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The best body scrubs

(Image credit: Image by JIb_Enjoy from Pixabay )

The benefits of using a good body scrub are worth the effort and outlay. Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells to keep skin glowing and smooth, allowing body lotions, butters or oils to penetrate more effectively. They may help to some extent with improving the appearance of lumps, bumps and cellulite (providing you aren’t expecting the kind of miracles only diet and exercise can achieve).

Face and body scrubs aren’t generally interchangeable – a body scrub is too rough to use on delicate facial skin, while a face scrub would be ineffective (and expensive) to use on the body.

Most body scrubs contain an exfoliating agent like salt, sugar or coffee grounds, along with skin moisturising oils or an ingredient like shea butter. When choosing one, consider your skin type. A less gritty one may be a better option if it is on the sensitive side and go easy when applying.

You are usually recommended to use a scrub on wet skin, but if the one you’ve chosen has an oil base, you may want to apply while you’re still dry to avoid diluting the product and ensure it doesn’t just slide off into the bath. Use circular motions to massage it into your skin

If you’re a fan of self-tanning treatments, a body scrub is essential to avoid patches on drier areas like elbows and knees which tend to go patchy. Ideally you will want to exfoliate at least a couple of times in the days ahead of a self-tanning treatment, but not on the day you plan to tan. Nor is it a good idea to ever use an exfoliator on freshly waxed or shaven skin.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Minimo Perk Whipped Coffee Body Scrub

A sweet treat for the body with zero calories

Smells good enough to eat
Aimed at improving the appearance of cellulite
Paraben free
We’d love a larger tub

The instructions advise using this with a sponge or loofah rather than applying with your hands as you would generally do with other scrubs. It has a decadent, nutty and chocolatey aroma which made it really enjoyable to use if you’re a fan of those kinds of smells. A little went a long way, although if you were using it all over two to three times a week as recommended, the pot would go relatively quickly. Unlike other body scrubs which you rinse away immediately after using, the directions also state leaving this on for five minutes before rinsing off which might not be very practical if you have a cold bathroom or are short on time.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Elemis Lime & Ginger Salt Glow

Amazing fragrance and luxury look

Impressive Kilner jar packaging
Beautiful fragrance
Contains a blend of three natural oils
Not a budget option

This has a gorgeous, but subtle scent that could easily be a high-end perfume and, in that respect, it was our favourite of all the scrubs. It feels really luxurious too, with a smooth, creamy texture that still has enough grit in it to work very effectively and left our skin soft and fragranced afterwards. It isn’t the most economic in terms of cost but for a luxury spa-like treatment it would be worth splashing out on. The packaging looks good in a bathroom in addition to making it great to give as a gift but we did find the jar a little fiddly to open with wet hands.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Organic Shop Raspberry & Sugar Body Scrub

A naturally based formula that does the job

No parabens or SLS
COSMOS certified, providing assurances of cruelty free and a natural formulation
Easy to open tub
Not strongly fragranced

This sugar-based scrub contains a number of organic ingredients. Although it looks raspberry-like and the smell was pleasant it didn’t really smell particularly raspberry like to us, which could be the result of the company not using artificial fragrances. We felt it was a good “medium” scrub that wasn’t too gentle or too abrasive. The tub has a lid that flips off very easily for use in the bath or shower although it might not be ideal for travelling for that reason. It didn’t leave a film of moisturising oil on our skin like some of the others, which may or may not be considered an advantage depending on your personal preference.

(Image credit: Amazon)

UpCircle Lemongrass Body Scrub

An eco-friendly choice for skin and the environment

Vegan friendly and cruelty free
An uplifting fragrance
All-natural formulation
No plastic packaging

We love the fact this scrub is made from recycled Arabica coffee grounds, making it good for skin and the environment. It does smell of coffee, as you’d expect, but this is offset by the lemongrass aroma.

 The coffee grounds make a great exfoliator when applied to damp skin and this would be a good option if you want a really gritty product. Shea butter and coconut oils provide moisturising properties. If we had any criticism, it would be only that you need both hands free to squeeze the scrub out of the aluminium tube, like toothpaste. This made it a trickier to use, we lost several dollops as a result and it might be hard to ensure you are able to use every last bit. You will also need to give the tub or shower tray a good clean afterwards to avoid it resembling a cafetière!

Sara Niven

Sara Niven is a freelance journalist who has covered a range of lifestyle issues for more than 20 years. She has been the beauty editor of numerous national and regional titles, regularly reviews products and is also a qualified counsellor and beauty therapist.