatibility with dry skin and value.

Doctor's Choice

The Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

BY WISHTREND Mandelic acid 5% Skin prep water

Other Products

The Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

Eau Thermale Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream

Other Products

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

For a cruelty-free and vegan exfoliator for dry skin, Peter Lamas Naturals Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub is a good product to consider. It has pumpkin enzymes, pumpkin oil and vitamin E to exfoliate and condition your skin.

St. Ives Nourished and Smooth Scrub and Mask is loaded with oatmeal which is really nice for dry skin. It can exfoliate dead skin cells and provide nourishment depending on how you use it.

Containing vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5, Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub contains rice granules to eliminate your dry patches and dead skin cells. It isn't harsh on the skin, considering that it has no harsh chemicals.

For a spa-like experience, Asutra Exfoliating Body Scrub is a good product to add to your skin care routine. It has essential oils to hydrate your dry skin while its dead sea salts provide gentle yet effective exfoliation.

Advanced Clinicals Alpha Hydroxy Acid Cream comes in a big 16-oz jar. Instead of being a scrub or containing granules, this product is in cream form.

It's moisturizing and, at the same time, great in exfoliating and reviving the skin. It can, however, make you more sensitive to the sun.

2017’s Review of The Best Exfoliators for Dry Skin





Editor’s Rating


Peter Lamas

4 fl oz



St. Ives

6 oz




5 oz




12 oz



Advanced Clinicals

16 oz


#1- Peter Lamas Naturals Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub

 Peter Lamas

If you’ve been looking for an exfoliator that can give life back to your dry skin, Peter Lamas Naturals Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub is something you should definitely consider. It is loaded with ingredients your skin will love.

For one, it has pumpkin enzymes which have the ability to penetrate deep into your pores to cleanse out dirt and accumulated dead skin cells. It also has apricot grains to remove the dry patches on the surface of your skin.

To hydrate your skin, this exfoliator also has vitamin E as well as pumpkin oil.

Another impressive thing about this product, aside from how well it works, is that it’s vegan and cruelty-free.

The consistency of the exfoliator is gel-like. It’s easy to work on the skin, without causing abrasion or damage.

After rinsing, you’ll feel smoother and more radiant looking.

What We Like:

  • Provides gentle yet effective exfoliation
  • Has skin conditioning vitamin E
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Has no sulfates and parabens

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pricey
  • Has fragrance from essential oils

#2- St. Ives Nourished and Smooth Scrub and Mask

St. Ives

When you have dry skin, there are two things you have to constanty deal with: flaking and dull skin. St. Ives Nourished and Smooth Scrub and Mask is a multipurpose product that can actually address those two things.

As a scrub, it can buff away dull and dead skin cells. If used as a mask, it can nourish dry skin.

And since you are only going to pay for one product and considering its price, I think it’s a really good deal.

What makes this exfoliator great for dry skin is that it’s dermatologically tested to be hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and free from sulfates and parabens. Apart from that, it’s also packed with oatmeal.

In case you haven’t heard, oatmeal offers a handful of benefits to dry skin. It can combat itch, soothe irritation and offers water-holding functions and protective properties.

The product is recommended to be safely used 3 to 4 times a week.

But, before you mark your calendar, it’s a good idea to assess your skin first. Start off with once a week and see how your skin will react.

The product has a creamy texture and comes with a subtle oatmeal scent.

What We Like:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Contains oatmeal
  • 2-in-1 product
  • Cheap

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit tricky to use as a mask
  • Doesn’t easily rinse off

#3- Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub


Containing rice granules, Simple Facial Scrub is formulated to gently buff away dry, dead skin cells without harming your skin. It’s formulated with vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5 to improve your skin’s texture and condition.

Apart from the skin-loving ingredients, the product doesn’t have any harsh chemicals and components that can compromise your skin. Even its water has undergone a multi-step purification process to ensure the quality of the product.

After use, you’ll feel your skin more alive and refreshed, without the tightness. It isn’t too abrasive despite the granules.

In fact, it’s gentle to use on the skin and easy to rinse off. Although it is marketed to be fragrance-free, it still does have a distinct scent.

The product comes in a squeeze tube bottle that’s really not that transparent. You may have a hard time seeing how much product is left inside.

The good news is that since it’s a squeeze tube, you have control over how much product you dispense.

This is the best pore minimizer for oily skin because it firms, tightens, and strengthens skin. With tight skin, you can say goodbye to large pores as there is no way excess oil can be trapped.

What We Like:

  • Free from harsh chemicals
  • Has vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5
  • Granules aren’t too abrasive
  • Cheap

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not enough scrubbing beads
  • Consistency is watery for a scrub

#4- Asutra Exfoliating Body Scrub


If you are looking for a whole body exfoliator, you can try Asutra Exfoliating Body Scrub. It promises to provide effective exfoliation while nourishing your skin.

And the best part about it is that it’s all natural and organic. No chemicals, preservatives and harmful ingredients mean your skin is safe from irritation and other negative reactions.

Its dead sea salts are able to get rid of the flaking on your skin as well as the dirt and other impurities clogging your pores. Add to that is the aromatherapy benefits of its lavender and bergamot oil.

The scrub will leave your skin soft and smooth. It will give you with a spa-like experience at home.

What We Like:

  • Free from synthetic and harmful ingredients
  • Makes skin instantly smooth
  • Scent is relaxing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fragrance might not be for everyone

#5- Advanced Clinicals Alpha Hydroxy Acid Cream

 Advanced Clinicals

Promising to give your dry skin a more refreshed looked, Advanced Clinicals Alpha Hydroxy Acid Cream comes in a big 16 oz jar. It’s infused with Green Tea, Aloe Vera and Chamomile to exfoliate and increase the rate of your skin’s turnover rate.

In case you are wondering, this product isn’t like the other ones on the list. Instead of being a scrub, it’s actually an exfoliating lotion.

It’s extra emolient and penetrates deep into your skin. It’s a good product to keep flaking at bay.

Keep in mind that applying the cream can increase your sensitivity to the sun’s harmful rays. Be sure to wear your sunscreen if you’ll be heading out.

One downside of this exfoliator is that it isn’t really clear about how much AHA it contains.

What We Like:

  • Moisturizing but not greasy
  • Comes in a cream form
  • Contains a generous amount of product

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can increase photosensitivity
  • Isn’t clear about AHA percentage

Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin


Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

Top-Rated Exfoliator for Dry Skin 2017

Peter Lamas
St. Ives


Peter Lamas

St. Ives




Polishes and invigorates skin

Softens skin, smoothens away dry skin

Lifts dry, dead skin cells without harming your skin

Provides gentle and healing exfoliation

Key ingredients

Pumpkin enzymes, apricot grains, aloe vera and vitamin E


Pro-vitamin B5 and E

Sweet almond, jojoba and argan oils






Get Started

Do You Really Need To Exfoliate Dry Skin?

Of course, yes.

Dry skin has more dead skin cells that tends to accumulate on the surface of your skin. They aren’t only attractive to look at, but they can also be extremely uncomfortable.

Apart from that, getting rid of your dead skin cells also allows you to create a more optimum surface. This means that you skin will be able to absorb better the creams and moisturizers you apply on it.

But, before you go straight into exfoliating, you should keep in mind that too much exfoliation can also cause a lot of negative effects. It will make your skin drier and irritated.

Ideally, you should exfoliate once or twice a week using a product that isn’t too harsh or abrasive. Exfoliators don’t always have to mean scrubs, loofahs and brushes.

You can also exfoliate using toners and creams, too.

Technically, it’s not really the exfoliating process that dry the skin out. It’s how you prep the skin and soothe it after.

Make sure to not miss applying your moisturizer and lotion as these products can hep bring back your skin’s natural hydration and protection.

How To Soothe Overexfoliated Skin

When you start feeling your skin burning and looking raw, it’s probably high time you stop whatever exfoliating method you are using- no matter how safe you think it is.

Whether it’s a brush, a chemical peel or a pumice stone, your skin should never feel pain, see redness or witness bleeding during exfoliation. These are signs that you’ve done something terrible to your skin.

Wait until the affected areas have healed properly before exfolitating them again. If you continue to irritate an already damaged skin, you’ll end up with marks and scars and hyperpigmentation issues.

Refrain from applying creams, especially those that contain fragrance and alcohol, to the areas as they are more sensitive than the rest of your skin. Face masks, no matter how gentle and soothing they cliam to be, should also be avoided.

Instead, choose a good nourishing oil, like shea butter, to aid in healing. Oils are best applied when the skin is always damp to seal in moisture.


A bit of exfoliation here and there couldn’t hurt dry skin. But, doing it excessively and with the wrong products can put your vulnerable skin in a lot of serious trouble.

For this roundup, we are recommending Peter Lamas Naturals Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub as the best exfoliator for dry skin. Its combination of enzymes, grains and oils make it gentle yet highly effective in removing dead skin cells while nourishing the skin.

Plus, it’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

 Recommendation by Doctor

The Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

Product Recommendation

Exfoliants are used to help the shedding or removal  of the dead skin on the top-most layer of the skin. It aids in lightening unwanted dark spots.  Even though exfoliation improves the appearance of the skin, caution should be practiced. Too much heavy exfoliation can cause further dryness and irritation.   For dry or sensitive (acne-prone) skin, mild chemical exfoliation is preferred than mechanical exfoliation.
One product that can be used as a gentle chemical exfoliator is BY WISHTREND Mandelic acid 5% Skin prep water. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that can exfoliate the face gently, hence, ideal for individuals with dry or even sensitive skin.  It contains vitamin C, an antioxidant, and licorice, a lightening agent. It can improve wrinkle appearance, smoothen skin texture and lighten pigmentation. It is ethanol-, paraben-, and frangrance-free.

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Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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