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Which body scrub is best?

Dealing with dry, itchy skin is never fun, but it can be particularly frustrating when even the richest body cream can’t help. This usually means your skin needs serious exfoliation, and body scrub is up to the task. It removes the top layer of dead cells to reveal fresh, smooth skin underneath that can absorb moisture more easily.

A good scrub doesn’t just exfoliate — it can also hydrate the skin and even treat acne, depending on the formula you choose. The best is the M3 Naturals Himalayan Scrub, outstanding at both exfoliating and moisturizing. 

What to know before you buy a body scrub

Scrub type

You can choose from four main types of body scrubs, which use different abrasive materials to exfoliate the skin.

  • Sugar scrubs are suitable for nearly any skin type. They’re less abrasive than other scrubs, so they aren’t as likely to irritate the skin. Sugar also contains natural glycolic acid, which works as a chemical exfoliant to help get rid of even more dead skin.
  • Salt scrubs work well for dehydrated, rough skin because they feature sea salt, which has larger particles for more intense exfoliation. This makes salt scrub a poor choice for sensitive skin, because it can cause irritation. Though salt scrubs are thought to help draw impurities out of the skin, they can also have a drying effect.
  • Coffee scrubs contain coffee grounds to exfoliate the skin. They’re less abrasive than sugar or salt, so they’re good if you want a gentle formula. They contain caffeine and antioxidants for other benefits. Caffeine helps tighten the skin to reduce the appearance of cellulite, while antioxidants can counter free-radical damage for younger-looking skin.
  • Nut shell scrubs are made with crushed shells from various types of nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts. Although they are exfoliating, they’re typically less abrasive than sugar or salt scrubs, so nut shell scrubs are usually a good choice for delicate skin. 

What to look for in a quality body scrub


Besides its abrasive materia, other ingredients make up a body scrub’s base. Here are some common ones:

  • Coconut oil works as an intensive moisturizer, helping a scrub soften and hydrate the skin.
  • Olive oil contains antioxidants that are good for the skin and hydrates effectively as well.
  • Shea butter is a rich emollient that helps moisturize and even forms a barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Oatmeal is ideal for sensitive or irritated skin as it soothes redness and itching. It also helps moisturize and fortify the skin’s protective barrier.
  • Salicylic acid can help fight acne. It also works as a chemical exfoliant and can clean deep within the pores.
  • Charcoal works as a cleanser that detoxifies as it removes dirt and oil. 


Many thick body scrubs come in a tub, which can get messy since you have to use your fingers to scoop them out. Thinner scrubs often come in a squeeze tube, so you don’t have to worry about a mess or bacteria getting inside.


Many people prefer body scrubs with a pleasant scent, but you’re better off choosing a formula that uses natural fragrances rather than synthetic. Those scented with artificial fragrances can cause irritation for sensitive skin, leading to more dryness and itching.

How much you can expect to spend on a body scrub

For a basic body scrub that uses salt, nut shells or coarse sugar, expect to pay $4-$18. A finer scrub with sugar or coffee grounds that exfoliates more gently and hydrates the skin costs $13-$36. An extra-fine, sugar-based body scrub with hydrating ingredients runs $36-$60.

Body scrub FAQ

Q. How often should I use a body scrub?

A. Gentle coffee- or sugar-based scrubs can usually be used two to three times a week. If you’re using a salt or coarse sugar scrub, stick to just once a week to avoid irritating your skin.       

Q. Can I use a body scrub on my face?

A. Never use a body scrub to exfoliate your face. Facial skin is much more fragile than the skin on your body, so a body scrub can severely irritate it.

What’s the best body scrub to buy?

Top body scrub

Best M3 Naturals Himalayan Scrub

M3 Naturals Himalayan Scrub

What you need to know: This scrub contains quality ingredients that exfoliate well to reveal brighter, fresher skin. 

What you’ll love: Made with Himalayan salt and plant ingredients, it cleanses and moisturizes. It includes collagen and stem cells that nourish as they soften skin.  

What you should consider: This scrub is quite coarse, and may irritate sensitive skin. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Target

Top body scrub for the money

Best Dove Exfoliating Body Polish

Dove Exfoliating Body Polish

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a body scrub that exfoliates and softens skin for an affordable price, this is the one to get. 

What you’ll love: This scrub is made with macadamia nuts that exfoliate the skin. It also contains moisturizing cream and rice milk for skin that’s hydrated and nourished. 

What you should consider: It’s not extremely abrasive, so it’s not the best choice for anyone who needs major exfoliation. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Target

Worth checking out

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub

What you need to know: This highly effective scrub is made with quality ingredients and has a tempting smell.

What you’ll love: It features crushed cupuacu seeds and fine sugar crystals to exfoliate the skin. The formula also contains coconut oil and other plant-based ingredients that are nourishing and hydrating. The scent is pleasant. 

What you should consider: It’s on the stiff side, which makes it challenging to remove from the jar and rub onto the skin. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon 

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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