Physical Exfoliant Body Scrubs
The most common form of body scrub on the market is one that contains physical grit or matter that works to buff away at dead skin cells. Often paired back with either a foaming agent or something a little more hydrating, this in-shower product seeks to clean and exfoliate at the same time to expose smoother, more hydrated skin.
Popular debris or ingredients that are used within physical body scrubs are sand, crushed up natural seeds or shells, sugar, salt or lots of other natural granular things!
For us here at Monde, a body scrub is the perfect twice-weekly ritual to perform in the shower to help buff away tired and flaking cells and provide a heavenly massage that yields the self-care moment you deserve. For additional luxury, opt for an opulent formulation like those from Oribe which smell so good you’ll find yourself reaching for a spoon to dig in.
For a natural moment, Aesop have a signature line of body scrubs that harness the exfoliating powers of crushed pumice and bamboo paired with delicious scents of geranium.
Whilst the sensory experience of body scrubs can be heavenly, physical exfoliants can be quite harsh on sensitive skin types. A sensitised, winter-fragile skin option below.
Chemical Exfoliant Body Scrubs
Just like for the face, we have an abundance of body products that exfoliate the skin thanks to our good friends, cosmeceutical chemicals and acids.
Chemical exfoliants buff away dead skin cells because of ingredients strong enough to break down the skin at a molecular level. Instead of physically removing layers of skin and exposing new ones via rubbing or friction, these actives eat away at them (in a cute way not a gross way).
Some of the best chemical exfoliants for the skin of the face and the body belong within the AHA & BHA family (most of our of gentler friends belonging to the former) and there is too a place for enzymes within this beautiful world of exfoliation.
One of our favourite Alpha Hydroxy Acids to use on our tired and dull wintery skin is glycolic acid. This gentle yet effective AHA is derived from sugarcane and actively hydrates your skin whilst dissolving the bonds of dead cells. Glycolic acid wears many hats, all of them fabulously, and it can be found in some wonderful body products like Skinstitut’s Glycolic Scrub and Alpha-H’s Micro Super Scrub.
We also recommend looking out for body products containing lactic acid as it is just as hydrating as it is exfoliating, and is that bit gentler which makes it perfect for all our sensitive girlies out there.
A newer phenomenon within the body scrub/exfoliation space coming out of the 2010’s is the coffee scrub. Thanks to the geniuses behind brands like Frank Body and Salt by Hendrix, we are able to harness the delectable scent and caffeinated power of our morning cuppa joe and put it toward revitalising our skin.
The granules themselves act as a form of physical exfoliant, and the coffee and other ingredients used to create the gritty paste help to tighten, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin you apply it to. The caffeine found within the granules can be likened to the active ingredient used within the formula and boast a firming effect to the skin. Caffeine has long been used within the skincare space as a tool to help with signs of skin laxity and even to aid in the treatment of cellulite.
Other ingredients often found within our favourite coffee scrubs are coconut oil for hydration, peppermint for stimulation and salt for that extra hit of textural element.
Personally, I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed the experience of coffee scrubs throughout my skincare journey as they leave a big mess in the bottom of my shower. That being said, I have heard many the surprised and impressed comments from friends who have found the firming affects to be quite transformative! Definitely a group of scrubs to try if you’re a coffee fiend and looking for that additional tightening aspect.
For those natural-leaning ladies who prefer to avoid lotions and potions filled with actives and potentially irritating ingredients, we’re happy to introduce you to this cohort of tools perfect for exfoliation.
Exfoliating body tools are the perfect device to leave in your shower and use whenever you’re feeling like to you a good scrub. Some more harsh than others, it’s all about finding the right tool for you, your skin and your bathing rituals.
Personally, I keep a pair of natural fibre gloves within my shower and put them on each time I bath. My gentle and skin-appropriate shower gel lathers up so nicely when I’m wearing them, and they provide a gentle yet effective exfoliation to my whole body that my skin loves.
For those on the sensitive side, microfibre tools like the ones below from Eco Tan & Face Halo are a gentle yet exfoliating way to remove dead skin with or without the help of water. No chemicals or detergents necessary, these guys will rid your skin of dead cells so you’ll never have to deal with dullness ever again.
For those who have an appreciation for the ritual of Dry Brushing (we wrote an article all about it here) you can actually use the tools you use in a dry function to scrub your body with water as you bathe. This option by Aromatherapy Associates is the perfect dry or wet tool to exfoliate your whole body.