Body scrub is a mixture of emollient and abrasive particles which is rubbed onto the surface of the skin in order to exfoliate dead skin cells. The emollient used in body scrub is typically a gentle cleanser or moisturizer which offsets the abrasive particles -- anything from tiny plastic beads to pieces of oatmeal. Body scrubs vary in their level of abrasiveness, which is usually indicated on the packaging. They may also contain natural ingredients, such as apricot, corn, olives, Shea butter, chamomile, aloe, and various herbs. Body scrub can be purchased for as little as a few dollars at most retail locations that sell cosmetics and skin care products, as well as spas and drugstores.
Most often used to slough away the surface layer of the skin, body scrub can help create a smoother surface and stimulate blood flow. This creates a deeper color in the skin, giving it a healthy-looking, vibrant glow. Certain brands of body scrub may be usable for both the face and other areas of the body; however, other brands are exclusively made for the face, and contain gentler ingredients which are less likely to cause skin irritation. While some people who use this product believe it is helpful in controlling acne, others argue that it causes irritation to the skin and can be over-drying, which can then cause the skin to produce an influx of oil and lead to more breakouts.
Body scrub is best applied to damp skin in a circular, gentle motion. It can also be applied in tandem with other exfoliating products, such as loofah sponges or gloves. After scrubbing with body scrub, the skin should be rinsed off with warm water and moisturized with a gentle, fragrance-free lotion. Applying toners or astringents containing alcohol or attempting to shave freshly-scrubbed skin is not recommended, as both can cause stinging and irritation.
Certain brands of body scrub which contain microplastic beads have come under fire from environmentalists in recent years, as research has shown that these beads cannot be filtered by sewage treatment systems. Subsequently, these particles end up in our oceans, where they can be ingested by aquatic animals. In comparison, homemade body scrub containing oatmeal, sugar or baking soda are considered a more environmentally-friendly alternative.