DIY Body Scrub Uses, Warnings, Recipes
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Body scrubs have been around for a while, but a wide variety has appeared over the years, including those made with coffee, salt, and sugar. You may even have a few in your bathroom cabinet right now.
Whether you have tried it before or not, you may be wondering what benefits, if any, are associated with body scrubs.
Besides making your skin super smooth, body scrubs have many other benefits.
Board certified dermatologist and aesthetic expert Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD says body scrubs are a great thing to have in your skincare wardrobe, especially during the winter months when the skin can get very dry. “
Let’s take a look at how our skin works first.
Dequamation is the skin’s natural removal process, and it occurs in a constant cycle of regeneration. The effectiveness of this process depends on a number of factors, including your age, skin type, the products you use, and your environment.
However, the process is not 100% perfect and can lead to a buildup of dead cells on the surface of your skin. This is where body scrubs come in.
Body scrubs remove dead skin cells and thus offer several benefits:
- They allow your skin to better absorb the moisturizer. By accumulating dead skin cells, any moisturizer applied afterwards will soak up more completely into the skin.
- They unclog pores and prevent ingrown hairs. By regularly using a body scrub, you will unclog your pores, which can prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
- They leave your skin smoother and more even. When dry skin is not removed, it makes it rough to the touch and has a dull, cracked texture and appearance. By removing the dead and dry cells, you should have smoother and more even skin.
Using a body scrub is relatively straightforward. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide (with some tips):
- Rinse your skin with lukewarm water.
- Apply the scrub with your fingertips.
- Rub your hands and feet in a circular motion and move inward.
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Shave if you like.
- Dry the skin, leaving it slightly damp.
- Apply moisturizer. Applying moisturizer while your skin is still damp will lock in moisture.
Pro tip: Don’t overdo it. Too many good things can be true when it comes to body scrubs. Find out why below. Use a maximum of twice a week.
Here are two timing considerations to take into account before using the body scrub.
How often should you use a body scrub?
Generally, you don’t want to use a body scrub on your skin every day or even every other day. This could lead to dry or irritated skin.
How often you need to use a body scrub (or exfoliate in general) depends on your skin type. But in general, you don’t want to use a body scrub more than twice a week, otherwise you’ll dry out and irritate your skin, according to Mariwalla.
For sensitive skin, you may want to use a body scrub once a week.
What about shower gel and shower gel?
It is best to use a body scrub while you are still in the shower but right after washing so that your skin is clean and ready for exfoliation.
We asked Mariwalla if all body scrubs are essentially the same. The simple answer is no, they are not.
“The ingredients they contain determine the grain, and this in turn affects the amount of exfoliation it provides to the skin. Keep in mind that more isn’t more, and just because you can exfoliate hard doesn’t mean you should, ”she explains.
Previously, we mostly only heard about sugar or salt scrubs. Now there is a plethora of different body scrubs on the market. It might take some trial and error to find the one you and your skin love the most.
Here are some of the most common types of body scrubs:
Salt body scrub
Sea salt is a natural exfoliant. Its abrasive texture easily removes dead skin cells.
Sugar body scrub
Although too much sugar is not good to put in your body, it’s really great to put on at your body.
Sugar is a humectant, which means it draws water into your skin, leaving it hydrated while removing all dry, dead cells.
Coffee body scrub
Coffee has many benefits, and that carries over to body scrubs. Not only does it have natural exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties, but it can also improve circulation and smooth the skin.
Lavender body scrub
Lavender-based body scrubs can be great for soothing irritated skin, healing inflamed skin, and soothing and relaxing your senses. Right before bedtime is a great time to use a lavender body scrub.
Charcoal body scrub
Charcoal has become an essential ingredient for many beauty and hygiene products. Charcoal is very absorbent, which means it picks up all the dirt, grime, and dead skin cells and gets rid of it easily.
Korean body scrub
If you’ve been to a Korean spa before, you may have experienced a Korean-style body scrub. Instead of the scrub from a cosmetic product, the dead skin is removed by cleaning gloves. By using just a simple soap, you can use these mittens to soften your skin.
Fancy trying something a little different? Dry brushing is wonderful for exfoliating dry skin. It also increases blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, unclogs pores and stimulates your nervous system.
Using to exfoliate also has the added benefit of not stripping the skin of all moisture.
If you want to make your own body scrub, you’ll be happy to know it’s not too difficult.
Not only does it require a few ingredients, making your own body scrub can save you money.
Recipe # 1: Coffee scrub
- 1/2 cup of coffee grounds
- 2 tbsp (tbsp) hot water
- 1 tablespoon of lukewarm coconut oil
- Mix the coffee grounds with the water.
- Add hot coconut oil.
- If necessary, add additional coffee grounds or oil until you get the right consistency.
Recipe # 2: salt scrub
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup of oil (olive, coconut)
- Mix the sea salt and the oil.
- Add essential oils if you prefer.
- If necessary, add additional salt or oil until you get the right consistency.
Recipe # 3: Sugar and Lavender Scrub
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of oil (olive, coconut, almond)
- 1/2 teaspoon (teaspoon) of real vanilla extract
- 15 drops of lavender essential oil
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- If necessary, add additional ingredients to achieve the right consistency.
Excessive use of body scrubs can lead to excessive dryness of the skin. Therefore, Mariwalla recommends applying a lotion immediately afterwards to retain moisture and prevent skin irritation.
According to a 2016 study, physical exfoliation, while helping to maintain a visible glow, can also cause temporary disruption of the skin barrier.
Therefore, body scrubs and other home exfoliation products may not replace the need for professional peels or other professional treatments.
To keep your skin healthy, keep the following precautions in mind after exfoliation.
Don’t take the sun
Be aware of extreme sunlight after exfoliation. Mariwalla shares that our skin may be slightly more sensitive to the sun after exfoliation, so consider waiting to lie by the pool until the next day.
Also, avoid exfoliating if you are currently sunburned.
Do not exfoliate further
Body scrubs are exfoliators, so there is no need to exfoliate further after using one. This will create drier skin and skin irritation.
Do not go to the hammam
Using a sauna or steam room after exfoliation can cause skin irritation, so it’s best to ignore it.
Always be gentle when exfoliating your skin and be careful with overuse.
Body scrubs are a great tool for almost any skin type. Whether you buy one or make your own body scrub, these exfoliators effectively soften and nourish your skin while removing all the dead and dry skin cells that build up on your body.
Ashley Hubbard is a Nashville, Tennessee-based freelance writer specializing in sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, social justice, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel and social impact, she seeks ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. Visit his website wild-hearted.com.