Skip to Content

Body Scrub vs Body Wash: Which Is Best For Men?

Some days you need a quick wash, and other days it’s a full on scrub. So you’d best know the difference between body scrub vs body wash. The two share a lot of skincare benefits, but they do feel and work differently against your skin.

Table of Contents

What Is Body Scrub?

We have a full guide to the benefits of body scrub here, but to sum up the jist of it, body scrubs are grittier liquid soaps that help rub away dead skin, soften your skin, and brighten your complexion. 

Scrubs have a lot more texture than washes, so you don’t necessarily need to pair them with a loofah or any other skin-scrubber for full exfoliation. They’re an excellent way to start your skincare routine. Because they scrub away dead skin and grime, your other products are able to work more effectively, since they’re applied more directly to your skin.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Body Scrub?


• If you use a scrub before you shave, you’re less likely to nic yourself, since it gives your blade a smooth surface to glide across. (if you’re shaving a beard, be sure to use a facial scrub.)

Body scrubs can cure and prevent ingrown hairs.

• Scrubs smooth your skin and brighten your complexion. 

• Perfect way to start your skincare routine. Using a scrub before acne or skin conditions treatments helps your other products work more effectively.


• You’re more likely to irritate your skin or break out in a rash with a body scrub. If you choose one that’s too gritty for your skin, it’ll leave you chapped.

• You can’t use a body scrub every day. It’s a 2-3 times per week kind of deal. Using a scrub frequently will automatically irritate your skin.

• You can’t use a body scrub on your face. You need to get a facial scrub for your face.

What Is Body Wash?

Body washes are usually liquid soap cleansers. They’re the shower products that feel smooth and have that rich, creamy lather. Lots of guys who use body wash like the gentle texture and scent.

Body washes are great if you have sensitive skin and don’t want to risk a scrub. They’re not effective dead skin removers, but they do rinse dirt and break down oil buildup.

If you want to exfoliate your skin with a body wash, you’ll need to pair it with another product like a loofah, washcloth, or sponge. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Body Wash?


• Body washes are gentle and moisturizing. They’ll hydrate your skin.

• Body washes are better cleansers than scrubs. They break down oils and rinse dirt.

• Body and facial washes are amazing acne fighters.

• You can use body washes every day, even multiple times per day, without worrying about a rash or a breakout.

• Washes are also a great addition to any skincare routine, for similar reasons to scrubs.


• Washes only do a so-so job on stubborn grime and dead skin buildup.

• Not all body washes count as actual “soap.” They don’t have the right ingredients, and they’re packed with chemical preservatives. Seek out all-natural washes if you want something especially gentle.

Body Scrub vs Body Wash For Men: Final Verdict

I hope this isn’t a disappointing final verdict, but…really, you should keep a bottle of each in your bathroom.

Body scrubs and body washes are much more effective when you use them together. You’ll get the grime-fighting abilities of a scrub, with the gentle, moisturizing properties of a wash. Using both means you get double the skin benefits, especially if you know how to use body scrub properly.

As for which to use first, lots of experts agree that you should use your body wash first because it cleanses your skin of dirt. But do what feels right for you – personally, I prefer to use the scrub first since they’re rougher and can leave your skin dry. The wash pumps that moisture back into your skin.

But I know some of you are frugal. If you’re only willing to buy one, I’d go with the wash, but apply it with a loofah. Loofahs are easy to use in the shower, and they exfoliate your skin in the same way that the body scrub would.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.