Scrubs are one of the most popular skincare products right now. Every girl has one or even several scrubs on her beauty shelves, and it’s clear why everyone likes them: scrubs make your skin smooth, silky, and sometimes they even decrease the small wrinkles – just like in TV advertising. However, are they that safe and consequence-free?
Some people believe that scrubs cause irreversible damage to skin health, while others recommend using a very small amount of scrubs with great care. And some use them every day! What are the pros and cons of scrubs and whether it is worth to have them in your beauty collection we’ll talk about below.
The scrub is a skincare remedy in the form of an emulsion, gel or cream with added abrasive particles. This beauty product has been known since ancient times. Scrubs with olive oil were used by Cleopatra herself in ancient Rome.
The fact that this product is still popular can be explained by the benefits it brings to the owner. Abrasive particles in the scrub (these could be grounded apricot stones, crushed walnut, sea salt, tiny plastic balls) clean all the dirt from the surface of the skin, quickly remove dead particles and provide an instant wow effect on the output.
There are scrubs for the face and body. In the face scrubs, abrasive particles are softer and finer, in the body ones they are more intense since the skin of the body is thicker (therefore, these means that you shouldn’t use body scrub for the face). Body scrubs are usually made of larger granules of harder materials like coffee, sugar, sand and even ground shells.
Disadvantages of scrubs
Some experts oppose the scrubs, and they have a reason for this. Experts say that harsh ingredients in the scrubs can cause inflammations and even premature aging, as they injure the skin.
This is really possible if you choose a product with poor-quality abrasive particles and sharp angles left. These will scratch the skin, lead to inflammation, and if you have already existing pimples, these scrubs will drive the infection deep into the skin and can cause acne spread.
Do scrubs dry the skin even more?
Menthol contained in the scrub helps to open and clean pores, but also promotes the evaporation of moisture. If you scrub your face and go straight for a walk, the skin will be drier even more than before the procedure, and small wrinkles might appear immediately.
But if the skin is not cleansed with scrub, the pores will be clogged with comedones and acne, and the crust of dead skin cells will not let your skin breathe normally.
Therefore, after scrubbing the face do not go out, dry your hair with a hairdryer, or sit by the fireplace or heater for 2-3 hours. Always nourish the skin with a moisturizing cream after the procedure.
Do scrubs thin out the skin?
Apricot stone microparticles, like synthetic exfoliating substances, cleanse the skin only of the dead skin particles. But there are other types of scrubs too. Classic scrubs can be used once a week, but there are scrubs for daily use. Their abrasive exfoliating particles are smaller, so these scrubs can be used every day instead of liquid soap for washing or as a cleansing mask once a week. Of course, do not mercilessly rub your face with a classic scrub more than once a week. The skin protecting itself from mechanical damages will be peeling even faster and may not have time to recover normally.
Pros of scrubs
Scrubs are an acknowledged express agent in achieving skin smoothness. Abrasives, unlike acids, immediately detaches dead cells from the surface of the skin, instantly levelling the relief. In this case, exfoliation is perceived by the skin as a trauma, which stimulates a greater production of collagen. And this process, as known, makes the skin more elastic and youthful.
If we look into body scrubs, these products help with cellulite. Exfoliation in problem areas stimulates blood microcirculation, the withdrawal of excess fluid, improves the penetration of active ingredients into tissues. Therefore, any anti-cellulite care is recommended to begin with a hot shower and scrub.
In addition to directly abrasive compounds, scrubs can be based on additional components that work on different beauty fronts: moisturize, nourish and so on.
Main advantages of scrubs:
- Scrubs provide face freshness
- Scrubs will help remove the "shell" from dead cells
Due to dryness and constant peeling, the skin grows older faster, small wrinkles appear faster. By the way, about 80% of the dust in the house are pieces of dead skin!
- Scrubs help to get rid of pimples and acne
Opening and freeing the pores of the skin from the sebum (skin oil) deposits mixed with microparticles of dirt, you can significantly reduce the number of blackheads and even acne – which are secret of sebaceous glands with staphylococci.
- Scrubs improve the effect of creams
Since scrub exfoliates dead skin particles, it increases the access of creams to the skin, increasing their effectiveness.
How to choose scrubs
As we have already mentioned, various abrasives are added to the scrubs. There is a so-called series of delicate scrubs in which polymer particles are soluble. Due to their round or oval shape, they exfoliate more carefully than, say, the same apricot stones. Sometimes, instead of polymer particles in scrubs, manufacturers add wax granules. These soft pellets have weaker exfoliating properties, but they don’t injure even the irritated skin.
For greater efficiency, a duet of polymer particles and waxes made from natural butter (karite or jojoba) can be present in delicate scrubs. Such particles dissolve when heated to skin temperature and provide a softer skimming scrub, improve the tolerability of the procedure.
There are scrubs based on salt, they are recommended to use for the people with oily skin, since salt has a drying effect. They are absolutely not suitable for sensitive skin and can cause irritation.
Experts advice to leave popular apricot shells and grounded nuts for the body. These aggressive abrasives can damage face skin.
People with skin prone to couperose are better to avoid scrubs completely and pay attention to peelings. Walls of vessels with couperose are thinned and have increased fragility, and aggressive massage by large particles can destroy them completely.
How to use scrubs
The frequency of scrubbing depends on the type of your skin. For oily skin it is recommended to use exfoliants 1-2 times a week, for dry - no more than 1-2 times a month and combine with the compulsory subsequent application of moisturizers and face masks.
Apply a scrub to a wet face, rubbing the skin from the corners of the mouth to the temples, from the middle of the forehead - to the temples and from the chin to the lobes of the ears. Do not rub the skin around your eyes, it's very gentle and easy to dry. Then wash the scrub off with warm water. After scrubbing, make sure to apply a moisturizing cream.
By the way, scrubs for the body can’t be used in the décolleté zone, since it is a very sensitive area. An aggressive mechanical attack can scratch and damage the tissue.
And remember the most important thing. Scrubs can’t be used instead of a washing product, and it is necessary to thoroughly clean the skin before applying scrubs. If this isn’t done, and the bacterial flora remains on the skin which can move the micro-scraps left by the granules into deeper layers, and provoke rashes.
Lost in scrubs? See our picks below!
Dry skin: Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish
Sensitive skin: Missha Facial Scrub (Apple)
Questions? Drop them in the comments below!
Korean Kiwi Beauty