Exfoliation Products

St Ives Apricot Face Scrub (Explained)

Written by: Anastasija

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There are so many products on the market, aimed to treat different concerns, that it can be difficult to work your way through the variety of different options in order to pick one to work for you. Often, products become popular through social media, promoted by influencers, or recommended by others on the platforms.

The St Ives Apricot face scrub is an example of this, and today we’ll look at why it’s such a controversial product.

What is St Ives Apricot Face Scrub?

St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub 6 Oz (2 Pack) by St. Ives
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St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub 6 Oz (2 Pack) by St. Ives
  • DEEP EXFOLIATION: Experience deep yet gentle exfoliation that removes stubborn dead skin cells, revealing a radiant, healthy-looking complexion
  • RADIATING SKIN: The formula leaves the skin feeling refreshed, revitalized, and illuminated

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The St Ives Apricot Face Scrub is a product marketed towards those concerned about acne and breakouts. It’s an exfoliating face scrub which is designed to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, along with excess oil and sebum which clog pores.

The scrub has been a popular product in many skincare routines for years, as its exfoliating properties seem to be instantaneous, providing dramatic differences as soon as the product is used, which is a popular benefit. This is due to the scrub’s physical exfoliation properties, coming from the crushed walnut used to physically break the bonds between dead skin cells and fresh ones.

BrandSt. Ives
Product NameApricot Face Scrub
Skin TypeAll skin types
Key IngredientsApricot kernel oil, walnut shell powder
TextureCreamy with exfoliating particles
FragranceLight, natural apricot scent
PackagingTube or jar
Size Options6 oz (170 g), 10 oz (283 g)
Table 1: Product Overview

Our skin naturally follows a cycle of cell replacement and rejuvenation, creating new skin cells to replace older ones which may have suffered damage, and the old cells are pushed to the surface of the skin, leaving lots of dead, dull skin cells on the surface of your face.

When you use an exfoliant, such as a scrub like this one, you break the bonds between the old skin cells and the new, fresh ones, to reveal a brighter, fresher complexion beneath, and remove any old, damaged cells to help even out texture and pigmentation. Using a scrub can also help to remove impurities from your skin, such as excess oil and dirt.

Costing around the $5 mark, it’s easy to see why this product has become so popular, but where does all the controversy come from? Let’s take a look.

Also read: Does Exfoliating Remove Tan? (Explained)

Is the St Ives Apricot Face Scrub bad for skin?

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From everything you’ve heard so far about the product’s benefits, you’re probably under the impression that the product is great for your skin, claiming so many things, and at such a low price point, too. However, many of those with experience in the skincare industry will tell you that it’s bad for your skin, but why?

The first, and the biggest, reason why the St Ives Apricot Face Scrub is bad for your skin is due to the exfoliating agents, as the crushed walnut is a very abrasive ingredient. While it’s good to find an exfoliant which is effective for your skin, crushed walnut can cause a lot of stress and trauma for your skin.

ExfoliationGently removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores
SmoothingLeaves the skin feeling softer, smoother, and more refreshed
BrighteningHelps to improve the appearance of dull or uneven skin tone
Deep CleansingRemoves dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin
Non-dryingDoes not leave the skin feeling tight or stripped
Table 2: Key Benefits

The product is a physical exfoliant, meaning it uses physical particles to scrub and work at your skin, and many argue that chemical exfoliants are a much better option. The reason for this is that, when using a physical exfoliant, it’s difficult to judge how harshly you should scrub, and so it’s very easy to accidentally over-exfoliate your skin and cause damage to the fresh skin cells beneath.

In addition, the brand themselves advise customers to use the scrub every single day, which is incredibly stressful and damaging to the skin, especially with such a harsh formula.

Step 1: CleansingStart with a clean, wet face and dispense a dime-sized amount of the scrub onto your fingertips
Step 2: ExfoliationGently massage the scrub onto your face using circular motions, avoiding the eye area
Step 3: RinseRinse thoroughly with lukewarm water
Step 4: Follow-upFollow with your regular skincare routine, including moisturizer and sunscreen
Table 3: How to Use

Another thing worth noting is that, due to the nature of the product, instant results can be deceiving, and this is what led to the increase in its popularity. Because the exfoliating agents work instantly the smooth texture on your skin, it feels like the product has done a good job, and therefore you continue to use it.

However, this isn’t the case, and often just leads to over-exfoliation, which causes further damage to your skin.


While the St Ives Apricot Face Scrub may not be the best option out there, there are still plenty of choices for your next favourite exfoliant to renew and refresh your skin. If you’re looking for an alternative to this scrub, take a look at some of our recommendations below.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution 240ml
  • Offers a gentle exfoliation for improved skin brightness and visible clarity
  • The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7%

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This toning solution, containing a 7% concentration of glycolic acid, is an effective chemical exfoliant for gentle use on the face, and can be used as often as suits your skin. Being an AHA-based product, it’s effective for evening out the texture of your skin and improving pigmentation balance.

Also read: Does Exfoliation Lighten Skin? (Other Benefits)

Youth To The People Resurfacing Energy Facial

Youth To The People Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial - Microdermabrasion Facial Exfoliator for Smooth, Soft Skin - Vegan Exfoliating Face Scrub with Papaya Enzyme, Caffeine, Micro-Exfoliants (2oz)
  • Energizing + Invigorating Facial Exfoliant - Two-minute skin resurfacing facial. Unlike a harsh microdermabrasion scrub, this dual-action facial breaks down dead skin cells with active enzymes while sustainable micro-exfoliants bamboo and diatomaceous earth smooth skin texture.
  • Step 1: Caffeine + Facial Enzyme Complex - Amplified by highly caffeinated extracts, yerba mate and guayusa to energize skin, while active papaya pineapple enzyme help break down dead skin cells. Apply creamy face paste an even layer to clean, wet skin. Leave on for up to two minutes allowing enzymes to activate.

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If you’re looking for a physical exfoliant as an alternative to the St Ives Apricot Scrub, this unusual product from Youth To The People is a great choice, as it’s a more effective, less damaging option. It combines enzymes as chemical exfoliants with bamboo and diatomaceous earth as physical particles to smooth the complexion and provide instant, lasting results.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it’s easy to see that, while it may seem like St Ives’ Apricot Face Scrub is a great product to begin with, it may actually be doing more harm than good to your skin. Luckily, there are plenty of alternative products out there to help you achieve the skin of your dreams without causing damage.

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

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