Goodbye roughness, hello super soft limbs 

As it probably took a lot of experiments to get just right, we’re sure (like us) you’re completely devoted to your skincare routine. From deciding between overnight serums (a hyaluronic acid serum? A niacinamide serum? Both?!) and trying to get into the habit of at-home facial massage, our efforts can often solely focus on the neck up. But what about from the neck down?

Looking after the skin on our body is important for the same reasons it’s important to look after the skin on our face: it can help it to feel smoother and softer, and give it a radiance boost too.

Winter’s the perfect time to layer up – from body butters to serums and oils, there’s a variety out there to choose from. Where’s a good place to start? A body scrub can be the perfect first step on the journey to softer and smoother limbs. Here’s why.

 What do body scrubs & exfoliators do?

Body scrubs are mechanical exfoliants. This means that they physically buff away dead skin cells using ingredients such as sugar and salt (compared to chemical ones that use exfoliating acids) to reveal softer skin underneath. Some are even hardy enough to help remove the rough skin that can blight your heels and elbows.

What’s more, by providing a quick dose of exfoliation, they prep limbs perfectly for the rest of your bodycare, whether it’s a luxurious body cream, moisturiser, serum or oil. You may find that they glide on all the more easily.

How do you choose a body scrub?

Although there are many wonderful exfoliating body scrubs on the market, they tend to fall into three categories: salt scrubs, sugar scrubs and coffee scrubs. Salt scrubs tend to be the most abrasive, making them glorious for getting rid of particularly rough skin. Due to their smaller particle size, sugar scrubs, on the other hand, are a lot less abrasive and subsequently better for more sensitive areas of skin and coffee scrubs offer an excellent level of exfoliation. But many body scrubs are in fact a mixture to provide a range of benefits!

How often should you exfoliate your body?

Unsurprisingly, it’s better to limit salt scrub usage to about once a week, but both sugar scrubs and coffee scrubs can be used up to three times a week. If you’ve got sensitive skin though, go easy and start with a once a week application and see how your skin gets on.

What’s the best way to exfoliate your body?

After washing in the bath or shower, apply a generous scoop to your entire body and then rub it in using small, circular motions. (If you shave, this can also be a smart move to minimise the risk of ingrown hairs before you grab your razor). Leave on for a few minutes to reap the benefits (which might be moisturising and exfoliating if your chosen scrub includes a gorgeous blend of oils), then wash off with warm water. Your skin will now be more receptive to body lotion, should you want to put any on!


So, what’s the best body exfoliating scrub to invest in? Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately if you’re an indecisive sort of person), there are loads to choose from. Whether you need yours to be vegan or of great value, we’ve got a selection of real gems here – plus some amazing body creams, oils and serums to apply afterwards.

Shop more amazing body skincare buys here.

Best vegan body scrub

Try: Frank Body Coconut Coffee Scrub

• Size: 200g

• Vegan

As if the mere scent of coffee wasn’t appealing enough, this scrub is also mixed with coconut oil and grapeseed oil (an ingredient rich in vitamins that can help reduce the appearance of scars).

Best overall body scrub

Try: Drunk Elephant Sugared Koffie Almond Milk Scrub

• Size: 270ml

• Vegan

• Cruelty-free

Both a coffee AND sugar scrub, this softening exfoliator contains a blend of moisturising plant oils to nourish everything below the neck while eliminating dead skin cells.

Best body scrub for dry skin

Try: Soap & Glory Flake Away Scrub

• Size: 300ml

Featuring shea butter, sweet almond oil and apricot seed powder alongside exfoliating sea salt and sugar, this scrub might just be the next mainstay of your self-care routine.

Best energising body scrub

Try: Aromatherapy Associates Revive Energising Exfoliator

• Size: 200g

Energise yourself with this luxurious body scrub. It’s scented with oils including grapefruit, juniper berry and rosemary, and contains sea salt to exfoliate and cold-pressed green coffee oil to support the skin barrier. After application, you’ll be ready to face anything (and glowing, naturally).

Best body scrub for fake tan prep

Try: Bondi Sands Coconut and Sea Salt Body Scrub

• Size: 250g

We’d go so far as to say it was foolish to apply fake tan without having used an exfoliating body scrub beforehand, but it has to be the right one! Formulated with a number of natural exfoliants from sea salt and Australian sand to coconut husk and walnut shell, this scrub removes dead skin cells and impurities without leaving the oily residue typical of many body scrubs that would make your tan streaky!

Best body scrub for glowing skin

Try: Fenty Skin Buff Ryder Exfoliating Body Scrub

• Size: 170ml

If you want a body scrub that gives you the same glow as a week’s holiday in the Caribbean, look no further. Containing a range of exfoliants to buff away dead skin cells, fruit enzymes to polish, coconut oil to hydrate, shea butter to nourish and vitamin C-packed Barbados cherry extract to rejuvenate, it’s as much of a joy to use as it is to write about. The fact it smells something like caramel and guava doesn’t hurt either.


It would be a shame to miss out on really reaping the benefits of exfoliating body scrubs by not indulging in a few glorious body moisturisers, wouldn’t it? Especially when winter leaves your skin drier than ever! 

Discover more bodycare essentials here.

The best body cream for dry skin

Try: Kiehl's Creme de Corps

• Size: 125ml

Looking for a non-greasy body lotion with cocoa butter, squalane and beta-carotene that’s especially kind to dry skin? You can’t go wrong with this utter classic!

The best vitamin C body serum to brighten skin

Try: Boots Vitamin C Brightening Body Serum

• Size: 180ml

We’re used to putting a vitamin C serum on our faces to combat dullness, so why not our bodies? Well, maybe we just hadn’t encountered the right product until this came along. We’re in love. Who said you couldn’t have bright, glowing skin in winter?

The best hyaluronic acid body cream for dehydrated skin

Try: Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Body Cream

• Size: 200ml

If you love using a hyaluronic acid serum on your face, chances are that you’ll love using a hyaluronic acid cream on your body too! Apply immediately after bathing or showering for skin that looks brighter and feels replenished.

The best body cream for dry, sensitive skin

Try: La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M

• Size: 400ml

• Fragrance-free

There’s nothing worse than skin so dry that it drives you to scratching to soothe the itch, a completely unnecessary act with this body cream. It’s formulated with anti-irritation thermal spring water, niacinamide, glycerin and shea butter to restore the skin's barrier function and minimise flakey flare-ups.

The best body oil for skin & hair

Try: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour All-Over Miracle Oil

• Size: 100ml

Yes, an Elizabeth Arden oil is a luxury, but considering the fact that it has eight uses – from eliminating frizz to softening dry skin – we’d say it was a rather practical purchase too.

The best multi-tasking body mask

Try: Kopari Pink Soufflé Body Mask

• Size: 236ml

A mask for your whole body is surely the gold standard of self-care and – given that it contains niacinamide, kaolin clay, dragon fruit and coconut oil – this is a particularly great one that hydrates your skin too.

The best value body cream for dry skin

Try: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Fast Absorbing Body Lotion

• Size: 400ml

There’s loads to celebrate about this body cream: the moisturising glycerin, its affordable price and the fact that it absorbs quickly, meaning that you won’t have to loiter around for ages before getting dressed.