The Ultimate Guide to Using Face Scrubs


| LAST UPDATE 03/20/2022

By Lia Thomson
skin care face srub
@dietmtndewy via Instagram

Face scrubs are amazing for removing dead skin cells and revealing a new layer of skin. Over the years, there have been thousands of different formulas and brands that have come and gone. From physical to chemical ones, here's everything you need to know about this skincare holy grail.

Not so long ago, we were told using physical exfoliants on our face was a big no-no. We all threw out our St. Ives Apricot Scrubs because it was revealed that the smooth plastic microbeads could damage our skin barrier, and obviously, no one wants that. Dermatologist Diane Berson explained, "Formulas that contained pointy, uneven nuts or shells abraded the skin and caused tiny tears." Back in 2015, Congress actually banned this ingredient from being in any cosmetic rinse-off items. It was sad that we couldn't have the option of rubbing our faces and walking out with smoother, brighter skin.

facial scrubs exfoliants skincare
@skincarewithlara via Instagram
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But that wasn't the only issue with physical exfoliants. The beads were also harming fish and wildlife because the particles didn't break down when washed down the drain. Since this discovery, most skincare addicts have moved over to chemical exfoliants. With active ingredients from AHA and BHA, these acids are beneficial in promoting new skin cell growth. They also help unclog pores and brighten skin. They truly are great, but still, we totally miss the feeling of fresh clean skin after using a scrub. Luckily for us, companies have started to use biodegradable ingredients. Here are our favorite ones.

Burt's Bees Gentle Face Scrub is a fabulous product because it uses smooth carnauba wax beads that are biodegradable. This srub is also specially made for those with sensitive skin. The company explained that it "gently exfoliates to reveal radiant skin without over-drying." Versed also uses an alternative bead ingredient in their Versed Day Maker Microcrystal Exfoliator. It is "formulated with superfine microcrystalline, a biodegradable alternative to microbeads, and an antioxidant-rich blend of black currant and raspberry leaf extract, which keeps oil production, inflammation, and acne in check." Lastly, try out Coola Pacific Polish Gentle Sea Salt Facial Exfoliator, which includes salt granules to purify and cleanse the skin. 

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