Chances are your limbs haven’t seen the light of day since November. But with bare-leg season upon us, it’s officially time to de-scale the dry skin on your arms and legs, and there’s no better way to do it than with an in-shower exfoliator. And this $20 pick from one of our favorite sustainable indie brands, Bathing Culture—which will last you a lifetime—is the best body scrubber for getting the job done.
Exfoliation is just as important for your body as it is for your face. It helps to clear away dead skin cells, which not only makes for a smoother skin surface, but also helps the hydrating products you apply to penetrate more deeply. “As long as you don’t overdo it, [a physical scrubber like this one] can help with clearing off some of the flaky skin residual from winter days,” says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Massachusetts and the co-founder of Atolla Skin Health.
Bathing Culture’s Terracotta Detox Scrubber ($20) is made from solid, natural clay, which means that in addition to looking to looking spa-level chic in your shower, it offers some pretty intense skin sloughing powers. It’s covered in hundreds of tiny ridges (which, adorably, look like scales), and can be used for gently scrubbing skin off of your arms and legs or to really go in on calluses on your feet. Plus, it’s easily cleanable, which means you don’t need to worry about it becoming a bacterial breeding ground the way your traditional loofahs tend to.
For best results, Dr. Hirsh recommends pairing the scrubber with something that’s got a heavy lather, like Dove Instant Foaming Body Wash ($6) “so that the exfoliator is helping to spread the cleansing product instead of doing too much harsh scrubbing,” she says. Be sure to stick with lukewarm water (instead of scalding hot) to avoid stripping your skin, and be careful with any products that have potentially-irritating fragrances in them. Post-shower, slather on a heavy-hitting full-body moisturizer (some of our favorite picks in this category are under $20, too), which will help buffer and hydrate your skin while helping to strengthen its barrier.
Think of this as the grown up version of the fish-shaped toys that used to make bath time so much fun when you were a kid, but with the added benefit of being a whole lot better for your skin.
For more tips on exfoliation, check out the video below.