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Body exfoliation is often an overlooked sub-section of our beauty routines (or something we only think about when winter hits are our legs look part-lizard). But it doesn’t have to be a difficult or laborious undertaking. Case in point: Exfoliating gloves.
While they don’t seem flashy (nor should they), a good set of scrubby gloves is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to maintain silky skin, minimize ingrown hairs, and in some cases, reduce scarring and the appearance of stretch marks. And the best part is the experience is so easy—simply add your body wash of choice and spend a few minutes scrubbing in the shower. We promise you’ll feel all the better about it.
Discover our top exfoliating glove picks below.
Best Overall: Honeydipped Essentials Bamboo Exfoliating Bath Mitt
These eco-friendly mitts are made of bamboo and deliver a gentle exfoliating experience. The bamboo fiber material allows this mitt to dry quickly, so no worrying about bacteria or fungus forming.
What Our Editors Say
"The bamboo in this bath mitt helps it dry more quickly, which means I can hang it on the shower wall, and it won't be cold and soggy when I use it next. Even my boyfriend has incorporated it into his routine!" —Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director
Best Budget: Earth Therapeutics Exfoliating Hydro Gloves
These are thick and textured, so they’re really effective when it comes to buffing and smoothing out dry, flaky skin. For the price, you can’t really go wrong.
Best Drugstore: Bondi Sands Exfoliation Mitt
This mitt from Bondi Sands has two sides with different textures, so you can tailor the experience to your skin type and the reasons you’re using the glove itself. The black side will buff, smooth, and exfoliate the skin, whereas the blue side is great for gently removing tanning mistakes or ingrown hairs.
Best for Sensitive Skin: EvridWear Exfoliating Dual Texture Bath Gloves
If your skin is more sensitive, this glove set from EvridWear is a great option because the material used is not as abrasive. Add a squeeze of fragrance-free body wash and lightly sweep the gloves over limbs, starting from the feet and working your way upwards.
Best for Ingrown Hairs: Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt Body Scrub
Ingrown hairs happen when skin thickens and traps hair inside the follicle, leading to swelling and inflammation. One of the easiest ways to prevent them is a good ol’ fashioned weekly scrub to encourage skin cell turnover, and this Dermasuri mitt is the best one for the job. Made from a woven fabric, it works to slough off dead skin, untrapping hairs, and clearing out pores.
Best Value: Mooerca Double-Sided Exfoliating Gloves, 8 Pairs
Simple, cheap, and cheerful, this set of eight gloves is great for beginners or anyone looking to test out the exfoliating mitt waters. Bonus points for the oh-so-fun colorways.
Best Charcoal: Earth Therapeutics Purifying Exfoliating Gloves - Charcoal
While we’re not completely sold on the idea of charcoal-infused gloves, it’s a feature that certainly can’t hurt! Aside from that, these Earth Therapeutics gloves are snug and retain their shape well, so you can keep them in the shower for ease.
Best for Sunless Tan: Zakia's Morocco Kessa Original Hammam Scrubbing Glove
Seasoned tanners will know the benefits of exfoliation before applying a layer of self-tan. But even if you’re new to the game, this scrubbing glove from Zakia’s Morocco is easy and effective. Starting at your feet, work in circular motions in an upwards direction, spending extra time on dry spots like the knees and elbows. Finish with a little bit of moisturizer, and you’re ready to marinate.
Best Dual-Sided: Face Halo Body Exfoliator
This double-sided mitt features a textured side to remove dead skin, plus a soft, Halotech polishing side to smooth, cleanse and refresh. While we love it in the shower, you can use it either wet or dry. The oversized round shape makes the process easier, as well.
Best for Your Back: SmitCo Body Exfoliation With Exfoliating Gloves and Shower Back Scrubber
No one wants to accidentally dislocate an arm when scrubbing their back. Enter Smitco’s Exfoliating Gloves and Shower Back Scrubber. The handy duo makes it easy to exfoliate your entire body (including hair-to-reach spots) for smooth, flake-free skin all over.
Best for the Face: Earth Therapeutics Super Loofah Facial Mitt
While we wouldn’t normally use an abrasive pair of exfoliating gloves on our face, this version from Earth Therapeutics is specially designed to offer a really soft, delicate exfoliation without irritation. It’s also the best shape and size to nix any flakes around the nose, chin, or forehead.
Our top pick is the Honeydipped Essentials Bamboo Exfoliating Bath Mitt (view at Honeydipped) because it's eco-friendly and gently exfoliates the skin. Of course, after careful consideration (i.e. a lot of scrubbing) team Byrdie has decided that the Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt Body Scrub (view at Amazon) and Face Halo Body Exfoliator (view at Face Halo) are also great options. Dermasuri in particular fits really well and offers a thorough exfoliation to smooth the skin and prevent ingrown hairs (one of the most annoying things ever). Meanwhile, Face Halo is amazing in its own right, partly due to the fact it has two sides—one to gently buff and the other to slough off flaky, dry skin.
What to Look for When Buying Exfoliating Gloves
Most exfoliating gloves are pretty stretchy, but a snuggly fit will give you more control overall. If you’ve got petite hands, look for something small (but with stretch).
The only other real thing to consider is the texture or coarseness of your exfoliating gloves. If you’re really dry, trying to remove tan, or want to feel reborn, go for a pair that’s tightly woven and quite abrasive. Likewise, if you have sensitive skin or want to use your gloves daily, seek out a pair that are woven from softer fibers.
What benefits do exfoliating gloves have?
According to Natalie Papadopoulos, Owner and Founder of wellness space and skin clinic The Parlour Room, exfoliation can have a profound effect on the health of the skin on our body because it “removes dead skin, stimulates and improves circulation, encourages cell renewal, prevents ingrown hairs, and simply helps you relax”.
Exfoliation mitts are a nice option when it comes to body exfoliation because they’re able to offer all of the above benefits, plus they’re sustainable, affordable, and easy to use.
How do you use exfoliating gloves?
Papadopoulos suggests that when it comes to body exfoliation, it’s best to start at the feet and work your way upwards in a circular motion, paying extra attention to dry spots around the ankles, knees, and elbows.
Try adding a little shower gel for slip and integrating the practice into your routine two to three times a week, building up to daily use if you feel you need it.
You can also use exfoliating gloves to prep the skin before applying a self-tanner. Simply follow the above steps and finish with a small amount of moisturizer on the knees, ankles, and elbows.
How do you clean exfoliating gloves?
This will be dependent on the gloves you have specifically, but a warm, gentle machine wash is a good place to start. Leave them someplace dry between uses to prevent bacteria build-up as well.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Not only has Emily Algar combed the market for all the top-rated exfoliating gloves to help you find the best pair, but she has road-tested a bunch as well.