Product Focus: Scrubs

Scrubs?  Scrubs are usually made up of two elements:  something oily and something “scratchy.”  The “scratchy” element serves to exfoliate, after which the “oily” element soaks into the newly exfoliated skin to nourish and soften it. You’ll usually see two forms of scrubs:  salt scrubs and sugar scrubs.  Both will accomplish the basic function of a scrub: to exfoliate and moisturize.  Obviously, one uses salt and one uses sugar, but, other than that, does it really make any difference which one you use?  As a matter of fact, it does.  Salt crystals are pointier than sugar crystals and thus will be rougher on your skin.  Salt scrubs are not recommended for use on the face or on broken skin.  Sugar scrubs are gentler to your skin, can be used on broken skin, and, depending on the tenderness of your skin, most sugar scrubs can be gently used on the face.

Once the basic ingredients are in place, the scrub can take on many forms.  White sugar, brown sugar, turbinado sugar and others can be used individually in a scrub or combined to give varying degrees of exfoliation.   Clays can also be added to give an additional finer level of “polish” to your skin as you scrub.  Butters and emulsifiers can keep the scrub from separating.  An emulsified scrub works well in the shower because you have more control over it;  it doesn’t slide off your body as easily.

TO USE:  You may need to stir it first.  Sometimes the oil will separate as the scrub sits.  If you are using the scrub on your hands, massage 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of scrub into your skin in circular motion. Rinse off until the sugar is gone but the oil remains. Pat dry and massage the remaining oils into your skin. If using on your face, avoid the eye area and massage gently.

You should use a scrub every 7-10 days depending on the sensitivity and dryness of your skin.  One thing to remember with any product containing oils or butters is to be careful in the shower or when exiting the tub.  Surfaces may be slippery.