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Best body scrub: Exfoliate dry skin for a glowing complexion with the best body scrubs

Jade Vincent Philippa Pearne
7 Apr 2020

Looking for smoother, softer skin? That's easy with our pick of the best body scrubs

Scrub your face more often than you exfoliate your body? You’re probably under the common misconception that body scrubs aren’t a necessary part of your daily beauty regime. Okay, so maybe you don’t need to use such a scrub every day – every two days would suffice – but regularly buffing your legs, arms and everything in between not only softens and smooths the skin, it also helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, improve blood circulation, prevent ingrown hairs and banish dryness.

But with so many brands longing to get their scrubs onto your skin, how to decide which is the best choice for you? Read on for our roundup of the best scrubs you can buy.

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The best body scrubs you can buy

1. Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish: The best body scrub for glowing skin

Price: £35 (200g), £59 (400g) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Don’t be put off by the look of this sludgy, grainy scrub when you first lift the lid off Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish. On buffing it melts beautifully into the skin, leaving behind baby-soft, glossy skin (which will be the work of those jojoba and citrus oils). The sugar particles don’t feel too intense, so you can be generous with how much you slather on – made all the easier when you consider the size of the tub; we’re talking value for money here, girls! Its scent is quite sweet, though, so be sure you’re a fan before you buy – you wouldn’t want to wash away the goodness of the product once it’s on your skin just because you can’t stand the smell. A must for those whose skin is crying out for a bit of TLC.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

2. Sanctuary Spa Body Exfoliator Salt Scrub: The best exfoliating body scrub

Price: £9.99 (650g) | Buy now from Boots

Gently slough away dead skin with Sanctuary's deeply exfoliating body scrub. Boasting a blend of nourishing oils — including coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oil to name a few — combined with dead sea salts, it only takes a few polishing motions to reveal a brighter and smoother complexion. Its heavy glass pot holds a generous 560g worth of product, and the Sanctuary's distinctive aroma is a real treat for the senses when you want to unwind. Overall, if you're looking to indulge in a salt scrub that seems better suited to a spa than your bathroom, make it this one. 

Buy now from Boots

3. Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliator: The best body scrub for ingrown hairs

Price: £9 (50ml), £17.50 (150ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Whether you're suffering from ingrown hairs, very dry, bumpy skin or looking to smooth your body for an even tan application, the Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant is a must-have addition to your bathtime routine. The body scrub combines micro-dermabrasion granules with a hardworking formula that's enriched with lactic acid to break down the bonds between dead skin cells and your skin. The result? Noticeably softer, smoother and healthier-looking skin. Plus, with natural conditioners that care for your skin as you slough away dryness, you'll be blessed with a glowing complexion, too. 

Buy now from Cult Beauty

4. Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub: The best drugstore body scrub 

Price: £5.33 (300ml) | Buy now from Boots

Despite being another unappealing-looking formula (sloppy porridge, anyone?), this is a super-impressive scrub for very little money. And to be fair to Soap & Glory: if you’re going to call your product ‘Breakfast Scrub’, what else would you expect it to look like? It comes in a sizeable tub, for multiple applications, and it smells just like your fruity, oaty morning smoothie. The scrub itself is quite wet, so doesn’t feel scratchy on contact with the skin, and shea butter – the ultimate ingredient for a smooth finish – leaves skin soft and hydrated. The Smoothie Star Breakfast Club is a top all-rounder: it’s reasonably priced, smells divine, and does what it says on the tin!

Buy now from Boots

5. The Body Shop Spa Of The World Brazilian Cupuacu Scrub-in-Oil: The best body scrub for dry skin

Price: £22 | Buy now from The Body Shop

What’s Cupuacu, we hear you ask? Well, it’s a precious Amazonian fruit tree, whose seeds are jam-packed with nutrients that can benefit dry and damaged skin. Here, the oil from the fruit’s seeds are combined with fine salt crystals to make a replenishing scrub – and since you can’t beat an oil for making skin feel its most hydrated, this could quite possibly be the dream formula. It feels instantly luxurious on contact with the skin and smells heavenly, too. Just be sure to get an equal measure of both oil and scrub with each application, or else you’ll be left with too much of one or the other on reaching the bottom of the pot – the oil tends to sit on the top. The price is quite steep for a high-street brand, but you’ll no doubt notice the results if you use it consistently – making it a no-brainer in our eyes.

Buy now from The Body Shop

6. Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Exfoliating Shower Gel: The best shower gel body scrub

Price: £30 (200ml) | Buy now from House of Fraser

As soon as you twist the lid off this glossy tube, you’ll instantly smell the beautiful scent of one of Jo Malone’s most recognisable fragrances. It’s zingy, zesty and oh-so clean-smelling, and you’ll want nothing more than to apply it from top to toe. The gel itself is quite thick, but once mixed with a little water, it spreads easily all over – you won’t need as much as you originally thought. The scrub particles are tiny and super-gentle, but the product nevertheless does a fine job of making the skin silky-soft, like you’ve given it a good buff. And the best bit? The smell lingers on your skin for the rest of the day. You may not want to use it every day – perhaps save it as an occasional treat – but since a little goes a long way, we reckon it’s worth every penny.

Buy now from House of Fraser

7. Legology Exfo-Lite: The best body scrub for legs

Price: £42 (5 x 50ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

If you suffer from heavy, tired legs then this clever mix of sea salt, Himalayan pink crystals, and lemon peel will instantly give them a boost. Call us crazy, but after just one application legs feel lighter, not to mention super-soft and supple. The lemony scent taps into your senses and lifts your mood the instant you open the sachet, with one packet including enough scrub for both legs. Despite being a salt scrub – which tend to feel more intense – its oil base leaves only wonderfully moisturised skin in its wake. Long live lighter legs!

Buy now from Cult Beauty

How to buy the best body scrub for you

What should I consider first?

Body scrubs (or polish, as some brands refer to it) usually contain either salt or sugar particles for exfoliation, and are mixed with essential oils to hydrate newly smooth skin. Salt particles are usually bigger than sugar, meaning they’re more abrasive and feel slightly ‘grittier’ on application. Which you go for will depend on the intensity of exfoliation you’re after, but those with sensitive or dry skin would be better opting for a sugar scrub to avoid irritation, or a shower gel/scrub formula whose grains feel less harsh on application. Consider the fragrance, too – if it’s not to your liking, that skin polish might well become a one-time only event.

What’s the difference between body brushing and exfoliating?

So why the need to keep buying bottle after bottle of body scrub when a body brush will do the job just as efficiently and is a one-time only purchase? First of all, a body brush is used on dry skin, and as such can feel more intense than an exfoliator that uses water as a lubricant for a more gentle application. Both tackle dead skin cells, but a body scrub would be the milder – and nicer smelling – option.

How much should I spend?

As with most body products, how much you spend will depends on the level of pampering you’re after. A luxury body scrub will set you back anything from £40-100, but there are perfectly sumptuous formulas available on the high street too. If you can afford to splurge, or are looking for a high-tech formula to target a specific problem, then set yourself a limit of £50 and work down from there – you might be surprised at what you can pick up.

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