Using Body Scrubs on Your Face? Here’s Why That’s a Bad Idea
There are certain skin-care mishaps that even the most passionate beauty enthusiasts are guilty of doing (us included.) For instance, sometimes after a long night out, you fall asleep with a face full of makeup. Other times, you touch your face with dirty hands without realizing you’re doing it. And when desperate times call for desperate measures, you might even try to make your body lotion double as a face cream. It happens to the best of us, but if there’s one thing that you should avoid at all costs, it’s using your body scrub as a face scrub. Ahead, with the help of board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., we’re revealing why this is a skin-care no-no, and then recommending some of our favorite facial scrubs to try instead.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Body Scrub on Your Face
The truth is, the skin on your face and body are very different. Both areas need to be exfoliated, but the same product is unlikely to be a good fit for both. “Body scrubs are typically thicker in consistency compared to facial scrubs,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “They also have stronger concentrations of acids, which can be too strong for facial skin and lead to potential breakouts and irritation.” Read on for more exfoliating tips and product recommendations.
Facial Exfoliation Rule #1: Find the Right Frequency
There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to how often you should be exfoliating. We recommend you start by exfoliating just once a week and then gradually increase the number of times you exfoliate, depending on your needs. If your skin becomes uncomfortable or irritated after exfoliating, decrease the frequency of which you’re scrubbing your skin or find a gentler formula.
Facial Exfoliation Rule #2: Keep Your Current Routine in Mind
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), certain products, like those containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide, can make your skin more sensitive. Using facial scrubs when your routine includes such ingredients can lead to dry, irritated skin and even breakouts. It’s important to consider your current routine and make swaps as necessary before you begin exfoliating regularly.
Facial Exfoliation Rule #3: Consider Your Skin Type
There isn’t a foolproof form of exfoliation that works for everyone. Those with dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin may prefer a mild option, while oily skin types may be better suited to stronger exfoliation.
Facial Exfoliation Rule #4: Be Gentle
Even if the product you’re using is gentle in formulation, 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.
Facial Exfoliation Rule #5: Follow With Moisturizer
Despite doing everything right, exfoliating can still be drying to the skin. After rinsing off, apply a moisturizer directly onto damp skin to lock in moisture and keep your complexion hydrated. We love the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.
Our Favorite Face Scrubs
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Face Scrub
Formulated with three different sugars, acai, monoi and grapeseed oil, the 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
This scrub is a multi-use gem you’ll want to add into your routine ASAP. It cleanses, tightens pores and smoothes skin. Not to mention, it’s perfect for oily skin types, thanks to its gel texture.
La Roche-Posay Ultra Fine Face Scrub
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. The formula exfoliates and purifies using ultra-fine pumice particles, which helps to remove excess dead surface cells.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub
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.