With such a variety of skin and beauty products available to consumers, it's easy to understand what products are actually beneficial and to whom are they beneficial to. It seems like every time you walk down the beauty aisle, there are new formulas and creams coming at you from every direction! However, body scrubs have been practiced for centuries in several different cultures worldwide and are essential in natural exfoliation.
What is a body scrub and how do they work?
Body scrubs are packed with a variety of ingredients such as essential oils, sea salt, sugar, honey, coffee grounds, or seeds. Regularly using body scrub is a highly effective way to remove dead cells from the top layer of your skin so that new, revitalized cells can flourish.
Along with removing dead skin cells and dirt from the outermost layers of the skin, body scrubs are extremely moisturizing, can stimulate the body's natural healing mechanism and encourage cell regeneration.
History of body scrubs
For centuries, people from multiple cultures have been reaping the benefits of exfoliating and each culture had their own unique way of doing so. Ancient Egypt was known to use sodium deposits from bodies of water mixed with powdered alabaster and honey. Romans would partake in bathhouse rituals and after soaking for some time, they would use a curved metal tool called a 'strigil' to scrape the body free of dirt and perspiration.
In Native American tribes, dried corn cobs or sand from riverbeds were commonly used while Polynesian cultures would use finely crushed seashells. People started including essential oils in their exfoliants for other benefits like moisturizing the skin and to add pleasant fragrances.
On December 18, 2015, Congress amended the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by passing the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that were found in several health and beauty products, including various types of body scrubs.
Congress passed this law as a solution to regulate microbeads as there were concerns on the ways it was affecting the water supply. After using body and face scrubs, the tiny plastic beads would go down the drain and end up in our lakes and oceans where they would be mistaken for food by small fish and other aquatic life.
If the fish or other animals were consumed by humans, humans would also be ingesting the microbeads. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 prohibited the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of cosmetics containing plastic microbeads. Because of this, body and face scrubs are now plastic free and use more natural types of exfoliants like seeds and sugar.
Body scrubs have become popular in spas too! Exfoliation is often used as the first step in a seaweed wrap or it is sometimes combined with an invigorating massage. Some people may find a scrub massage to be too abrasive so be sure your therapist is being gentle enough for your liking. Many spas offer signature treatments catered to your preference and skin type.
What are the benefits of scrubs?
- The main goal of using a body scrub is to exfoliate dead skin cells that make the skin dry and dull. By removing the layer of dead skin, you're allowing new skin cells to receive more oxygen and moisture which leads to healthier skin, in general.
- Body scrubs are also beneficial at cleaning away dirt and pollution debris from your pores, which can help eliminate the chances of acne and breakouts.
- Dirt and dead skin cells can also block your skin from absorbing skin care products properly. After applying a body scrub, your skin will be able to efficiently absorb moisturizers, leaving your skin hydrated and healthy.
- The process of applying a body scrub is also beneficial! The circular, massaging motions you use actually boosts circulation and increases your blood flow, which helps drain the lymph nodes of toxins.
- Body scrubs can be used before shaving to remove dirt and soften the body hair, making razor burn less likely.
Different types of scrubs
Sugar scrubs are amongst some of the most popular types of scrubs because they're less abrasive than salt, yet are extremely effective for the skin. It's a natural humectant, which means it actually draws moisture from the environment and delivers it to the skin. Because of its humectant properties, sugar is great for introducing moisture to your skin and keeping it there! Sugar also happens to be a natural source of glycolic acid, which encourages new cell turnover by breaking down the lipids that hold dead skin cells together.
Nut and Oat Scrubs
Exfoliants like oats, ground up nut shells, dried fruit, berries, and seeds are commonly used for a gentler scrub and are highly effective for individuals with very dry skin due to the antioxidants they naturally contain. Scrubs made with these ingredients are often paired with aloe vera or plain yogurt for an extra serving of moisture!
Salt is a good choice if you prefer a more abrasive scrub, specifically for those tougher areas like your heels or elbows. Because salt granules are larger, salt scrubs tend to be one of the more effective scrubs, especially for oily skin types. Not only does salt absorb the extra oils from your skin, but it also has a natural antiseptic that kills the pore-clogging bacteria that can cause breakouts. Due to the natural magnesium and sulfate found it salt, it can draw toxins out of your skin and may even help reduce skin inflammation.
Plant-based and herbal body scrubs might be best if you prefer a soft, relaxing scrub for your skin. Each herb not only contains its own unique fragrance but also harnesses specific qualities that add to your scrub experience. For example, a scrub with orange peel would feel invigorating and clean while dried lavender buds would calming and fresh. An herbal scrub would also be much less abrasive than salt or sugar, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
Is there anything coffee can't do?! As we all know, it's a natural stimulant and that includes waking up your skin! Coffee is packed with all sorts of beneficial agents that your skin will love - caffeine, vitamins, essential oils, fatty acids, amino acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants - all ingredients that are extremely helpful in keeping skin healthy.
The caffeine in the coffee helps encourage quicker cell regeneration and restricts surface blood vessels, which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Coffee in a body scrub can also be beneficial in improving skin discoloration by increasing blood circulation. It's a somewhat gentler abrasive, somewhere in between sugar and herbal scrubs, but can generally do well on most skin types.
How to use a scrub
Start by looking for a scrub that matches your needs. If you have very dry, tough skin, you might want to go for a sea salt scrub, However, sensitive skin would benefit better with a brown sugar scrub. The scent of the scrub is also important. Often times, the smell of lavender has been known to be very calming while lemon or peppermint might be better for a refreshing jolt of energy!
Always remember when trying a new scrub, be sure to test for allergies or negative reactions on a small patch of skin. If there is a feeling of stinging, burning, redness or peeling, do not continue using the scrub. Do not use scrubs if the skin has cracks, cuts, is sunburned, or is highly sensitive.
The best time for scrubbing is in the evening since the cells divide at night faster quicker. Wash your skin before you scrub to remove sweat, dirt, pollutants, otherwise, you could potentially push the toxins deeper into your pores. After about 10 - 15 minutes into your bath or shower, you can begin the exfoliation process. If you plan on shaving your legs, do so before using the scrub to prepare the skin and soften the hairs.
Apply the scrub by gently massaging in circular movements, paying special attention to rougher spots like elbows, knees, heels, as well as areas with noticeable cellulite. It’s best to always scrub upward, starting from the top of your body and moving down.
Once you've effectively exfoliated all the areas you wanted to focus on, rinse off with warm water. You won't need to follow up with soap or shower gel after using the body scrub ... you should already be squeaky clean!
As soon as you step out of the bath or shower, it's best to moisturize right away. Just remember to slather on your favorite body butter before drying off! It's important to leave skin a bit wet after the shower because the water will actually act as a carrier for the moisturizer, which provides ultimate hydration.
How often should you use a body scrub
Body scrubs are definitely something you'll want to include in your skin care regimen, but it's a product that should be part of your daily routine. Scrubs are best at removing that top layer of dead skin cells, but you don't need to do that every day, as it could lead to skin irritation. You essentially need to give your skin a few days to maximize the effect of the scrub.
A good exfoliation one to two times a week should be just enough for your skin to hold its refreshing glow before your next scrub down is due.
For the days you're not using an exfoliator on your skin, we recommend using our creamy whipped soap to help nourish and moisturize skin daily.
Can you use body scrub on your face
Most body scrubs have larger exfoliant particles that while might be good for the thicker skin on your body, could be painful or damaging for the thinner skin on your face. Some body scrubs might even contain higher concentrations of acids that could lead to irritation on your face. As a rule of thumb, it's best to stick with face scrubs for your face and body scrubs for your body!
What ingredients are in Nectar Bath Treats' scrubs
At Nectar Bath Treats, creating our products with naturally nourishing elements is our biggest priority! Our luxurious body scrubs are 100% handmade and contain some of the most delectable ingredients that your skin will love! Click on any of our individual body scrub products to see exactly what lovely ingredients are in each body scrub.
Sweet Almond Oil
The oil from the small but mighty almond is full of Vitamin E, A, beneficial fatty acids, protein, potassium and zinc. It's an antioxidant powerhouse making it a perfect match for your skin because it helps protect against deterioration of precious collage, helping skin stay healthy and firm.
Fresh Cranberry, Blueberry and Poppy Seeds
These all natural exfoliants work to help slough off those dead skin cells, revealing a beautiful layer of skin begging to be touched.
This oil rich butter derived from the nut of the West African Karite tree has been used for glowing skin and hair for centuries. Shea butter is loaded with Vitamins A and E, beneficial fats, and a mild sun protection component, making it perfect for nourishing and moisturizing dry skin, leaving it healthier and more supple.
Moroccan Lava Clay
Also known as Rhassoul Clay, this is a high-quality soothing clay perfect for rough dry skin and is found in our Coffee Delight sugar body scrub. Formed by volcanic ash and sourced from the Atlas mountains in Morocco, this luxurious clay will help soften and smooth your delicate skin.
Sonoma Pacific Sea Salt
This all natural sea salt is harvested from evaporation ponds in Northern California drawn from the waters of the Pacific Ocean. It's loaded with beneficial minerals including potassium for a wonderfully detoxifying body scrub experience.
Farmed deep in the Philippines, our coconut oil is a hydration powerhouse, helping your skin retain a glowing moisturized look you'll love. It's rich in medium-chain fatty acids which can help protect the skin from harmful bacteria.
Cold pressed from the skin of the sweet tangerine fruit, this luscious, all natural oil is gentle on your skin and helps in stimulation of production of new cells for a more youthful look.
Perfect for exfoliation, these natural wonders help your skin in numerous ways, leaving your legs, hands and feet feeling silky smooth. The smell of the fresh coffee might also perk you up a bit in the morning to help kick start your day with gorgeous skin.
A natural humectant and effective exfoliant, this mild exfoliant will help bring you that lovely glow you've been searching for.