How do I choose the right exfoliant?


Daily or weekly regimen… large or fine grains?! Well, if you were confused before, below you’ll find some help in deciphering the exfoliation code!

Here’s the low down…

Exfoliating will always create cleaner, smoother and healthier looking skin. So the  more frequent the practice, the more you are able to help the skin’s rejuvenating process. However, since a wet-shave is also considered an exfoliation, you’ll want to be mindful of not over-doing it.

Special Considerations

Everyone’s skin is different, so one important thing to be aware of is how your face tends to accumulate debris. For example, some men have oily skin which is prone to clogging; whereas, others have dry skin that requires extra moisture throughout the day.  These differences will be a factor in determining how frequently you need to exfoliate. Another consideration is the thickness of your facial hair in relation to the toughness of your skin. Men with tough beards and rougher skin will be able to tolerate a more aggressive exfoliant compared to those with softer beards and softer or more supple skin.

How big should the grains be?

If  you’re one of the men who has a daily shaving routine or more supple skin, you’ll want to stick to the finer grains since the scrubbing strength is not as aggressive. In contrast, the larger grains are reserved for the regimen that incorporates exfoliation fewer times a week, since they will most likely irritate the skin if used daily. These grains are ideal for those with heavy build up and tougher beards.

So there you have it! ~ Daily = finer grains & Weekly = larger grains

Bottom line… both practices equal smoother and younger looking skin, and an even better shave!

Here are a few that I like:

Larger Grains:

  • Face Scrub by Baxter of California
  • 2-in-1 Exfoliant by Menaji
  • Invigorating Face Scrub by Lab Series

Finer Grains:

  • Exfoliating Scrub by Kyoku
  • Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub for Men by Kiehl’s
  • Facial Scrub by Anthony Logistics
  • Purifying Cleanser by Lierac Homme
Craig the Barber (19 Posts)

Craig the Barber is a licensed barber and men's grooming expert, with more than a decade of experience. He is the owner of The Grooming Concierge, and on-site grooming service in the Los Angeles area, where he works with some of Hollywood's hottest men. He is also the editor-in-chief of, a men's grooming blog.

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  1. Kiels makes a men’s facial line that I have grown to love, called “Facial Fuel.” While it’s pricey, I use it sparingly and it lasts. In the morning, it wakes your face up and leaves it tingling. Worth checking out by getting free samples at stores that sell it.

  2. Great point guys! Here are a few that I just added to the article. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

  3. Bhorsoft says:

    Having used both Nivea and Neutrogena for Men, I recall the Neutrogena having smaller grains while the Nivea has larger grains. The instructions on the Nivea say to use only 2 or 3 times a week while the Neutrogena can be used daily. Of course, I may have it bass ackwards…

  4. Agreed. When I saw this I was hoping it would point me towards some products. I want to start using something, but don’t really know what to use.

  5. This is a nice informative article but some examples of products of the two kinds and which to use on the different skin types would be very helpful.

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