Scrubs & Exfoliants

Scrubs, including both exfoliating body scrubs and the facial equivalents, contain physical gritty particles that when massaged in buff away dry, dead surface skin cells to reveal fresh, smooth skin. Brands including Dermalogica and Tatcha offer powdery formats that, when mixed with water, gently exfoliate. Other scrubs, from brands including Fresh and Sol de Janeiro, have more of a gel-like texture.

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Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
Kate Somerville
£21.00 - £69.00
Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash
£12.00 - £25.60
20% OFF
Doctor's Scrub
Daily Milkfoliant
£18.00 - £65.00


An exfoliating scrub essentially buffs the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells, dirt, and excess sebum, and leaves you with fresher, smoother, brighter looking skin. Exfoliating your skin with a scrub not only boosts your radiance but can also provide a smooth surface prior to makeup application, or ready your skin for faux tan, helping to ensure an even result.

Unlike chemical exfoliators that use liquid exfoliants to smooth skin, scrubs contain physical exfoliating particles to buff your skin, evening out bumps and uneven texture, while sloughing away dead skin cells and excess oil. Some scrubs contain crushed shells, while others might contain sugar, coffee grounds, almond of flax meal, or oats. Each one varies in abrasiveness, with coarser formulas best used on your body.

Coarse scrubs containing large exfoliating particles such as crushed shell or sugar are ideal for your body, especially renowned rough areas like elbows and knees. Meanwhile, scrubs containing smaller, less abrasive particles such as silica, riverbed quartz, and cellulose beads, are ideal for facial skin as they’re gentle but still effective. As scrubs are naturally abrasive, many formulations also include calming and strengthening ingredients like seaweed and panthenol.

Most skin types will benefit from using a scrub. If you have acne skin, with active blemishes and/or broken skin, then a physical scrub is best avoided, and you should opt for a gentle chemical exfoliator instead. Oily skin responds well to a gentle scrub that buffs away dead skin without weakening your skin barrier. An ideal face scrub for oily skin contains equal parts exfoliator to nourishing ingredients such as panthenol.

A scrub should be used once or twice a week, depending on how well your skin tolerates exfoliation. Unlike some chemical exfoliators, scrubs shouldn’t be used every day as you could create sensitivity. Cleanse your skin and then follow the instructions on your exfoliator’s packaging – massaging into skin with a light touch. Remove with a wet cloth and follow with a hydrating mask or moisturiser to rebalance and restore hydration.