Face Scrub for Acne

by Ana | Last Updated: March 27, 2024

A fine balance of moisturizing and exfoliation, oil control and cell renewal—this is what acne prevention calls for. Also, washing your face two times a day (day and night) is a primary activity in any skincare routine, if it is to solve acne or other skin problems. Either way, all will help clear away bacteria, sebum and debris that clog your pores, and cause your skin to develop pimples or a look dull.

There are many face scrubs for acne that you can use. But really, how do you know which one to buy and use? What is the best face scrub for acne? There are those that really prevent acne, fight pimples and lessen wrinkles and fine lines. Others are solely for cleansing. That is why if you are battling an acne breakout, you need to choose products based on the additives and active ingredients in them.

To start, here are some ingredients that are most likely found in face scrubs and other personal care products. Always research first when trying a new product, and check the label. Meeting your needs is what a product should do for you so educate yourself about its ingredients.

Salicylic acid

This is a beta-hydroxyl acid that is geared toward skin that is acne prone. It is typically found in 2 percent concentrations, dissolving dirt and sebum build up, plus fighting whiteheads and blackheads. A note to remember though, this active ingredient may cause extreme dryness to your skin when overused and thus, you must apply a good moisturizer after using.

Glycolic acid

Derived from fruits, this alpha-hydroxyl helps keep your skin looking fresh and even toned. It also helps make skin cells turnover faster by removing dead cells. In addition, it prevents  pimples and clogged pores. This kind of acid additionally stimulates elastin and collagen production that is very effective as an anti-aging treatment.


It is also known by other names such as glyoxyldiureide and 5-ureidohydantoin. It is in concentrations from .5 percent to 2 percent and is found in face washes and other products as permitted by FDA. This chemical compound is a conditioner as well as a skin protectant that relieves dryness, flakiness and irritation.


Facial cleansers use this sugar alcohol that can also be found in other personal care products. It can sometimes be labeled as glycerol, and its main purpose is to act as a humectant and lubricant to hydrate your skin and improve smoothness. It relieves irritation and dryness as well, just like allantoin, which is important in preventing acne.

Sodium laureth (lauryl) sulfate

This is a common ingredient which is an additive that acts like soap. It is both a surfactant and detergent that is used in shampoos and washes, in order to make foam or bubbles. But even if it is considered a skin softener and cleanser, it is said to have potential carcinogenic properties. Companies and organizations have scrutinized this additive and declared it as an irritant and a carcinogen. Perhaps you would want to keep this out of your skin-care routine.


Products containing 5 percent of this ingredient are labeled as safe to use by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. This is an additive that is also a surfactant and emulsifier that is added to products in order to balance acidity levels. It also enables the blending of oil-soluble and water-soluble ingredients.

Propylene glycol

A lot of face washes and acne cleansers use this organic alcohol to promote hydration and seal moisture into your skin. It can be found in up to 50 percent concentrations.


It pays to know what ingredients are found in your face scrub to save yourself time from using a product that does not do anything for your acne, as well as save yourself from spending money on something that will damage your skin.