You probably exfoliate your face—but what about your body? Should you be exfoliating your body regularly? In a word, yes. “Skin is skin—it's critical to exfoliate all of it, whether on the body or face,” notes board-certified Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Geeta Yadav. “Exfoliating helps stimulate cellular turnover, removing the dead skin cells on the surface while revealing the fresh, healthy, and radiant skin underneath.”
While scrubs get the majority of praise in body exfoliation, we’re fans of the body exfoliation tool. A tool lacks the granular mess common with a scrub, meaning you can reach for one of these handheld items no matter when and where you are. Plus, these tools have the ability to exfoliate more deeply than most scrubs.
We went to work, conducting hours of research on the best body exfoliating tools on the market. After evaluating them on their material, what type of exfoliation they're effective for, and well they deliver results while withstanding moisture from the shower, we narrowed down our list. We considered dozens of different types of tools from brushes to mitts and washcloths across a range of brands and price points. After consulting with a dermatologist and esthetician, we landed on the following best in show.
goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
Easy to hold
Bristles can shed
An ergonomic handle that makes hard-to-reach areas accessible, firm-but-not-too-firm bristles, and sustainable, responsibly-grown ingredients make this $25 dry brush from Goop our overall winner. A dry brush that’s easy to use is important, too, because consistency is key (and let’s be honest, we only want to use something manageable). Regular dry brushing can help improve circulation, lymphatic drainage, and potentially visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite.
While dry brushing has become en vogue in recent years, the practice is ancient and has been embraced by numerous cultures for centuries, from Egyptians to Scandinavians to Turks, and is a prominent feature of Ayurveda, too. Beyond just the benefits of exfoliating the skin, dry brushing is believed to be a beneficial tool for mindfulness and reconnection with your body. In all, dry brushing is not only a wonderful addition to your daily bathing routine, but also your wellness practice.
Price at time of publish: $25
Type: Body brush | Material: Sisal fibers, FSC-certified wood | Great for: Mindful exfoliating
Gilded Body the Marble Body Brush
Made from unique Spanish marble
Bristles fall out
Some body exfoliating tools are a great deal, but can fall apart quickly with regular use. Gilded Body’s dry brush is designed for a lifetime. The elegant Nero Marquina marble is sourced from Spain's Basque region, with each brush customized with its own distinctive veining pattern. The firm bristles are sustainably sourced from the agave sisalana plant (aka sisal), and the brand offers an annual complimentary brush refresh, replacing any bristles that may have naturally shed during use. For extra credibility, the brand was founded by a dermatology physician assistant as a way to encourage and elevate daily body care routines.
Price at time of publish: $129
Type: Body brush | Material: Marble, sisal bristles | Great for: Lymphatic drainage, skin exfoliation
Songwol Exfoliating Towel
Accessible price point
Same towel used in Korean spas
Not durable material
Made in Korea, these small, handheld towels are nearly identical to the famed scrub mitts used in Korean bathhouses. You can mimic the deep, deep exfoliation accomplished in these bathhouse treatments from the comfort of your own bathroom. To use, shower or bath until skin is softened, then rub the towel over your skin, working in small patches until you cover the entire body—and don’t worry, the material purposefully shrinks and becomes rough when it comes in contact with water. This coarse material makes for a deeper exfoliation, but you can scrub gentler if you’d like a less intense treatment. You also can’t beat the $4 price tag.
Price at time of publish: $4
Type: Towel | Material: Rayon | Great for: Deep, skin-shedding exfoliation
Best for Deep Exfoliation
Binu Binu Seshin Korean Scrub Mitt
Encourages a healthy glow
More expensive than competitors
Inspired by Korean bathhouse mitts and towels, Binu Binu founder Karen Kim sought to create iterations that are longer-lasting and more sustainable. “Our version of the iconic scrub mitt and towel features the same uniquely textured material, but finer, in a neutral off-white and black color combo, and constructed more sturdily with French seams and a larger fit to make scrubbing easier for large areas of the skin,” she says.
The concept came to Kim after years of Korean bathhouse treatments. “It was love at first scrub—I've never felt cleaner than after I've had a professional scrub treatment done, and I love to prolong that feeling by using a mitt at home.”
Price at time of publish: $22
Type: Mitt | Material: 100 percent viscose | Great for: Deep exfoliation
Best for Ingrown Hairs
Fur Mitt Trio
Addresses ingrown hairs and razor burn
Easy to use
Loses shape quickly
As the smallest exfoliation tool on this list, Fur’s Mitt Trio slips over a finger or two, allowing you to delicately buff any area prone to ingrown hairs, including your face, armpits, bikini area or legs.
The reusable mitts have dual-sided textures—one soft for sensitive skin and the other more textured for deeper exfoliation. The mitts are gentle enough for daily use, which is an effective way to prevent painful ingrown hairs. Use on clean, damp skin or lather the mitt with face or body wash for a cleansing and exfoliating experience.
Price at time of publish: $18
Type: Mitt | Material: 50 percent cotton, 50 percent nylon | Great for: Ingrown hairs
Best for Decolletage
Omorovicza Cleansing Mitt
Simultaneously exfoliates and cleanses
Soft, gentle material
Clunky to maneuver
Originally designed for the face, but the large size makes it ideal for the neck, decolletage, and body, too. The soft cotton material is incredibly gentle and provides a delicate experience for even the most sensitive of skin. The mitt particularly excels at effectively removing goopy face masks, its intended purpose, so grab this if and when you apply a face, neck, and/or decolletage mask.
Simply massage over the intended area and watch as the mask is instantly removed (and your skin is given a subtle buff in the process, too). Alternatively, use it in the shower while washing your body for quick, daily exfoliation.
Price at time of publish: $16
Type: Mitt | Material: 100 percent cotton | Great for: Gentle exfoliation while cleansing
Best for Lymphatic Drainage
Tata Harper Sculpting Body Stone
Promotes lymphatic drainage
Gentle, relaxing massage
If brushing with a dry brush is too harsh for you, try this Sculpting Body Stone from Tata Harper. The gorgeous Fencheng Jade tool is designed in a large mushroom shape with an easy-to-grip knob for a full-body deep tissue massage.
Not only is it incredibly relaxing, but the tool was also developed to tone the body and promote lymphatic drainage—one of the key benefits of dry brushing. Use after the shower, then apply a bit of body oil for some slip, and grab your tool, massaging it into the body with firm, small circular motions.
Bonus: Jade has thermal conductivity properties and can be warmed for a hot massage or chilled for a cooling experience.
Price at time of publish: $70
Type: Body stone | Material: Fencheng Jade | Great for: Lymphatic massage and drainage
Best for Neck
Mila Moursi Complexion Brush
Can be used on the face or body
Softer bristles than most dry brushes
Leaves a fresh, rosy glow
While this tool is originally designed for the face, it works wonders for the rest of the body, too. The small, handheld size makes dry brushing simpler and easier than other clunky versions.
Famed celebrity esthetician, Mila Moursi, is a huge proponent of body brushes—she’s been dry brushing her clients (including Jennifer Aniston and Charlize Theron). She been using them for the last 30 years before starting any body treatment at her Los Angeles.
“The gentle stroking action of the brush has a massage effect that relaxes the body, accelerates cell turnover, maximizes oxygen intake, and cleanses pores of impurities,” she says.
However, one of the brush’s most important benefits is lymphatic drainage. “Since much of the lymph system lies immediately underneath skin, dry brushing also stimulates lymph flow, helping the body rid itself of toxins,” she adds. “You simply don’t get those benefits from a scrub alone.”
Price at time of publish: $39
Type: Dry brush | Material: Natural fibers, wood | Great for: Facial or sensitive skin dry brushing
Best for Relaxation
Wellness East Hinoki Wood Body Brush
Too rough for sensitive skin
Rather than the traditional ingredients commonly used in dry brushes, this body brush is made from Japanese Hinoki Cypress. Hinoki is prized for its durability, antibacterial properties, and most importantly, its aroma. The scent is proven to promote stress relief and relaxation. After all, Hinoki is commonly used in luxury Japanese bathhouses.
To boot, the body brush channels another Japanese staple, the Sakura flower, with the medium firm bristles thoughtfully formed in the shape of the blossom.
Price at time of publish: $45
Type: Body brush | Material: Japanese Hinoki Cypress | Great for: Deep, rejuvenating exfoliation
Best Compostable Option
Everist Konjac Body Sponge
Quick to use
Difficult to wring out or rinse
This konjac sponge is the most sustainable option on the list, being fully biodegradable in an at-home compost. Made of 100 percent natural konjac, a porous root vegetable commonly grown in Eastern Asia, this exfoliating tool begins to break down naturally after two to three months of use.
Using a konjac sponge is an experience all unto itself—it’s stiff when dry, but once wetted, the konjac springs to life, taking on a cushy, gel-like pillow texture. It’s a fun and gentle way to gently exfoliate the body, while also cleansing in the shower or bath.
Price at time of publish: $12
Type: Sponge | Material: Compostable konjac sponge | Great for: Gentle, delicate exfoliation
Easiest Exfoliation Method
ATB Exfoliating Gloves
Quick and effective
Not recyclable material
Dr. Yadav recommends the classics when it comes to exfoliation, like a loofah, washcloth, or these exfoliating gloves. “They aren't too abrasive and offer a nice sloughing sensation—and they're also great for getting a good lather out of your body wash.”
She also prefers gentler methods when it comes to exfoliating. “A lot of people often feel the harder they scrub, brush, or scrape, the better, but there's genuinely no need to scrub aggressively, especially if you're consistent in your routine,” she adds. “A light touch is often enough to get the job done.”
Price at time of publish: $9
Type: Gloves | Material: Nylon | Great for: Quick, shower exfoliation
Best Hard-to-Reach-Areas Exfoliation
Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel
Perfect for difficult-to-reach spots
Deep, effective exfoliation
Simple to use
Harsh for some sensitive skin
Turn your bathroom into a Japanese spa with this exfoliating towel. The Japanese brand, Goshi, has perfected its indestructible exfoliating towel with rip-resistant tech, thanks to the interwoven design. It’s similar in theory and practice to Korean exfoliating mitts, but this towel is designed to be more durable and flexible, reaching even the most impossible spots (like the middle of the back) with its nearly five feet long length.
Hold onto each end of the towel and move it back and forth behind your back for an easy experience. Plus, one Byrdie writer found this Goshi towel helped eradicate her stubborn keratosis pilaris.
Price at time of publish: $15
Type: Towel | Material: 100 percent recyclable nylon cloth | Great for: Back exfoliation
Best for Sensitive Skin
Esker Body Plane
Ancient method and experience
Massages while exfoliating
Ultra gentle technique
Too gentle and ineffective for rougher skin textures
When at home, do as the Romans do—ancient Romans that is. Esker’s Body Plane is inspired by an ancient Roman tool, the strigil. “They wouldn’t bathe in those days, so to “clean” they would apply olive oil to their skin and use strigils to scrape off dirt and dead skin,” says Esker founder Shannon Davenport. Modernizing that concept, Esker’s body plane is intended for use after a shower or bath, directly after massaging body oil on damp skin. The tool’s blunt colloidal silver edge glides over skin, but the process is incredibly gentle.
Price at time of publish: $45
Type: Body plane | Material: Colloidal sterling silver, teak wood | Great for: Sensitive, gentle exfoliation
Body exfoliation tools are incredibly beneficial and the trick to finding your perfect fit is zeroing in on your routine, skin type, and overall desired goals. Our overall favorite pick is Goop Beauty G. Tox Ultimate Dry Brush, which is easy to use (thanks to its handle), made of thoughtfully sustainable materials, and incredibly durable. But we’re also a fan of Binu Binu Seshin Korean Scrub Mitt, which re-imagines the classic Korean scrub mitt with more sustainable and long-lasting materials.
Meet the Expert
- Karen Kim is the founder of Binu Binu, a Toronto-based brand inspired by Korean bathhouse culture.
- Dr. Geeta Yadav is a Toronto-based, board-certified dermatologist, and founder of FACET Dermatology. She’s passionate about addressing under-serviced communities and treating BIPOC patients.
What to Look For When Buying Body Exfoliating Tools
Type of Tool
Identify what you’d like your body exfoliating tool to accomplish, and take into consideration price point, skin type, and goals.
“First and foremost, it’s more important to understand your body’s skin type when selecting the right tool for you,” notes Davenport. “Not all exfoliation is created equal—whether you have sturdier skin that can handle a daily brush from a dry brush or sensitive skin that needs a gentler approach, your skin should decide which tool is right for you.”
Zeroing in on your ideal tool will also help you have a more pleasant experience. For example, perhaps you find scrubbing your back impossible, so a towel, like options from Binu Binu or Goshi, would be best for what you need.
Body exfoliation tools must do a delicate dance between materials that are durable enough to slough away dead skin, but gentle enough that they won't cause discomfort or skin damage.
Dr. Yadav agrees, saying that “body exfoliation tools are often effective and helpful, but it depends entirely on the materials being used.”
She adds that “some dry brushes are made with very abrasive bristles, which may scratch and irritate the skin more than help the skin.”
It’s also important to consider the pressure and how roughly you're using your tools, too. She prefers a lighter touch rather than intense, pressurized scrubbing, brushing, or scraping aggressively. You can start out with a softer tool like the Goshi Shower Towel, which can be used in the shower with a body wash for quick, effective exfoliation.
Ease of Use
Some body exfoliating tools are designed to easily incorporate into your daily routine, like a konjac sponge, that can be used in place of a loofah or washcloth for a gentle, sustainable exfoliation.
“I find that people are less likely to maintain a body exfoliation routine when they perform it outside of an already-established ritual, like body cleansing,” says Dr. Yadav, who recommends exfoliating in the shower or bath while conditioning your hair.
Yet some exfoliating tools are intentionally designed to be more time-consuming, taking a more wellness-inspired approach. A Korean scrub mitt like the Binu Binu Seshin Korean Scrub Mitt, is purposefully used after a long shower or bath and can take a considerable amount of time to thoroughly scrub every inch of your skin. Or dry brushing, which can be time-consuming (although you can also quickly brush within just a few minutes) that entire meditations and mindfulness routines are designed around the ritual.
If you’re looking for a body exfoliation that’s simple to incorporate into your daily ritual, grab a shower towel, exfoliating gloves, or konjac sponges, which are designed to slough away skin while also washing the body—giving you a two-birds-with-one-stone experience.
How do you deeply exfoliate your body?
Start with a soft-bristled brush, and stroke against the skin in slow, circular motions.
Each body exfoliation tool has its own perfected method, here are a few tips for using two of the most complicated methods—scrub mitts and towels, and body brushes.
Scrub Mitt/Towel: “Wash your body with soap, then scrub the body using a back-and-forth motion and marvel as the dead skin layer just rolls off your body,” says Kim, who recommends following that up with a body oil or moisturizer on damp, freshly scrubbed skin to seal in moisture.
Body Brush: Consistent body brushing only works if you make the process into a ritual that is practiced consistently.
Adjust your pressure if it feels painful or uncomfortable.
How often should you exfoliate your body?
“One to three times a week is sufficient to stimulate cellular turnover without overdoing it,” says Dr. Yadav. “I'd recommend exfoliating less frequently to start, especially if you have sensitive skin, then ramping up your routine over time, especially if you have more mature skin.”
What are the benefits of using a dry brush or exfoliating tool?
Dry brushing, or any tool that improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, has noticeable benefits. Aesthetically, they’re known to potentially visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite, while also exfoliating and sloughing off dead skin cells for the appearance of brighter, firmer skin, says Davenport. Plus, she says that the overall process can make you feel energized.
And one overall benefit of exfoliating tools versus scrubs or peels is tools are easily adaptable to your schedule—you can incorporate them into your morning or night routine, before, after, or in-between showers.
Why Trust Byrdie
For this body exfoliating tools round-up, Kristin Limoges consulted with a board-certified dermatologist and numerous body care experts and brand founders, as well as several medical journals to ensure that the information is accurate. We’ve also trawled through internet reviews and taken on some testing ourselves to be certain that this edit of the best body exfoliation tools is the cream of the crop. Kristin is a Byrdie contributor with bylines in Harper's Bazaar, Allure, and WWD.