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. All the winning scrubs (and do scroll down for more!) are infused with oils that leave skin so nourished that you may not need a body lotion.
GOLD AWARD Caudalie Divine Scrub
This multi-award-winner comes in a hefty (bathroom-friendly, plastic jar), from the French skincare name whose roots are (quite literally) in a Bordeaux chateau vineyard. 97% natural, Divine Scrub is based on brown sugar – one of the gentlest ways to buff skin, we find – in a nourishing base of grapeseed, argan, sesame and hibiscus oils that leave a nourishing veil on skin even when rinsed away. If you’re expecting Caudalie’s usual vineflower signature scent, this is something a little different, with touches of pepper and cosy white musk. You only need to use it twice a week for results, they advise.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘This is a lovely simple, lightly scented scrub. It is not too grainy. It dissolves quickly and is a pleasure to use. My slightly dry skin felt fresh and clean and the surface is smooth. I have been used to slightly grainier scrubs but this one has won me over! I re-wrote this review three times as I became more and more enamoured of this product! I am now a fan!’ • ‘Lovely treat, which leaves my dry flaky skin so soft, and I would buy – even just for the scent! Really easy to apply from the easy access tub, which has a light plastic interior cover to keep water away from the actual product’ • ‘Very soft product that stayed on skin so I had very few little ‘droppings’ of scrub on the shower floor. Skin now feels soft and well moisturised with all unevenness gone, even the prickly bit son my arms. I loved this product’ • ‘This went on smoothly, no dragging just a gentle exfoliating feeling and washed off like a dream. It left no residue in the shower. My skin felt wonderfully moisturised and softer after using. Does indeed smell divine. It is now on my list of products to buy’ • ‘I felt in love with the smell and the way it improved the appearance of my skin, which was nourished, smooth and soft after a few weeks of use’ • ‘I absolutely loved this product, which felt very luxurious but was rather a bargain price. Other scrubs I‘ve used leave an oily residue and lots of gritty bits behind on the skin but this just dissolved. It is indeed divine to use and got rid of all the scaly bits on my legs’ • ‘This is very easy to massage in. Once you add water, the texture becomes more like a body cleanser and you can massage further. My skin is now very smooth, even on the soles of my feet. It does what it says: leaves skin moisturised, soft, silky and delicately fragranced.’
£22 for 150g - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) AWARD Tropic Body Smooth
Capturing ‘the heart of tropical North Queensland’, the zingy scent of this is the first thing that strikes you – a blend of Australian lemon myrtle, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, bergamot and peppermint, in a blasé of organic coconut oil, jojoba, macadamia and rosehip oils. The hefty glass jar comes with its own spatula, in a pretty drawstring bag. (We’ve repurposed ours for all those charging cables that are a factor of modern life!
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘The glass kilner jar with small wooden spatula looks lovely and the citrus smell is fresh and reviving, while the texture of the carrier balm is soft and easy to smooth over skin. My skin felt very moisturised and the product remained on my skin after bathing so I didn't need any other moisturiser even on knees and heels. I used it before fake tanning and the next day my tan went on beautifully, much better than with other product – no dry spots and my skin looked smoother, healthier and less dull’ • ‘I was sad when I ran out of this product as it was so moisturising and the smell was so lovely’ • ‘My arms were quite dry before using this product; afterwards my skin feels so soft, even the elbows’ • ‘This claims to buff your skin to perfection - and it absolutely does! It's got a lovely uplifting lemony smell. The skin on my upper arm looked a bit rough and scabby with mini lumpy bits but this was fabulous at removing the rough and leaving the smooth behind. It leaves your skin with a layer of oil over it - which I now use to shave my legs! I will be buying this in future instead of my usual ones’ • ‘Love this product and will recommend to others. The texture was almost mousse-like with finer exfoliating beads than I had expected. The appearance of my skin was immediately improved and left feeling silky smooth and really moisturised for hours after; there was an oil-type feeling left on the skin but it didn't transfer to clothes or bedding’ • ‘My skin was smooth and free of dry flaky patches and looked even and healthy’ • ‘The fragrance is like pure happiness, bright, breezy, sparkly, and delicate. I can’t recall another body product scent I’ve instantly enjoyed so much. The cushioning comforting balm, which holds the scrub, hydrates and nourishes skin and is the secret of the heavenly texture’ • ‘Loved this product and have introduced it to my friends. Dry patches on my legs and knees started to become smoother after four days of using and after two weeks had gone altogether.’
£24 for 200ml - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) AWARD Temple Spa Sugar Buff Body Scrub
Joint Silver (up from Bronze) this year for a product that 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:
‘I loved this! The thick sugar-based balm is very easy to apply and made you feel like it was doing something. It claimed to make skin smooth, hydrated and glowing and did all this. The packaging looks luxurious and the product smells amazing! My skin felt like it had a residue of oil on it, so I didn't need to apply any body cream afterwards. Lovely smell. Luxurious product. Amazing to use’ • ‘My skin was a bit grimy and dirty before using this scrub; afterwards it was softer and cleaner. It promises all year-round, sexy, soft skin that radiates with a healthy glow and my dull-looking skin was certainly much softer and smoother overall after using it! For me the best thing is the fragrance - it's a gorgeous, herbally, essential oil-type smell - feels like you’re in a salon when you use it!’ • ‘This scrub was a real treat. Everything in it was perfect. Thank you for introducing me to this product! The texture is perfect with very fine granules but not minuscule and it’s not too sticky so it’s very easy to wash off and didn't leave any greasy or oily residue, which I cannot stand. This scrub definitely didn't dry the skin out, but neither it left an oily film sitting on top of the skin. I applied body lotion after, but that's my personal preference - my skin didn't feel dry after using it. Lumps and bumps from ingrown hairs etc look less raised and generally calmer. Skin feels lovely and smooth and soooooo soft and bright’ • ‘Spa in a jar! This left my skin amazingly soft! Beautiful fragrance. I was so pleased about the results on the dry patches on my arms and my dry elbows - it worked wonders and they are no more! I will be putting this on my wish list, as it’s a must to re-stock. A little goes a long way, I have been using it twice a week and still have some left from the start of the trial.’
£23 for 185g - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD - REN Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Salt Exfoliating Body Scrub
Salt- rather than sugar-based, this REN winner, it harnesses the power of Israeli sea salt and Epsom salts along with plankton extract (‘to reduce stress damage within the skin’, REN promise.) The advantage of the Epsom salts – which have a famously relaxing action – is that once you’ve rinsed them off the skin, you’re left with a rich magnesium bath soak to wallow in. The aromatic scent, though, is energising and invigorating – rosemary, cypress, sage and geranium.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I really liked the sea-like fresh fragrance. The slightly oily texture made it easy to smooth onto my skin without any dragging. It was easy to wash off and it left a moisturising layer. My skin felt very smooth, soft to the touch and moisturised after use. I would be happy to buy this product. It was luxurious, effective and pleasant to use’ • ‘This has a delicious scent of essential oils - lemony, salty and uplifting without being too overwhelming. Having spent the winter under wraps, my skin looked pretty dull and my lower legs were dehydrated and slightly scaly. My back in particular felt a little bumpy, with a few tiny raised spots. My arms felt quite rough. My favourite thing was NOT to shower it off, but to step into a warm bath and soak in the milky, salty aftermath. Skin felt silky, super soft, smooth, rejuvenated and moisturised. It felt like winter being scrubbed away’ • ‘This is a joy. You feel very self-indulgent using such a luxurious product. Your hands really benefit from rubbing it in and the end results are fabulous - you literally glow with renewed and re-texturised skin. In fact, you can't stop stroking your own skin to appreciate the difference it has made in both smoothness and silky softness - you've got to feel it to believe it! And the treatment ends with no moisturising necessary and a feeling of utter relaxation. There is no gloop or horrid bits to tidy up afterwards either, which is a welcome bonus. I have no hesitation in adding this delightful product to my arsenal of repeat purchases - it knocks rivals off the shelf!’ • ‘The granules are not too large or harsh and the oil base is lovely and moisturising. It rinses off with little effort and my skin is left lovely afterwards with better texture. It looked like my circulation had improved too, as it was more pink and glowy, especially my legs’ • ‘This is a 2 in 1 process. It recommends applying it before bathing, then showering it off in the bath. Yes, it does seem like a bit of a palaver, but it works. The product smoothes the skin really well from first use because you’re initially applying it without water. You shower it away and take in the fragrance while bathing. It says it’s anti-fatigue and I must admit the fragrance is pretty uplifting.’
£18 for 150ml - click to buy
BEAUTY STEAL AWARD - Sanctuary Spa Classic Salt Scrub
While not exactly bargain basement-priced, this is the most affordable of the scrubs that we trialled – and it did terribly well, score-wise. Also packaged in a hefty glass jar, it’s quite a loose-textured scrub (we suggest blending with fingers or a spoon before use, as the body-nurturing oil tends to settle on the top). There are small sachets available in some Boots so that you can trial this before going for the full size, NB.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘10/10. I adore this vegan scrub – a game-changer for me, as it made showering a process that I look forward to. For the first time ever, I didn't need to use a body cream on my Sahara-dry skin after showering. It left my skin very soft and moisturised and smelling sexy. The scrub seems to have aromatherapeutic qualities, which make it relaxing. I would buy a lifetime supply of this scrub and marry it…’ • ‘Oh my God, I live for that fragrance. It smells like a very fancy holiday perfume. The scent has the depth and the feel of an expensive flowery and a little bit musky perfume, but at the same time it's very relaxing and reminds me of a luxurious spa. I imagine this is how goddesses smell like. (If describing scents was a school subject I wouldn't have been able to graduate at all. Definitely not my superpower and I apologise). I literally can't stop sniffing the jar now’ • ‘I really liked this. It's very thick, oily and gritty - perfect for a luxurious body scrub! It promised to leave limbs feeling perfectly polished and gorgeously moisturised, which I'd say was pretty accurate with my post holiday, slightly scaly, peeling limbs! Will definitely buy again. I liked the packaging too’ • ‘I liked this scrub a lot. It smelt lovely and the oils and the sea salt combined to make my formerly dull dry skin feel smooth, soft and moisturised. I didn't need moisturiser. I did need to take extra time to remove the excess oil’ • ‘As I get older my skin is getting drier, especially on my body, shins, forearms, elbows and knees - all the usual suspects. My knees and shins in particular are dry and scaly, with flaky skin. On both knees I have had patches of skin that have been so dry they are white and scabby with dry skin. After using this, my skin felt fantastic and I didn’t need to apply body lotion. The oil in the product leaves a lovely sheen and even after just one use there was a definite improvement to dry patches. The scaly patches on my knees pretty much disappeared and felt so much softer’ • ‘This product has transformed my skin. I had been using a loofah glove and plenty of body creams but it was this scrub that helped to get rid of the dry patches. I only really need to use it once a week, or when my skin feels like it needs a bit extra. The jar itself looks very nice in the shower and it is a generous size, so you don’t need to worry about applying liberally. I'm a convert: it does what it says on the tin!’
£13 for 650g - click to buy