What Makes A Scrub Gentle?
The world of scrubs and exfoliating cleansers is vast and it can be difficult to know when and how to use each product. What makes a scrub effective? Does it really need to be harsh on skin? Can scrubs be gentle? We wanted to find out if you can harm your skin with exfoliation and how to prevent your skin from feeling worse after an exfoliating cleanse. Find out how to scrub but make it gentle enough to not irritate your skin.
How Do You Know Is A Scrub Is Too Harsh For You?
Yes, it is definitely possible for a scrub to be too harsh. “A scrub is too harsh for your skin if you feel irritated or itchy after using it,” says Garnier consulting dermatologist Dr. Diane Madfes. “Scrubs are used for light exfoliation and afterwards the skin should feel tight. They are a great and easy way to help your skin look brighter. If your skin is becoming more sensitive and red to everything in comes in contact with — odds are your scrub is too harsh.”
How To Use A Gentle Scrub
It’s easy to avoid scrubs that are too harsh. Two factors might be causing your exfoliating product to be too intense for your skin — the granular composition or the level of acidity. If you are using a mechanical peel a.k.a. a product that has exfoliating beads, nut shells, sand, crystals, sugar or salt, you may be using something that’s too abrasive for your skin. Look for a product that’s finer in terms of graininess (oatmeal, finely ground nut shells, or rice flour are good options) and also make sure that you don’t exert too much pressure on your skin. When you are using a scrub you should gently massage your skin without damaging it. If you are using a chemical peeling product which uses acids to loosen dead skin cells, then pay attention to its level of concentration and pH. If you find that your skin is reacting badly to the product, look for something with a higher pH or lower concentration as you might be drying out or damaging your skin.
There are many gently exfoliating products out there and even scrubs formulated specifically for sensitive skin. You can even gently exfoliate your skin by using a wash cloth and massaging your skin with it. Just makes sure to regularly wash the wash cloth as it traps oil and sebum which can make your skin more prone to breakouts. If you replace the wash cloth every other time you use it, you should be good to go.