The Best Natural Exfoliators: My Full Review

josh rosebrook active enzyme exfoliator

If there is just one thing I would do for my skin, it would be to exfoliate. I mean, besides cleansing my skin, exfoliating is a close second in my skincare routine.  Because I've been taking care of my skin for as long as I can remember, I've also tried a lot of different products. Some I have purchased over and over again and others not so much. And now I want to share the best natural exfoliators I've found with you.

This post was originally published September 19, 2019. This blog post has been updated as of March 2, 2021.

Why Exfoliate?

Whenever I talk to people about their skincare routine, I often find that they aren't exfoliating. They tell me they either "don't have time" or they don't know why they need to or which ones are good to use. Well, I am here to tell you that it really doesn't take much time at all to do and also share with you the best natural exfoliators I've tried.

So why is exfoliating so important for your skin? Here are some reasons you may want to start exfoliating:

  • Helps with Dry Skin: When you exfoliate, you remove and slough off any dead skin which will helps if you have dry skin. So if you find you have dry patches or flaky skin, try exfoliating weekly. By removing the old dead skin cells, you make room for new healthier cells to show.
  • Helps Your Skin Glow: Especially if you have sun spots or hyperpigmentation, exfoliating is important. Exfoliating will help lighten those spots over time, but remember, this happens over time, not after just one use.
  • Smoother Skin: Because exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, your skin will look smoother and more even. Even after just one use, you will often see that your skin looks smoother.
  • Helps Your Other Skincare Products Work Better: Because you are sloughing off that dead skin, your skin is better able to absorb the other products you use. All those expensive oils, serums and creams cannot penetrate your skin if the dead skin is blocking its way!
  • Increased Collagen Production & Reduction in Fine Lines: Long term benefits of exfoliation can help to increase collagen production, which declines as we get older. Exfoliating can also help with reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by removing those extra layers of dead skin cells that are exaggerating those lines in the first place.

The Best Natural Exfoliators I Recommend

For Powders:  

May Lindstrom, The Clean Dirt:

This one exfoliator is probably one of my faves and in my opinion is one of the best natural exfoliators. I've been using it for years and it still gets me every time I use it. The powder formula becomes activated once water is added to it and it becomes mousse like in its texture. I typically just apply it and leave it on for up to one minute and then rinse off. Every time I use it, I see great results. It isn't too harsh, but the result is glowing and smoother looking skin. The price is higher, but the quality and the size of it make it worth it in my opinion. It is my go-to for a reason! Typically, I use it once to twice a week.

My rating: 9.5/10

may lindstrom clean dirt

Province Apothecary, Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator:

This is another powder formula that becomes active when mixed with water. I found this product really messy when trying to mix it up and the results weren't that great to me. I didn't really like the smell of it either, although that is a personal preference of course. Overall, I wouldn't repurchase it and it wouldn't be a product I'd personally recommend.

My rating: 6/10


Josh Rosebrook, Active Enzyme Exfoliator:

This is a newer product for me and one that I have been pretty happy with. Like all Josh Rosebrook products, this one is packed with lots of plant and herbal extracts. I do like this one because I can leave it on for a while, sometimes up to an hour and when I take it off, my skin definitely has a nice glow to it. Afterwards, I love spritzing some of this Hydrating Accelerator on, it is my absolute favourite mist, although it is so much more than a mist (read more about it here), trust me! The only drawback to this exfoliator is the size for the price. I find it steep for the amount of product you get.

My rating: 8/10

Check out Josh Rosebrook's exfoliator at The Detox Market U.S. here

Check out Josh Rosebrook's exfoliator at The Detox Market Canada here

josh rosebrook enzyme exfoliator

Lilfox, Jungle Glow:

I like this product because it can act as a cleanser, exfoliator and mask. It is loaded with ingredients like honey, raw cacao, white clay, maracuja and rosehip oils. The natural enzymes from the honey work to exfoliate and get rid of those dead skin cells while the raw cacao stimulates blood circulation in your skin. This one can be a bit on the sticky side, so I usually find that I can only leave it on for a shorter period of time. The jar is quite large and has lasted me quite a while. Overall I do like it and for the price and size I think it is worth it, especially because it is a multi-purpose product.

My rating: 7.5/10

lilfox jungle glow

Tata Harper, Resurfacing Mask:

I have written about this product before because I love it! I will say, out of the many Tata Harper products I have tried, this one is my favourite and worth the hype. It works like a traditional peel except that it is all natural. And it reminds me of a conventional peel product that I used to buy all the time and loved. The glow you get from it afterwards is great and it really works to detox and clear your pores. I have bought it in the past and would buy it again and recommend it.

My rating: 8.5/10

Check out Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask at The Detox Market U.S. here!

Check out Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask at The Detox Market Canada here!

tata harper exfoliator

Goop, Exfoliating Instant Facial:

  • The price is hefty, but I did like it quite a bit after trying a good size sample of the product.
  • I love that the results are pretty instant, as you only leave it on for a few minutes.
  • My skin looks a lot brighter and clearer after using.

My rating: 8.5/10 (knocking some points because the price is quite high)

Kypris Beauty, Glow Philtre:

I have been a big fan of Kypris Beauty products for years because the whole line is amazing in terms of ingredients, quality and effectiveness. Side note- the antioxidant dew is one of my fave products of all time and I have purchased it a bunch of times and will continue to do so.

This exfoliator leaves your skin glowing and very smooth after using. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to get their skin glow-y, smooth and bright. It is definitely one of the best natural exfoliators I have tried.

My rating: 9/10

Check out Kypris Glow Philtre at The Detox Market U.S. here!

Check out Kypris Glow Philtre at The Detox Market Canada here!

Odacité, Jojoba Beads Exfoliant:

I find this exfoliator the most mild of them all, but it still works fairly well. It was one of the first all natural exfoliators I used and although I liked it, I personally think there are more effective products out there. Although, if you have very sensitive skin or dry skin, this may be the right product for you.

My rating: 7.5/10

best natural exfoliators

That wraps up my review about the best natural exfoliators that I have tried. I wanted to share a rating on each product so you can have a better understanding of which products I really like.

Working at The Detox Market in the past afforded me a lot of opportunity to get to know the brands and the products. I learned so much from working there. I have purchased many products over the years, with some being my ride-or-die repurchases. Those are the ones I am so passionate about.

If you make a purchase from The Detox Market, you can shop in the U.S. or shop in Canada and use my code HOLISTICFOODIE10 to save 10% off your order.

Note: This code DOES NOT apply to sale section, product bundles such as the latest Detox Your Beauty Box, gift cards and all May Lindstrom, Kypris Beauty and Vintner’s Daughter products.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

I'd love to hear from you, what has been the best natural exfoliator you've tried?

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Megan Atkinson
June 2, 2023
May 21, 2023
This is the one! I don’t know how many of these I’ve tried, but this one nailed it! Used dried dill and Kewpie Mayo and it was so good. I found you at last!
April 7, 2023
SO YUMMY!!! I've finally made a good baked oats with following your recipe :'). I didn't add the maple syrup or banana, instead a banana flavoured GoGoSqueeze lol! I believe adding the egg is the game changer, thank you for sharing!
March 27, 2023
Hi! That would be psyllium husk powder.
March 13, 2023
Psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder?
February 28, 2023
Thank you so much for this article. I will be 65 on March 4th and have have a struggled with my weight since age 8, my parents divorce. I have had disordered eating, anorexia, & BDD just to name a few. I have gained 45pounds in 2 years after leaving a toxic marriage of 30 Years. I am also embarking on a journey of self exploration & I am enough and not let the scales define my day or life.
February 15, 2023
This is a game changer! I always throw my tofu in the freezer when I buy it… but rarely remember to thaw it on time. And have always soaked it in hot water the sink, it takes f o r e v e r. Giving this a try right now - thank you!
Justine Louise
January 24, 2023
These turned out so good! I am excited to have quick and easy breakfasts that are not toast and bagels. Thanks for such a great recipe!
January 13, 2023
Hi Venetia! LOL, they definitely flatten a bit on the bottom as they cook, but that's kinda part of the charm I suppose haha
January 13, 2023
How do you keep the ball shape? Mine turned out like turkey igloos !!
January 8, 2023
Hi Michele. You add it in step #2 just to season the chicken a little.
Michele Baptiste
January 8, 2023
At what point did you add the kosher salt?
January 7, 2023
I love these recipes, cant wait to start cooking! Thank you for sharing!
January 7, 2023
wow, these pancakes look so delicious and yummy. I just love this recipe. thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us.<a href="">jukitchen</a>
December 29, 2022
I read an article on software hacking and when I came across some positive testimonies regarding the service of this software genius who's contact number is through WhatsApp + 1 (4 8 4) 5 4 0 - 0 7 8 5, I applied for the service of the tech genius and he delivered positively by gaining me a complete remote access to my husband's phone activities and expose all he has been doing behind my back., I went through all his secret phone activities(Including nude pix and dating sites)he was actually surprised at my confirmation and confrontation, but before then I had made up my mind to end it all with chronic cheat.
December 23, 2022
Thank you for this recipe. I modified it a bit because I wanted to have it for breakfast. I only used 1 1/2 tsp of sugar and used oat flour in place of AP flour. I omitted the chocolate chips and topped with an all fruit jam after it finished cooking. Delicious and nutritious. Love it!
Lisa kinnaird
December 10, 2022
Am going to make your Thai Meatballs in Red Curry Sauce!!
Gary And Debbie Houck
November 30, 2022
Great stuff!
November 19, 2022
I replaced the chorizo with the impossible sausage, and it was still delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
November 14, 2022
Thank you so much for sharing Jeanette! Aren't easy meals that look fancy the best ;)
November 14, 2022
Thanks Alexandra! My husband loves it too and he loves his cheese lol.
November 14, 2022
Thanks so much for sharing Josh! It's such a great weeknight meal. Enjoy it tonight :)
November 14, 2022
This recipe slays... since you've posted, I've made variations on it at least four times. Going to make it again for dinner tonight.
Alexandra bull
November 10, 2022
Made this recipe for my boyfriend and I on Halloween! It is the perfect fall dish. It is easy to make vegan, nut & gluten free if you use gluten free pasta and do the sunflower seed substitute. My non-vegan boyfriend loved it so much they have asked me to make it again! It is so creamy & has the perfect crunch with the sage and pumpkin seeds.
November 2, 2022
Very easy, directions are clear, like recommended product names. Making this for dinner. Pre-dinner tasting fantastic flavours♥️♥️
September 21, 2022
Hi Marnie! You could use about 3 to 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.
September 21, 2022
Hi, how much nutritional yeast would you suggest instead of cheese?
September 21, 2022
Absolutely LOVE this recipe - it's delicious (especially for those that like a hint of spice)!! My finance and I are obsessed and it's become part of our weeknight recipe rotation. It has a limited number of ingredients, it's quick to make/cook, but despite all of that - looks and tastes like much more time was spent! Thanks for the great recipe Jaclyn!
September 3, 2022
Do these burgers taste at all like beef? Thank you.
September 1, 2022
Just tried your recipe. Holly Hanna..... was that good! I know how to cook but you must try this one. I'm new to the this way of cooking but now I'm a believer. Keep them coming and I'll be trying them. Thanks ! G
August 2, 2022
This was delicious!!! It takes some prep time but each portion is packed with flavour! Will definitely make again ❤️
July 31, 2022
I made this yesterday and HOLY MOLY it hit the spot!!! It’s been so hot and muggy out here, so I was craving something light, cool, and filling. This recipe did not disappoint. The flavor of the peanut sauce was delicious. It had been a while since I prepared something with such color and flavor, which made eating it that much better. I will definitely make this again and try your other recipes too!! 😍🙏🏻❤️
July 25, 2022
Hi Henrik! Thanks for letting me know you made them. Depending on the size of your food processor, it can be a lot to pulse all at once, so maybe working in batches is better. I'm glad you liked them and they firmed up for you :) Enjoy the rest!
henrik bechmann
July 25, 2022
Yep, they firmed up nicely. I'm freezing four, and looking forward to having the other four, dressed with sauerkraut, pickles, mustard, vegan mayo, onions, banana chiles, and maybe even ketchup. Yum!
henrik bechmann
July 25, 2022
Well I ended up baking them for 23 minutes (@400F). They're delicious! A bit soft, but I'm hoping they'll firm up when they cool. Texture is good too. Thanks for this!
henrik bechmann
July 24, 2022
Seems like a good and tasty recipe. But I had to add a generous half cup of water to get any kind of movement in the food processor. I substituted flax seeds for hemp (what I had). The mixture was a bit loose because of the water, but still formed nicely into patties. Baking for 15 min at 400F. Looking forward to them!
July 23, 2022
Hi Roxanne! So for the meatballs photos with feta, I just used regular olive oil. But for the one photo with the red looking oil, that was olive oil mixed with fried green onions and Aleppo pepper. I have that recipe in full on my Instagram account - if you head over there, you'll see it -
July 21, 2022
Hi! The topping on your whipped feta looked delicious. It appeared to be more than olive oil. Or maybe an infused olive oil? Do you mind sharing that recipe? I can’t wait to make this recipe. Appreciate the tip on room temp feta.
July 19, 2022
Make these now! Once you buy your ingredients, this is the easiest recipe to's so hands off! I started the beef in the instant pot an hour before we wanted to eat and prepped the toppings while all of that was cooking. I used stewing beef and a home-made taco seasoning. I didn't have any beef broth so I used half of a bouillon cube - worked just fine! The enchilada sauce was store bought (Frontera brand) and it was delicious. Highly recommend the Monteray jack cheese - I used some Violife mozzarella that I happened to have at home but I can see how the sharp taste would add to the overall flavour.
July 18, 2022
Hi Carolyn! I'm so glad you are loving my recipes, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I don't provide nutritional information as it doesn't align with my brand or how I personally choose to live my life, having had a disordered relationship to food in the past. I hope you understand :)
July 13, 2022
I love your recipes and have tried them! What would be GREAT is if you could include the nutritional value with calories. It would be beneficial to those of us trying to lose weight. Thank you, Carolyn
July 11, 2022
Just made this for my family today. I can’t have gluten or dairy but they can and this got a RESOUNDING stamp of approval! Love the simple ingredients and it tasted fabulous! Thanks for such nourishing recipes ❤️ 😊
July 3, 2022
Thanks for this! I came across this recipe very late in life, at a family meal. I liked it better than my mother's potato salad of my childhood, and better than my sister's which came from her in-laws. DH likes it very much. Win, win, win! Tip: if you don't want to steam up your summer kitchen nor fight the mosquitoes for the grill, pressure cook the potatoes!
May 12, 2022
I am on a short vacation and came across this recipe, looking forward in making this. It looks really good. Can’t wait.
Whitney Mullenax
April 22, 2022
I have these cookies in the oven right now (2nd time making them in a few weeks). They are perfection and will be a great gift for some coworkers tomorrow. I made the recipe as is, great texture! I saved some for me too, don't worry ;)
Olivia Garcia
April 15, 2022
I love the ingredients in these recipes… Can’t wait to start them all!!
April 14, 2022
Don’t sleep on this wing recipe. It is soooo good! I can see this being a staple for game days, casual dinners or honestly…any day. Such a crowd pleaser as well. Oh and please don’t skip the dip. It’s unreal stuff! I was grabbing random things in my kitchen to eat it with once the wings were done.
Christa Campbell
March 28, 2022
The simplest recipe to make a delicious desert! I left out the cacao and just made vanilla coconut flavor and it was heavenly. I plan to add different flavors in the future; cacao with Orange or raspberry essence, vanilla salted, caramel flour de sel- the options are endless. Glad to find a keto friendly treat that can be made easily at home.
March 24, 2022
When do you add the mushrooms back in the pot?
February 13, 2022
These were good! I've been curious to try making a miso dessert for a little while now, but wanted it to be grain free. I've found that almond flour based chocolate chip cookies always have some kind of nut butter, and since I just use peanut butter, it's like a PB cookie. The miso did a great job replacing nut butter and achieved a great, chewy consistency! It's definitely strong, although I'm sure white miso would have been more mild. I used dashi miso, which in hindsight sounds pretty gross.. the cookies were not at all fishy tasting, but just bold and kind of salty/savory. I think next time I'll try a little less miso. I have a tendency to use less sugar than a recipe calls for, but I definitely needed it in this one to balance the miso flavor. I just used regular butter too, not ghee.
Susan Renee Hennings
January 12, 2022
Yes, I like it a lot. Lentils are nutritious and inexpensive.
January 2, 2022
I’m just learning about adaptogens and trying to incorporate them into my “healthy arsenal”. Thanks for the info!
December 27, 2021
This is the first cinnamon roll recipe i've actually gotten to work! I let the dough rest in the fridge for 4-5 hours and then rolled and filled it, then let it rest in the fridge over night and it worked great for an early morning bake. I looked through the whole recipe and you never mention what temperature to bake at. It just says "place in your preheated oven to bake" I baked at 350. Also it would be really nice if the caramel sauce recipe was included here. All in all totally delicious, worth the effort, and I will be making this again.