Welcome to facescrub.org. On this site you will find extensive information on various types of facial scrubs, what goes into them, recommended use and other options in skin rejuvenation.
Face scrubs and skin care are an essential part of maintaining your overall beauty, for both men and women. As our skin ages, it looses collagen and elastin and eventually wrinkles. The rate at which our skin cells renew (approximately 40,000 cells per minute in children and young adults) slows down dramatically too. Therefore, exfoliating regularly throughout your life is an excellent way to stay on top of your skins' regeneration process. In addition to staying ahead of the curve, exfoliation also helps with:
• Acne prevention
• Wrinkle reduction
• Creating smaller pores
• Enhancing absorption of moisturizers
• Improving blood circulation
• Brightening of the skin
Most dermatologists will not recommend using a facial scrub everyday. Some will suggest once a week, others say every other day. It largely depends on your skin type and PH, and sensitivity. Otherwise, overuse can result in dryness and potentially damaged skin, as well as depleting your skin of its essential oils. It is also important to make sure your exfoliating product is made specifically for the face, since more generic body exfoliants may contain a harsher abrasive material that will damage gentle facial tissue.
How should I use my face scrub? Skin care professionals recommend using a quarter-sized amount of your face scrub and applying by hand, massaging gently into your skin in a circular motion. A pad can also be used for application. Avoid applying face scrub to your eye lids and give extra attention to your forehead, cheeks and chin, as these areas tend to collect dead skin cells more often than other areas.
So what exactly goes into face scrubs? Ingredients will vary slightly from product to product, though all will contain the same basic components. These are oils, moisturizing agents and of course, the exfoliant. Believe it or not, many will contain sugar. When applied to the skin, sugar reacts to the upper most layer of the epidermis in such a way that releases dead skin cells, therefore making exfoliating easier, leaving the younger, live skin cells exposed. Any type of sugar is beneficial to the skin since all contain exfoliating crystals of various sizes. Sugar is cheap, readily available and is commonly found in many homemade face scrubs. More on homemade scrubs later.
Other common ingredients in face scrubs include aromatics such as:
• Sweet almond oil
• Orange and tangerine oil
• Apricot shell powder
• Brazilian nut, macadamia and safflower seed oil
• Various fruit pulps and seeds
Many scrubs will contain rejuvenating antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E and C. Carotene, a moisturizing agent and colorant, is another commonly used antioxidant.
What exactly is the exfoliant? There are many different types of materials used as the exfoliant, some recommended more than others by dermatologists. The most common include:
• Ground tree and fruit products
The most common fruit used in face scrubs is the apricot. Apricots' grainy texture make it a perfect exfoliating base, while apricot seeds are believed to have incredible health benefits including the ability to kill cancer cells. Ground walnut shells are also common exfoliants found in face scrubs, though some dermatologists will advise against them since their sharp edges can cause microscopic cuts and scratches on the skin.
• Aluminum Oxide
Aluminum oxide is commonly found in microdermabrasion treatments and is comprised of tiny abrasive crystals. Some skincare professionals will suggest not using aluminum oxide since it is a fairly aggressive exfoliator, while other professionals suggest minimal use, such as once a week.
• Polyethylene Beads
Polyethylene (the most common type of plastic) beads are among the most widely produced exfoliants. They are more gentle than the sharp fruit byproducts and are round with a smooth and waxy feel. On a side note regarding polyethylene, there has been a recent surge in awareness linking this product to waste water and its adverse affects on marine life. Many environmentalists are making the argument that these beads, designed to be flushed down the drain, are ending up in the food supply of many fish and other marine species and are greatly contributing to the decline in ocean life. This of course, has not been 100% proven, though environmentalists are urging a general awareness of the use of polyethylene in many widely used cosmetic procucts.
Acids can be used in scrubs as an additive to exfoliants. Acids will be less abrasive than beads (organic or not) but will achieve the same effect by exfoliating with chemicals. These chemicals will loosen and remove dead skin cells without the possibility of skin damage caused by harsher materials, yet still leave the skin renewed. Facial peels also exfoliate with various chemicals. More on peels later.