Scrubs---Let's Get Down to the Nitty Gritty
Mar 1st 2019
Do you know what a body scrub is and why we should use them in our skincare routines? With so much attention being given to the way we care for our bodies, body scrubs are becoming just as important as soap. A body scrub is a skincare product whose main function is to remove dead skin cells through exfoliation. In the process, it also helps cleanse the skin and increase blood circulation to the body. Ultimately your skin will feel clean, rejuvenated and the removal of the dead skin cells will allow better absorption of moisturizers.
In the eastern part of the world, body scrubs have been part of the female beauty ritual for thousands of years. Women would come together weekly to relax, bathe and gossip while they scrubbed their bodies. In Ancient Egypt, both men and women used scrubs with harsh exfoliants, honey and perfumed oils to keep their skin hydrated and free of wrinkles from the dry desert heat. Native Americans also cared for their skin by exfoliating/scrubbing. They used ground corn to cleanse and purify the skin. It was rubbed onto the skin before ceremonies to rid the body of impurities. The Comanche tribe was known to use sand from the bottom of the river to exfoliate their skin.
Why do we need to scrub? As we age, the glue–like substance holding our cells together (desmosome) becomes thicker. This results in a buildup in the layers of skin cells. Our ability to naturally exfoliate becomes more difficult as we grow older resulting in the skin having a thicker, less-toned appearance. This process can be influenced by the environment, hormones and vitamin deficiencies (A and D). In addition, on average, we shed approximately 30,000 – 40,000 skin cells every hour and it usually takes about 27 to 30 days before new skin cells reach the top layer of our skin. With these factors working against us, skin exfoliation/body scrubbing is a must. It is vital that we help promote the regeneration of new skin cells which in turn will result in improved appearance, tone and feel of skin.
Nowadays, this popular body treatment is essential for your skin. It not only removes dead skin and dirt from your skin, but it also helping to stimulate the body’s natural healing system, encouraging cell renewal and eliminate excess fluids leaving your skin with a healthy glow. All scrubs follow the same pattern: exfoliant, oils essential oil or fragrance. With many versions of body scrubs available, which one is for you? Sugar, Salt, Nutshells, Coffee Grinds are several of the most common exfoliating components available. Whatever component you use, it needs to be abrasive enough to do its job, but not too strong as not to damage healthy skin. Let’s examine some:
Salt Body Scrubs can be made with varying grades of sea salt. The larger the granule, the more intense and abrasive the scrub. They are great for bringing toxins to your skin’s surface and offer healing properties as well. Due to the rigorousness of salt, care needs to be taken as to prevent microscopic tears in the skin. Some find salt scrubs to have an oily application. Due to salt’s natural tendency to dry out, more oil is added to the scrub to help keep skin moisturized.
Sugar Body Scrubs can be made with a variety of different types of sugar. Similar to the salt scrub, the larger the granule, the more rigorous the scrub. As such, brown sugar offers an effective yet gentle scrub. Sugar is a great option for a scrub as it is a humectant; meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. So, when you apply products with sugar or sugar derivatives, they’ll help hydrate your skin and keep moisture within. Sugar is also a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid(AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down the "glue" that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. *For its many benefits, Earth Born Beauty only uses sugar is our body scrubs.
Coffee Body Scrubs are quite addictive and fun. They boast anti-inflammatory properties and leave your skin smooth. I often say that coffee scrubs will help you get your life together for the upcoming beach season. This is because coffee help dilates blood vessels and reduce the appearance of skin dimples and cellulite. The skin may also tighten from the stimulating effects of caffeine by improving blood flow and eliminating excess water.
Although not covered in the above, there are a variety of ingredients that can be used to make a body scrub. Which one is for you depends on your skin type and how much abrasiveness your skin can stand. But what isn’t up for debate is the fact that you skin needs exfoliation! As we continue to age, this need increases due to the structure of the desmosome surrounding our skin cells. While I can’t do anything about getting older, but what I can do is to keep exfoliating to keep my skin looking amazingly healthy.
My personal favorite scrub is our Black Pearl Pore Cleansing Facial Scrub. I love the way the activated charcoal in that scrub brings the dirt and toxins to the top of my skin and gentle removes it. But when I am not using that scrub, my favorite DIY fruit scrub is a banana sugar agave scrub/mask. The potassium and vitamins (vitamins C & E) in the banana promote clear glowing skin, while the sugar and agave help draw moisture to the skin leaving it hydrated and supple. See my DIY facial scrub/mask recipe below:
1 ripe banana
3 TBSP brown sugar
½ tsp agave nectar
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
Mash the ripe banana with the back of a fork and combine with the other ingredients. Wet your face with a clean, warm washcloth and then apply facial scrub/mask. Leave it on your face for 7 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.