Many a hearts were broken when suddenly we noticed that the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion refill pads were discontinued.

One day the pads went out of stock on Neutrogena’s website but they were nowhere to be found at Walgreens, Target, and the rest of the retailers either. Then the entire Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System was discontinued and moved to that portion of the Neutrogena’s website.

Next thing I knew, I began seeing more and more questions asking about why are Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads discontinued and what happened to them in the first place.

That was my cue to start looking for a suitable solution to replace the pads as I still had a perfectly working tool in my hands.

If you are in a similar situation, I’ve prepared a list of possible substitutes for Neutrogena’s well-loved products, so let’s get started, shall we?

Why are Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads discontinued?

When Neutrogena made the statement of discontinuing the Microdermabrasion System and the puffs, they didn’t give a definitive answer as to why they halted the production.

However, the company remained firm with its decision even after the outpour of disappointed customers who wanted the product to be returned to production.

One thing is certain, the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System and the pads are discontinued for good.

And there are many skincare lovers out there left to look out for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads alternatives.

What is the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System?

The most unique quality of the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System in comparison to other similar products on the market were the rejuvenating puffs, which unfortunately are also discontinued and nowhere to be found.

The rejuvenating puffs or pads were unique to the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System.

The soft rounds have a blue layer containing skin-loving ingredients that gently foam up when you’re using the tool. The pads help to polish the skin surface and remove the dead skin cells gently.

The texture of the pads helped with cellular turnover and blood circulation while contributing to collagen production in the top layer of the skin.

The Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads were loved by many skin care lovers who are now looking for alternatives, which you can find below.

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads alternatives

Unfortunately, the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads were unique and there’s no direct substitute that can fit your Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System.

However, there are several brands of puffs that can be fitted to your microdermabrasion tool by cutting off the excess. Don’t expect them to be an exact dupe for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads, but they can still do the job.

I use the following alternatives in combination with a gentle face cleanser, usually a cream cleanser or a light foam face wash.

Here are the exact steps to take:

  1. Dampen your face with lukewarm water.
  2. Cut the buff puff to size with an exacto knife and split it into two halves — one for now and one for later use.
  3. Apply the buff puff or face sponge on your Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System wand.
  4. Wet the wand under lukewarm water and apply a pea-sized amount of facial cleanser of your choice on the surface of the pad.
  5. Start the wand and scrub your face as usual.

I always split the buff puff or sponge into two — this is way more economical and fits better to the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System. The two options I opt for are these:

Buff Puff Face Washing Pads

Replacement of Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads - buff puffs

In my experience, these are the closest alternative to Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads in terms of feeling on your skin. Especially if you add a mild face cleanser to the puff before cleaning your face.

The actual buff puffs are very thick, so I split them in two or even three with an exacto knife before sticking them to the wand. I also cut them to size, as these are teardrop-shaped, whereas the rejuvenating puffs are round and smaller in size.

Other than that, these are great value for money.

Face Sponges

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads dupes - face sponges

Another replacement for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads is these round facial sponges, which are pretty standard and easy to find everywhere in stores.

This package contains 50 sponge rounds which I also split in two and cut to size since the rounds are larger in diameter than the Neutrogena pads.

All in all, I find these two to be great alternatives for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System at a good price point, even though both are a bit harsher on the skin than the rejuvenating pads.

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System replacements

Now, If you’re looking to branch out and replace the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System with another tool or a different option altogether, then I have three substitutes for you.

Clarisonic vs Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System

Clarisonic vs Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System

The first alternative for Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System is the popular Clarisonic Mia 2 Face Brush Set, which is considered to be a big upgrade from your regular rejuvenating pads by Neutrogena.

It’s much more expensive too, so unless you’re not ready to splurge, then this one isn’t for you.

However, the Clarisonic Mia 2 is one of the most trusted options when it comes to electric facial cleansing brushes, and rightfully so. The quality is great and the lifetime of the tool is years.

The thing I most love about the Clarisonic system is that the brush heads are universal and can be used interchangeably across their many variations of brushes. So even if you decide to upgrade down the road, you can still use the same brush heads that you’ve been used to.

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System vs enzyme powder wash

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pads alternative - enzyme powder wash

Now, if you’re not ready to splurge but you’re open to finding new effective ways of gently exfoliating your skin, then a good enzyme powder wash is a must-try.

J-Beauty enzyme powder washes lead the way in this category, as they’re both super gentle, yet powerfully effective at buffing off the dead skin cells and clearing out the debris stuck in your pores.

The result is baby-smooth skin with zero bumps!

Two of my favorite products include the By Wishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Face Wash which, as the name suggests, includes green tea — a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that’s great for acne-prone skin.

The Kanebo Japan Suisai Clear Enzyme Powder is an excellent option for when you’re traveling, something that the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System was lacking as a quality. You can get as many cubes as you need for your journey and they contain the perfect amount of powder for a good face scrub.

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System vs AHA + PHA skincare

Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System replacement - AHA and PHA skincare

And if you’re ready to branch out and let skincare do the dirty work of your Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System, then I have a few alternative products in the form of AHA and PHA-enriched facial cleansers.

These use alpha hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids to gently buffer the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. But they also work on lightening hyperpigmentation, correcting breakout spots, preventing pore clogging, and are overall amazing for your skin.

Two great products to start include the SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam and the Clear Collective Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser from Hero Cosmetics.

The first one is more for those of you who have a combination or oily skin type, while the second cleanser can be used by anyone. Both are great for acne-prone skin as they also have ingredients that can help to soothe and reduce inflammation.

Chemical cleansers achieve effortlessly the same goal that the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System does but by being even more gentle for your skin. You can use these cleansers as stand-alone products or with a face sponge, or a buff puff or pads if you want a more immediate sensation of clear skin.

These were all of my Neutrogena Microdermabrasion pad alternatives, so let me know if you’ve opted for something else that I can try.

Alternatively, you can read everything you need to know about sulfur soap for acne since it’s a lesser-known but cheaper cleanser option for those of you prone to nasty pimples. Or you can learn how to build a basic skincare routine for beginners if you don’t yet know where to start.