The Best Vegan Exfoliator for 2024 - Keep Your Skin Bright and Beautiful

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Freshening up your skin with a good exfoliator can help maintain a healthier, glowing look. There is a wide variety of vegan exfoliators out there which means that you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Best vegan exfoliator picks

When it comes to exfoliating, everyone is looking for something a little different. We’re going to look at various vegan exfoliators covering a wide range of needs. If you need a deep clean, we’ve got something for you. We can also help you out if you are looking for a softer daily face scrub. And, we’ve got some vegan exfoliators that are perfect for dry to oily skin types. Let’s take a look at some of the best vegan options now.

Taking a more detailed look into these vegan exfoliators

THRIVE Natural Care Face Scrub for Men & Women

1. THRIVE Natural Care Face Scrub for Men & Women


This vegan scrub uses only natural ingredients. It can take your skin to the next level with its antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. It’s great at combating infections and removing toxins from the skin. Additionally, it can be used after shaving. The only downside is that it does have a strong fragrance.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliating Powder

2. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliating Powder


Using both chemical and physical exfoliants, this rice-based powder cleanser has a textured feel when first applied. It’s not for everyone, it is a bit messy to apply, but it does dissolve quickly when applied to wet skin. It uses salicylic acid to unblock pores and papaya enzymes to exfoliate and combat acne. This is the perfect option for sensitive skin.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

3. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant


This is a liquid exfoliant that is a strong choice for those trying to get rid of blackheads or reduce pores. It’s very easy to apply and makes the skin feel very smooth and clear after it’s been used. However, it’s best used with a follow-up exfoliator. It’s good for all skin types, though it’s not quite as effective for dry skin. Be aware that it can cause irritation around the eyes.

The Body Shop Avocado Vegan Body Scrub

4. The Body Shop Avocado Vegan Body Scrub


This gentle body scrub buffs the body so that it becomes soft and smooth. It uses sustainable Hass avocado oil to ensure dead skin is removed and dry skin is left softer. The body scrub comes in recyclable packaging too. Furthermore, it’s great for dry skin and is fully certified by the Vegan Society.

Ouai St. Barts Cleansing Scalp & Body Sugar Scrub

5. Ouai St. Barts Cleansing Scalp & Body Sugar Scrub


This is a truly effective physical exfoliation scrub. Made from sugar crystals, it works gently, polishing the scalp and skin. It eliminates build-up and offers instant skin smoothing for dry skin. Coconut oil in the scrub means that moisture is added to aid dry skin.

Malin + Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub

6. Malin + Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub


Good for use 2 to 3 times a week, this body scrub not only soothes and exfoliates, but also stimulates the skin. It’s easy to apply and rinses off easily. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals but relies on an amino acid hydration technology as well as exfoliating with pumice and bamboo.

Cocokind Scrubbing Clay

7. Cocokind Scrubbing Clay


Made of an unusual set of ingredients, this scrubbing clay uses upcycled coffee grounds which gently polish and smooth the skin. It also contains prebiotic chicory root to help clarify the skin. And, there is red clay for absorbing the impurities and supporting the skin’s microbiome. When finished, it’s easy to rinse off. However, it has a strong smell of coffee.

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub

8. Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub


An excellent option if you want to get rid of blemishes, scars, stretch marks and cellulite. This 100% natural scrub contains antioxidant oils, Vitamin E and coffee. It’s great for keeping skin supple and smooth. However, it does contain nuts.

Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub

9. Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub


Using both chemical and physical exfoliants, this scrub is adept at getting rid of any dead skin. The scrub contains lactic and glycolic acid which helps to dissolve rough skin. Then, there is fine sugar and lemon peel which helps to polish any remaining skin for a smooth, shining look. It’s best used twice a week and left on for two minutes at most.

Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub

10. Brickell Men’s Renewing Face Scrub


This vegan exfoliator is great for getting rid of dead skin and excess oil. It uses natural vitamins and hydrators including avocado butter and green tea. It’s a great option for applying before a shave. Additionally, it really helps against fine lines. However, it’s a small bottle and runs out quickly.

What does exfoliation do?

Exfoliating is the process of scrubbing or rubbing off dead skin cells. These cells sit on the surface of the skin and can build up. When they do, it can result in dry, rough or dull skin. If that happens, you run the risk of getting blocked pores.

With regular exfoliation, you remove these dead cells regularly. This means that there is a quick turnover and the new skin is constantly being exposed.

Exfoliating comes with even more benefits. Regular use means an improved skin tone, smoothing and softening as well as brightening. It can even improve the amount of absorption from other products.

But, you can go too far. Over-exfoliating can result in sensitivity and irritation of the skin. As such, finding the right exfoliator for your skin type and needs is a must.

What to look for in a vegan exfoliator

There are two types of exfoliators — chemical and physical. Chemicals penetrate the skin better and aren’t abrasive, while a physical rub on the skin’s surface removes the dead cells. As such, chemical exfoliators are generally better.

When looking at vegan chemical exfoliators, take a look at glycolic and lactic acid ingredients for dry or older skin. These can renew and hydrate the skin.

Oily skin, or skin prone to build-up and acne is better off with salicylic acid which is good at reducing pores, blackheads and blemishes.

For sensitive skin, it’s important to consider whether an exfoliator is needed at all. If it is, then look for gentler PHA acids to reduce the breaking of the skin’s barrier.

Is lactic acid vegan?

Yes, lactic acid is typically vegan. It can be extracted from milk but also occurs when plants ferment. Typically, in beauty products, the lactic acid used is chemically synthesized to make it more stable. Some brands will even use lactic acid from plants such as beets, corn sugars or sugarcane.

However, it is a good idea to get used to checking the ingredients thoroughly. For instance, galactose and lactobionic acid can come from milk. To ensure you’re going vegan, make sure you pick a product with a vegan seal of approval.

How do I choose the right vegan face scrub?

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a vegan face scrub. First, you need to consider your skin type — is it oily, dry or normal? Then, you need to consider how often you intend to use it. Finally, you should determine whether you want a softer approach with a chemical exfoliant or a more abrasive one with a physical exfoliator.

Where to buy vegan exfoliators?

There are a number of places you can buy vegan exfoliators. These days, they’re becoming much more accessible. This means that heading to your local supermarket can result in an array of vegan exfoliators being available. Simply check out your local store and see which vegan brand you want to use.


If you want bright, glowing healthy skin, then adding a vegan exfoliator to your skincare routine is a must. Scrubbing away the dead skin renews and refreshes it. However, make sure that you’re using an appropriate exfoliator for your skin type. Take a look at our top vegan exfoliator scrubs so that you get that perfect glow without any irritation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The best natural exfoliators include coffee grounds, baking soda, sea salt and ground oatmeal.

Gel-type exfoliators are used and these tend to be natural, harsh-free ingredients for their skin such as green tea, bamboo extract and honey.

One option is to mix sugar with coffee grounds and olive oil.

Sugar scrubs are gentler on the skin, but salt is good for skin refreshing.

Before shaving as this helps to raise the hair follicles.

There are many vegan body scrubs including OSEA, Raw Sugar, Lush and Pacifica.

No, while Dove does have some vegan products in that they do not use animal products or by-products, the company as a whole is not vegan. This is because the parent company still tests on animals and is not cruelty-free.

Yes, the Shea sugar scrub from Lush is vegan.

Yes, shea butter is a plant-based fat, so it's completely vegan.

While it doesn't test on animals and is therefore cruelty-free, it's not vegan as there are some animal-derived ingredients in its products.


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