Body scrubs are popular products. Sugar, salt, and coffee scrubs are just some examples. If you are unfamiliar with body scrubs, you might wonder if they are safe for your skin.
Generally, body scrubs are safe to use as long as they are used as intended. If you have sensitive or delicate skin, you can consult your dermatologist before picking the best product for your skin type.
What is a body scrub, and how does it work?
A body scrub is a physical exfoliant used to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells.
Your skin is covered in a layer of dead cells, which could leave your skin dry. Another common problem is dull-looking skin. Exfoliating will eliminate the dead surface skin and promote more glowing skin.
Body scrubs can also be used to treat dark spots and rough skin. Plus, exfoliating your skin regularly can help improve blood circulation. During exfoliation, moisture penetrates to nourish the skin.
Depending on your skin type (dry, oily, combination skin), some body scrubs might not work so well for you. This is why it is important to be well-informed about your skin type to choose the right skincare products.
Is body scrub safe to use?
This is a question often asked by people with sensitive skin types. They wonder whether it is safe to use a body scrub. People with delicate skin should choose gentle scrubs that use jojoba beads, salt, or sugar.
The overall safety of body scrubs lies in their usage. They are safe as long as you don't misuse them. You should not over-exfoliate because it is essential to maintain your skin's oil and hydration, as you need a healthy and intact skin barrier. You should pay as much attention to your body skin as your facial skin.
Is body scrub safe while pregnant?
While there are generally no risks associated with using body scrubs during pregnancy, there are some tips you should follow. These tips will ensure that exfoliating using a body scrub at bath time goes smoothly.
- Apply the product by gently massaging it onto your skin in a circular motion. Ensure you don't rub too harshly.
- Don't use scrubs with essential oils, as they could leave you with irritated skin.
- Avoid scrubs that contain harsh chemicals. Always check the ingredient list before you purchase any product.
- Go for body scrubs that are organic and made with natural ingredients. Salt or sugar-based body scrubs contain emollients that have amazing skin benefits. You can also try homemade scrubs.
- Don't overuse caffeinated skin care products.
When you should avoid body scrubs at all costs
There are certain cases where you should not use body scrubs no matter what, as in these situations, they might do more harm than good.
After getting sunburn
Nobody likes getting sunburnt, but it is something that can happen. Sunburn does not mean you just spent too much time under the sun. Getting sunburnt means sustaining a significant injury to your skin.
If this happens, your skincare post-burn should be aimed toward healing your skin. Using harsh beauty treatments could make healing more challenging as it could irritate your skin. Body scrubs have abrasive ingredients, which is why you should avoid them.
It is best to use intense hydrators such as balms and mild cleansers like cleansing oils as they provide soothing relief to the skin. You can also try applying aloe vera gel.
After having surgery, you need to give your body time to heal as it enters recovery mode. Whether cosmetic or medical surgery, you should always give your body enough time to repair any damage. So, any skin care treatment should be one that will not impact the healing process.
Exfoliation of any type on the affected region could eliminate the crucial components of the wound healing matrix. When this happens, you risk increasing scar formation and hyperpigmentation. Scrubbing can also slow down the healing process.
It has also been discovered that body scrubs could reopen sutures before the healing is complete.
After using a skin lightener
A skin-lightening agent is typically used for treating hyperpigmentation. But, there are cases where it might cause irritation. At this point, using a body scrub could worsen the situation.
Using a body scrub to exfoliate after treatment with lightening agents might lead to inflammation. This could result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Your skin may get darker, which is the opposite of the intended result.
Ensure you consult your dermatologist before applying any exfoliant on skin treated with a lightening agent.
Before or after a chemical body peel
A chemical body peel treatment is a process that improves body tone and texture. However, this process removes the upper skin layer. So, it is not advisable to use a body scrub before or after this treatment because you don't want to scrape off more layers of skin.
There is also a temptation to scrape off the layer of skin that comes off after the treatment. If you do, it could result in skin infections and sometimes hyperpigmentation.
Exfoliating before using a chemical body peel could make your skin more prone to burns. After a chemical body peel treatment, it is recommended to apply a moisturizer.
After getting a bug bite
A bug bite can be uncomfortable. You might feel like there is no risk associated with scrubbing after getting bitten, but you would be wrong. Make sure you avoid scrubbing in this case.
Exfoliating after a bug bite may encourage the venom to spread. The result is an increase in the leukotriene and histamine in your skin, making it itchy and red.
What's the best solution? Try a cold compress, an oral antihistamine, or anti-inflammatory cortisone cream.
What are the disadvantages of body scrub products?
Generally, anything that has benefits will most likely have some downsides. However, any issues with body scrub products arise when you don't use them as intended.
- Not properly moisturizing after scrubbing leaves your pores open. This makes them prone to accumulating dirt, and you could become more susceptible to acne breakouts.
- If you don't moisturize post-scrubbing, you will be left with dry skin. Lock in the moisture by applying a moisturizer to your damp skin.
- Excessive scrubbing can damage the top layer of your skin and expose it to UV rays and pollution simultaneously. This also makes your skin prone to tanning and infections.
- If you have sensitive skin and apply synthetic scrubs, you will likely have allergic reactions to the chemicals in them.
- Harsh scrubs and scrubbing motions could result in skin irritation which includes inflammation and redness.
Body scrubs are physical exfoliants containing abrasive ingredients like salt or sugar to remove dead skin cells. This exfoliating process will keep your skin smooth and bright. It can also help to reduce the chances of acne breakouts.
There are lots of benefits that come with using a body scrub. That said, anyone with a skin condition or sensitive, dry, or oily skin prone to acne breakouts should consult a board-certified dermatologist. Ask their advice before buying/using a scrub product.
- Is it safe to use a body scrub every day?
Avoid using this type of product daily, as it is not the best move for your skin. When you over-exfoliate, you may end up with irritated, sensitive, or dry skin. Typically, you can use body scrubs two to three times weekly, but less often if you have dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin.
2. Is body scrub safe for the face?
Your body skin and facial skin are not alike. So it is unlikely the same product will be ideal for both areas. Generally, facial scrubs don't have a thick consistency, unlike body scrubs that sometimes contain more concentrated acids, which can result in irritation and facial breakouts.
3. Is it safe to use a body scrub in my private area?
It is not necessary to exfoliate your private area. However, if you choose to do so, ensure you choose a gentle exfoliating scrub. It is advisable to stay away from chemical exfoliants and other harsh scrubs with harmful chemicals as they could be too aggressive for the sensitive layer of skin around your private area.
4. Does scrubbing make skin darker?
You aim to achieve glowing and radiant skin when using scrubs for skin care. But when you overdo this process, it could lead to the exact opposite. The outermost layer of your skin acts as a protective barrier. Frequent and excessive use of body scrubs can harm this layer. When this happens, your skin becomes sensitive to UV rays, resulting in sunburn, rashes, and easy tanning.