AD | Exfoliation is now on the to-do list of most people’s skin care routine worldwide. And why shouldn’t it be? Scrubs are cheap and they seem to have an immediate effect on the skin with their brightening effect. But have you considered other important elements beyond price when it comes to your scrub? Its ingredients, its impact on the environment or its ability to cause wrinkles?
Here we present a few things to consider before you buy your next scrub:
How often should a scrub be used? Dermatologists often recommend using a scrub once a week if you have sensitive skin and twice a week for normal or combination skin. Why not more often? Scrubs are generally abrasive to the skin. If you do it too often, your skin will be irritated and it may do more damage.
There are two types of scrubs, physical or chemical. The physical scrubs have large physical abrasive material like fine stones, walnut shell pieces, sugar, salt granules, and sand. Chemical scrubs, on the other hand, contain chemical exfoliators like alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, beta hydroxy acids, and enzymes. These chemicals break the bonds which connect dead cells and debris to the skin’s surface. After you use the scrub, you can simply wash off the dead cells with an anti-acne face wash.
Skin care experts prefer chemical scrubs as they gently encourage cell turnover while physical scrubs are akin to sand-papering the skin. You may also learn more here.
You may have heard about the debate surrounding the effect of scrubs on the environment. The more advanced scrubs now have plastic pellets. These plastic micro-beads go down the drain and can pollute rivers, lakes, and oceans.
In fact, in December 2017, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law banning the manufacture of cosmetic products with micro-beads. Cosmetic powerhouses like Unilever, Procter and Gamble and L’Oréal, have phased out the production of these beads. If you’re environmentally conscious, opt for biodegradable alternatives or natural substances.
Type of Scrub
When it comes to scrubs, is there really a difference? Yes! A foot scrub and body scrub are very different from a face scrub. The skin on your feet and below your neck is thicker and so body scrubs have very large abrasive materials that could tear the thin skin of your face. Their granules are far bigger and will cause you to injure you’re the delicate cells, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.
Foam or cream base: which is better? It depends on your skin type. If you have very oily skin, you may want to use a foam-based scrub that is alcohol based. If you have dry skin, you may want to avoid a scrub that has alcohol as it would further dry your skin. A cream-based scrub will add moisture to instead and can lock in hydration in your pores.
- Once you’ve finished using your scrub, aftercare is important. Use a good moisturizer to hydrate your skin.
- If you find any redness, swelling, itchiness or a mild reaction to the scrub you’re using, dab your skin with cold water and visit your dermatologist.
- If you prefer to do chemical peel exfoliation, make sure to do a patch test on your hand before you apply it to your face.
- In the days after your scrub, your face will be sensitive, so stay out of the sun. If you do find yourself in the sun, wear sunscreen and a hat. Avoid alcohol-based makeup or products as it will further irritate your skin.
- Be gentle. After washing your face, pat dry with a towel. When applying a moisturizer, don’t rub it in aggressively, gentle dabbing motions should be enough.
Scrubs are now universal to skincare routines. There’s a wide variety of scrubs available out there based on skin type, ingredients, effect, and results. If you want to know how to exfoliate at home, here are a few skin care tips from the American Association of Dermatology.
We hope this helps you make the right choice for your skin. Share with us how you choose your scrub and how it has helped you.
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