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Ready to slough some dead skin cells off your bod? Choosing the best body exfoliator for your skin can be tricky.
But before you start workin’ that browser for your search, check out our list of the very best body exfoliators for any budget and skin type.
Your skin naturally sheds dead cells about every 30 days so that fresh skin cells can shine through.
Unfortunately, this process isn’t perfect, and your skin’s shed cycle ends up leaving some dead cells behind (gross). This explains any flaky dryness you’re peeping in the mirror and is probably the reason for those clogged pores too.
Reaching for the right exfoliator helps clear out what your skin leaves behind and could even prevent the problem in the future. Other benefits of exfoliating are brighter skin, increased collagen production, and better product absorption.
First things first: You’ll want to know the difference between a physical exfoliator (your typical scrubs) and a chemical one (usually a body wash or serum).
These are the gritty, sandy products that visibly scrub away dirt, grime, and dead skin.
This can be done with a grainy formula (usually made from salt, sugar, or — occasionally — crushed nuts) or with a physical tool like a dry brush, loofah, or netted bath mitt.
They’re usually on the affordable side and easy-peasy to use and find.
These are typically made with acids or enzymes and work by chemically releasing the dead skin cells to make way for fresh skin.
It may sound a little intense to apply acidic chemicals to your skin. But chemical exfoliators use only teeny-tiny amounts of acids or enzymes that are usually diluted with a slew of other ingredients.
Chemical exfoliators are typically used on your face, but some products can be used on your whole body.
OK, now that you have the scoop on which type of exfoliator sounds most like you, it’s time to check out the best of the best.
We searched the internet for body exfoliators that real people have rated highly and raved about. We also considered active ingredients, reviews, skin type, and price point.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–25
- $$$ = over $25
1. Best budget body exfoliator
Dr Teal’s Restore & Replenish Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Scrub
Why we chose it: This affordable, cruelty-free body scrub gets skin nice and moisturized without leaving a gross residue behind. It contains aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E to keep your bod super hydrated. Plus, the essential oils (orange and bergamot) give it a satisfying scent.
What to know: Don’t use this scrub on any minor scrapes or cuts — it could sting. And since this scrub contains fragrance, it may not be the best option for those with sensitive skin.
2. Best luxury body exfoliator
Tata Harper Smoothing Body Scrub
Why we chose it: It’s hard to find this rather bougie, hydrating, micro-polishing body treatment in stock. Using six sources of vitamins and minerals and five sources of exfoliation, it helps leave dull and uneven skin super soft and glowing.
What to know: You can work this scrub into a nice creamy lather. Tata Harper recommends using it right before shaving to help open and soften the root of your hair. Be sure to scrub in downward motions, though!
3. Best chemical body exfoliator
SkinCeuticals Body Retexturing Treatment
Why we chose it: This one may be a bit pricey, but chemical exfoliants like this are profesh at smoothing wrinkles and even lightening dark spots. This serum exfoliates and hydrates using a hydroxyethyl urea and aminosulfonic acid compound to promote cell turnover as it rebuilds the skin’s oil barrier.
What to know: This treatment contains niacinamide, a sneaky little skin tone evener that helps reduce inflammation.
4. Best body exfoliator for dry skin
Eczema Honey Premium Oatmeal Scrub
Why we chose it: This gentle, all-natural exfoliator has moisturizing ingredients that are hella helpful for folks with very dry skin or even eczema. For example, it has honey, which is a natural humectant that draws and locks in moisture.
What to know: It’s a good idea to patch test this scrub before using it, since some people who have tried it have reported allergic reactions. Eczema Honey even recommends patch testing.
5. Best body exfoliator for oily skin
Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
Why we chose it: This oil-free daily cleansing scrub has beta hydroxy, which is proven to gently cleanse deep into pores. Gentle microbeads make it great for removing blackhead-causing oil and dirt (goodbye, bacne!).
What to know: This scrub is made from a dermatologist-tested formula and is noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. It foams to a creamy lather but rinses clean.
6. Best chemical exfoliating body wash
Alpha Skin Care Moisturizing Body Wash
Why we chose it: This body wash is designed to moisturize and exfoliate and is formulated with glycolic alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), vitamin E, and aloe vera. It works gently to slough off dead skin cells and boost collagen production.
What to know: It’s fragrance-free, which is a plus for those with sensitive skin.
7. Best body exfoliator for sensitive skin
Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish
Why we chose it: This is a gentle little scrubber — even gentle enough for sensitive skin prone to ingrown hairs and razor burn. The ingredients are also all-natural, noncomedogenic, vegan, and cruelty-free.
8. Best body exfoliator for ingrown hair
First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub
Why we chose it: Skin bumps like ingrown hairs and keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin) can be super annoying, to say the least. This scrub uses a combo of physical exfoliators (like pumice) and chemical exfoliators (like glycolic and lactic acids) to slough away that sh*t.
What to know: This scrub is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. Plus, it comes in recyclable packaging.
9. Best body exfoliator for acne
Neutrogena Body Clear Acne Body Scrub with Salicylic Acid
Why we chose it: This affordable body scrub uses microbeads to help treat and prevent body breakouts on your back, chest, shoulders, and anywhere else.
What to know: This scrub is noncomedogenic andcontains salicylic acid to fight acne. It rinses off completely, so you won’t have to deal with any pore-clogging residue.
10. Best body exfoliator for sun-damaged skin
CÉLA Black Gold Supreme Coffee Scrub
Why we chose it: This coffee scrub not only gives off the rich, perky scent of java but also helps fight the damaging effects of UV radiation from the sun. Cupuaçu butter and conditioning Abyssinian oil protect and nourish as the caffeine saturates the skin’s barrier. This helps tighten the skin and may reduce the appearance of cellulite.
What to know: This pick is cruelty-, sulfate-, and paraben-free. But coffee can be abrasive, so make sure not to scrub too hard or use on broken skin.
11. Best body exfoliator for dark skin
Herbivore Natural Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish
Why we chose it: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people with darker skin tones should avoid strong chemical or mechanical exfoliation methods. Same goes for peeps who notice dark spots on their skin after breakouts, bug bites, or burns. More aggressive exfoliation may cause dark spots on the skin.
With this in mind, we chose this calming, gentle body polish made with crushed amethyst gemstone, magnesium-rich salt, ultra-hydrating organic virgin coconut oil, and night-blooming jasmine sambac.
What to know: This pick is also natural, vegan, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free.
12. Best body exfoliating cream
Dove Exfoliating Body Polish
Why we chose it: This popular pick is affordable but has the heavy whipped-cream feeling of its more expensive counterparts. If you’re looking for creamy coverage that slings away dull dry skin, this polish delivers, containing about one-quarter moisturizing cream.
What to know: You can use this product three or four times a week, if you want to.
13. Best body exfoliator for self-tanning
Jergens Natural Glow Color Primer Exfoliating In-Shower Body Scrub
Why we chose it: This self-tan priming scrub is designed to even out your skin tone and exfoliate your skin so you can get a gorg, even tan. It helps by using a fruit extract complex to slough off rough patches that can stick to color and create a splotchy self-tan.
What to know: Use it once a week, before applying your self-tanner.
14. Best body exfoliator for dead skin
Soap and Glory Flake Away Body Polish
Why we chose it: While you’re ditching dead skin for smooth skin, why not also smell like a pink dream? Reviewers are all about the signature scent — a combo of bergamot, mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, and soft musk and amber base notes.
What to know: This is heavily fragranced, so it may bother those who are sensitive to scents.
15. Best body exfoliator for legs
This Works Perfect Legs Scrub
Why we chose it: Made with pink Himalayan salt and uplifting essential oils, this exfoliating balm is buttery and leaves a natural glow.
What to know: This is a scented (and eco-friendly!) pre-shower scrub, so you might get the scrub going first thing in the morning or make it an evening ritual. It’s vegan and can be used wet or dry. Just be sure to leave it on for several minutes before you rinse it off in the shower.
16. Best natural body exfoliator
Sugar & Rose Scrub Peace and Glow Creamy Body Scrub
Why we chose it: This affordable moisturizing scrub is vegan, made without sulfates, and infused with plant-based ingredients.
What to know: Reviewers rave about the scent, but if you’re looking for a fragrance-free pick for sensitive skin, this may not be the one for you.
17. Best eco-friendly body scrub
Ethique Eco-Friendly Body Polish, Mochaccino — Deep Exfoliating Body Scrub
Why we chose it: Zero waste, baby! This sustainable beauty brand uses biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging. In addition to being plastic-free, it’s vegan and plant-based. This deep, natural, and sustainable exfoliator comes in bar form and is good for all skin types.
What to know: Amazon reviewers love it on sensitive skin, but some don’t care for the strong coffee scent.
18. Best exfoliator for bumpy skin
CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin
Why we chose it: This lotion exfoliates and moisturizes with lactic acid, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin D to soften and smooth your skin.
What to know: If you notice little rough bumps similar to red goosebumps instead of zits, you may be dealing with keratosis pilaris (KP). This exfoliator is a good starting point to help reduce those little bumps.
19. Best body exfoliator for men
Prospector Co. All-Purpose Dirt
Why we chose it: This easy-to-use fine powder tackles excess oil, dryness, and flakiness. It’s good to go on all skin types daily to help remove any gunk.
What to know: This powder is a multitasker. You can use it on both your face and your body. To use on your bod, shake some power into your hand, wet it, rub it in, and then wash it away. To use on your face, shake a bit into your palms and lightly brush it across your face.
20. Best coffee scrub
Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub
Why we chose it: Frank Body is one of the OGs of the coffee scrub game. Made of ground coffee beans, this scrub also has vitamin E, sea salt, cacao extract, and sweet almond oil.
What to know: This popular pick is 100 percent naturally derived and vegan. Reviewers love to use it to help acne-prone skin, scars, and dark spots.
21. Best scrub for feet
Formula 10.0.6 Save My Sole Rescuing Foot Scrub
What you to know: This affordable foot scrub is made with apricot seed powder, which is perfect to use on your whole foot — even between your toes (just don’t scrub too hard!).
Check the ingredients. Before you click “Buy now,” be sure to check the label carefully. Comb through the ingredient list to avoid any known allergens or irritants.
Know your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, added fragrance may be irritating. If you’re acne-prone, you’ll want to keep an eye out for products with salicylic acid to help blast those breakouts.
How often do you want to exfoliate? If you plan on grinding it out a few times a week, a chemical exfoliator or a physical exfoliator with baby-fine granules might be best. If you want an every-now-and-then scrub, go ahead and grab one with larger granules to get the job done on those large and in charge calluses.
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, and anything you use on your precious skin should be treated the same way.
Patch test! Before you hit the scrub bottle, do a little patch test somewhere relatively safe on your bod (like the inside of your wrist) to see how your skin reacts. If you see any irritation or redness, you’ll 1.) be happy you didn’t slather it all over your bod and 2.) know it’s time to move on to the next.
Follow directions. Not all exfoliators are created equal. Never assume they should be used the same way. Follow the instructions carefully to see if a product needs to be applied to wet or dry skin, if it should be left on for a while before washing off, or if it should be washed off right away.
Nice and easy does it every time. If you’re a first-timer, start off slowly, using your exfoliator once a week. After a while, you’ll be able to see how well your skin is taking it and safely determine if you want to ramp up.
If you have the “too much” gene, you’ll find it’s way too easy to overdo body scrubs. If done too harshly, physical exfoliation can aggravate your skin, resulting in redness, dryness, or worsening breakouts.
Also, if you have a skin condition like rosacea, exfoliation isn’t necessarily for you. It’s best to check in with a dermatologist first to assess your skin type and pinpoint which exfoliation method is best for your skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology says exfoliating may not be for everyone, and those who want to get scrubby with it should do so safely to reduce the risk of skin damage.
The fine print on exfoliating safety
If you experience severe irritation after exfoliating, it could be an allergic reaction.
See your doc ASAP if you notice these signs of an allergic reaction:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- swelling of your tongue, throat, or face
- tightness in your lungs