You may be regularly exfoliating your face, but how often do you exfoliate the rest of your body? Considering that exposure to pollution and germs can lead to gunk and grime accumulating on your body, exfoliation should be a part of your cleansing routine. This is where the best body scrubs come in.
What is a body scrub?
A body scrub is an agent that helps you with skin exfoliation—and it's different from a body wash, which aims to cleanse. Basically, you'd want to use your body wash first prior to the scrub.
Sugar scrub vs. salt scrub
The two most common scrub ingredients are sugar and salt. According to a feature on She Knows, the biggest difference between the two are the sizes of their granules: Sugar particles are smaller, so they're more apt for parts of your body with sensitive skin rather than salt. This is why you've probably noticed that you use sugar scrubs on your lips and salt scrubs on your feet.
You can opt for a sugar scrub for your body, but if you have rough and tough spots that you feel have accumulated a lot of dirt and dead skin, then you may want to go for a hard-working salt scrub for intense exfoliation instead. Salt is also known to have antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties, so it can also help keep bacteria away.
Tip: Do not use salt scrubs on your face as the skin on that area is thinner than the rest of your body. You can always go for a diamond peel if you feel like your face needs some extra TLC.
Things to remember before using body scrubs
Scrubs are abrasive, which is why they do such a good job of exfoliating dead skin. However, you need to remember that you have to use them the right way and with the proper tools in order to avoid issues (and even injury):
Don't use a scrub when you have an open wound.
Scrubbing on skin that has a fresh or open wound can increase the chances of infection. Moreover, it can be pretty painful, which won't make for a pleasant shower experience.
Shower first with warm water.
Prior to scrubbing, it's best to stand under warm water in order to help dislodge oil and dirt from your pores and to soften rough spots. This will make exfoliation easier./li>
Use the proper tools to make your scrubbing more effective.
You can use a dry brush, a sponge, or a glove with your body scrub for your arms and legs. Not only will these help slough away dirt, they can also improve circulation.
Exfoliation strips your skin of the bad stuff, and even the good stuff—like natural oils. Remember to apply moisturizer or body oil after to lock hydration in.
Scrub regularly, but not too often.
Exfoliating your body twice or thrice a week is a good schedule to start with, but in the end it really depends on the status of your skin. Just remember not to over-scrub to avoid micro-tearing.
Best Body Scrubs to Try
Looking for a good product to start with? Here are some which have had good reviews:
Nuxe Rêve De Miel Nourishing Scrub
Aside from shea butter, this sugar and honey-based scrub contains sunflower, argan, and borage oils to help remove dirt while keeping moisture locked in your skin.
Nuxe Rêve De Miel Nourishing Scrub, P1,650, Rustan's The Beauty Source
Beauty for Real Total Body Revival
If you don't like strong scents, then this one's for you. This sugar-and-coffee scrub gives you a hint of guava and nectarine while revealing baby-soft skin.
Beauty for Real Total Body Revival, P1,200, Beauty Bar
Soap and Glory Flake Away
If the skin on your arms and legs are always dry and flaky, try this. Flake Away is a combination of sea salt and sugar, mixed with shea butter, almond oil, and peach seed powder which works hard in scrubbing off peeling skin without making it look drier than before.
Soap and Glory Flake Away, P650, Calyxta
Human Nature Volcanic Cooling Body Scrub
This product has activated charcoal which helps flush out dirt and oil that have accumulated in your pores. It has a cooling sensation that's quite relaxing after a long day of work. Plus, it helps deal with adult body acne!
Human Nature Volcanic Cooling Body Scrub, P495, Robinsons Supermarket
Zenutrients Luxuious Goat's Milk & Oatmeal Body Scrub
As the product name says, this gentle product is made of crushed oatmeal and goat's milk. Aside from smelling great, reviewers have noted getting smoother skin with regular use—just scoop it out with a spoon to keep things hygienic!
Zenutrients Luxurious Goat's Milk & Oatmeal Body Scrub, P245, SM Megamall
MADs Essentials Roasted Coffee and Body Scrub
If you're a fan of caffeine, then this is your pick. Aside from the kick you get by just smelling it, this product promises gentle exfoliation.
MADs Essentials Roasted Coffee and Body Scrub, P345, BeautyMNL
A Bonne Milk Salt Spa
There's a reason why your mom loves this product: while a bit underrated, this economical pick does wonders to rough and discolored areas, such as your elbows, knees, and the soles of your feet.
A Bonne Milk Salt Spa, P85, Watsons
How do you know if you have over-exfoliated skin?
Too much of a good thing can be bad, especially in the case of scrubs. There's such a thing as over-exfoliation which can make things worse for your skin. Here are a few signs that you overdid it:
- Your skin feels tight and tender.
- You find that your skin is way dryer than before.
- There's visible redness.
- There's visible flaking.
This may seem worrisome, but don't worry! Your skin can recover. According to an article on Style Caster, you only need to give it a bit of time to do so, so avoid any exfoliation for around two to three weeks. You can also opt for gentler bath products. Here are a few you can try:
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Where to buy: Watsons
Dove's DermaSeries Line
Price: Price available upon request
Where to buy: SM Beauty, Watsons
Don't be scared about exfoliating after your skin recovers, however, make sure to take note of which products are compatible with your skin type. You may also want to exfoliate less-maybe from thrice a week to only once a week. If your skin doesn't heal in a week or so, it's always best to visit a dermatologist.