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The 12 Best Body Scrubs for Your Softest Skin Ever

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By now, you've likely already learned that a great moisturizing body lotion and hydrating body wash are essential for transforming dry skin into baby-soft skin. But there's a third must-have for anyone looking to level up their body care routine: an exfoliating body scrub. Exfoliating is the secret to fast-tracking your way to smooth skin. By gently sloughing off dead skin cells, it allows softer, smoother skin to come to the surface.

There are two ways to exfoliate your skin at home: with a physical exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliation uses acids (like glycolic and lactic acid) or enzymes to help to break down the microscopic bonds between your dead skin cells to gently encourage cell turnover without any abrasiveness. With manual exfoliation, you physically slough off the dead skin cells with a tool or course product, like a dry brush or body scrub. Which route you go will depend on your skin goals and your skin type.

Ready to find a body exfoliator that'll work for you? Here are 12 of the best body scrubs for soft, glowing skin.

1. Best for Head-to-Toe Body Scrub:

OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub

OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub

Use this multitasking scrub if you sometimes experience a dry, itchy scalp as well as dry skin. It's gentle enough to be both in the hair and all over the body. The weekly sugar scrub features a gentle blend of probiotics and coconut oil to balance your skin and boost moisture while also removing dry flakes of skin.

2. Best Invigorating Body Scrub:

PURLISSE Coconut Oil + Coffee Sugar Body Scrub

PURLISSE Coconut Oil + Coffee Sugar Body Scrub

This scrub is gentle enough to enjoy as often as your morning cup of joe—and it's just as energizing, too. When applied topically, antioxidant-rich coffee has potent anti-aging benefits and can help to minimize the appearance of sunspots, redness, and fine lines. The hero ingredient is paired with moisturizing coconut oil and exfoliating sugarcane, for a scrub that gently works to reveal youthful, smooth skin that's ready to take on the day.

3. Best Body Scrub for Keratosis Pilaris:

AMELIORATE Smoothing Body Exfoliant

AMELIORATE Smoothing Body Exfoliant
Courtesy of AMELIORATE

If you're looking for a product to help minimize the appearance of keratosis pilaris, any old body scrub won't do the trick. This dual-action exfoliator is specially formulated to tackle the common skin condition. Here, bamboo granules and alpha hydroxy acids team up to both physically and chemically exfoliate while a hydrating complex of shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil deeply moisturize the skin.

4. Best Firming Body Scrub:

SOL DE JANEIRO Bum Bum Body Scrub

SOL DE JANEIRO Bum Bum Body Scrub
Courtesy of SOL DE JANEIRO

This luxurious body scrub uses natural Brazilian ingredients like cupuaçu seeds and guaraná to gently exfoliate, hydrate, and firm. While ground cupuaçu seeds gently buff and smooth skin, caffeine-rich guaraná stimulates circulation to boost skin elasticity. It even features just a touch of shimmer for a sun-kissed glow any time of year.

5. Best Detoxifying Body Scrub:

THEORIE Theorie Skin: Charcoal Bamboo Detoxifying Body Scrub

THEORIE Theorie Skin: Charcoal Bamboo Detoxifying Body Scrub
Courtesy of THEORIE

Charcoal is one of the best detoxifying ingredients out there, making this scrub a great option for days when you want a really deep clean. You can use it even if you have sensitive skin thanks to an ingredients list full of nourishing natural oils like anti-inflammatory and redness-reducing jojoba oil, fatty acid-rich sweet almond oil, elasticity-boosting sesame oil, and nourishing bamboo extract. Slather it on after showering on damp skin—trust us, your skin will be sooo soft and glowy.

6. Best Glow-Boosting Body Scrub:

CÉLA Seed to Skin Scrub

CÉLA Seed to Skin Scrub
Courtesy of CÉLA

This cheerful peach-colored scrub kick starts your lymphatic system to help purge toxins, leaving you with a noticeably healthy, lit-from-within glow. Finely ground Amazonian cupuaçu seeds resurface your skin while Abyssinian seed oil and shea butter infuse it with moisture. The scent blend of orange peel, cedarwood, and patchouli oil will instantly turn a standard shower into a full sensory experience. Take your time massaging this scrub all over your skin before showering to deeply polish and let the oils absorb further. If you're running short on time, you can also use this once you've already been under the water for a few minutes.

7. Best No-Mess Body Scrub:

GLOSSIER Body Hero Exfoliating Bar

GLOSSIER Body Hero Exfoliating Bar
Courtesy of GLOSSIER

If you tend to skip body scrubs because of the goopy mess they can sometimes create, you'll love the convenient shape of this mess-free exfoliating bar. Made with finely milled, biodegradable bamboo powder, it ever-so-gently sloughs off dead skin cells as it cleanses. Plus, it infuses your skin with an orange blossom and neroli scent blend (the same as their coveted Body Hero Daily Oil Wash).

8. Best-Smelling Body Scrub:

AESOP Redemption Body Scrub

AESOP Redemption Body Scrub
Courtesy of AESOP

Pretty much all of the body scrubs featured in this list smell great, but this AESOP formula might just win for its super fresh aroma. It features a unique (and addictive) essential oil blend of pine needles, sage leaf, and clove. But it doesn't just smell divine, it also exfoliates like a dream thanks to finely milled pumice and bamboo stems.

9. Best for Dry Skin:

HERBIVORE Coconut Milk Body Polish

HERBIVORE Coconut Milk Body Polish
Courtesy of HERBIVORE

If your skin is prone to dryness, look for a scrub that will not only exfoliate but infuse your skin with an extra dose of moisture. This formula does just that by pairing hydrating coconut milk with shea butter, squalane oil, and sugar crystals for a rich, decadently moisturizing weekly treatment that'll leave your skin feeling happy, soft, and smelling like fresh coconut.

10. Best Salt Scrub:

TATA HARPER Smoothing Body Scrub

TATA HARPER Smoothing Body Scrub
Courtesy of TATA HARPER

This ultra-luxe exfoliating body treatment smooths and resurfaces the skin using five different sources of exfoliation: pink Himalayan and Hawaiian sea salts, organic sugar, cranberry fibers, and apricot-seed powder. It also features argan oil to weightlessly hydrate as you apply. The natural formula will create a surprisingly creamy lather that rinses off to reveal glowing, soft skin.

11. Best Body Scrub for Sensitive Skin:

PIXI Glycolic Body Wash

PIXI Glycolic Body Wash
Courtesy of PIXI

While this isn't technically a "scrub," this body wash does exfoliate your skin with every use thanks to glycolic acid, a dermatologist-approved AHA that gently resurfaces skin without any abrasiveness. This is a great alternative to traditional body scrubs if you have sensitive skin that doesn't tend to react well to course physical scrubs.

12. Best for Acne-Prone Skin:

SHEAMOISTURE Purple Rice Water Velvet Skin Rice Scrub

SHEAMOISTURE Purple Rice Water Velvet Skin Rice Scrub
Courtesy of SHEAMOISTURE

Say goodbye to rough patches with this richly hydrating body scrub made with shea butter, rice milk, wild orchid, and sweet violet extract. The slightly floral-scented formula exfoliates using super gentle physical exfoliants and salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliant that works great to clear up any body breakouts. Use it all over the body to cleanse and refine in one quick step.

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About the author
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Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated March 29, 2021 12:00 AM