Road Test: Body Exfoliators

From the invigorating to the nitty-gritty

Whoever said "It hurts to be beautiful" was using the wrong body exfoliator. After all, why would you scour when you can soothe? Yes, all exfoliators are expected to remove dead skin cells '- sounds delightful, doesn't it? '- but some are much gentler than others. And then there are those that moisturize, and those with striking scents. With so many on the market, we decided to help you figure out which exfoliator is right for you. Check out the skin smoothers that our testers said are definitely worth the splurge.

Product name: Strawberry Butter Body Scrub
Claim: This exfoliator says its potent anti-aging antioxidants intensely nourish, protect, heal and restore the skin
Tester says: "When I opened the jar, the sweet smell of strawberry sorbet made me forget that I didn't want to like this product (who needs yet another step in the morning routine?). Then I tried it, and it worked like a dream. Unlike other scrubs, when you rub it in, the exfoliating gritties miraculously dissolve, which is not only good news for the bottom of my tub, it's also just plain neat. When I got out of the shower, I felt thoroughly indulged. Even my fiancé commented on how smooth I felt! This stuff has made me a scrub convert."
Price: $18

Product name: Bliss Super Slough Scrub
Claim: This heavyweight scrub claims to not only exfoliate your dry spots, but to tighten and tone your "jiggly bits" as well
Tester says: "I have dry skin, so I was excited to try something with a name like Super Slough Scrub. It delivered serious exfoliating, but still foamed up like soap, so I didn't feel like I was washing with a piece of sandpaper. This would be a great product to use before applying sunless tanner or for an at-home pedicure '- plus it's the same blue color as the stuff they use at the salon. I didn't see the promised tightening and toning of my skin, but I didn't care, because I was all dewy and soft."
Price: $32

Product name: LaLicious Moisturizing Body Scrub, Lily Mango Sugar Soufflé
Claim: This exfoliator touts an intoxicating scent and claims to be so fine it will make your body glisten
Tester says: "The product smelled amazing '- I wanted to eat it. I also really liked the texture; it wasn't as abrasive as a lot of exfoliators I've tried before. When I rinsed it off, it did leave an oily film on my body that was a bit sticky, but after I dried off, my skin felt soft and smooth and stayed that way all day."
Price: $30

Product name: Aveda Smoothing Body Polish
Claim: This product claims its exfoliating and nourishing ingredients will moisturize as they reveal a silkier layer of skin
Tester says: "The results of the Smoothing Body Polish were noticeable almost instantly. The scrub is extremely effective on patches of rough skin, such as elbows and knees, but because polishing these areas can leave your fingers feeling a bit sensitive, I applied the product with a loofah instead. Although my skin felt smoother and silkier after one application, I liked the product even more after I'd been using it several times a week."
Price: $20

Product name: Deep Steep Grapefruit Bergamot Sugar Scrub
Claim: This product claims to rid you of the impurities your skin accumulates and to thoroughly cleanse pores, scrubbing away "tired skin" to leave you revitalized and glowing
Tester says: "Deep Steep works really well for very parched skin. I was even able to forego my daily moisturizing regimen after getting out of the shower. At first, the smell from the jar didn't do much for me, but then I noticed that the product gave my skin a light, fresh citrus scent. In the end, my skin felt soft, cool and refreshed. I can't wait to use this as a special treat before big dates and events."
Price: $34

Product name: Bliss Vanilla and Bergamot Body Buff
Claim: Because both shea butter and sweet almond oil are in the mix, this product claims it's as moisturizing as it is exfoliating
Tester says: "I love this scrub! It's the perfect antidote to dry skin. The directions say to apply it preshower, which is definitely unusual, and it felt a little strange putting the thick, pastelike product on my skin before it was wet. But as soon as I began rinsing it off, my skin felt supersoft (like I'd just used lotion in addition to a scrub). I liked the effect; it's definitely one of the best exfoliating products I've tried. It also smelled great '- like dessert."
Price: $36

Product name: Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish
Claim: With apricot kernel and jojoba oils, Fresh claims this product will brighten and tone skin while adding an aromatherapeutic dimension
Tester says: "I have really sensitive skin and generally can't use exfoliators because they're too severe. But Brown Sugar Body Polish was different. First of all, it smelled delicious. And even though it was coarser than some products I've tried, it wasn't irritating at all. In fact, it really smoothed out the rough patches, especially on my elbows. It also rinsed right off, and my skin didn't feel the least bit oily. Hours later, my skin still felt '- and smelled '- fantastic."
Price: $60

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