5 Best Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads Alternatives 2024

Exfoliating your skin is an important part of any skincare routine. It removes dead skin cells, evens out skin texture, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, unclogs pores, and allows skincare products to better penetrate the skin. One popular at-home exfoliation method is using microdermabrasion pads, like the popular Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads. These convenient, single-use pads are pre-soaked in a crystal microdermabrasion solution to smooth and refresh the skin.

While Neutrogena pads are a fan favorite for at-home exfoliation, some people find the formula too harsh or irritating for their skin. Others simply want to explore different options when their Neutrogena pads run out. If you’re looking for alternatives to Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads, there are plenty of comparable products that also get the job done. We’ve rounded up the top 5 picks:

Here is the list of Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads

1. DermaDoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Body Scrub with Chemical and Physical Exfoliation

DermaDoctor KP Duty scrub is formulated with both physical and chemical exfoliants, including glycolic acid and argan shell powder, to thoroughly smooth rough, bumpy skin. This dermatologist-developed formula is gentle enough for daily use on the body and uses natural ingredients like vitamin E, green tea extract, and chamomile to soothe and condition. The dual-action scrub smooths and retexturizes without irritation. It can be used as a substitute for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads to exfoliate and renew skin texture from head to toe.

Key features:

  • Physical and chemical exfoliants
  • Soothes with natural ingredients
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin

2. Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

This liquid leave-on exfoliant contains salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), to penetrate pores and exfoliate inside the pore as well as on the surface of skin. The unique fluid texture allows it to exfoliate without scrubbing or abrasion, making it gentle enough for daily use. With continued use over time, the formula helps refine pores, even out skin texture, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The added antioxidant green tea extract soothes inflammation. This treatment solution is an excellent non-abrasive alternative to Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads for smoother, brighter, and more even skin tone.

Key features:

  • 2% BHA (salicylic acid) formula
  • Exfoliates inside pores
  • Antioxidant green tea extract
  • Lightweight fluid texture

3. TreeActiv Four in One Acne Treatment Pads

These medicated acne treatment pads harness the power of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol along with natural ingredients like witch hazel, lemon oil, and tea tree oil. Each pad goes on like a toner but treats four underlying causes of acne: excess oil, dead skin cell buildup, bacteria, and clogged pores. The combination of chemical exfoliants clears congestion and prevents new breakouts by keeping pores clear. The pads also feature calming botanicals to soothe inflammation. Unlike the Neutrogena pads which solely exfoliate, these treatment pads fight acne and refresh skin in one simple swipe.

Key features:

  • Salicylic acid, glycolic acid + retinol
  • Natural botanicals like witch hazel
  • Cleans pores and prevents acne
  • Alcohol-free toner-like application

4. DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pads

Looking for brighter, smoother skin without harsh scrubbing? These peel pads harness 20% vitamin C from kakadu plum – one of the world’s highest natural sources of vitamin C. The concentrated formula exfoliates while also protecting skin from environmental damage. Vitamin E and ferulic acid help stabilize the vitamin C to make it more bioavailable. Acai extract evens skin tone while natural exfoliants like lactic, glycolic and salicylic acid lift dead cells. The pads refresh dull skin with a potent dose of antioxidant vitamin C. Since vitamin C brightens while gentle AHA acids exfoliate, these pads work well as a non-abrasive swap for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads.

Key features: 

  • 20% vitamin C
  • Lactic, glycolic, salicylic acids
  • Brightens and smooths
  • Antioxidant protection

5. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Rice Bran Powder

This unique powder-to-paste formula transforms into an activating foam when water is added. Salicylic acid, papain (from papaya), and rice-based microspherical beads create the exfoliating action to lift away dullness and smooth uneven texture. The biodegradable microbeads are extra gentle to avoid irritation, making it safe for all skin types. Simply activate with water and the powder transforms into a luxurious foam for a gentle but thorough exfoliation treatment without abrasion.

Key features:

  • Unique powder-to-foam activation
  • Rice-based microbeads
  • Papain and salicylic acid chemical exfoliants
  • Rinses clean without scrubbing

What to Look for in a Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pad Alternative

There are countless exfoliating pads, scrubs and treatments available over the counter, but not all will measure up to the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads or nicely suit your specific skin needs. Here are a few key things to look for when evaluating alternatives:

 Level of Exfoliation: How does it exfoliate—physically, chemically or both? What ingredients produce the exfoliating action? How intensely does the product exfoliate? Make sure to match the level to your skin type and concerns.

  • Formula Texture: Thicker serums and treatment creams, foaming scrubs, toner-like liquids or presoaked pads each deliver ingredients differently. Consider which format you might prefer to smoothly swap out your Neutrogena pads.
  • Gentleness: Even if pads claim “gentle exfoliation,” see what other users with sensitive skin have experienced. Harsher products can cause redness or irritation which defeats the purpose.
  • Ingredient Focus: Some alternatives center on special ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, AHAs, BHAs, etc. Pick one targeted to your top skin goals like brightening, smoothing or clearing acne.
  • Price: Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads retail around $10-15 per package of 16 pads. While some premium alternatives cost more, you can likely find suitable swaps at a similar drugstore price point.

By keeping these factors and your own skin type/needs in mind, you’ll find a quality Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pad alternative suited just for you!


Q: Are at-home micodermabrasion pads safe for my skin?

A: Neutrogena and other drugstore microdermabrasion pads are formulated to be gentle enough for at-home use. However, they do use crystals and chemical exfoliants that may irritate more sensitive skin types if overused. Carefully follow usage guidelines and discontinue use if you experience any irritation or discomfort.

Q: How often should I use exfoliating pads?

A: Most microdermabrasion pads can be used 1-2 times per week as part of your regular skincare routine. You can use gentle daily leave-on liquid exfoliants more often. Follow individual product usage guidelines and adjust frequency based on your skin’s tolerance.

Q: Should I use other exfoliating treatments if I’m using at-home pads?

A: Using at-home pads 1-2 times per week is likely sufficient exfoliation alongside your regular cleanser and skincare products. You generally don’t need additional scrubs or chemical peels in the same routine with microdermabrasion pads or alternatives. Using too many exfoliating products simultaneously could over-strip your skin!


While Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads remain a drugstore staple, fortunately there are now many comparable smoothening and brightening complexes available. Whether you want to experiment with different exfoliation methods or simply try out alternatives when your Neutrogena runs out, you have options.

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