How to Use a Sugar Scrub Correctly — And Our Favorite Ones to Try
Sugar scrubs, a gentler alternative to salt scrubs, are easily one of our favorite skin-care products — and not just because they smell deliciously sweet. They’re effective, too. Sugar scrubs gently slough away built-up dead cells that have been lingering on the skin’s surface, and by doing so, they leave your face feeling smooth, bright and glowing. While we can almost unanimously agree that sugar scrubs are great, not everyone knows the right way to use them. After doing some investigating, we’re sharing the right way to apply a sugar scrub to exfoliate the face and body (and a few of our favorite scrub picks), below.
How to Use a Sugar Scrub
First off, it’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all rule for exfoliation. How often you should exfoliate entirely depends on your skin type. You should be careful not to over-exfoliate as this can cause issues like dryness or irritation. “How much [exfoliation] is too much, is a very personal question,” says dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Dendy Engelman. “Some people can only handle exfoliating once a week, while others need to every day.” Read on for a step-by-step breakdown of best practices.
STEP 1: Start With Freshly Cleansed Skin
Before you begin using your sugar scrub, it’s best to cleanse your skin with a gentle face wash to remove any makeup, dirt, dead skin and impurities from its surface.
STEP 2: Gently Massage in Circular Motions
To start exfoliating, scoop out enough product to fill the center of the palm of your hand. Then, massage the sugar scrub onto your skin in gentle circular motions — the key word here is gentle. You don’t ever want to press too hard, as you could end up irritating your skin.
STEP 3: Rinse Well and Pat Dry
Once you’ve thoroughly exfoliated your face, rinse the sugar scrub away with lukewarm water and pat your face almost completely dry with a soft towel.
STEP 4: Replenish Your Skin With Hydration
Now that you’re feeling fresh faced and glowing, it’s time to moisturize. Board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Michael Kaminer explains that the best time to moisturize your skin is while it’s still slightly damp, as this helps to lock in hydration. Reach for your favorite face oil, lotion or cream, and massage it all over.
STEP 5: Apply Makeup
If you used this exfoliating treatment in the morning on your face, be prepared for flawless makeup application afterwards. Exfoliating and moisturizing can help create a velvety-smooth canvas for your base products. Without flakiness from dead surface skin cells, your foundation, CC cream or concealer won’t pill and will glide on effortlessly.
Our Favorite Sugar Scrubs
Between the finely crushed cocoa and the luxurious coconut oil, this sugar scrub from our parent company is nothing short of a delectable treat for your pores. Allow this cocoa-scented scrub to melt into your skin for gentle exfoliation that’ll leave your face and lips feeling softer and smoother and looking more refined.
There’s nothing sweeter than the smell of roses and honey, and that’s precisely what you get with the Lancôme Exfoliating Rose Sugar Scrub. Our favorite part about this pick, also from our parent company, L’Oréal, is its luxurious application. As the sugar grains dissolve, you’ll start to feel a warming sensation on your skin. Once washed away, your face is left with a rosy glow. What’s not to love?
This totally heavenly sugar scrub formula contains ultra-fine sugar crystals and crushed cupuaçu seeds for a thorough cleansing. After application, your skin will look and feel more supple, radiant and glowing.
This super sweet formula by Tula combines sugar, papaya, pineapple, and probiotics to help rid your complexion of dead surface skin cells both mechanically and chemically. This can be used as a body or face exfoliator, and it smells incredible.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn