We talk a lot about how important it is to exfoliate our faces, but here's the real question: How often do you give your body some TLC? If I'm being honest, personally, I forget more often than not. I only really remember when my skin feels dry and scaly (gross, I know). Or I tend to exfoliate more in the summertime when I'm baring my skin a little more and want it to appear silky smooth and glowy.
But it's important to exfoliate your body. How often you do it depends on your skin type, but the rule of thumb is if your skin is always flaky—or flakier than usual—it's probably time to work some exfoliation into your routine. Plus, your body can withstand a little bit more exfoliation than your face, since the skin is less sensitive. One dermatologist told me that unless your skin is sensitive or you have eczema-prone skin, you can exfoliate your body a few times a week if you want to.
And some parts of the body need more exfoliation than others. Your legs, in particular, are more prone to dryness and flakiness, so you might need to exfoliate them more often. Ultimately, it all depends on your skin type and what its needs are—just assess and adjust accordingly.
There are a lot of great scrubs and chemical exfoliant product out there that can fit seamlessly into your routine, but you can also get a little extra help from some exfoliating tools. These make it so easy to slough off those dead skin cells to reveal, softer, smoother, and more radiant skin. Take a look at some highly rated options below—and I've included some real-person reviews that might just sell you on them.
This body brush does a great job of deep-cleaning and reducing oil buildup and blackheads. It vibrates 7000 times per minute, so it will also lift and tone the skin. It comes with exfoliating attachments, like a silver-infused loofah and an aluminum oxide exfoliator.
What a reviewer says: "I don't know how I lived so far without this tool! I own one for my face but never in a million years did I think I would need one for the rest of my body! This truly does make my skin feel so clean and softer. I love how relaxing this makes my showers, definitely something I look forward to! I have also noticed fewer breakouts on my back!"
Not only does it exfoliate skin, but this brush also targets the appearance of cellulite and boosts circulation. It's made with natural bristles. And the long handle makes it easy to cleanse and scrub your back.
What a reviewer says: "I purchased this body brush after an internet self-care deep dive that had me convinced moving my lymph would positively change my entire life. Regardless if you buy into the crunchy-granola health benefits of this particular dry-brushing practice or not, there is no denying how this brush will improve your pre-shower routine. My skin is softer and smoother than it has ever been and I look forward to body brushing each day. The quality is also great for the price and will hold up to daily use."
While it may not look like much, this towel is a cult favorite and beloved for its exfoliating powers. The nylon cloth is softer than a loofah, but it's still effective at getting rid of dead skin cells. It also dries quickly and can be washed after use.
What a reviewer says: "The best! If you're looking for a great exfoliating towel, look no further because Salux is it! It's rough enough to exfoliate and scrub off dead skin without hurting you. Plus it's a lot less gross than using a loofah and the loofah not doing squat to your skin. It does feel a bit scratchy at first but you get used to it over time and can see the dead skin literally coming off. My skin is soo much softer now because of Salux."
Dylonic's exfoliating brush has an ergonomic handle which makes it easy to massage any area of your body. It's also great for treating ingrown hairs and razor burn.
What a reviewer says: "Where has this been all my life? None of the other exfoliating products seem to work well on me. This is awesome though! I didn't find it uncomfortable, but I like a heavier scratching than most people. It also depends on what part of the body you use it on. General body use seemed fine, but on my neck was a bit rougher. I found I had to use less pressure there. I also really like how the handle is designed to fit right in your palm. Goodbye ingrown hairs! This is now part of my daily beauty routine!"
To use these gloves, just lather up with your favorite soap or body wash and gently massage the skin. You can throw these in the washing machine to clean.
What a reviewer says: "They lather like a dream (even with stuff that barely lathered with my last pair) and I really feel like something is happening with minimal effort as opposed to most other gloves—me scrubbing my heart out with little to no reward. I literally could see the dead skin running down the drain! It was very satisfying. My skin felt like silk afterward, even before I slathered it with liquid coconut oil."
This set comes with a body brush and face brush so you've got all your exfoliating and washing needs met here. The silicone material is soft enough for sensitive skin, but it will still give you that deep scrub.
What a reviewer says: "These scrubbers exfoliate well—not all in one session but over time. After one week they've whisked blackheads off my nose; helped to avoid ingrown pit hairs; made significant progress on my rough elbows; and they're doing better than a washcloth on my heel callouses."
The Buf-Puf is hugely popular, especially with Who What Wear readers and editors. The body sponge has dual textures for different body parts, which is great for personalizing your exfoliation routine.
What a reviewer says: "This is my favorite body sponge of all time. I've been using them for 15-plus years and I've never found any product that comes close to a replacement."
If you've ever tried to scrub your back, you know how it can be really tricky and you can look at little silly doing it. Well, this back scrubber makes the task super easy. One side has a textured surface to deeply exfoliate, and the other side has a soft, microfiber surface to massage.
What a reviewer says: "How can I not love this thing beyond all measure? Nine years of constant use. Back, upper arms, elbows. It would still be fantastic if I just re-sewed the part where the rope is kept. Never had any kind of mold or disgusting issues with it. I've always had it hanging to air dry after every use. There are people who complain about little bumps, like goosebumps, on their upper arms. Well, I haven't had a single one in nine years because I use this scrubber. Believe me when I say that after nearly a decade of tough use, this thing has been amazing and I'll be loyal to this scrubber until they no longer exist."
This brush is made of cactus fibers to slough off dead skin cells and leave your skin looking radiant and smooth. It's recommended to use it in the morning before you shower.
The awesome thing about this exfoliating mitt is it's made of all-natural materials, like kumazasa plant fibers. It's designed for weekly use.
What a reviewer says: "[It's] easy and wonderful.
If you're looking for a dry brush without a handle, this is a good option. It has a strap for easy grip and control.
What a reviewer says: "At first, I was afraid the bristles will be too harsh on the skin, but it's actually really soft! It isn't too big and fits perfectly in my hands. I can definitely tell a difference in my skin. It is more smooth and less flaky. I used to shed a lot due to dry, flaky skin, but now it's super soft and exfoliated. Super happy with this product and highly recommend it! This little device will help you get smoother, glowing, and soft skin!"
Other Body Exfoliating Products to Try
Formulated with 8.8% glycolic acid, this body wash works to exfoliate dead skin cells and cleanser the skin of excess oil and dirt.
This gel treatment has an exfoliating compound, plus niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin. Apply it after your shower.
The lactic acid in this formula will refine the skin texture, while probiotics and xylitol protect the skin barrier and boost hydration.
If you're dealing with rough, bumpy skin, this scrub will help. It's both a mechanical and chemical exfoliant, with ingredients like pumice buffing beads, glycolic and lactic acids, and vitamin E.
Made with 2% salicylic acid, this all-over body treatment gets rid of dead skin cells and improves skin texture. It's also enriched green tea and chamomile to soften and nourish the skin.
You don't have to worry about your skin drying out with this body polish. It contains coconut oil proteins, Moroccan rose, and pink clay to rejuvenate and detoxify the skin. You can also use it if you have sensitive skin.
Nécessaire's exfoliator is both a mechanical and chemical exfoliant. It's formulated with bamboo charcoal and pumice, plus a trio of acids (glycolic, lactic, and salicylic). It won't leave your skin dry or irritated, either, thanks to softening marula oil.
Next: Using *This* Is the Gateway to Tighter Skin and a Simpler Skin Regimen
Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.
In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).
She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.