Meet the body exfoliator that finally cured my Sunday Scaries

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If there’s one thing you need to know about me and my beauty habits, it’s that I was never a religious exfoliator.

Sure, I used to innocently rub my cystic acne-prone face daily with a certain drugstore apricot scrub that shall not be named. Obviously, that did more harm than good, and I haven’t put a physical exfoliant on my body since, relying instead on just lotion to keep ingrown hairs and scaly skin at bay. Still, that never really worked. Sad, right?

Fast forward to last fall. While I’ve struggled with bouts of anxiety and depression for most of my life, I found myself in one of the most intense holes I’ve ever been in — particularly when it came to the pressure of work and weekly routines. Thankfully I had the means and support to seek professional help, but I still wanted to personally go up to bat with one monstrous hurdle: The Sunday Scaries. If you’ve had them, you know how much they suck. So I decided to invent my Sunday Shower.

I promise this is related to body exfoliators — stay with me.

Because starting the new Sunday Shower routine was all about letting myself be as high maintenance as I could (financially) be, I looked to influencers whose lives looked as luxe and silky-smooth as a bougie spa. My pre-war Manhattan apartment was definitely lacking the spa aesthetic, but there was one thing all of these influencers had in common that could fix the vibe. And that was the stunning, chic, minimalist bottle of scrub known as The Body Exfoliator by Nécessaire.

Nécessaire, The Body Exfoliator, Eucalyptus, $30

Credit: Sephora

Designed for sensitive skin like my own, the weekly exfoliator treatment uses a gentle AHA/BHA trio of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids to remove dead skin cells and renew skin’s appearance. At the same time, bamboo charcoal leaves the skin feeling soft. The eucalyptus scent (above) seemed the most spa-like to me, and the price tag was pretty reasonable. So after dinner on that very first Sunday, I placed my new Nécessaire exfoliator in my shower, laid my favorite Hill House Nap Dress out on my bed, put on a podcast and got to it.

Since you’ve already made it this far, here’s how I decided the Sunday Shower would all go down. I wash a week’s worth of product out of my hair with a clarifying shampoo, soak in some Olaplex No. 3, exfoliate with the Nécessaire exfoliator while I let deep conditioner heal my type 2c curly hair, shave, etc. After lotioning up, I put on my Parachute robe and the Dieux Forever Eye Mask while I brushed my teeth. Basically, the whole nine yards of showering that no one ever really has time for.

After that first shower, I was hooked. And I knew it was because of the exfoliator. Using it immediately felt like the charcoal beads had turned my pretty average body skin into a cashmere sweater made for, like, mermaids or something. My rust-stained showerhead was suddenly a gentle rainfall, and I was compelled to breathe the deepest breath my body could breathe. Even better, my skin stayed smooth, supple, and ingrown hair-free for the entire week. Plus, one small squeeze was enough to cover my entire body.

Not convinced? One shopper wrote that the exfoliator helped with their keratosis pilaris brought on by pregnancy, “simultaneously calm[ing] down the redness but also smooth[ing] out bumps.” From another shopper: “I saw a huge difference in my dry skin as I started to use this. Really preps my body to absorb the lotion and moisture after using this.”

If you’re not into the eucalyptus smell, the exfoliator comes in two other scents, which you can shop below.

Nécessaire, The Body Exfoliator, Fragrance Free, $30

Credit: Sephora

Nécessaire, The Body Exfoliator, Sandalwood, $30

Credit: Sephora

I do want to end this spiel by saying that I am both prone to hyperbole and very aware that it wasn’t just the Nécessaire body exfoliator that cured my Sunday Scaries. Instead, it was because I finally took the necessary steps with professionals to deal with my mental health head-on.

Still, I never want to live in a world where I take a Sunday Shower without this exfoliator because damn, it really is that good. I want that for you, too.

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