The Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Scrubs Leave Skin Clean and Soft

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4.2

Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub

Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Scrub

Alfredo Mineo

What We Like
  • Gentle yet effective texture

  • Leaves skin feeling nourished and soft

  • Scent isn't overpowering

  • Cruelty-free

What We Don't Like
  • Unclear if the exfoliating beads are good for the environment

The Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub is a great product for exfoliating and cleansing in a single step, leaving you with clean, soft skin. It does what it claims to do, doesn't strip or leave a residue, and the formula and scent are both mild enough to allow you to layer your favorite products afterwards and seamlessly complete your routine.

4.2

Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub

Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Scrub

Alfredo Mineo

We put the Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Every few months, I like to change my products according to the weather and the latest beauty trends. I naturally have combination skin and depending on how many at-home peels I’ve experimented with that month, my skin can get dry. Now that I’m in my late 30s, I make sure that I always remember to use the same product that I use on my face to apply to my neck and upper arms.

When it comes to my body, I like a simple yet effective routine that will provide me with relief from my keratosis pilaris, leaving me with soft skin—ideally feeling nourished rather than stripped. So I was excited to try the Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub in Graphite, one of a few new masculine scents that works to cleanse, exfoliate, and hydrate skin in a single step. Did this Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrub give my skin what it needed and earn a lasting place in my routine? Keep reading for my full review.

Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub

Best for: All skin types

Uses: A gentle body exfoliator and body wash that leaves skin soft, clean, and nourished.

Hero ingredients: Shea butter, vitamin E

Byrdie Clean? No; contains microcrystalline wax, an alternative to polyethylene microbeads for which the environmental impact is not yet clear.

Price: $17

About the brand: Founded in 1990 in New Albany, Ohio, Bath & Body Works aims to bring joy to customers' lives through the power of fragrance and a fun store experience. With stores in malls and shopping centers around the world, the brand has attracted a wide fanbase over the years for its range of body care products, and its line has remained recognizable even through updated packaging, fragrances, and formulas. “Though we’ve certainly evolved over our 31-year history, we’ve remained true to the brand DNA we were founded on," says Chrissy Montera, the brand's assistant vice president of marketing.

About My Skin: Living with keratosis pilaris

The skin texture in my arms is different from the rest of my body, as I have keratosis pilaris (KP). According to celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank,  “Keratosis pilaris is a condition where your body produces too much keratin—a protein—and it gets trapped in hair follicles. Sometimes referred to as chicken skin, this condition is common on the backs of arms, buttock, and thighs.”

For the longest time, I was self-conscious about my condition, but there are ways to treat it. Dr. Frank suggests scrubs with exfoliants to provide relief. At the moment I’m using MDO Skincare, created by Dr. Simon Ourian, who works with the likes of Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian. I use the MDO cleanser twice a day, and for the rest of my morning routine, I apply the MDO serum, the intense hydrating moisturizer (which is surprisingly very light), and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer dry touch SPF 55. At night, I’m using a skincare regimen from Agency Skincare, the Agency Future Formula and Dark Spot Formula.

I use all these products not only on my face, but also my neck, chest, and upper arms. In my 20s, I never thought about my neck or chest, but skin exposed to the sun changes as you get older and the signs of aging become clearly visible. I was excited to try the Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrub because I love testing out products and it reminded me of memories at the mall, walking into the store to purchase some sort of fruity, watermelon-scented body wash. And though I was not sent a fruity smell (thankfully, I grew out of that stage), I was sent two scents from the Bath & Body Works men’s collection—Marble and Graphite—to review.

The Feel: Exfoliating and nourishing

Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Scrub Texture

Alfredo Mineo

Before beginning to use the product, I asked Dr. Frank to weigh in on what he thought of the formula. He explained, “Glycerin and shea butter provide a moisturizing barrier for the skin, while salicylic acid provides an exfoliating agent for dry skin.” I was looking for a deeper exfoliating experience, so I used the Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrub in Graphite on dry skin before showering.

The product is easily squeezed from the bottle and has a buttery consistency, so I rubbed it all over my skin like lotion. The product feels like granulated sugar melting into the body. The fragrance is appealing, with notes of sage, bergamot spice, and leather wood. As the formula came in contact with water in the shower, it began to lather. My skin was left soft with no residue.

Dr. Frank also emphasizes the importance of moisturizing after you shower, and he recommends a product from his brand, the PFRANKMD Body Boost Moisturizer. “The body boost moisturizer is a good addition following a gentle scrub to rid the skin of dead skin creating an overall smoother and tighter appearance,” he says.

I did notice there were some beads left in my shower afterwards, which was a bit concerning knowing what we do about microplastics' impact on the environment, so I reached out to Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu, the founders of Chemist Confessions, to ask if they were environmentally safe. “It’s a can of worms here,” says Fu. “Polyethylene (PE) beads (microplastics) are the main scrub in the spotlight for being an ocean pollutant and aquatic life hazard. They were popularly used in the past because they held color really well and were nicely uniform in bead size, making it a great scrub candidate."

The Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrub replaces polyethylene beads with microcrystalline wax, so how does that change things? "Microcrystalline wax is a replacement for PE that’s derived from petroleum, but whether or not it’s the ideal replacement is hard to know," Fu explains. "There are softer versions with lower melting points that make it less of an environmental concern, and there are harder waxes with high melting points that take longer to break down than other plant-based waxes. Generally microcrystalline waxes are safe to use, but in terms of environmental concerns more research still needs to be done to understand its impact. There are some studies that show that microcrystalline wax is biodegradable in lab settings, but waxy lumps have been found in many species of seabirds. Unfortunately, the exact impact isn't fully understood.”

The Results: Soft, clean skin

Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Scrub

Alfredo Mineo

When I rinsed off the Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrub, I instantly noticed that my skin felt cleaner and softer when I touched it. My previous experience with cleaning and exfoliating products that feature hydrating ingredients is that they leave either a film behind or it's greasy, but when I toweled off, I noticed that my skin was glowing and the product had absorbed with no oily residue. I put on my creams and serums with no allergic reactions.

As I continued getting ready for the day I noticed a bit of the scent lingering, though it was very faint. Even though I did enjoy the Graphite scent, I still prefer to wear my own concoction of colognes and oils. I used this product for about a month, and I'm always happy with the results.

The Value: Pretty good

The Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrubs retail at $17, and you have a choice between the Marble, Graphite, and Bourbon scents. The product does deliver what it claims to do, and it's priced well for the current market. Dr. Frank says if you exfoliate one to two times a week, you should have enough product to last well over a month.

Similar Products: You've got options

Every Man Jack Body Scrub and Shower Gel: I discovered this body scrub ($7) while shopping at my local drugstore, and at this price point, you can’t really go wrong. It feels like a body wash, but it contains jojoba beads that are biodegradable and exfoliate the skin. I’m the type of person who doesn't feel the product is cleaning unless it lathers, and this product both lathers and rinses off with no film. It's also Byrdie Clean and free of any unnecessary ingredients. 

Natureofthings Cleansing Body & Scalp Polish: This cleansing scrub ($55) is one of my personal favorite products, and I always have it in my bathroom and travel with it as well. I use it in place of shampoo, massaging my scalp to remove any buildup from pomades or gels, as well as all over my body to exfoliate with natural ingredients such as Himalayan sea salt and juju ash. It’s not for everyday use, but it does leave your skin feeling nourished. It contains essential oils, such as lavender oil and grapefruit peel, which give you a relaxing spa feeling in your own shower. 

Fur Silk Scrub: Just like people, scrubs come in different formulations, and Fur's Silk Scrub ($48) is one of them. This liquid form contains glycolic acid, lactic acid, and jojoba beads for exfoliation, which is great for people like me with keratosis pilaris. I love that you can also use the product as a mask and leave it on your skin for two to three minutes before washing it off.

Final Verdict

I enjoyed the instant gratification I got from the Bath & Body Works exfoliating scrub. My skin felt refreshed and mildly exfoliated without being stripped, and the Graphite fragrance left me smelling good. The product has just the right amount of grit to it—the exfoliating properties are not too abrasive for frequent use, instead being just enough to contribute to a gentle scrubbing feel and renewed result.

Specs

  • Product Name 2-in-1 Body Wash & Scrub
  • Product Brand Bath & Body Works
  • Price $17.00
  • Weight 6.2 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Sucrose, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Water (Aqua, Eau) Butylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance (Parfum), Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina, Cire Microcristalline), Palmitic Acid, Coconut Acid, Stearic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid, Disodium Edta, Sorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Iron Oxides (CI 77499)

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