12 Best Body Scrubs & Exfoliators Of 2022 For Soft, Glowing Skin All Over
If you're on the prowl for smooth, glowing skin all over (honestly, who isn't?), a body exfoliator is a must-have shower staple. For some reason, many associate body scrubs, buffing tools, and the like with major skin-pampering: only to use when you have ample time to sink into the tub, read a book, and soak away your troubles. Perhaps because it does take a bit longer to give yourself a proper scrub than, say, slather on an AHA face mask—you're dealing with much more surface area, after all—but, oh, are the results worth it.
The best body exfoliators remove buildup to leave skin soft and refreshed, making it a must-add to your weekly routine. Whether you opt for a scrub, lotion, or dry brush, we did the work to find the worthy options that won't damage your skin, all made with natural ingredients.
mbg's picks for the best body exfoliators of 2022:
How we picked:
Not only do we favor clean, naturally-derived ingredients—but we look for options that feed the skin nutrients.
We don't believe in being harsh to your skin, so we opted for options that aren't too abrasive. But of course: We want these to get the job done.
A good body exfoliator can come in many types, from chemical to physical. We included a plethora of options so you can find one that works for you.
We wanted to include formulas that can address several skin types and needs.
mbg's picks for the best body exfoliators of 2022:
Best overall: NativaSPA Madagascar Vanilla Soothing Body Scrub
- Dermatologist tested
- Gentle texture
- Scented, in case you want fragrance free
This sensorial blend of shea butter, quinoa seed oil, vanilla extract, and sugar is just as delightful to use as it is on the skin. The sugar gently buffs away dead skin and cleans the skin, while the butter and oil blends sink in—supplying the skin with a hydrating layer of botanicals. The vanilla extract contains potent antioxidant qualities, and lends the blend a softly sweet scent. But it's also blended with soft white flower notes, so it's warm yet airy.
Best body scrub: Susanne Kaufmann Body Scrub
- Exfoliates and moisturizes
- Creamy texture
Expect to see an immediate difference in your skin post-application. Our beauty testers say the scrub leaves your complexion brighter, skin texture smoother, and moisture barrier intact, thanks to its rich, creamy texture. No flaky, itchy skin, here. The formula calls on fine sea sand and pumice powder to gently buff the skin, as well as St. John's wort and echinacea extract for their anti-inflammatory properties. Then for some welcome moisture and a butter-like feel, you'll find hyaluronic acid, glycerin, olive oil, and sunflower seed oil.
Best AHA Lotion: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion
- Combines exfoliation and moisturizing
- Glycolic acid can be irritating
Don't have time for a body scrub pre-shower? Fold an AHA lotion into your routine post-rinse. You're already lathering up after your shower, anyway (right?), and this acid-infused formula can play double duty: Along with glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids to resurface the skin, marula and shea butters help lock in all that moisture and nourish your complexion.
- Helps prevent ingrowns
- Some prefer a stronger option
Pesky ingrowns are no match for this scrub. It contains a mix of both chemical exfoliators (glycolic acid and lactic acid) and physical granules (jojoba and castor oil beads) to prep your skin for the smoothest shave. Despite its double exfoliation power, the formula remains gentle enough to use on more sensitive areas, like the underarms or bikini line.
Best scent: Beneath Your Mask Polish Detoxifying Body Scrub
- Great for oily skin
- Doubles as body mask
- Essential oils can be irritating
For days you want to pamper all of your senses, look no further than this physical exfoliator. Along with sea salt granules, colloidal oat flour gently buffs the skin until it shines—and the fresh lavender-lemongrass scent is impossible to ignore. Hot tip: Leave the scrub on as a mask for a few minutes; it also contains bentonite clay, which can help draw out any gunk from the pores.
Best exfoliating glove: Face Halo Body Exfoliator
- Quick and easy
- Too rough for some
Don't sleep on a quality texture mitt. These physical exfoliators stimulate circulation through massaging motions, which helps reduce fine lines and aid in lymph flow to reduce buildup and bloating. We especially love this dual-sided mitt, as it features a wet and dry side to use in or out of the shower. For those who don't have time to hop under the spray, it's a game-changer.
Best for sensitive skin: Nécessaire The Body Exfoliator
- Gentle formula
- Less of a "scrub" feel
Yes, this formula does contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and bamboo charcoal powder, but it's actually gentle enough for sensitive skin. It barely has a "scrub" feel at all, unless you use the exfoliator on dry skin and emulsify just a bit while you massage. If you have hypersensitive skin, you might want to opt for the brand's fragrance-free version—but this eucalyptus aroma is heavenly, if you can handle it.
Best body serum: Soft Services Smoothing Solution
- Great for acne-prone or oily skin
- Not the best for sensitive skin
Ever slathered an AHA serum on your face pre-moisturizer? Well, here's a body care version. This gel-serum contains lactic acid and urea to address any textural or tonal concerns you may have, while aloe, centella asiatica, and hyaluronic acid help hydrate and soothe. Apply it on dry (not damp) skin so the actives can easily penetrate, then layer with your favorite body lotion.
Best dry brush: Savor Beauty Dry Brush
- Stimulates circulation & lymphatic drainage
- Takes longer to see changes
Dry brushing manually removes dead skin cells from the top layer of skin, improving its appearance and making following topical treatments more effective (plus other benefits, which you can read about here). That said, you want a stiff bristle that's not too abrasive: We love this 100% vegan number, made from sisal (derived from plant fibers) and beech wood.
Best for KP: First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub
- Fast results
- Reviewers report a strong smell
If you're dealing with keratosis pilaris (KP), a product named "KP Bump Eraser" sounds like a pretty safe bet, no? And it's not just marketing: It contains pumice buffing beads to physically smooth texture, glycolic and lactic acids to unglue clogged pores, and vitamin E to condition the skin. A bonus: It's completely fragrance-free, so those sensitive to scent can easily join the party.
Best for dull skin: Skinfix Resurface+ Glycolic and Lactic Acid Renewing Body Scrub
- Good value
- Might be too abrasive for sensitive skin
Another double-duty scrub, this formula contains both AHAs and naturally derived BHAs to loosen dead skin cells and polish your complexion. It also contains fruit extracts (lemon and orange) to help brighten the skin, so you'll notice a pretty immediate glow.
Best for body acne: Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Body 12% AHA/BHA Bump-Smoothing Night Serum
- Combats acne
- Strong honey smell
With 10% lactic acid and 2% salicylic acid, this serum is one potent acne-fighter. If that AHA-BHA blend has you running for the hills, don't fret: It also contains shea butter, prickly pear leaf juice, and a blend of honey extracts (like propolis and royal jelly) to condition your skin simultaneously. Slather on clean, dry skin, apply body lotion, and wake up to smooth, hydrated skin.
How often should you exfoliate your body?
It's a common question—one that requires thoughtful consideration, as going overboard can have some not-so-fun repercussions. Read: irritation, redness, inflammation, and overall raw, tight skin. Ouch. "The most important tip is that 'less is more.' You want to exfoliate just enough to increase cell turnover and reveal fresh new skin," says Ife Rodney, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Eternal Dermatology.
What does this mean for the body? If you tend to have dry skin, stick to once a week; if you have oily or combination skin, you may be able to get away with twice or even three times a week. Your body may be able to handle more potent actives than the delicate skin on your face, but we suggest starting slow and working your way up to a more frequent cadence.
Just know that sneaky everyday items can also exfoliate your skin, sometimes without you even knowing it—like using a loofah to cleanse or a terry-cloth towel post-rinse. On that note, check your cleansers to make sure you're not using any AHA-laden formulas. You don't want to pile on too many exfoliating actives.
Oh, and just as important as regular exfoliation? Moisturizing your skin after. Exfoliation without hydration is a recipe for a weakened skin barrier. (These are our favorite body lotions to support the skin barrier.)
mbg review process.
At mbg, high standards are earned—and there are no shortcuts. Our beauty editors stay up to date on the latest ingredient research and innovation. It's a dynamic, continuously evolving space, and it's important we look into the science so we can make informed choices about which formulas earn our stamp of approval (figuratively speaking).
Our high standards also come from testing products—many, many products. Our editors and writers rigorously test and research the products featured in our roundups to offer you the best, most informed recommendations. When we write reviews, you can trust we spend quality time with the formulas: We don't simply rave about products we've slathered on the back of our hand. We endorse products we've tried and loved.
Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here.
Just as you might snag an enzyme face mask or acid-soaked peel pad to brighten the skin and swipe away textural concerns, you can send your body some of that love. And if you'd like to go the DIY route, that's fine, too—here's how to make your own luxurious blend at home.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.