What is a Facial Scrub?

Dawna Theo

Skin on the human body usually regenerates vibrant new skin cells as dead skin cells slough off. As a person ages and skin cells cease to quickly regenerate, the process of dead-skin-cell removal can be helped along with the use of a facial scrub. The term facial scrub often is interchangeable with cleansing scrub, exfoliation, microdermabrasion, herbal scrub, chemical peel, or moisturizing scrub. A facial scrub typically uses chemicals or abrasive substances to help remove and exfoliate the top dry layers of skin, revealing skin that usually is soft underneath.

Avocados can be added to a homemade facial scrub.
Avocados can be added to a homemade facial scrub.

Some facial scrubs are gentle enough to use every day. These types include moisturizing or cleansing facial scrubs. Other scrubs are harsher and usually should be used only once every two weeks.

Apple cider vinegar can be used in a facial scrub.
Apple cider vinegar can be used in a facial scrub.

Chemical facial scrubs usually contain citric, glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid to soften up and slough off the top layer of skin. This type of facial scrub typically needs to be purchased in the skin-care section of a drugstore, or a dermatologist usually can do the procedure. Chemical facial scrub kits most likely will be sold with a name such as chemical peel, exfoliation kit, or microdermabraision kit. Typically, the instructions on the box should be followed to achieve the best possible result.

Scrubs should be suited to a person's specific skin type.
Scrubs should be suited to a person's specific skin type.

Physical facial scrubs typically use abrasive substances such as sugar, sand, ground-up almonds, apricot pits, or tiny beads to scrub and exfoliate the skin. These substances usually are mixed with a moisturizing facial wash or oil. Facial scrubs that contain these abrasive materials usually feel refreshing to the skin as they scrub off the dead skin cells. Caution usually should be taken when using this type of scrub as it may make delicate skin raw and red. Abrasive facial scrubs usually should be used only once every two weeks.

A person usually can make her own facial scrub at home with ingredients typically found in most kitchens. Ground-up oatmeal can be mixed with honey and apple cider vinegar until it makes a paste. The paste then can be placed on the face using circular motions to gently massage the skin. The paste usually should be allowed to soften the skin for about 10 to 15 minutes and then massage once more before being scrubbed off with a washcloth. Other ingredients that can be added to a homemade facial scrub include yogurt, avocado and banana for moisture, cornmeal and sugar for abrasiveness, herbs and lemon as astringents, and egg whites to tighten the skin.

Typically, new skin will be extra sensitive. Using a good moisturizer can help protect the fresh skin after completing a facial scrub. It also can be important to use sunscreen on new skin to protect it from harmful rays if a patient is spending any amount of time outdoors.

Sugar is a common ingredient in physical facial scrubs.
Sugar is a common ingredient in physical facial scrubs.

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Discussion Comments

googie98

In my opinion, Burt's Bees has the best facial scrub. It is a citrus scrub and it has almonds and pecans in it. It also contains orange and grapefruit oil.

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