Just like your face, your body needs exfoliation to stay soft, smooth and healthy. If your current body care is limited to a loofah and a bar of soap, it’s time to level up. Here’s everything you need to know about adding an exfoliating body scrub to your skin care routine.
What Is A Body Scrub?
Body scrubs are physical exfoliants that mechanically slough away dead skin cells. The feel of a “scrub” typically comes from a combination of sugar and/or salt that is suspended in an oil base. While some scrubs (particularly of the DIY variety) contain coarse salt and sugar particles, higher-quality varieties are formulated with fine, premium particles that polish skin without being abrasive.
Body Scrub Benefits
The skin is in a constant state of turnover: Dead skin rises to the surface, sheds naturally and reveals the baby soft skin underneath. This process slows over time, contributing to a buildup of dead cells on the skin’s surface. Add pollution and other forms of environmental stress to the mix, and you have a recipe for dull, rough and itchy skin.
As with all exfoliants, the goal of a body scrub is to remove dead skin cells and encourage the healthy production of new ones. This type of mechanical exfoliation not only smooths and polishes the skin but also draws out impurities. Dr. Tasneem Bhatia MD - integrative health expert, founder of CentrespringMD, and author of The Super Woman RX - recommends exfoliation as an excellent way to support detoxification. Dr. Bhatia states that "your skin helps detoxification pathways with enzymes and chemical reactions that release toxins and decrease oxidative stress in the body."
The benefits of body scrubs include:
- Promoting efficient circulation and skin cell turnover
- Removing dead cells from the skin’s surface
- Smoothing and softening rough, dry skin
- Drawing out impurities and clearing congestion
Freeing ingrown hairs and smoothing razor bumps
Salt Or Sugar?
Most body scrubs employ sugar and/or salt to exfoliate the skin. Each of these has unique benefits for your complexion.
Sugar granules are rounder and less abrasive than salt, making them a gentler exfoliant. A natural source of glycolic acid (an AHA), sugar breaks down layers of dead skin and smooths the skin’s surface. It also speeds up rehydration, keeping skin conditioned and moisturized. For this reason, sugar scrubs are a fantastic pick for dry and dehydrated types.
Salt scrubs tend to have grittier particles and are particularly useful in smoothing rough areas like feet and elbows. Salt also has detoxifying properties: Its trace minerals are natural purifiers that draw out pore-clogging toxins and relieve congestion. This action invigorates the skin, promoting more efficient circulation and healthy skin cell turnover.
Salt & Sugar Scrub
Can’t decide between sugar and salt? Some scrubs offer the best of both worlds. Our Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub, an O, The Oprah Magazine Fall 2019 Beauty O-Wards winner, combines hydrating raw sugar and mineral-rich rock salt to invigorate the skin and smooth dryness. Building into a creamy lather, this gentle scrub exfoliates and resurfaces the skin to reveal a healthy, radiant-looking complexion. Like all Eminence Organics body scrubs, it is free of harmful microbeads and uses only natural and organic ingredients.
How To Use A Body Scrub
It’s best to use a body scrub two to three times per week to keep your skin soft and smooth from head to toe. Here’s how to add one to your body care routine:
- Use lukewarm water; allow it to run for 5-10 minutes to soften the skin
- Pause running water and apply the scrub in circular motions; start at your feet and move upwards towards your heart to enhance circulation
- Maintain gentle pressure (don’t scrub too hard!)
- Rinse thoroughly
What To Expect From A Spa Body Treatment
You can boost the effects of your at-home body care routine with a visit to the spa. Professional body care treatments, like a full body scrub, are performed by a licensed esthetician and are customized to address your unique skin concerns. Just as regular facials enhance your skin’s strength and vitality, spa body treatments give your skin a healthy glow from head to toe.
These are the most popular types of services to choose from:
- Dry brushing
- Body scrub or polish
Body mask or wrap
After having a professional body treatment, especially a scrub, your skin may feel slightly tender. In the days that follow, it is best to treat your skin gently. Avoid these pitfalls to keep your skin calm and comforted post-treatment:
- Visiting the steam room
- Shaving or waxing
This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.