Ingrown hairs and scaly skin are natural enemies of bikini season, so if your legs are more sandpaper than sand-vacay, now’s the perfect time to do some skin rehab. As an eczema sufferer and recovering waxing addict, I know the importance of a good body scrub – so I tested a few brands to see which would get me prepped for the skimpiest shorts I own this summer.
Level Naturals Body Polish in Coffee + Sugar
The first thing I noticed about this scrub was its scent; most products that claim to smell like coffee lean towards saccharin-sweet vanilla frappuccino, but Level Naturals delivers an authentic coffee smell. I was a little skeptical about this scrub, due to its close resemblance to damp sand, but once I combined it with water and started working with it, the texture greatly improved.
I’ve fallen victim before to budget-friendly body scrubs with granules too small or smooth to be efficient, but this polish certainly wasn’t lacking in scrubbing power. The scrub goes on rather dryly, so I wasn’t expecting much moisturizing, but as soon as I rinsed it off I felt increased hydration. After drying off, there was a subtle sheen left on my legs, enough that I didn’t need to apply moisturizer, but not so much that I worried about getting oil on my sheets. My hands, however, did feel a bit greasy afterwards, and needed rewashing. Due to its oiliness, I’d suggest using this scrub on tougher areas of skin and not all over.
Archipelago Botanicals Sugar Scrub in Blue Sea Kale Marine
The word that sums up this scrub is ‘refreshing.’ Its fresh, light scent is reminiscent of clean laundry – a nice change from products that overwhelm the nose. The finely packed sugar makes for a great exfoliator and once rubbed in, it acquired a nice, soap-like lather that left me squeaky clean. After drying off, my skin felt rejuvenated and plump, but I did feel the need to follow up with lotion. If you’re more concerned with ingrown hairs than dry skin and favor feeling fresh over pampered, then this scrub is perfect. If you want moisturization with your scrub, I’d go another direction.
I was excited to try this scrub for the packaging alone; something about beauty products stored in glass containers adds an extra air of luxury to the experience. When I opened the jar, I was enveloped by rose – not in an overwhelming way, but you can tell they don’t skimp on scent. One of my favorite things about this scrub is how the pink Himalayan salt has various granule sizes that all work together for a very effective exfoliation.
Pro tip: the oil had sunk to the bottom of the container, but once I flipped it over for a minute to let it evenly distribute, I got a much better application. My legs felt super silky afterwards as I rubbed them together, almost as if they were freshly shaved. This is the perfect all-over scrub, as there’s a hint of moisture but not enough to make sensitive areas break out. Drier skin types may want to follow up with a moisturizer, but for my regular skin, I just dried off and went about my day.
Of all the scrubs I tried, this one felt the best going on. Its small, rounded granules are smooth when applied and I didn’t get any of the scratchy feeling that accompanies many scrubs. The texture felt so nice that I took extra time rubbing it in, just to prolong the experience. My skin was only slightly less dry than before using the scrub, so I wouldn’t say it achieves much in terms of moisturizing, but it more than made up with its efficiency in removing dead skin. My legs were left gleaming and there wasn’t a clogged pore in sight.
Each of the scrubs brought something different to the table and didn’t disappoint in their main goal of exfoliating. Next time I try to tackle my razor, I’m definitely prepping my skin with one of these to ensure I get the closest shave.