Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Body Scrub on Your Face
Let’s be honest: skin-care mistakes are unavoidable. Sometimes you’ll fall asleep with a face full of makeup, touch your face with dirty hands or even try and make your body lotion double as a face cream. It happens to the best of us, but one blunder that you should try to avoid at all costs is using your body scrub as a face scrub. The two exfoliating products may seem similar enough at first glance, but once you start massaging a body scrub onto your more sensitive facial skin, you’ll quickly learn that they aren’t quite the same. We’re revealing exactly why, ahead. We’ll also dish on some of our favorite face scrubs for getting the job done.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Body Scrub on Your Face
Masquerading your body scrub as a face scrub may seem like a low-maintenance, great idea in theory, but it isn’t worth risking your skin’s health. One of the cardinal rules of good skin care is to use products as directed in regards to the amount of product used and the location where the product is applied. Following these guidelines ensures that the product is not only effective, but also non-irritating. You wouldn’t use foot cream on your face, so you shouldn’t use a body scrub on your face either. Yes, they’re technically both scrubs, but they are designed for different areas of skin.
The truth is, the skin on your face and body are different — hence why they necessitate different skin-care routines and products. Both areas need to be exfoliated, but the same product is unlikely to be a good fit for both. Seeking a second opinion? We spoke with board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dhaval Bhanusali, MD. “Body scrubs are typically thicker in consistency compared to facial scrubs,” he says. “They also have stronger concentrations of acids, which can be too strong for facial skin and lead to potential breakouts and irritation.” Now, check out our top four rules for safe exfoliation.
Exfoliation Rule #1: Find the Right Frequency
How often you should exfoliate will depend on what your skin can handle; there is no one-size-fits-all rule. Start slowly, exfoliating just once a week or so, and build up over time. If your skin becomes uncomfortable or irritated after exfoliating, decrease the frequency at which you’re scrubbing your skin or find a gentler formula.
Exfoliation Rule #2: Keep Your Current Routine in Mind
It’s possible that you’re already using products that could impact exfoliation. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), certain products, like those containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide, can make skin more sensitive. Exfoliating when your routine includes such ingredients can lead to drier skin or even breakouts.
Exfoliation Rule #3: Consider Your Skin Type
There isn’t a foolproof form of exfoliation that works for everyone. The AAD states that it’s important to take your skin type into consideration when choosing your exfoliation method. Those with dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin may prefer a mild option, while oily skin types may be better suited to stronger exfoliation.
Exfoliation Rule #4: Be Gentle
Even if the product you’re using is gentle in composition, it’s essential that you apply it gently, too. The AAD recommends applying your face scrub using small, circular motions for about 30 seconds. Then, rinse off with lukewarm water. And of course, skip exfoliating if you have open cuts or sunburned skin.
Exfoliation Rule #5: Follow With Moisturizer
Despite doing everything right, exfoliating can still be drying to the skin. After rinsing off, apply moisturizer directly onto damp skin to lock in moisture and stay hydrated. We’re loving the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.
Our Favorite Face Scrubs
Now that you’re equipped with rules to safely exfoliate your skin, you’re free to pick a product — as long as it’s meant for your face — and start (gently!) scrubbing. Of course, there are nearly endless options for getting your scrub on. To help narrow it down, here are a few of our favorites.
Formulated with three different sugars (blonde, brown and white), acai, monoi and grapeseed oil, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Face Scrub offers deep yet gentle exfoliation at an affordable price tag.
Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub is perfect for oily skin types, thanks to its gel texture. It cleanses, tightens pores and smoothes skin — a multi-use gem you’ll want to add into your routine ASAP.
It can be tough for sensitive skin types to find scrubs that won’t irritate their delicate skin, but luckily this scrub from La Roche-Posay is designed to do just that. This formula exfoliates and purifies using ultra-fine pumice particles, which helps to remove excess dead surface cells.
Men, we didn’t forget about you. This Kiehl’s pick is the perfect pick-me-up to refresh dull-looking skin. It’s formulated with apricot kernel particles to exfoliate away dead surface skin and give you a smoother, closer shave.