Discover your own divine shine with the best body scrubs, here to exfoliate skin and leave you with a truly glowing body. Not only that but your skin will be better prepared to absorb any other products, including moisturiser, and it will feel so insanely soft and smooth that putting on clothes will seem like a crime.
Skin is designed to shed dead skin cells naturally but age, sun damage, cold weather, and a plethora of other pesky environmental stressors mean that sometimes it needs a helping hand. So if you’re wondering how to get rid of dead skin, look no further than these body scrubs from the best in the skincare industry, designed to slough away dreary and life-weary cells.
The 21 best body scrubs of 2021
|4||African Botanics||Best dual exfoliant|
|5||Neutrogena||Best for acne|
|6||First Aid Beauty||Best for keratosis pilaris|
|7||Frank||Best for cellulite|
|8||The Body Shop||Best for sensitive skin|
|9||Herbivore||Best for dry skin|
|10||Fur||Best for ingrown hairs|
|11||Malin + Goetz||Best purifying|
|13||Tata Harper||Best natural|
|14||Le Labo||Best coffee|
|18||Byredo||Best for hands|
|20||French girl||Best bath|
|21||Tree hut||Best budget|
Aesop: Best overall body scrub
Our favourite body scrub is definitely the Redemption Body Scrub by Aesop. We’re willing to bet that no other exfoliator can surpass this one’s body buffing powers.
This body scrub is an opaque gel made of a blend of finely milled pumice and bamboo stem to slough away dead cells as well as pine needle oil that smells fantastically fresh and alpine. The whole thing is a major wake up for your body first thing in the morning. It also leaves your skin polished and invigorated, primed for hydration, and ready for a good slathering of your favourite moisturiser.
Save your body and soul with Aesop’s aptly named Redemption Body Scrub. It really will leave your skin feeling rather holy. Apply in the bath and light one of Aesop’s scented candles for the full experience.
Best for: Skin so smooth it’s almost sacred.
Oribe: Best luxury body scrub
Give your body a taste for life’s finest things with Oribe’s Côte d’Azur Polishing Body Scrub—definitely the most indulgent body exfoliator on our list.
Take a trip to the French Riviera without ever leaving your bathroom with Oribe’s Côte d’Azur scrub, made of a blend of exfoliating diamond powder (in case you were bored of simply wearing diamonds), as well as sugar, so you can gently buff away dry and dull areas and discover the thriving and glowing skin beneath.
Vitamin-rich oils like soybean, coconut, and sunflower seal deliver deep nourishment to your skin and improve its overall complexion and tone. Then there’s the shea butter that forms a protective barrier to protect your skin against further threats. Finally, sweet almond, meadowfoam, and starflower oils bring the requisite softness.
Your body will quickly become besotted with Oribe’s Polishing Body Scrub’s luxurious embrace, and, trust us, so will you.
Best for: The swankiest of body scrubbing experiences.
Dove: Best value body scrub
For those who claim that quality skincare comes at a cost, we’d like to point them in the direction of Dove’s Exfoliating Body Scrub, our favourite budget-friendly body exfoliator.
It’s made of velvety macadamia and rice milk and not only smells fabulous but also works to both polish your body and restore your skin’s natural nutrients. In other words, it’s the boost your body’s been craving.
The scrub has been formulated with 25% moisturising cream so not only do you get major exfoliation potential but you also get next-level hydration. The result is super healthy and gloriously soft skin. Plus, the texture is dangerously close to whipped cream.
An exfoliator that scrubs, smooths, and restores—all for under $15? We’re adding Dove’s Exfoliating Body Scrub to the cart right now.
Best for: Perfectly polished skin without the price-tag.
African Botanics: Best dual exfoliant
If you’re struggling to choose between a chemical and mechanical exfoliator, guess what? You don’t have to decide. Instead, pick up a tube of African Botanics Body Exfoliant which does both.
Sure, this body exfoliator isn’t cheap, but when it comes to skincare, we believe there’s no such thing as overindulging. And this exfoliating body scrub really is a standout experience with its blend of chemical and physical exfoliants so you can both gently detoxify your skin and simultaneously increase cell turnover and stimulate circulation.
The brand’s signature African Oil Complex, bursting with omega, works to nurture skin, moisturising it to a suitable level of softness. Meanwhile, caffeine boosts collagen production so you can enjoy perkier, smoother, and more radiant skin.
For bodies that need both, treat yourself to African Botanics dual body exfoliant.
Best for: A deluxe dual-functioning exfoliant to cover all possible bases.
Neutrogena: Best body scrub for acne
Acne doesn’t just pop up on our faces. You can also get it on your back, chest, and neck. Basically anywhere you have pores. Which is why you need Neutrogena’s Body Clear Scrub.
Never feel embarrassed to get your skin on show again with this acne-busting scrub. It contains salicylic acid which works as an acne medicine, helping to treat breakouts wherever they pop up. This expert formula also works to exfoliate skin, getting right into your pores and softly but efficiently sweeping away dead cells, leaving it smooth and clear.
It doesn’t contain plastic microbeads so it’s eco-friendly. And it’s also free of oils so you won’t be left feeling sticky and greasy. While some body scrubs can leave a clogging residue, this one is non-comedogenic so won’t block your pores.
Banish unsightly blemishes with an acne-optimised body scrub like Neutrogena’s Body Clear.
Best for: An acne-ousting scrub for complement-worthy clear skin.
First Aid Beauty: Best body exfoliator for keratosis pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is when you get tiny bumps and rough patches, mostly on your arms and thighs. The good news is it’s extremely common. The even better news is that you can reduce their appearance with this exfoliating body scrub by First Aid Beauty, one of the best scrub brands out there.
The perfectly named Bump Eraser is made of a combination of both chemical and physical exfoliators so you can trust it to get to business sweeping away dead cells.
No more so-called chicken skin in sight after you use this rapid-acting body scrub. The glycolic and lactic acids work as a chemical peel, decongesting pores and loosening the top layer of skin while pumice buffing beads make sure no dead skin is left standing.
First Aid Beauty’s Bump Eraser has also been dermatologist-tested and is both vegan and cruelty-free—so what’s not to like?
Best for: As close as possible to a bump obliterator.
Frank: Best body scrub for cellulite
Dimples are cute—but not when they’re all over our body. Cellulite may be common and harmless but we’re still keen to do all we can to reduce it. Which is why we love this set of three different Frank’s Exfoliating Body Scrubs.
Not only do these scrubs tackle cellulite but they can also minimise breakouts and reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. All thanks to roasted coffee grinds that perk up sluggish skin, even out skin tone, and leave it feeling smooth and with a strokable level of softness.
Other ingredients include sweet almond oil—full of antioxidants and great for lasting hydration—as well as vitamin E which works like a bouncer, refusing entry to any free radicals, and also promoting healing and fading lingering scars. Frank’s Exfoliating Body Scrubs—for skin so good it looks like you just returned from vacation.
Best for: Stimulating blood flow to smooth away cellulite.
The Body Shop: Best body exfoliator for sensitive skin
Those with sensitive skin need an exfoliator that isn’t too abrasive and won’t leave them rubbed red and raw. In other words, they need The Body Shop’s Almond Milk & Honey Scrub.
The best exfoliator for sensitive skin, this scrub is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic with no added colourants, so you can trust that it won’t irritate your skin. It works to gently exfoliate your body, carefully buffing away dead skin cells, leaving it shining and silky smooth.
The creamy formula contains natural oils, crushed almond shells, as well as almond milk and honey to truly spoil your skin. You’ll smell like you just left the spa.
With its ingredients beloved by sensitive skin, this scrub by The Body Shop gets our vote.
Best for: Friction-free body exfoliation for skin that tends to freak out.
Herbivore: Best body scrub for dry skin
This popular exfoliating body polish from Herbivore—one of the best scrub brands—is our go-to when our skin is feeling particularly parched. Dry skin and exfoliation are sometimes a recipe for disaster but Herbivore’s Coco Rose allows you to scrub away without leaving skin worse than before.
The best exfoliator for dry skin, this scrub contains sugar for gentle body exfoliation and renewal. It’s perfect for anyone suffering from dull skin that’s lacking vitality, with virgin coconut oil to deliver proteins that promote healthy skin and tissue repair.
Moroccan rose brings antioxidants to combat ageing and cellular damage. It also soothes, cools, and reduces inflammation—hence why this is good for sensitive skin.
Like all Herbivore products, this scrub is made of all-natural, plant-based, and organic products. Plus, the packaging is recyclable and reusable.
For an exfoliator that does double duty as a high-level moisturiser, you need Herbivore’s Coco Rose.
Best for: Easygoing exfoliation and high-powered hydration.
Fur: Best body scrub for ingrown hairs
Does it feel like you’ve been cursed with constant ingrown hairs? Here to save the day is Fur’s Silk Scrub, perfect for eliminating those painful shaving-induced bumps.
This intensive body exfoliator unleashes its powers on your skin in three different ways. It’s both a chemical and physical body exfoliator, and also works to soothe skin post-shave, wax, or after any other form of hair removal.
It’s designed to exfoliate legs perfectly, gently buffing away dead cells for optimum radiance. It’s also delicate enough to use on more sensitive areas.
Use this scrub to keep skin healthy and happy in between hair-removal sessions and immediately after hair removal to cool red and irritated skin or razor burn. Fur’s Silk Scrub also prepares skin for a gentler hair removal experience and makes any stubbly and prickly hair regrowth seem finer.
Best for: Sleek and silky legs without an ingrown hair in sight.
Malin + Goetz: Best purifying body scrub
Keep bacteria at bay and enjoy having the smoothest body ever with Malin + Goetz’s Peppermint Body Scrub. The brand is known for its line of natural and authentic apothecary ingredients and definitely gives more modern skincare technologies a run for their money.
One of the best scrubs out there, this one contains peppermint extract, whose fragrance not only helps you to wake up early in the morning, but also has antiseptic properties to reduce breakouts.
Meanwhile, bamboo and pumice stone gently exfoliate—just enough to be effective but not so much that it leaves you with irritated or dry skin. In fact, this scrub is ideal for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin, perfectly balancing PH.
For pure and pristine skin, you can’t get better than Malin + Goetz’s Peppermint Body Scrub.
Best for: Feeling like one seriously smooth operator.
Dermalogica: Best brightening body scrub
Missing your youthful glow? Suffering from sun spots and other dark marks? Then you need Dermalogica’s Thermafoliant Body Scrub.
Embark on a major pamper session with this dual-action body exfoliant that works to dissolve dead cells, promote renewal, and leave you with bright and radiant skin.
Indian bamboo stem and papain—a papaya fruit enzyme—help to repair cells while bio-lipids replenish nutrients to protect and strengthen the skin barrier. Liquorice, white tea, and chamomile deliver vital antioxidants while tea tree and grapefruit peel oil purify, refresh, and restore skin to superior levels of luminosity.
For an exfoliating body polish that sloughs away dead skin, delivers the perfect amount of hydration, and somehow also finds time to brighten dark spots, grab a tube of Dermalogica’s Thermafoliant Body Scrub.
Best for: A dual-action scrub that exfoliates and enlivens.
Tata Harper: Best natural body scrub
You can count on nature to always give 100% which is why we love Tata Harper’s body scrub. It distinguishes itself from the crowd of other body exfoliators with its non-synthetic and all-natural ingredients.
This natural body scrub contains seventeen high-performing ingredients, including five sources of exfoliation for a multi-particle scrub that polishes on the micro-level. You can actually feel them getting to work as you massage it into your skin.
There are also six skin-smoothing sources, including argan oil, and six sources to boost vitamin and mineral levels in your skin.
100% of the ingredients are from natural origin while 80% are organically sourced. The lack of artificial fragrances, fillers, or any kind of synthetics makes it a major win in our books.
Friendly to the planet and extra friendly to your body, we can’t get enough of Tata Harper’s Smoothing Body Scrub.
Best for: Letting Mother Earth work her magic.
Le Labo: Best coffee body scrub
We love our caffeine fix and so do our bodies which is why we’re smitten with this body scrub by Le Labo. Keep this in the bathroom and it will give you the energy boost your body is craving.
This highly invigorating plant-based formula contains both coffee and sunflower seeds which collaborate to slough away dead skin cells in a deep body exfoliation that will also improve your circulation. Safflower oil works to soften skin as well as remove dirt and oil and replenish moisture.
Once you’ve washed the scrub away, you’ll be surprised by how visibly softer your skin appears, with a delectable and healthy glow. And the brown bag packaging completes the authentic premium roast vibe.
For melt-in-the-mouth softness and perfect morning perkiness, get a bag of this Le Labo Coffee Body Scrub.
Best for: Like treating your body to the best espresso in town.
Lancer: Best self-warming body polish
Chilly weather plays havoc with our skin, which is why we love Lancer’s The Method: Body Polish, a self-warming exfoliator that brings much-deserved decadence to our skincare routine.
Suffering from colourless or compromised skin? Renew its natural radiance and luminosity with this body polish. It buffs away those dull and dry cells that are ruining your look, boosting cell turnover, and resurfacing the top layer of skin to leave your body looking younger and fresher.
Kigelia fruit extract and marula oil’s miracle-working properties enhance skin tone and texture while salicylic acid breaks down keratin proteins, helping you to shed those lifeless surface cells.
Most excitingly, the addition of innovative zeolite creates a wonderful warming sensation on contact with the skin.
Lancer’s The Method: Body Polish should be a mandatory addition to everybody’s bathroom.
Best for: Feeling really comfortable in your own skin.
Goop: Best salt scrub
Salt is one of the best ingredients when it comes to body exfoliators and this Goop G.Tox Body Scrub contains five different mineral-rich salts for five times the body buffing potential.
This scrub contains some of our favourite ingredients including fatty-acid and antioxidant-rich rosehip oil, moringa oil to moisturise and cleanse, and olive oil to fight bacteria and boost hydration.
There are also five different kinds of salts which work to buff and polish your skin without leaving it raw or thirsty. Essential oils like rosemary, grapefruit, and peppermint also impart a fragrance on par with the best women’s perfumes, and one that we could easily become addicted to.
Looking to revive lethargic and listless skin? After using this Goop salt scrub, your body will be abuzz with new life and energy.
Best for: The detox your skin’s been dreaming about.
Follain: Best sugar scrub
A spoonful of sugar makes everything better—and that includes this Follain Body Scrub, which contains sugar crystals to softly polish your skin’s surface, returning glow and gleam to lacklustre skin.
It also contains shea butter, another one of the best skincare ingredients, renowned for its ability to leave skin silky soft long after use. Together, this ultimate power couple works to exfoliate and nourish simultaneously. And then there’s kaolin clay and crushed azurite, responsible for the scrub’s unique blue colour.
This scrub will leave your skin smooth and soft without stripping it of its natural oils. Use to buff away the stresses of the day in a leisurely bath although the tube packaging makes this one of the best shower scrubs, with easy application.
The best sugar scrub we’ve come across, this Follain Sugar & Shea Body Scrub softens the blow of having to get out of bed.
Best for: The inimitable sugar-shea duo.
Byredo: Best exfoliator for hands
Even the best hand creams won’t do much if they’re not able to get past a layer of dead skin cells. Hence why we’re falling over ourselves to get our hands on a tube of Byredo’s Tulipmania Hand Scrub.
Restore fragile skin to peak health and fitness with this hand scrub. It’s made of a mix of hydrating oils and exfoliating particles, removing dead skin while also nourishing and moisturising, polishing skin to leave it smooth and supple.
The scrub has a distinct floral fragrance with notes of freesia and cyclamen and will immediately conjure impressions of a fresh spring morning.
Best for: An unforgettable handshake.
Glossier: Best bar exfoliator
Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, some of them come in the form of a bar of soap. We’re talking about Glossier’s Body Hero Exfoliating Bar.
Neatly fitting in the palm of your hand, this bar is easy to use and will exfoliate your skin using a finely milled and biodegradable bamboo powder which removes dead cells without leaving your skin red and raw in the process.
Sunflower seed oil and aloe leaf juice seal in moisture so you’re not left with that horrible tight and dry feeling. And a blend of orange blossom and neroli with notes of pear, mandarin, and cypress, give this bar a subtle yet seductive scent that will transport you to more tropical climes.
Enjoy a body exfoliation that leaves you scrubbed but not sore with Glossier’s Body Hero Exfoliating Bar.
Best for: A palm-sized skin-smoothing champion.
French Girl: Best bath scrub
Take your scrubbing experience to a new level by doing it in the bath with this French Girl Rose Sea Polish. Not only is it the most gorgeous colour but it’s also the best bath scrub we’ve found.
Pour yourself a virgin gin ‘n’ tonic, run yourself a decadently deep bath, and apply this scrub. It contains Himalayan salt and sugar to gently exfoliate your skin, sloughing away dead and dreary cells to reveal smooth, glowing, and well-nourished skin below.
The scrub is also infused with shea, mango, and cocoa butter for intense hydration that your thirsty body will be grateful for. And because no bath scrub is complete without a delicious fragrance, it also contains geranium, rosewood, bergamot, and ylang-ylang essential oils that release a wonderful lingering scent.
Say goodbye to dull skin from the comfort of a steaming bath with this French Girl Rose Sea Polish.
Best for: An impeccably indulgent bath time treat.
Tree Hut: Best budget body scrub
Pamper yourself and get party-ready skin without paying a ridiculously high price thanks to this body scrub by Tree Hut.
Not only is Tree Hut Coco Colada scrub one of the best value body scrubs out there at under $10 for 510g but it is also one of our favourite coconut body scrubs. Coconut is one of the best moisturisers around, ideal for softening skin as well as imparting a brilliantly tropical fragrance. Add to this pineapple and you’ve basically got yourself a Pina Colada in skincare form.
Then there are sugar grains to polish away dead skin and oils from safflower seed, avocado, sweet almond, macadamia seed, and orange to soften and smooth.
Best for: Baby-soft-skin without breaking the bank.
Buyers guide: how to choose a body scrub
While you might think it’s all hype, in fact body scrubs really do work. They buff or dissolve dead skin cells, creating smoother skin that absorbs moisturiser more effectively. They can also help with certain skin conditions such as acne or keratosis pilaris.
When choosing an exfoliator, there are a few things to consider:
Physical vs. mechanical exfoliation
Physical exfoliation is when you use acids such as glycolic or salicylic acid to gently dissolve and remove dead skin cells. These acids also work to kill bacteria and prevent blemishes and pimples. They are a good option for those with sensitive skin or dryness-prone skin who might find mechanical exfoliators too abrasive.
Mechanical exfoliation is when you use scrubs with gritty substances such as sugar, salt, or silica beads to rub away dead skin. This is a good option for those suffering from keratosis pilaris.
You can also get products which do both physical and mechanical exfoliation with a combination of acid and buffing particles.
Some body scrubs have a scent, although if you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to look for a fragrance-free option.
It’s good to look for body scrubs with a thick, creamy, or gel-like texture, which allows them to adhere to the skin more effectively and lather up with water.
The best ingredients for you will depend on your particular skin concern. Here are some common body scrub ingredients to look out for:
- Oils – oils such as jojoba, almond, or coconut are great for delivering hydration to skin that tends to get dried out by regular exfoliators.
- Shea butter – contains fatty acids and vitamins to soften skin and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin E – a vital vitamin for maintaining and nourishing healthy skin and combating free radicals.
- Lactic acid – can be used to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and age spots and even out skin tone.
- Antioxidants – ingredients such as chamomile or white tea contain antioxidants which work to fight skin-damaging free radicals.
- Coffee – this can stimulate circulation and temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Salt – great for buffing and imparting minerals but can also dry out skin.
- Sugar – a more gentle alternative to salt and good for sensitive skin. It’s also a humectant so it can increase moisture levels in skin.
- Honey – another humectant, honey is a great moisturiser and also an antiseptic.
- Aloe vera – full of vitamins and antioxidants, aloe vera is also a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- Tea tree oil – antimicrobial properties make tea tree oil a good choice for those with acne.
How to exfoliate
The best way to remove dead skin and exfoliate is by applying it to dry skin before using a body brush or a designated body scrubber, like this silicone one from Lumin, to massage it in. Use a gentle circular motion. Then rinse well with warm water and follow up with a moisturiser.
You can exfoliate nearly all of your body but pay particular attention to elbows, feet, and knees which tend to dry out. And don’t skip your back which can suffer from clogged pores.
You can exfoliate your body as many times a week as necessary. At least once a week is a good rule of thumb but you can also do it up to three times a week if necessary. However, do it too regularly and you’ll remove the skin’s natural oils and leave it dry and irritated.
Frequently asked questions about body scrubs
Scrubs are good for your body as they work to slough away dead skin cells which can clog pores and make skin appear dull and uneven. Body scrubs make skin more radiant and smoother as well as preparing it to absorb other beneficial skincare products like moisturiser.
The best oil for body scrubs is olive oil, which is not only a great moisturiser but also works as an antioxidant, helping to prevent premature ageing. Coconut oil is another great choice thanks to its hydrating, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Look for citrus oils if you want a body scrub with the potential to brighten skin.
The best sugar for body scrubs is pure cane sugar, which is unrefined. The coarser the sugar, the more abrasive it will be on your skin, so it depends on how intense you want your exfoliation to be. Fine sugar is a good alternative, gently turning over skin cells for a more radiant complexion.
The best exfoliating scrub is Aesop’s Redemption Body Scrub. This body scrub stands out thanks to its ingredient list, which includes finely milled pumice to gently exfoliate, and pine needle oil which makes it smell fantastic. Check our list for the best body scrubs for more inspiration.