This $5 Face Scrub Has 27,000 Near-Perfect Reviews on Amazon

Updated: Apr. 10, 2024

It just may be the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to get really beautiful skin.

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When it comes to daily skin-care regimens, even the best facial scrubs frequently fall into the murky, should-I-or-shouldn’t-I category. Some people love their ability to deliver a super-clean feeling and erase every trace of dirt and makeup that might be lingering on the skin. Others steer clear of exfoliation entirely, fearing the abrasive granules could irritate and redden a sensitive complexion. (Same goes for the best body scrubs, by the way.) And, depending on the product and what else you’re using, both camps may be right. “Scrubs are a form of mechanical exfoliation that scrape off the top layer of the skin,” says Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, founder of Skin Type Solutions. “Dry skin types and sensitive skin types should avoid scrubs if they are using other forms of exfoliation, like retinoids and hydroxyacids, because over-exfoliation can lead to dehydration, irritation, and inflammation of the skin, and can spark breakouts.”

But if you’re looking for a single product to help slough away old, dead, dry skin flakes, either regularly of occasionally, Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub might just be the holy grail: This cult favorite manages to bridge the divide by diving deep with a gentle touch, since the non-soap formula is safe on even the most sensitive skin. The result? Beautiful, clear, young-looking skin that some Amazon reviewers refer to as “glowing from within.” Here’s what makes it so magical.

It tackles acne like a pro

Some exfoliants can feel overly abrasive and rough when you rub them into your face, which not only irritates sensitive or dry skin but also puts acne inflammation into overdrive. This Aveeno scrub, on the other hand, is packed with a moisture-rich soy extract (more on that in a minute) and gentle microbeads, so it improves tone, texture, and clarity for softer, smoother skin without getting rough and tough—even, say many rave reviews, for serious acne sufferers. That’s a bit of a curve ball, since most acne formulas tackle the issue of breakouts with ultra-drying ingredients designed to sop up excess oils, like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. This soap-free formula, however, reportedly clears up skin (and even some acne discoloration) without turning your face into the Sahara Desert.

Unique ingredients brighten your complexion

Traditional Chinese medicine has relied on the science of soy to reduce blotchiness and discoloration in skin care, and it’s a key ingredient in this glow-getter of a scrub. Hydrating soy extract and naturally derived granules team up to slough off dry, flaky, dead skin and then tackle the tone issue by brightening dark spots caused by acne, melasma, and even the sun. Combined with the granules, it’s essentially a double-down strategy in the quest for radiance. “Our skin cell turnover slows down in time, so a weekly scrub helps exfoliate the top layer of skin (stratum corneum), removing toxins and buildup of dead skin cells. This, in turn, sends a message to the healthy, younger, living cells below to speed up and create that “healthy glow,” explains cosmetic dermatology expert, Denice Schwind, founder of Pūr Skin Clinic in Edmonds, Washington. The natural ingredients in these homemade face masks can also do wonders for skin.

The amazing reviews speak for themselves

With close to 30,000 near-perfect ratings, Amazon devotees are eager to shout the bennies of this $5 miracle worker from the rooftops. Here are a few five-star reviews from some seriously obsessed buyers:

S.A.: “Oddly enough, I never had acne as a teenager, but now, in my 30s, it has been one huge struggle. I’ve tried everything from prescription to drugstore and everything in between with zero luck. A friend recommended this to me after I noticed how bright and clear her skin looked. With no expectations, I grabbed this and started using it every night. By day 4, I was noticing my acne diminishing, my skin looking brighter, and super soft. By day 9, a small brown aging spot I’ve had for months was almost gone. Two weeks in and my skin has NEVER looked better! This is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that doesn’t agitate my sensitive skin and is safe for daily use. If you’re struggling, I highly recommend this.”

Carolyn M. Dever: “My hair professional turned me onto this product, and I love it. I have very fair, dry skin and have an issue with a couple of under-chin spots where stray, thick facial hair follicles occasionally get ingrown. This not only brightens my skin—it takes care of those ingrown-hair problems.”

Nancy Ann: “I finally found something I can use every morning to cleanse my skin without abrasiveness. This works like a charm. It is gentle and leaves your skin clean and feeling like you just had a facial. Tried other brands, but they either didn’t have enough exfoliating beads or they left your skin feeling stingy. This is just perfect.”

Darlene: “I only use this facial wash. I’m 70 years old and have some dark spots that people would see, but because this face wash has a lightener in it, my brown spots are light and cover up with very little makeup.”

Try these smart user tips

While Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub is designed for facial use, some users have also found it to be effective at smoothing “bumpy, dry skin” on the upper arms, and routinely take it into the shower. They also caution that skin might feel a greasy or tacky immediately after using the product, but if you wait a few minutes, this sensation disappears. You might also consider following up with Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer, which has equally rock-star reviews and contains sunscreen to protect your newly blotch-free complexion from future discoloration. That said, if you’re spending any significant time in the sun, make sure to cover up with a proper face sunscreen with a higher SPF.

Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub, $5.09

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrubvia

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Next, read about another skincare product that we love: the Aztec clay mask.


  • Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami-based dermatologist and the founder of Skin Type Solutions
  • Denice Schwind, PA-C, CMLSO, a cosmetic dermatology expert and the founder of Pūr Skin Clinic