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Tried & Tested: It's time to scrub up

Okay. Let's get the bod ready this week. There really is no point in tanning if you don't get rid of those dead skin cells that cling to the surface of your skin: the tan will adhere to them and then flake away. So get ready to scrub away everything that stands between you and your future brownness. There are several excellent exfoliants below, so you'll be spoiled for choice.

THE BODY SHOP Sweet Lemon Body Scrub, €15.95 HHHHH

The primary drawback for exfoliators in tubs is that water forms puddles in the depressions made by scooping fingers. But not with this little tub of sunshine. It is scented, but not to a great degree, and its abrasion factor rates very highly. Match it with the body wash we reviewed recently, and you've got a solid one-two punch of cleanliness and glow.

CLINIQUE Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator, €27 HHHHI

This is a classic exfoliator and even though the tube seems a bit stingy, it gives good value. You don't need to use too much to get it going, and it goes on really well. It's fragrance-free, so you don't have to worry about it clashing with your tan or the perfume you choose to spritz on later.

XEN TAN Body Scrub, €15 HHHHH

This stuff rocks. Even sitting dormant in its bottle, you can tell it's going to do a superlative job. It seems like it may be somewhat runny, as it doesn't have the heft of a normal exfoliant. However, you can feel your skin smoothing out even as you apply it. It also washes away without feeling like you've still got little bits of scrub all about your person.

USKINCARE Organic Contour Scrub with Coffee & Sea Kelp, €39.40 HHIII

Well, the coffee is a nice pick-me-up, and it smells a bit like a nice brew, too, but it's hard to squeeze out of the bottle, which is not very helpful when one's hands are wet, and it tends to clump, even after most vigorous spreading about. And unlike the Xen Tan, it doesn't wash off your body and down the drain as smoothly as it might.

LUSH Glorious Mud Body Mask, €5.95 HHHHI

This is a block of mud-making goodness. Ideally, you're supposed to rub it all over yourself and let it dry, then rinse it off. I didn't plan very well, and got bored standing around trying to avoid my shower's spray. Can't say this hanging about is good for one's water consumption, either. Regardless, it gives good scrub, and makes a nice change from the usual kind of skin slougher.