The Best Body Scrubs


I love showers. More than coffee in the morning. More than a glass of wine at night. Showers—especially in the summer—are my most important reset button. I take a quick one in the morning and a more soothing one before bed. I've always been this way, and as a result I've found ways to elevate them: hanging eucalyptus off the showerhead, keeping stones on the shower floor, all those sorts of things.

You know I love a shower gel, but there's also something a little juvenile about them: the unnatural fragrance that doesn't really have a purpose, the squeeze packaging, the shower poufs... The antidote to this feeling, for me, is a scrub. They have cool packaging (see Aesop!) are beautiful to look at (see Herbivore!) and have more botanical scents (see African Botanics!). Very aspirational and cool—to go with my stones and eucalyptus.

Now that it's summer, too, I feel like there's a little more reason behind using a scrub: I'm sweating more, I'm wearing a lot more thick and cheap body sunscreen and bug spray (ick)—you've got to slough that stuff off! Get a spa-level scrub, go deep with it, step out into 68-degree central air, and slip into Brooklinen sheets. After a day of trudging around the city, or even the (barely better) Rockaways, this is what I need.

Favorites are as follows:

Best Smelling: Aesop Redemption Body Scrub

They may feign being all-natural, but who cares–this smells like the most heavenly-earthy-hippie-vacation-spa moment. The scrub granules–made from pumice–are also quite small, so it's not too heavy-duty, in a good way.

Most Invigorating: Palermo Coffee Body Scrub

...Which pretty much looks like dirt, but smells like damn-good cold brew. This one has bigger grains and actually does feel energizing (sometimes the smell of coffee is enough). Scrubbing doesn't hurt, either.

Deepest Clean: Malin+Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub

This is a tingly, restart-button of a scrub. You can feel it all over.

For Special Occasions: Herbivore Coco Rose

I love Herbivore, and this one has the most expensive smell. It's incredibly beautiful (millennial pink alert) and leaves you feeling a bit moisturized and clean–must be the coconut oil.

After A Long Day: African Botanics Detoxifying Salt & Sugar Scrub

Because that's when you need to detox, right? The salt makes it feel more like a treatment (there's still sugar in there, too)—like one of those salt chambers that when you inhale, all your demons escape and you become a better person. Detox for sure.

Most Tropical: Epicuren's Papaya Bamboo Body Polish

Wins for the most summer! This one is a vacation to Barbados complete with a soothing breeze and refreshing rum slushy. Airfare not required.

–Tom Newton

Besides a shower, Tom's other favorite thing is a face mask. Read here to get his top recommendations for oily skin.