12 best body scrubs for softer, firmer and brighter skin

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Most of us are guilty of paying more attention to the skin on our face than the skin on our body. Which is a big reason why body scrubs, or exfoliants as they are often referred to, don’t receive the attention they deserve.

By introducing a body scrub into your routine, you are encouraging quicker cell turnover while also sloughing away dead skin cells to reveal brighter healthier-looking skin. If you don’t already exfoliate, these dead skin cells will build up and overtime may cause clogged pores, body acne (especially on your back) and your skin will appear dull and ashy-looking.

Regularly buffing also allows your body lotion to work more effectively and you’ll get a better shave too. If you have cellulite, the regular stimulation that you’re giving to your usually neglected areas, such as backs of legs, knees, and upper arms will help break down unwanted fatty tissues that give that bumpy appearance to cellulite. Blood circulation will also improve, dryness will banish, and ingrown hairs will be a problem of the past.

There are a whole host of scrubs available from grain and salt to sugar and sand, the only real difference between them is the texture, which ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, it’s worth noting that sandy and salt formulas may be a little too harsh if you suffer with sensitivity or any skin conditions, such as eczema. It’s best to keep to grain-based or sugar-based formulations which are gentle and rub into skin without having to use too much pressure.

We often use the time-poor card when it comes to self-care, but by introducing a body exfoliator even just once a week, will give you noticeably firmer, brighter and softer skin. However, if you can lock yourself away in your bathroom for longer, 3-4 times a week is ideal for a good old buff.

How much product to use varies on the consistency of the formula. The more liquid-y the product, the more surface area you will be able to cover without having to use up a whole tub on just one application. Aromatherapy Associates global wellness director, Christina Salcedas, says: “Apply on damp skin to make your scrub go that little bit further. And use circular motions from your chest down to your feet.”

With all that being said, here are the scrubs to know…

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Ameliorate smoothing body exfoliant It’s not sexy to look at, but this dermatologist-approved scrub is as serious as it gets. It’s formulated with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which help to break down the dry, bumpy surface that so many of us often feel on the backs of our arms, known as keratosis pilaris, while also tackling stubborn ingrown hairs too. This is a no-nonsense, no-frills formula that will give you noticeable results if used regularly. Its rich, creamy and non-gritty formulation means it’s sensitive skin friendly and feels surprisingly luxe to apply. If you’re looking for a quick-fix on dry, bumpy skin, this is it. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Goldfaden MD doctor’s body scrub If you take your skincare seriously, you may recognise the brand Goldfaden for its best-selling face exfoliator that has a fan base that reads like an Oscar winner list. So, imagine the excitement when they recently launched into body care. Admittedly, this is a hefty price to pay for a body scrub, but then again, this mega pot is so generously-sized, it will last. Similar to the face version, this scrub has a rich and creamy texture with sugar-like crystals that slough away dead skin effortlessly. You can tell on application that this is one well-thought out body scrub that leaves skin feeling beautifully moisturised and “new” rather than raw and sore. Apart from the price, it’s honestly hard to find fault. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Aromatherapy Associates rose triple exfoliator If you’re an exfoliating junkie, then this recently launched scrub is for you. It’s gentle enough to use on both your face and your body, yet still hardworking. The scrub is packed with three (hence the name) main ingredients – natural bamboo, corn cob granules and rose water infused jojoba – that work simultaneously to sweep away impurities, soothe skin, polish and brighten while transporting you to a floral wonderland. This is quite literally therapy in a tub. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} REN Clean Skincare Atlantic kelp and magnesium salt anti-fatigue exfoliating body scrub If both your skin and your muscles need some TLC, this will soon become your body saviour. More of a balm than a cream or gel, this body scrub is packed with fresh sea kelp and magnesium salts that work together to slough away dead skin cells, while also helping to relieve muscle fatigue and give your body a help in naturally detoxifying. The best way to use it is to apply it on your body and then submerge in a warm bath and let the oils and minerals diffuse in the tub. We also took a particular liking to the design of the pot, thanks to its easy open/close lid that lifts up as opposed to turns, which is a godsend when you have slippery hands. It’s the little things! {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Frank Body fizzy body scrub With its original coffee scrub getting rave reviews from skincare obsessives worldwide, we had high hopes for this new sweeter version, which didn’t disappoint. This one-of-a-kind pink sugar scrub feels like a sensorial explosion in your shower. It foams and fizzes while it scrubs your skin with a popping candy effect. Naturally derived ingredients of sugar, citric acid, bicarbonate and grapeseed and almond oil get hard at work on rough spots, so you emerge with silky soft skin from neck-to-toe. Be warned, this thoroughly satisfying texture is addictive, so you’ll be tempted to use this daily. Definitely the best fun we’ve had in a shower, ever! {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Fresh brown sugar body polish The pioneer of sugar body scrubs and still as popular now as it was back in the day. This fan-favourite uses brown sugar crystals that have a delicious waft similar to that of steaming cinnamon buns. Skin-loving evening primrose, jojoba, sweet almond, apricot kernels and ginseng and peppermint oil nourish skin leaving it feeling hydrated and supple, with a subtle glow every time. If you only have time to invest in a scrub once a week, then this is a good choice as it’s too harsh to use too often. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Jo Malone Cypress and grapevine exfoliating shower gel Exfoliators don’t come posher than this. Expect to be beautifully overwhelmed with the aromatic scent of green and woody notes that make this a great scrub to share with your other half. Its beautifully masculine smell is juxtaposed with the thick gel texture that slowly thins on contact with water, leaving your skin silky-soft. If you have a family bathroom, place this high on a shelf away from little mitts, this is far too luxurious to waste. The smell will linger on your skin all day, so avoid layering body creams or oils on your skin after your shower as this will break down the stunning scent. We’re obsessed. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} L’Occitane crunchy muesli scrub Imagine smothering your body with your breakfast muesli, and this is exactly what this scrub feels like – but in a good way. Although this is part of the best-selling and incredible smelling almond range, this scrub has no obvious smell to it. It’s quite sandy in texture which is great if you need a good old scrub, but if your skin tends to be sensitive, then we suggest adding a little almond shower oil (which by the way is beyond heavenly) for a softer and more fragrant rub down that is kinder to skin. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Sol de Janeiro bum bum body scrub If a fabulous smell is high on your list of criteria when it comes to choosing your products, then you’ll instantly fall in love with this Brazilian beauty of a scrub. This brand is famed for its booty-enhancing products, so it’s no surprise that this has made the hit-list. Scoop a handful onto dry lacklustre skin and let the hardworking sugar scrub do its magic. Hydrating coconut oil softens skin while caffeine-packed guarana helps firm and reduce the appearance of cellulite. The sugar melts away easily leaving skin silky, slip-free and beautifully fragrant with the brand’s signature pistachio and caramel scent. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Liz Earle cleanse and polish body gentle mitt cleanser We love this coveted scrub by the experts at Liz Earle. This 2-in-1 treatment works as a body wash plus a body exfoliator, thanks to the mitt that comes with the product. Choose your level of exfoliation by either gently scrubbing your skin with the mitt, or for a less intense rub, leave the mitt for days that you’re feeling braver. Like all Liz Earle products, this body polish has a clean, fresh scent that isn’t overwhelming and appeals to both women and men (yes, men exfoliate too). We guarantee your skin will feel smoother after just one application. It’s a great choice for sensitive skins too – just leave the mitt for rougher spots such as knees, elbows and heels. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Caudalie crushed cabernet scrub This is the closest you’ll get to a spa experience at home. It combines our two favourite loves – wine and pampering. The luxe sugar scrub is made from cabernet grapes from a fancy French vineyard in Bordeaux and is scented with essential oils like lemon, geranium and rosemary to nourish and soften your skin. It’s no surprise that this scrub is the first step in the “vinothérapie contouring treatment” in the Caudalie spa, your skin feels and smells beyond. We got a little overexcited with our pot, so apply sparingly if you want more for your money. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Weleda birch body scrub Weleda has been developing natural products since 1921, and it still remains hard to beat on organic beauty that punches well above its price. This body scrub is no exception. Teeny-tiny wax pearls stimulate circulation and re-awaken skin, while zesty grapefruit, citrus and cypress invigorate and brighten. Not only will this lift your body, but the scent will lift your mood too. A great all-rounder. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}}

The verdict: Body scrubs It may not have all the bells or whistles in appearance, but what Ameliorate lacks in attractive packaging, it makes up for ten times over in formula. If however, you’re looking for pure indulgence and a luxurious pamper, then it’s safe to say Goldfaden MD should be top of your Christmas list. An expense, but a worthy one.

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