When it comes to exfoliating skin, sugar scrubs are one of the most delightful methods to get it done. Not only do they leave your skin feeling silky smooth, but they envelop you in a cloud of sweet, heavenly aroma all throughout your exfoliation routine. It’s good to note, however, that there is a proper and safe way to use sugar scrubs, and therefore, an unsafe way to use them.
Below, we’re providing all the details you need on how to use a sugar scrub in ways that remain efficient and safe for your body. So, if you’re ready to learn more, let’s dig in!
How Sugar Scrubs Work
By definition, exfoliation is essentially the removal of old, dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. There are two ways to exfoliate: chemically and physically.
- Chemical exfoliation refers to exfoliators that use specific ingredients (i.e. lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid) to clear pores and ultimately smoothen the skin.
- Physical exfoliators, on the other hand, are a manual way to achieve the same effect, as these will contain small granules that buff away dead skin.
So, what is a sugar scrub? Well, sugar scrubs fall into the physical exfoliator category and they work by removing dead skin cells as you rub them into your epidermis.
Using Sugar Scrubs on the Face
As aesthetically pleasing and wonderfully-smelling sugar scrubs are, they aren’t meant to be used on every inch of the skin. If you’ve been wondering, “Are sugar scrubs good for your face?”, we’re here to give you your answer: unfortunately, no.
The main difference between sugar scrubs created for the body and ones created for the face is the size of the particles and grit. Body scrubs will generally contain larger particles, while face scrubs will have smaller ones. It should be noted, however, that even smaller particles of grit can be harmful and damaging for sensitive facial tissue. They can cause small scratches on the skin and irritation.
Overall, when it comes to exfoliating the face, your best bet is going to be a gentle chemical exfoliator, a washcloth, or a facial cleansing brush.
Using Sugar Scrubs on the Lips
Although facial tissue isn’t meant to handle the grit of sugar scrubs, there is one part of the face that can really benefit from it – the lips. Our lips are primed to be chapped and dried out due to the fact that they contain less oil glands than other areas of skin on our bodies.
Additionally, they come into contact with our saliva on a daily basis, which has enzymes that can break down skin. As if this wasn’t enough, lips are also constantly exposed to the elements, like the hot sun, cold weather, heat, and wind. All these things considered, it’s easy to understand why lips could really use some consistent care.
To soften and heal lips, it’s best practice to exfoliate using a sugar scrub once each week. However, be sure to do so gently. If you begin to feel that your lips are getting raw, stop immediately, as you don’t want to over-exfoliate.
Finally, to protect your lips and seal in moisture, wear a lip protectant with SPF.
Using Sugar Scrubs on the Body
Using a sugar scrub to exfoliate the body is completely safe and can heal the skin in many different ways. A few benefits of exfoliating your body include removing dead skin cells to reveal healthy ones beneath, hydrating those healthy cells, and even stimulating blood circulation – which will lead to a healthy glow.
Whether you’re exfoliating with a chemical exfoliator or using a physical one, such as a sugar scrub, you’ll experience healthier skin regardless because you’re supporting cellular turnover and keeping your skin fresh.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
Because skin cells regularly die on the surface of our bodies, exfoliating is important to do on a consistent basis. The best time to use a sugar scrub on your body is while your skin is wet and warm, so be sure to let your skin soak under a shower or in a bath before applying your scrub.
Once your skin is ready, use the pads of your fingers to massage the sugar scrub into the skin using a circular motion – you may begin at the top of the body and work your way down.
For an extra hydration boost, let the scrub sit on your skin for a couple minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. How often you should exfoliate your body will depend on your skin, so use the guide below to figure out which exfoliation routine best meets your needs:
- Sensitive skin: 1 to 2 times per week (if you have sensitive skin, also consider trying a body polish rather than a sugar scrub, as the granules are finer and gentler on the skin)
- Normal skin: 2 to 3 times per week
- Oily skin: 3 to 4 times per week
And with that, you’re all set to begin your exfoliation routine at home to achieve the smooth, healthy skin of your dreams. Happy exfoliating, beautiful!