To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best body scrub 2023: Exfoliate dry skin for a smooth, glowing complexion

A skin-perfecting, exfoliating scrub is the key to keeping your skin glowing all year round — here’s our pick of the best body scrubs

Finding the best body scrub can save your skin from common problems such as ingrown hairs and dry skin. 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.

Admittedly you don’t need to use such a scrub every day – every two days should 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.

Now, whilst many skin experts warn against using physical exfoliants like scrubs on your face to avoid causing micro-tears, the skin on the rest of your body is much thicker, so body scrubs are still a great method of exfoliation. Be sure to lock in the skin’s moisture to maintain that post-scrub supple feeling for longer with the best moisturiser.

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

Best body scrub 2023: At a glance

How to choose 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.

READ NEXT: The best laser hair removal machine

How we test body scrubs

For all face and body products, we begin our testing process by analysing a product’s ingredients list. When it comes to body scrubs, in particular, we’re looking for essential oils and emollients that smooth the skin, but also taking note of the physical exfoliant in the formula. These could include abrasives such as sugar, salt, natural shells or seeds, for example. In addition, we also consider ingredients that could irritate very sensitive skin.

While we could analyse ingredients lists until the cows come home, what really matters with body scrubs is how they feel on the skin and how well they perform to remove dead skin cells – and for that it’s time to step into the shower!

Scooping out a dollop of each product, we massage the formula into skin, evaluating its feel and smell, and the amount required to achieve the desired results: we consider whether a scrub leaves skin feeling irritated or dry – or if it feels renewed, soft and supple afterwards, in which case we’re onto a winner.

READ NEXT: The best bikini trimmer

The best body scrubs you can buy in 2023

1. Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Scrub: The best drugstore body scrub

Price when reviewed: from £10 | Check price at 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!

Check price at Boots

2. Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Sugar body polish: Best for silky smooth skin

Price when reviewed: £17 | Check price at John Lewis

If you’re hoping for a body scrub that gets you the ultimate smoothness and smells amazing, the Rituals Sakura sugar body polish is a brilliant option. Formulated with a blend of sugar, rich Japanese oils and cherry exfoliant, the scrub is designed to exfoliate, stimulate skin cell renewal and nourish the skin, adding a soft, healthy glow after a light scrub. Its scent is a light, floral and delicate combination of cherry blossom and rice milk, which lasts all day. If you love the scent, you can pair the scrub with the matching Rituals moisturiser for a smooth, hydrated finish or, browse the rest of Rituals’ The Ritual of Sakura collection on the Rituals website.

Check price at John Lewis

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

Price when reviewed: From £18 (150ml) | Check price at Look Fantastic

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.

Check price at Look Fantastic

4. Legology Exfo-Lite: Best body scrub for boosting circulation

Price when reviewed: £42 | Check price at Amazon

best body scrub exo-lite

This exfoliating scrub from cellulite specialist Legology contains both sea salts and Himalayan pink salts to deliver what it calls a “two-salt glow”. In use, the scrub feels deeply exfoliating and leaves skin feeling soft, supple and glowy following a rinse with warm water – no dry skin in sight. Furthermore, Legology claims that Himalayan salts have diuretic properties, which can help to drain excess fluid from the legs. This, combined with the extra circulation you’ll get from exfoliation, can lessen the appearance of cellulite.

The only slight catch is that the scrub comes in single-use sachets, rather than a big tub, which means you’ll be inclined to use more product than you might need. We got round this issue by squeezing any excess scrub into another container to use at a later date.

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

Price when reviewed: From £35 (200g) | Check price at Look Fantastic

best body scrub fresh brown sugar body polish

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!

As the brown sugar name suggests, its scent is quite sweet, so it’s perfect if you’re a big fan of sweet-smelling products that work wonders on your skin. This scrub’s a must for anybody whose skin is crying out for a bit of TLC.

Check price at Look Fantastic

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

Price when reviewed: £36 (200ml) | Check price at Look Fantastic

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.

Check price at Look Fantastic

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

Price when reviewed: £16 (650g) | Check price at Amazon

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 650g 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.

Read more

Best Buys