Fact: there's no better feeling than the smoother-than-smooth texture you get after an intense scrubbing session in the shower. Your skin is the definition of baby soft, and practically drinks in that extra layer of lotion you apply after toweling off. One problem—not unlike the members of your high school football team, some exfoliants tend to be more aggressive than you need, and can actually further irritate an existing issue. But it's an essential step, and that doesn't mean you should 86 it from your shower routine (especially if you'll be following up with a self-tanner). To take the guesswork out of the body wash aisle, we rounded up four options that work best depending on your skin type. Scroll down to find your perfect formula.
1. For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
Where there's oil, there's clogged pores, and where there are clogged pores, there are breakouts. Tackle the issue at its starting point with a scrub like the French Girl Organics Sea Polish that does double-duty to tone while scrubbing away dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. The infusion of peppermint oil helps to keep any bumps from forming, while helping to soothe anything that has already surfaced.
Available at Cat Bird | $38
2. For Dry Skin
If your skin is dry and flaky, your first instinct may be to aggressively scrub until it's completely smooth, right? Wrong. Doing so could strip your skin of some much-needed natural oils, leaving it even more parched than when you first started. Instead, go for an option that includes oils or milk in the ingredient list to help boost moisture levels. We love the H2O+ Milk Body Scrub in particular, which is super-gentle, so you can use it even if you have a sensitive skin condition.
Available at H2O+ | $18
3. For Normal Skin
If you like to keep your skin pretty moisturized and have no pressing conditions to worry about, the world is pretty much your oyster in terms of exfoliant options, but even still, we'd advise against going with anything too harsh to avoid triggering a flare-up. The gel-based formula combined with the tiny granules in The Body Shop's British Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub create a gentle, yet effective, formula that can be used every day. It practically melts into your skin on contact, and the fact that actual rose petals (hand-plucked from Herefordshire, England, thank you very much) are used in the gel is also a pretty strong selling point.
The Body Shop | $24
4. For Rough Skin
If you really need to smooth things over, reach for a slightly gritty formula like St. Ives's Fresh Skin Apricot Body Scrub. The granules made from walnut powder and corn kernel meal effectively slough away rough patches, without being painful or further irritating the area.
St. Ives | $5