15 Best Body Scrubs for Smoother Skin
Even the best lotions will only get you so far. You also need an amazing body scrub to get the gorgeous, glowing skin you’ve been dreaming about.
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What your beauty routine may be missing
Body scrubs are a spa staple, but using them at home does more than simply add a luxurious element to your skin-care routine. “They can help reveal brighter and newer skin cells beneath the surface by removing the dull, dead skin cells,” says Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Brown Dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine. “Scrubs also allow topical products to penetrate better.” You might want to follow up with an excellent hand cream, for example, to hydrate dry or aging hands.
How do they work their magic, exactly? Chemical scrubs with ingredients like glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid break apart bonds that hold together dead skin cells and dissolve them to reveal brighter, more radiant skin. By contrast, physical scrubs do a more manual form of labor, sloughing off dead skin with things like salts, sugars, or other particles derived from sources like plants, notes Dr. Libby.
One word of caution: While these little miracle workers can have a place in most beauty routines, make sure not to overdo it. Overzealous scrubbing may irritate the skin, leaving it inflamed. “If going the physical scrub route, I recommend looking for ones with micro-scrub particles,” says Dr. Libby. “Smaller particles are less abrasive and work to gently exfoliate and buff away dead skin cells.”
To help you find the right scrub for you, we’ve rounded up 15 top-rated and expert-approved favorites for all skin types, personal preferences, and budgets. Once you’ve chosen your favorite, turn your attention to the best face scrubs, which can maximize the effects of your favorite serums, anti-aging creams, and eye creams.
Olay Exfoliating & Moisturizing Body Wash
While our skin naturally sheds on its own, gentle physical exfoliation with the right products can help speed up the process, explains Sheila Farhang, MD, an Arizona-based dermatologist. One of her favorite products is this new Olay Exfoliating & Moisturizing Body Wash, which is loaded with sugar, cocoa butter, and vitamin B3. “The sugar crystals massage away dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling smooth, which is great for the summertime when we all bare more skin,” she says. “And I love that they included vitamin B3 complex and petrolatum—the number one dermatologist-recommended moisturizing ingredient for long-lasting hydration.” Bonus: It’s gentle enough for everyday use.
cbdMD Botanicals Body Sugar
CBD is the hot supplement these days, and it’s popping up in all types of skin care for good reason—cannabidiol (CBD) may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal dry skin. This sugar scrub from cbdMD Botanicals gently removes dead skin cells while boosting hydration with shea butter and coconut oil, and it’s infused with CBG (short for cannabigerol), which has been called the “mother of all cannabinoids.” Don’t worry, though: Neither CBD nor CBG have any psychoactive properties. This scrub comes in three dreamy scents: Pure Coconut, Deep Sea, and Lavender Chamomile.
Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Smoothing Body Sand
This pretty-in-pink body scrub contains detoxifying Australian pink clay, exfoliating coconut and macadamia shell, and moisturizing virgin macadamia oil. A bonus: Dual-color glitter leaves your skin aglow—literally. Verified Amazon reviewer Cass raves: “This scrub is like a mini beach vacation in the comfort of your own bathroom! A little bit goes a long way—I think I used four tiny scoops for my entire body from my neck down.” Plus, it comes in an adorable beach bucket with a mini shovel, so it’ll motivate you to plan your next beach trip.
Crystal Energy Body Scrubs
This vegan-friendly line of body scrubs harnesses the power of crystals to help you get rid of negative energy and dead skin cells. Talk about multitasking! The holistic and spiritual scrubs contain crystal powder and come in four blends: Abundance, Pure Love, Protection, and Positive Vibes. Choose the one that best suits your intentions for the day. (For instance, the purple and green fluorite crystals in Positive Vibes will help you get your Zen on.) To use, apply the scrub to damp skin and rub in circular motions to exfoliate dead skin cells and let the crystals clear your mind.
Bliss Hot Salt Scrub
This blissful body scrub contains natural sea salt to exfoliate your skin, as well as seaweed extract to soften and smooth it. Plus, it heats up on contact for a spa-like sensation. “This has a menthol scent, which immediately made me want to take a deep breath,” says one fan in a five-heart review on Bliss’ site. “And I love how it warms up. My skin was glowing.” FYI, exfoliation is one of the everyday habits that can make you look younger.
Goop G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub
Goop’s G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub promises to smooth, exfoliate, soften, hydrate, and detox your skin. A blend of five salts—Celtic sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, Dead Sea salt, New Zealand salt, and Epsom salt—work together to gently slough off dead skin cells, making room for fresh, silky skin, bolstered by the scrub’s rosehip oil, moringa oil, and extra-virgin olive oil. Incorporate it in your skin-care routine by using it two to three times a week, massaging it onto clean skin, and then rinsing it off. Your skin will be so smooth afterward, you can forgo the lotion.
Herla Beauty Kakadu Plum Brightening and Revitalizing Exfoliating Scrub
This dual-acting scrub combines physical exfoliation from tiny cellulose particles with chemical exfoliation from caviar lime, explains New York City dermatologist Hadley King, MD, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “It’s a gentle but effective exfoliator and a source of natural alpha-hydroxy acids that help to remove dead skin cells and even out skin pigmentation.” Rich in antioxidants from the Kakadu plum, rooibos tea, and ginkgo biloba, the scrub also helps combat damaging free radicals linked to aging skin.
ZO Skin Health Body Emulsion
With an added boost of anti-aging ingredients, this physician-dispensed scrub is a true multitasker. “ZO Skin Health Body Emulsion is formulated with retinol to improve the health of the skin and boost collagen,” says Z. Paul Lorenc, MD, a New York City plastic surgeon. It acts as an exfoliant to soften skin and slough surface cells for visibly smoother skin while simultaneously reducing the appearance of dark spots and evening skin tone.
Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash
Looking for a cleanser that also exfoliates? You need Dove’s Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash in your life. “This cleanser contains the same type of high-grade ingredients found in traditional moisturizers, allowing it to cleanse without compromising the integrity of the outer skin layer while removing dead cells to soften the skin and improve dullness,” says New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. Plus, he adds, it’s strong enough for the body but mild enough to use on your face, as well.
Differin Acne Clearing Body Scrub
This is the best body scrub if you have backne, says Dr. Libby. “This is a two-in-one gentle physical exfoliating scrub and chemical exfoliant with glycolic and salicylic acids to unclog pores, treat acne, and reduce the appearance of post-acne marks and discoloration.” And this brand is a fan favorite—in fact, Differin’s $12 acne gel for the face has more than 28,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so you should definitely check that out, too.
Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish
If your skin is dry, Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish is just what the dermatologist ordered. “This lavender paste made up of ground amethyst stones nourishes and moisturizes skin with coconut oil while gently exfoliating skin,” says Dr. Libby. The crushed purple gems and magnesium-rich Epsom salts slough off dead skin cells while also promoting a sense of inner calm.
Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub
If you have sensitive skin, you might think scrubs are out…but that’s not necessarily the case. You just need the right one, and that’s where Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub comes in. This scrub is 91 percent free of allergens and preservatives known to irritate sensitive skin. Sugar helps remove dead skin cells, coconut oil moisturizes, and a blend of probiotics helps restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your skin and scalp’s microbiome. It’s even been tested by SkinSafe, a group that aims to help people who have sensitive skin better navigate the beauty aisles.
Kiehl’s Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub
Looking for a gift for a friend or even a pick-me-up for yourself? This Kiehl’s scrub with soothing aloe vera and chamomile is just the thing for the spa lover in your life. The secret ingredient is apricot seed particles, which exfoliate dead skin cells without over-drying your skin. Aloe and chamomile pitch in to help to hydrate and soothe. It’s available in coriander, grapefruit, and lavender scents.
Deborah Lippmann Soul Mission Self-Heating Foot Scrub
Get sandal-ready ASAP with this self-heating foot scrub from celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann, who knows a thing or two about the perfect pedicure, too. The sugar and salt scrub is infused with potent antioxidants—including beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and emollient-rich carrot and sunflower oils—to give you that post-pedicure smoothness without ever leaving your home. If you want to try your hand at some DIY beauty, these homemade foot scrubs can smooth calloused heels and refresh tired feet, too.
C & the Moon Malibu Made Body Scrub
This “best smeller” is made with natural food-grade vanilla and brown sugar. Need we say more? Well, we will! This body scrub gently removes dead skin cells and replenishes the skin’s moisture with hydrating organic oils including coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba seed oil. The company also gives back: Some of the proceeds benefit the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which fights climate change, so you can feel extra good about your purchase.
Next, get the scoop on what the best self-tanners are and how they’ll help you achieve a sun-free glow.
- Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Brown Dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine
- Sheila Farhang, MD, an Arizona-based dermatologist
- Hadley King, MD, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University
- Z. Paul Lorenc, MD, a New York City plastic surgeon
- Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York City dermatologist and the director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital