When it comes to skincare, a lot of people tend to focus attention on the face, filling their bathroom shelves with the best face washes, moisturizers, exfoliators, and treatments. But surprisingly, many consumers neglect to give their body the same level of care. While moisturizing with a body lotion might already be part of your repertoire, it’s just as important to exfoliate to help remove dead skin and promote smoothness and healthy cellular regeneration all over. The best body scrubs can do just that, while also turning your shower routine into a spa-like experience thanks to luxe scents and lush ingredients.
The best body scrubs typically combine an exfoliant (such as sea salt, sugar, or ground up coffee or seeds) with nourishing ingredients that help relax the muscles, senses and skin (like hydrating oils or fruit and herbal extracts). By giving your body a good buffing once or twice a week, you wipe away those dry, rough patches that can appear on your hands, feet, elbows and knees especially as the weather gets colder. Follow it up with a body lotion to enjoy that tingling sensation as you feel the moisturizer sinking into your freshly scrubbed skin.
Below, I’ve pulled together several of my favorite body scrubs, each with a different ingredient or approach to healthy, rejuvenated skin.
The Best Salt Scrub
Jack Black Turbo Body Scrub
The best thing about salt scrubs is that they also double as muscle relaxers, or bath soaks. So, if you use Jack Black’s triply soothing scrub (which combines sea salt with anti-inflammatory arnica and cooling, tingling eucalyptus), then you can dip back into the water for an ongoing calm, once you rinse it off in the water. You get both smooth skin and soothed senses.
The Best Sugar Scrub
Golden Door Yuzu Sugar Body Scrub
Sugar-granule scrubs are so fine and dense, that they make for terrific body buffers. (They’re often too aggressive for the face, but your body tolerates them easily.) Golden Door’s sugar scrub combines the soothing sensation of yuzu citrus, and is enriched with nutrient-dense oils and extracts that preserve skin’s suppleness and hydration levels. The SoCal spa’s entire assortment is rejuvenating and soothing, and this scrub is a standout product from that stellar lineup.
The Best Scrub for Body and Scalp
OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub
The scalp is often overlooked when it comes to exfoliation, since it might feel like all that friction could damage hair. Instead, it helps lift any dead skin — goodbye potential flakes — while increasing scalp circulation and nutrient delivery. This fortifies your overall hair and scalp health by boosting their nourishment. For this task, I love OUAI’s body+scalp scrub, which uses sugar granules and coconut oil to nourish skin while it buffs away all the bad stuff. Skip over the face with this one, but enjoy the polishing it delivers to everything else.
The Best Gentle Body Scrub
Mallama Sugar Cane Detox Scrub
It’s important not to use body products on the face — like body lotions and scrubs — since the face is so susceptible to redness, irritation, and breakouts. However, you can definitely use face products on the body, and Mallama’s whipped exfoliator is one of my favorites for the task.
If you want a gentle but effective smoothing, then count on this product’s bamboo-stem crystals and sugarcane extract for the buffing. They’re blended with soothing aloe, hydrating jojoba oil, plus multiple vitamins and antioxidants. Lastly, it’s got lemon and apple extract, both of which gently dissolve dead skin. Obviously this one is great on the face, but it’s just as effective everywhere else.
The Best Seed-Derived Scrub
Céla Seed to Skin Scrub
Many scrubs are formulated with pulverized seeds, which are excellent at smoothing the skin without being too gritty. Céla’s scrub uses an unusual one: Brazilian cupuaçu seeds, grown in the Amazon. Together with Abyssinian oil and shea butter, it leaves skin as smooth as a freshly waxed Porsche, while a refreshingly crisp-woodsy-spicy scent lingers.
The Best Coffee Scrub
Le Labo Coffee Body Scrub
On their journey from morning pour to compost pile, coffee grounds are also an excellent, natural way to exfoliate the body. Le Labo’s coffee scrub also deploys ground seeds (sunflower, to be specific), though it gets most of its buffing abilities from the coffee grounds themselves. They’re combined with hydrating, soothing safflower oil, for an easily applied, enriching polish.
The Best Dry Body Scrub (Just Add Water)
Maapilim Body Exfoliant
Some exfoliants come bottled up like dry goods — simply add water to a small amount of powder in your palm. Maapilim’s recipe is simple: Pulverized olive kernel powder celebrates the brand’s Mediterranean roots, while rewarding you with trophy-like smoothness. Just don’t store it on your spice rack.
The Best Scrub for an At-Home Spa Day
Vinésime Pinot Noir Grand Cru Body Scrub
Uncork a bottle of red, and draw a bath. Vinésime’s pinot-noir skincare assortment is top-shelf, and I particularly love its grape-marc body scrub. (Grape marc is the remains of grapes used in winemaking, such as the skin, seeds, and stems.)
This one has a jam-like texture, and glides over the body as it buffs away rough skin. It leaves the skin feeling soft and glowy, as if you added bath oils to your tub. These grapes are also responsible for one of the world’s most lavish wines, the Richebourg Grand Cru, from Burgundy, France.