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Body scrubs and exfoliators can be a great addition to your skin care arsenal. They help slough off dead skin cells, giving your skin a more radiant appearance.
The American Academy of Dermatology says that while exfoliating may not be for everyone, those interested in exfoliating should do so safely in order to reduce the risk of skin damage.
Read on to learn how to do that, plus get our recommendation for 10 of the best body scrubs out there.
In selecting these 10 body scrubs, we considered online reviews, active ingredients, and price point. All the products on this list are highly rated by people who have purchased them. Most have natural ingredients.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–25
- $$$ = over $25
All the exfoliators on our list are physical exfoliators. They rely on a rough texture from sugar, salt, and sometimes crushed nuts to wash away dry skin. When used on your body, they’re usually gentle enough for daily use. However, you’ll want to be careful to apply even pressure and not scrub too hard.
You can also find chemical exfoliators, which are made with acids or enzymes. They work by chemically loosening the dead skin away from newer skin.
Although they might sound scary, chemical exfoliators use a very small amount of acids or enzymes diluted with a bunch of other ingredients. They’re more commonly used on the face, but you can find chemical body exfoliators as well.
Why we love it: This affordable body scrub leaves skin moisturized with no residue. The essential oils of bergamot and orange give it a pleasing scent. The scrub also contains vitamin E.
What you should know: If you have any minor scrapes or cuts, this scrub could sting. It also contains fragrance, which could irritate sensitive skin.
Why we love it: This lightly scented body scrub is gentle enough to use every day. It hydrates your skin with cetearyl alcohol and mineral oil while removing dead skin cells with crushed pecan shells.
What you should know: The last ingredient in this scrub is benzyl alcohol, which is sometimes added to cosmetics for its light scent. While it doesn’t affect most people negatively, those with sensitive skin may find it drying.
Why we love it: This all-natural product has gentle, moisturizing ingredients that are beneficial for those who have very dry skin or eczema. One such ingredient is honey, which is a natural humectant. It attracts and seals moisture into the skin.
What you should know: Eczema Honey recommends doing a patch test before using the product, since some users have reported an allergic reaction. It’s best practice to patch test any new product before using it more widely.
Why we love it: This scrub has organic Australian tea tree oil, which helps keep feet smelling pleasant. Charcoal also helps detoxify, while pumice cleanses and conditions, scrubbing away dead skin and leaving your feet softer.
What you should know: Since you have to apply it to dry skin, the product can get a little messy. Reviewers suggest using it in the tub.
Why we love it: This vegan-friendly product foams up as it cleans and sloughs dead skin from your feet. Fans of this scrub enjoy using it every day on their heels to reduce the buildup of calluses.
What you should know: The exfoliants in this scrub are all-natural.
Why we love it: Peppermint oil feels cooling as you scrub away roughness, while avocado oil nourishes skin. One user says it’s great for those who work on their feet all day.
What you should know: Made with apricot seed powder, this scrub is gentle enough to be used all over your feet — even between your toes.
Why we love it: This sugar scrub won’t immediately dissolve as you scrub, but it rinses clean, leaving you with softer skin. The scent is strong, but it isn’t overpowering.
What you should know: Bath & Body Works recommends breathing in deeply while scrubbing to enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of eucalyptus and spearmint oil.
Why we love it: This fine grain Dead Sea salt scrub helps you destress while removing dead skin cells and moisturizing your skin. It’s made with simple ingredients, like argan, jojoba, and sweet almond oil. Lavender and bergamot essential oils provide a light and pleasant fragrance.
What you should know: This scrub is certified cruelty-free by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Why we love it: This scrub is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin prone to razor burn and ingrown hairs. It has a silky smooth, luxurious feel. The ingredients are all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and noncomedogenic.
What you should know: Thanks to the rose absolute, this has a floral fragrance that some reviewers love and others aren’t so jazzed about.
Why we love it: It doesn’t take a lot of effort to polish your skin with this vegetarian, gluten-free scrub, thanks to the Dead Sea salt granules and nourishing oil blend. The ginger scent is really pleasant, and you can pair this scrub with Origins’ other ginger products.
What you need to know: Make sure to stir this scrub before applying or you’ll get more oil than salt. Be careful as the oils can make your shower slippery.
When choosing your body scrub, make sure to read the ingredients list and check for any personal irritants or allergens.
You may also want to consider your skin type. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, look for one with salicylic acid to help treat breakouts.
How often you plan to exfoliate may also make a difference. If you’re looking for a daily scrub, choose a physical exfoliator with finer granules so you don’t irritate your skin. For calluses and rough patches, larger granules are preferable.
Before using any product, it’s best to do a patch test. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin. You’ll want to place a little bit of the scrub on the inside of your wrist and wait a few hours. If you notice any redness or irritation, it’s best not to use the product all over your body. If your skin looks normal, using it more widely should be fine.
Make sure to follow the instructions on whichever scrub you choose. Some are meant to be applied to wet skin, and some are designed for dry skin. Some are meant to be left on for a bit before washing off, while others are designed to be washed off immediately.
If you’ve never tried exfoliating before, start by doing it once a week. From there, you can evaluate how well your skin tolerates exfoliating and decide if you want to do it more or less frequently.
Body scrubs are a wonderful way to invigorate your skin, liven up your shower routine, and either get ready to face the day or relax before bed. Try one of these top-reviewed body scrubs to slough away dead skin.