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How to Use a Body Scrub: Everything You Need to Know

image of woman using body scrub in bath

This post is a comprehensive guide on how to use a body scrub for smoother and more beautiful-looking skin.

Let’s dive in!


Want to prolong your tan, prevent ingrown hairs, or improve the effectiveness of your moisturizer for a more hydrated skin?

One answer to all these problems is a body scrub. 

A body scrub is a type of exfoliant that removes dead cells built up on the outermost layer of your skin.

Let’s understand how a body scrub can help and how to use one.

But before we move ahead, it’s essential to know that the best scrub is the one with organic and natural ingredients. Scrubs with natural ingredients are not only more sustainable and effective but healthier and better for the environment. 

With this in mind, let’s explore everything there is to know about body scrubs and how best to use them. 

What Is a Body Scrub?

A body scrub is a physical exfoliant used to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and other particles from the skin.

When dirt, grime, and other toxins block your pores, your skin can look dull. These blockages also increase the risk of clogged pores, which lead to acne.

Body scrubs loosen and remove dead skin particles to reveal the beautiful skin hidden beneath them. 

In fact, it's a crucial step in any natural skincare routine.

Scrubs include tiny particles mixed in a thick paste to cleanse the skin and remove dead skin cells. 

Even though your skin can clear dead cells on its own (eventually), a scrub helps you get smoother and softer skin faster. 

Here’s a fun fact about body scrubs:

Ancient Egyptians created body scrubs with aromatic oils to counteract the desert heat and keep the skin supple. 

So, when you use a body scrub, you’re tapping into a centuries-old skincare technique.

Body Scrub Benefits

As we discussed before, a body scrub mechanically sloughs the dead skin and impurities from the outermost layer of the skin.

Here are a few benefits of regular scrubbing:

Clearer and softer skin

The tiny particles in the scrub remove dead skin cells, giving a clearer-looking skin. It also evens out your tone and makes your skin softer. 

Less ingrown hairs

Are you fed up with ingrown hairs after shaving, waxing, or plucking your skin? A scrub can help by drawing them out and preventing ingrown hairs. 

Easier hair removal

Most scrubs have essential and scented oils that soften unwanted hair on your face, making it easier to remove. 

Better moisturizer absorption

As the body scrubs remove the dead and dull skin cells, your skin can absorb moisturizers more readily. Better absorption of a moisturizer means more hydrated and healthy skin. 

Reduced hyperpigmentation

When dead cells clog pores, it results in blemishes and hyperpigmentation. Removing the dead cells improves your skin tone and reduces the appearance of dark spots. 

Lesser appearance of large pores

Clearing the dead cells with a body scrub unclogs the pores. It can also help minimize the appearance of large pores. 

Keratosis pilaris improvement

Keratosis pilaris is a build-up of keratin, a hair protein, in the pores. This clogs the pores and opens the blocks the growth of hair follicles.

A body scrub aids in clearing the build-up keratin, giving you softer and more beautiful-looking skin. 

Reduced razor bumps

Using a scrub before the shave makes hair removal easier, preventing bumps. Using a scrub after the shave clears the pores, allowing the hair to grow appropriately and preventing it from growing inwards. 

Smoother and healthier skin

As discussed before, a scrub clears dry and dead skin from the outer layer of the skin, exposing the brightened, refreshed, and smooth skin beneath. 

For this benefit, choose a scrub known for its skin smoothening benefits, such as avocados (more on this in the fifth point!).

With bending, leaning, and planking, knees and elbows may be the most challenging part to smooth out. However, using a body scrub followed by a moisturizer work wonders. 

A de-stressing ritual 

The final benefit of scrub is that it helps you de-stress. Using a scrub allows you to spend time with yourself. Besides, the massage-like movements offer a relaxing experience. 

How To Use a Body Scrub

Ready to get scrubbing? 

Here are five steps to start using your scrub:

Step 1: Skin Prep

The key to the great results is to prep your skin.

An easy way to do this is to take a warm shower before scrubbing. Here, the goal is to dampen your skin and open the pores for optimal benefits. It will also soften your dead skin cells, making it easier to remove them. 

If you are planning to shave, using a scrub beforehand reduces the chances of irritation. Damping your skin will also allow a cleaner shave as dirt surrounding the hair follicles is lifted.

Step 2: Apply the Scrub

Apply a generous amount of scrub on the damp skin and massage in circular motions in a standing position. It’s a good idea to apply the scrub from the top of the body to the bottom. 

The benefit of this method is two-fold:

  • It reduces the mess
  • The scrub has time to set before you rinse

Step 3: Scrub

To boost the action of the scrub, you can use a brush, loofah, or pad. Using these tools increases the exfoliating action of the scrub. 

However, remember to use gentler movements with these tools than you would with your hand, as aggressive scrubbing may irritate your skin. 

Step 4: Rinse

Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse the scrub off in the hot bath or shower. Repeat the massaging movements to remove the excess particles. Moreover, it’s best to rinse in the same order you applied it. 

Step 5: Follow Up with Body Oil or Moisturizer

The last step is to pat yourself dry. Follow this with your favorite moisturizer or body oil to boost hydration. 

Types Of Body Scrubs

Now that you know how to use the scrub, let’s look at the types of scrubs available.

Sugar Scrub

Sugar granules are rounder than salt and, therefore, gentler on the skin. Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid.

This compound breaks down the dead layer of skin cells, smoothing the skin’s surface. Sugar also hastens rehydration. 

These reasons make sugar scrubs the best option for dehydrated skin. 

Benefits of sugar scrub

  • Glycolic acid in sugar fights acne and hyperpigmentation. It also brightens the skin and makes it smoother.
  • Sugar is rich in essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, and selenium. These minerals combat the action of toxins and flush them out.
  • Sugar is a humectant that draws moisture from the environment and supplies it to the skin. This action of sugar hydrates your skin and keeps it supple and radiant.
  • Smaller granules do irritate the skin, especially those with sensitive skin. Sugar does not irritate the skin. 

Salt Scrub

Salt has grittier particles and is ideal for smoothing rough areas such as elbows and feet. Salt also boosts blood circulation and skin turnover, revitalizing your skin.

Benefits of salt scrub

  • Gritter particles smoothen even rough areas like feet
  • It has detoxifying and antiseptic properties that kill bacteria
  • The minerals in salt clear the pores and soothe inflammation

Salt and Sugar Scrub

Not sure whether to use sugar or salt scrub?

We have good news:

Many scrubs include both salt and sugar, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Benefits of salt and sugar scrub

  • They invigorate the skin and smooth dryness
  • Resurface the skin to reveal a radiant-looking complexion

DIY Scrubs

If you’ve got a bit of time and want to experiment with some other ingredients, going DIY is a great choice.

DIY scrubs — as we’ll explore in the next section — let you fine-tune your scrub ingredients precisely to your liking.

You can also include ingredients to which your skin responds well. Conversely, you can remove ingredients that irritate your skin or cause adverse effects. 

Let’s jump into some recipes for DIY body scrubs.

DIY ingredients for a body scrub

Recipes for DIY Body Scrubs

Here are a few DIY recipes for making scrubs at home

Coffee and Coconut

  • 2 tbsp. hot water
  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1 tbsp. warm coconut oil

Start with mixing coffee grounds with water. Add the warm coconut oil to this mixture. You can add more oil or coffee grounds to get the right consistency.

Brown Sugar and Honey

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. honey

Just as above, mix brown sugar with coconut oil. Add honey to the mixture and mix thoroughly. You can add oil or sugar to get the right consistency. 

Sugar and Olive Oil

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. You can add either ingredient to get the desired consistency. 

Which Is the Best Body Scrub?

There are many body scrubs available in the market. However, we recommend those with natural ingredients. These ingredients are effective, safe for your skin, and good for the environment.

As you do your research, keep an eye out for these ingredients in body scrubs (and all skincare products). 

Himalayan salt

Himalayan salt has naturally occurring minerals that are beneficial for your skin. The best part about salt-based scrubs is that they dissolve just by scrubbing. So, you don’t have to worry about over-exfoliating. 

A scrub with Himalayan salt combined with a natural oil such as olive oil can help hydrate skin. This can be an excellent option for dry skin. If you like scented scrubs, look for added essential oils such as calendula or lavender. 


Coffee granules with coconut oil or shea butter gently exfoliate the skin and keep it hydrated. It also aids in cellulite removal.

Besides, coffee is an antioxidant that fights signs of aging and lowers the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and sun damage.

It is mild on the skin and keeps it rejuvenated.

However, those with oily skin should use these ingredients with caution, as they can stimulate the natural production of skin oils. 


Walnut is one of the best ingredients for dull and dry skin. It is primarily a part of sugar scrub and aids in minimizing pores, removing stubborn blackheads, and adding moisture to the skin.

All in all, it makes your skin youthful and softer in no time. However, it may have an unpleasant smell.

Dead Sea Salt

Fine-grain dead sea salt usually comes mixed with organic essential oils. This salt does it all, from keeping your skin soft to exfoliating your feet and elbows.

It also reduces the appearance of stretch marks, dark spots, and acne scars. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Body Scrubs

How often should you use a body scrub?

A body scrub aids in relaxation and keeps your skin revitalized. You may feel like using it daily. However, exfoliation takes time.

Most dermatologists and skin care professionals do not recommend using a scrub more than two to three times a week. 

This frequency will keep your skin balanced and prevent irritation. However, you know your skin the best. You can choose the frequency that suits you the best. 

An essential point to remember here is to be consistent. Use the body scrub regularly for best results. 

Do you use a body scrub before or after soap?

Use a shower gel, body wash, or soap before applying the scrub. This cleans and preps your skin for the body scrub. 

Before applying the body scrub, use soap, shower gel, or a body wash. This way, your skin is clean and primed up for the body scrub to do its magic.

Do you wash off a body scrub?

Yes, you should wash the body scrub thoroughly to leave no residue. The best way to clean is by following the same direction as applying the scrub. If you apply your scrub from top to bottom (the recommended method), wash the same way. 

Do you use a body scrub on wet or dry skin?

While this is a personal choice, we recommend using a scrub on wet skin. This prevents friction and supports better circular massage-like movements for exfoliation. 

Apply the scrub right after using soap or a body wash for a relaxing experience. 

How long should I leave the scrub on my body? 

Don’t keep the scrub on your skin for more than 30 seconds. Massage the scrub and remove it using hot or lukewarm water. 

Do body scrubs lighten the skin?

A body scrub aids in the removal of old, dead cells from the surface. This can lighten your skin and remove pigmented spots. 

Does scrub remove pimples?

Yes, removing dirt and bacteria from your pores aids in managing breakouts and preventing them from recurring. However, they may not be helpful for cystic or hormonally-induced acne.

Which scrub is best for glowing skin?

If you have dry skin, sugar scrubs help the most. Salt scrubs are good for oily skin. You can use sugar and salt scrub for combination skin. 

Can body scrubs remove tan?

If you’re applying a self-tanner, a scrub aids in better absorption to achieve the results without the streaks.

However, if you have hyperpigmented spots due to sun exposure, a scrub can lighten them by removing the dead cells from the outermost skin layer. 

Does body scrub remove dark spots?

Yes. As mentioned before, a body scrub can remove dark spots or lighten them. They work by removing the dead cells and dirt from the pores, exposing the new skin beneath. 

Does exfoliating remove dark spots?

The body scrub is a type of physical exfoliator. It aids in removing or lightening the dark spots. 

How many times should I scrub my face?

As with a body scrub, it’s best to scrub your face twice or thrice a week. Again, consistency is the key.

Which scrub is best for dark spots?

Scrubs with glycolic acid work best for dark spots. They help loosen the glue between colored and dead skin cells, giving a brighter and lighter skin tone. 

How can I identify my skin type?

If your skin feels tight or you’ve got noticeable flaking, you have dry skin. On the other hand, oily skin feels supple but often leads to clogged pores and breakouts. If you have features of both, you have a combination skin type. 

Can I use a scrub every day?

No. It is not advisable to use a scrub every day. It can rip off your natural oils and irritate sensitive skin. It is more about consistency and not frequency when it comes to scrubbing. 

Does exfoliating help dark armpits?

Dark armpits may be due to the accumulation of dead skin cells. Scrubs aid in removing the dead cells and lightening the skin. 

Which scrub is best for acne scars?

Some ingredients that help acne scars are honey and coconut oil — however, most scrubs aid in improving scars because of their action on dead skin cells and dirt. 

What is the best scrub for a face?

The best scrub depends on your skin type and the problems you face. For instance, a sugar scrub is a better option if you have dry skin. 

Can exfoliating remove scars?

It depends on the type of scars. While scrubs can help you with mild acne scars, they may not be helpful with more extensive spots. However, it can make them lighter and less noticeable. 

Do scrubs cause pimples?

No, scrubbing does not usually cause pimples. Instead, it reduces the appearance and prevalence of pimples. 

How do you use a body scrub in the shower?

It is an excellent option to shower with warm water to soften the skin. It preps the skin and opens the pores, making your skin more receptive to the benefits of a scrub. Just remember to avoid hot temperatures before a scrub. 

What precautions should be taken before applying a body scrub?

You should avoid a body scrub in the following situations:

  • Skin injuries
  • Conditions such as infections, psoriasis, or eczema
  • Extremely sensitive skin
  • Planning to go out in the sun immediately after using the scrub

Does body scrub make you smell good?

Yes. Most scrubs have natural essential oils that give a subtle aroma to the skin. 

What is the body scrub good for?

A body scrub is excellent for dead and dull-looking skin. It removes the dead cells, exposing the new skin underneath. 

How often should you get a professional body scrub?

It depends on your cosmetic goals. At most, we recommend a professional scrub once a month or twice a week. 

What should we apply after scrubbing?

Applying a moisturizer or natural oils to the skin after scrubbing improves hydration and keeps your skin supple. 

Does scrub make skin darker?

No. A scrub cannot make your skin darker unless you use a harsh scrub on injured or sensitive areas. Most scrubs help in reducing the dark spots and improve your skin tone. 

What happens if I scrub my face daily?

It may irritate your skin and rip it off the natural oils. This may result in red spots or dry skin. 

How many minutes should I scrub my body?

You should not scrub a particular area for more than 30 seconds.

Which is better, a face mask or scrub?

It depends on your goal as both have different functions. A mask hydrates the skin and replenishes it with nourishing ingredients. A scrub, on the other hand, lifts off dead skin. 

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it!

You may be wondering if a scrub is good for you and how to use it. We hope this article helped you understand why a scrub is essential for your skin. Give it a try and see the difference in your skin. 

Consider checking out our products if you’re ready to ditch the chemicals and go all-natural in your skincare.

All Aleavia products are chemical-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients from the earth and sea. 

Kelly Graham

Kelly Graham is the founder and President of Aleavia Brands, LLC. She has a passion for all things natural, real, and organic. Read more of her story here

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