The Best Body Scrubs for Sensitive Skin

The Best Body Scrubs for Sensitive Skin

Sometimes, we can’t get up without snoozing the alarm when it goes off in the morning. If that sounds like you, you probably try to minimize your morning routine as much as possible. That means cutting corners—taking your coffee to go, skipping breakfast, bringing your makeup with you to apply at red lights or on the train. 

Some of those cut corners probably happen in the shower. Whereas on a weekend you might have time for a full routine, weekdays might look more like scrubbing yourself off as quickly as you can and running into your outfit before you’re late.

But what if—go with us here—you stop looking at your daily routine as something to get through as fast as you can and start looking at it like some much-needed you time. Between work, social engagements, and all the errands you need to run to keep things moving, it can be hard to find time for self-care. So what if you start focusing your mornings on that?

While it may cut back on the amount of shut-eye you can get, it does feel pretty great to luxuriate in the morning rather than rushing through it. Even if you can’t bring yourself to get up any earlier to extend your morning alone time, introducing a more involved self-care routine on your days off is a great way to fit some zen into your otherwise hectic life. 

Implementing Body Scrubs

There are many ways to take your morning regimen from drab to fab, but we’re going to focus on that all-important shower time. Getting your shower situation on track can really do wonders for your sense of well-being, self-esteem, and generally make you feel more centered by the time you start the day. One easy step to add to your routine that will instantly make you feel like you’ve hit the spay is starting to use a body scrub.

Body scrubs are brilliant because they cover a lot of bases in one product. They’re excellent exfoliators, which means they help rub off dead skin cells and other impurities to keep your skin glowing and fresh. They also are usually made with some super moisturizing oils, so they keep your skin quenched—this is clutch in winter months. You can also get body scrubs with essential oils, which smell amazing, can have mood-boosting benefits, and do great things for your skin. What’s the downside?!

Well, if you have sensitive skin, you might be worried that adding a new product will irritate your skin. While you should always patch test new products on a small area of your skin before slathering them all over, especially if your skin can be a bit of a drama queen, we totally get the concern! If you’re trying to cater to your sensitive skin, there are some specific things you should look for in a body scrub.

Look for the Right Kind of Exfoliants

Because body scrubs are exfoliating products, you may come across some products that include alpha hydroxy acids, retinol, or other chemical exfoliants. While these products are super useful if you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation, breakouts, or other similar blemishes, they aren’t strictly necessary for other problems.

And because chemical exfoliants can make even the toughest of skin a little stressed out, if you have sensitive skin and don’t have one of the above concerns, you can probably give these products a miss. This is where body scrubs are ideal for you. Because exfoliants don’t just treat skin blemishes, but get rid of dead skin cells and all around make your complexion a bit brighter, a physical exfoliant will be gentler on your skin while still giving you positive results.

There are a few different things that can be used as the “scrub” part of a body scrub. If your skin is super sensitive, we recommend looking for a sugar scrub made with superfine sugar. You’re probably going to want to steer clear of more abrasive scrubs, like salt, coffee, or even brown sugar, which can be slightly coarser, and don’t make for the best body scrubs for sensitive skin.

Look for Gentle Scents and Oils

Another big benefit of adding a body scrub to your regular routine is that many of them smell absolutely delightful. If you need a little pick-me-up to help encourage you to make the most of your shower time, selecting the right scent for your body scrub can be key. Ideally, the scent of your body scrub will come from essential oils, which are (ideally!) natural and come with all sorts of helpful little boosts to your well-being.

That said, not all essential oils are created equal! So you’ll want to be sure to stick to essential oils that are known to be gentle and non-irritating.

Lavender oil is a great go-to when it comes to gentle essential oils. It promotes healing and is even thought to be effective when it comes to bacteria and other nasties that might get into your pores and irritate your skin. So it can be super soothing if your skin tends toward the diva-ish! Our Destress scrub is made with lavender oil and all-natural ingredients, so it’s definitely a contender when it comes to the best body scrubs for sensitive skin! 

If lavender isn’t your jam but you still like floral scents, options like neroli or rose will be perfect for you. Neroli is thought to reduce the appearance of pores and keep your skin moisturized, and rose essential oil can also be extremely hydrating. Both are perfect for your sensitive skin.

Clary sage essential oil is another gorgeous option if you’re looking for something to help calm red or irritated skin while you exfoliate. It’s often used in toners, too, so it’s great for making sure everything is clean, clear, and glowing—from head to toe. 

Chamomile is another reliably gentle essential oil. You may know chamomile well if you live somewhere with mosquitos or if you had chickenpox as a child! It’s a common ingredient in creams used to soothe itchiness and redness, so you can see why it’s a perfect match for your sensitive skin. 

Chamomile is also thought to help the appearance of dark spots or discoloration on your skin, so if that’s on your list of problems to solve, using a body scrub with chamomile essential oil is a double whammy of helpful ingredients.

Another ingredient that goes well in body scrubs for sensitive skin is carrot seed essential oil. If florals aren’t really your vibe, carrot seed has a more spicy, musky scent with just a hint of sweetness. So if you’re more sassy than sweet, you might want to lean into this herby wonder. 

Carrot seed oil is perfect for sensitive skin because it has lots of vitamin E and vitamin A, both of which are awesome for your skin. Plus, it’s good for hydrating your skin, so if you’re prone to feeling dry and tight after you wash, carrot seed oil can help make sure you’re fully quenched when you get out of the shower.

Check Which Carrier Oil Is Used

Now, if you haven’t used essential oils in skincare products before, you may be wondering if they’re safe for your skin at all. It’s true that essential oils can trigger allergies you may not have been aware of—it’s also true that they can be pretty harmful when applied topically when done incorrectly. Part of what makes essential oils work in a body scrub is that, in addition to an exfoliant, they’re also mixed with a good amount of carrier oil. 

This oil could be anything from olive oil to coconut oil to almond oil, depending on your skin type and needs. By mixing the essential oil with a carrier oil, the essential oil is diluted in such a way that makes it safe to use on your skin. Still, you should avoid any particularly sensitive or vulnerable areas of your body, including your eyes, private areas, and any area where you might have an open cut or wound.

Which carrier oil is the best for your sensitive skin depends on how your skin is sensitive. If your skin tends to be quite red and irritated due to dryness, a heavy oil like olive, almond, or coconut is the way to go. They’re all super hydrating which can help dry skin, and have properties that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, enrich your skin with vitamin E and give you a healthy blast of antioxidants.

If your skin is more oily and prone to acne and blemishes, you’re going to want to look for body scrubs that are made with something like grapeseed oil, which is known to help with clogged pores and acne.

In Conclusion

Finding body scrubs for sensitive skin can be a bit of a challenge because they can be a bit tough on your skin! But with a little bit of patience and research, you can definitely find a body scrub to brighten up your shower routine and keep even the most sensitive of skin clear and glowing.


Alpha Hydroxy Acids | FDA

Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents — Myth or Real Alternative? | US National Library of Medicine

Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with Bright Future

Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils | Internal Journal of Molecular Sciences

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