A good body scrub is your fast track to better-looking skin – and (counterintuitively) the best way to revive a fading tan, too; by buffing away dry, dead surface skin cells to reveal the fresh and radiant cells beneath. Now, for these on-line awards, we started at ground zero with testing – but we always find it heartening when products that have done well previously (in this case, REN and L’Occitane) wow a whole new raft of testers. The two top-scorers here are infused with oils that leave skin so nourished that you may not need a body lotion – whereas the Bronze winner and the Beauty Steal are cream-based, so you may feel you require a little bit of extra moisture on that newly baby-soft skin, after use.
GOLD and BEST NATURAL AWARDS - REN Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish
We're pretty sure that the almost photo-real scent of Damask roses in this sugar-based scrub is a key reason why our testers awarded it a phenomenal 9.12 marks out of 10 average. This has previously taken the top slot in several Beauty Bible Awards – and here it is in first place again. Almond extract, olive extract, cane sugar crystals and Paraguayan tea feature on the list of botanical ingredients, along with a kola nut-derived caffeine extract to boost skin microcirculation. They also recommend that it can be massaged onto tired legs ‘for an energising, detoxifying experience.’ There are lashings of oils in this, completely eliminating the need to follow with any other moisturiser – in fact, our only caveat with this product is to open carefully the first time, as the oil rises to the surface and needs to be mixed in before use. (In other words do not, as Jo did, open the hefty jar directly over your keyboard. Although that does now smell fantastic.)
OUR TESTERS’ COMMENTS:
'I loved everything about this product and will now use on my very dry neglected skin instead of my current (expensive) one. It wasn't messy to use, either straight on my skin before a shower and also during one. The smell is gorgeous and the texture is quite gentle – not harsh at all even on dry skin. It feels like it has oil in it. My skin felt softer and more moisturised, looks smoother and I love it so much I will use it all year round' • 'My skin looked a little patchy and uneven, with little bumps at the top of my arms and thighs. With my wedding approaching, I had high hopes – and it was a revelation. Now I know how much I need it as part of my skincare routine. My body felt completely hydrated and nourished after I washed it off and my skin had the healthiest glow. The bumpy patches have disappeared with minimal effort. My fiancé has even commented on how much softer my skin is. The rose fragrance leaves my skin scented for some time after' • 'Nice big tub, which made it easy to get product out. I liked the simple, clean-looking packaging. A really lovely product that left my skin moisturised, soft and glowing. I love the gentle comforting smell of roses' • 'My skin was soft as a baby. It felt invigorated and nourished. I suffer from poor circulation and I felt this improved. My skin and legs look amazing with regular use and it leaves a lingering smell that is truly divine' • 'Perfect texture, thick and easy to apply to apply to my dry, flaky, lacklustre skin. This made it soft, supple and smooth. I would definitely buy again as it is great value for a luxurious product' • '10/10: I rarely use body scrub as my skin is very sensitive and normally reacts to anything new. It was well worth the effort of scrubbing my whole body. I loved it; really moisturising and the smell was amazing. I fully expected to get a rash after a couple of applications but I was really pleased that this didn't happen. Before use, my skin was a bit dry and the texture was uneven. After rinsing, my skin was glowing and felt dewy, looked younger and more moisturised. I would thoroughly recommend.'
£32 for 330 ml - click to buy
SILVER AWARD - L’Occitane Almond Delicious Paste
Well, what do you know? In common with the REN Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish, L’Occitane Almond Delicious Paste has previously been runner-up in these awards – and with an almost identical score. (It still truly blows us away when this happens – but it does, a lot.) This features crushed almonds and shells, combined with sugar crystals to exfoliate and ‘stimulate cellular activity’. It’s very rich but transforms to a light, milky texture on contact with water, delicately scented (hints of sweet marzipan). L’Occitane recommend using on damp or wet skin – and if you’re using it in the bath, we recommend doing so at the end of your soak, because the only downside to this is the grittiness that sinks to the bottom of the tub, which is is a little uncomfortable to sit on.
OUR TESTERS’ COMMENTS:
'This is the best body scrub I have every used! I love the smell of almonds and this is like rubbing ground almonds on your skin, which beautifully exfoliates and moisturises your skin on one go. No other exfoliator leaves your skin as soft and moisturised as this does (and my current one before was pretty high end). This is fab and I would highly recommend it. Love it!' • 'A fantastic product with a buttery texture and a lovely sweet almond fragrance. Skin is left silky soft. I will buy this for myself as a treat' • 'This is on my Christmas list already! The texture is surprising thick and soft, not too gritty and scratchy. It goes on easily, it really wants to spread. It turns to milk with water and is very easy to wash off. It leaves my skin silky smooth and moisturised and also a tiny bit oily so I didn't feel the need for body cream. After a few uses, my skin felt velvety and cosseted. This is a real pamper product and made me feel special – just a lovely experience' • 'I really love this – it leaves a wonderful clean soft feeling and although almonds aren’t my favourite smell, it wasn't overpowering and didn't linger. The scrub left my skin moisturised and beautifully soft, with a definite improvement on my legs, which was much less scaly looking afterwards' • 'I had small, pimply lumps on the back of my arms and my skin never felt smooth to the touch. I'd tried various exfoliators but could get rid of the bumpiness. My skin felt very soft and moisturised after and I definitely noticed as improvement to the condition after the first application. With regular use, it became smoother. I thought it would be out of my budget range but it is lasting me ages so I may consider buying it for myself.'
£32 for 200 ml - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD - Temple Spa Mediterranean Body Scrub
This has a permanent place within reach of Jo’s bathtub, so she was particularly heartened by the fact this did so well with our testers. As the name implies, it’s a Mediterranean-inspired sugar exfoliator with a luscious texture, featuring moisturising and firming olive oil, grapeseed oil, fig and pomegranate extracts and vitamin C, with a wonderful, naturally relaxing aroma of lavender, patchouli, eucalyptus, rosemary, grapefruit and clove essential oils. Definitely a unisex smell, this – on which note it’s great for scrubbing hands after grubby tasks.
OUR TESTERS’ COMMENTS:
'Before using this product my skin was scaly in places and I had bumps under my skin on my upper arms. This scrub dramatically improved those and my husband commented on how soft m skin was. Unusually mess-free to use and didn't leave that awful slippy oil slick at the bottom of the shower. The only clue left was the lovely smell in my bathroom and my lovely smooth skin. It provided a very noticeable reduction in rough patches straight after first use, and improved the bumps with continued use. The improvements were well above anything I was expecting. Unfortunately I liked the product so much I would buy it again – and it’s considerably more than my usual scrubs!' • 'I loved the luxurious packaging; it reminded me of going to a spa. The fragrance was like walking into a spa too; I can smell the essential oils – lavender, patchouli eucalyptus and rosemary and the scent made me feel happy and invigorated. I also really liked the scoop provided as it gave me just the right amount to use on each part of my body' • 'I used this scrub in the bath and I really like that it dissolved in the water so I wasn't sitting on a ton of grains. My skin was much smoother and softer after continued use and it made the bumps at the top of my arms completely disappear. I really loved this product. The scent left me feeling very relaxed and my skin was silky-smooth after' • 'I loved the way that when you first apply it, it feels like an exfoliator but as you massage it in, it turns into an oil that left my skin feeling so soft and smooth I didn't have to apply a body lotion at all if I didn't want to. It said it would remove dead skin cells, stimulate circulation and soft the skin and that is what it did. I would happily buy it'
£27 for 255 g - click to buy
BEAUTY STEAL AWARD - SenSpa Detox Body Scrub
SenSpa is a natural range created for the spa at Careys Manor hotel in Hampshire, but which is also available – at very affordable prices – at Waitrose supermarkets and via waitrose.com. We’re personal fans of the aromatherapeutic, spa-y scent, and the brilliantly buffing texture, which is based on Dead Sea salts and pumice. As a result, we feel that makes it more suitable for use on really tough areas like knees, heels and elbows – on which it does a fantastic job – rather than delicate areas like the décolletage. We also suggest using in the final stages of a bath to avoid the ‘gritty bottom’ effect. Unlike any of the other winners in this category, meanwhile (which are all presented in hefty jars), it comes in a flip-top tube that is suitable for travelling.
OUR TESTERS’ COMMENTS:
'Fab, affordable range with natural formulations. The scrub was a pleasure to use and the citrusy scent was lovely. I regularly use scrubs and this one compared very well. It is full of oils and applied well' • 'The website says the product should polish roughness away and restore healthy skin radiance and softness – and it did just that' • 'I had small red bumps on the top of my arms and this made a real difference to the condition. It was quite messy to use but fun, went on really well and I felt it polishing my skin. Washed off really easily, completely dissolved and didn't sit in the bath. My skin is no longer red and bumpy, so I would buy it in preference to my usual scrub. Lovely smelling too' • 'I liked the fact it said it was 97% natural on the tube; this would encourage me to buy it' • 'This promised to be a "detoxing" body scrub and my skin definitely felt it had benefited from a spa experience. It’s a fab product and I would definitely buy again.'
£6.95 for 200 ml - click to buy