Below are four of the best scrubs/exfoliants that I have tried to date:
1. Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Cream (formerly Microdermabrasion in a Jar) ($75 1.7oz)
2. Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion ($40 2.5oz)
I was told that a good alternative to the Dr Brandt product is the Kiehl's Epidermal Retexturing Microderm cream. Its a similar consistency to the Dr Brandt, but I dont think the crystals are as fine, however it's just as effective.
3. Philosophy Microdelivery Peel ($65 for 2oz each of the peel and the crystals)
4. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Gentle Exfoliating Treatment ($65 2 oz)
When I went to Space NK to purchase the By Terry concealer, I received a bunch of samples with my purchase (the sales associate was really generous with the samples), one of which was the ExfoliKate Gentle. The first time I applied it, I LOVED it. This is also a combination exfoliant, its sort of a gel type consistency which contains exoliating beads (not fine beads) but the magic is in the lactic acid, vitamin A, and the fruit enzymes. What I do is wash my face with my usual cleanser, then I pat my face dry and apply a thin layer to my face. I leave it on for about 2 minutes and then I take a tiny bit of water and rub the exfoliating beads around my face and wash off. I tried a sample of the regular ExfoliKate, but since I have sensitive skin, my face felt like it was burning. I think if you can tolerate the regular ExfoliKate it probably does more of an exfoliating job, but I find that the Gentle version is really good (and gets rid of blackheads!). This is what I am currently using (I also switch between this and the Kiehl's, I like having a physical exfoliant too). I bought ExfoliKate Gentle at Spalook.com, they're having a 20% off promotional sale right now (and theres no sales tax to NYC).
I really feel that exfoliation is an important step in the skincare process. I think that it helps maintain clear skin as it removes dead skin cells, and I think the skin just looks healthier and more glowy. Also makeup applies and looks better when the skin is "fresh". Since I have combination/oily skin I feel that I can tolerate more frequent treatments, but for someone with dry skin or normal skin, maybe once a week or twice max would be enough.
Hope this was helpful!