Exfoliation Products

What Is an Exfoliating Scrub? (My Recommendations)

Written by: Anastasija

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Exfoliating scrubs, along with other exfoliating products, have become increasingly popular in recent years, as many people have discovered the benefits they provide, and how useful they can be. If you want to find out more about what exfoliating scrubs are, and how to use them, you’re in the right place.

What is an exfoliating scrub?


To begin with, what is an exfoliating scrub? You may not have heard about these products before, but it’s time you learnt all about a product that’ll soon become one of your favourites.

As the name suggests, an exfoliating scrub is a method of exfoliation, and it’s generally used on your body, however you can find some scrubs which are suitable for more gentle use on the face, too. These exfoliants are usually made up of a gel-like consistency, and contain lots of small, abrasive particles, which are responsible for scrubbing your skin. Often, these particles are either of sugar or another naturally abrasive ingredient, such as ground coffee.

A body scrub is a wash-off product, so it’s used on wet skin, and washed straight off afterwards. We’ll discuss exactly how to use it later on.

Physical ExfoliantsContain granules, beads, or particles that physically scrub away dead skin cells and impurities
Chemical ExfoliantsUse ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) to dissolve dead skin
Enzyme ExfoliantsContain enzymes that break down the proteins in dead skin cells, promoting gentle exfoliation
Combination ExfoliantsCombine physical, chemical, and/or enzyme exfoliants to offer multiple modes of exfoliation
Table 1: Types of Exfoliating Scrubs

Also read: How Does Exfoliation Help with Stretch Marks? (Explained)

How does exfoliation work?

We’ve mentioned that an exfoliating scrub, or body scrub, is a method of exfoliation, and this is a category of products which brings many benefits for your skin. Exfoliating agents are incredible useful and powerful, and it’s a great way to get the most out of your skin.

Essentially, the process of exfoliation is all about removing a layer of cells from the upper surface of your skin, and it’s a process which welcomes plenty of new, fresh cells to be exposed, and therefore benefits your complexion.

Skin TypeRecommended Exfoliating Scrub Types
NormalPhysical or chemical exfoliants
DryGentle physical exfoliants or enzyme exfoliants
OilyChemical or combination exfoliants
CombinationPhysical or combination exfoliants
SensitiveGentle physical or enzyme exfoliants
Table 2: Skin Type Suitability

Naturally, our skin is constantly repairing and replenishing, just like all the other cells in our body, and the cell turnover cycle in our skin describes how our skin cells are forever replacing each other. This process takes place over a set time period, and it works as your skin creates new cells to form a new layer of skin below the ones you have already formed.

Then, the outermost layer of your skin is gradually shed and replaced by a new, younger, fresher layer of cells. When you use and exfoliating product, the ingredients work to remove this outermost layer of skin faster, gently breaking the bonds between the cells, to reveal a fresher complexion faster.

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

How do you use an exfoliating scrub?

Now that you’re a little more aware of what’s happening during the exfoliating process, it’s time to learn how to use an exfoliating scrub. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult product to use, and that makes it an easy ritual to implement into any self-care routine.

To begin, you want to start with wet skin, either in the shower or the bath, to allow your cells to soften, allowing gentler exfoliation and making it easier for the scrub to break the bods between new and old skin cells. Once your skin has been soaked, it’s time to get out the scrub.

You don’t need to use a lot of body scrub at once, so it may be best to take just a small, dime-sized amount, and work with that, taking more if needed. Work the product all over your body, gently massaging it in circular motions across your skin.

Once your entire body has been covered, you can wash off the product with water, pat dry with a towel, and you’re good to go. Remember to use a moisturiser or body lotion on your skin once it’s been dried to replenish moisture in the skin and prevent excess dryness due to exfoliation.

Chemical Vs. Physical Exfoliators

When it comes to talking about exfoliation, you may have heard the terms ‘chemical’ and ‘physical’ crop up with regards to the type of exfoliator being used, and this is because they are the two types of exfoliating agents you can find. Of course, each has its own benefits, and they have their differences, but each work slightly differently to do the same job.

Jojoba BeadsGentle physical exfoliants that are biodegradable and suitable for sensitive skin
Glycolic AcidA type of AHA that exfoliates and helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Salicylic AcidA BHA that exfoliates deep within the pores and helps control acne and blemishes
Papaya EnzymeAn enzyme that gently exfoliates and brightens the skin
Rice Bran ExtractA natural exfoliant rich in antioxidants and vitamins for a radiant complexion
Table 3: Key Ingredients to Look For

Firstly, when we talk about chemical exfoliators, that’s referencing those which use chemicals, such as acids, to break the old, dead skin cells away from the rest of the skin. They usually come in the form of a leave-on mask or liquid product to apply to your skin, and work by dissolving the bonds between cells.

On the other hand, a physical exfoliant uses physical particles, such as sugar or crushed walnut, which are slightly abrasive, to break these bonds physically, and slough off the dead cells. A scrub is a form of physical exfoliant, as it contains physical particles.

Also read: Best Exfoliator for Dry Skin Face (Physical and Chemical)

Recommended exfoliating scrubs

Coco and Eve Glow Figure Bali Buffing Sugar

Coco and Eve Glow Figure Bali Buffing Sugar - Exfoliating Body Scrub for Women | Coconut Sugar Scrub (8.5 oz)
  • TONE, SCUPLT AND SOFTEN SKIN. Get the most out of your exfoliation routine with our triple-exfoliating Coco & Eve Glow Figure Buffing Sugar scrub to boost circulation and instantly smooth and renew dull, dry skin.
  • PREP, SET AND GO! Packed with powerful Balinese botanicals like ultra moisturizing virgin coconut oil, coconut flower sugar and shell powder that work hand in hand with volcanic pumice to get rid of dead skin cells and revitalize skin. Softens skin whilst improving the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. Works great as a pre-exfoliating treatment before self tanning for a smoother, softer golden glow.

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Originally debuting with their iconic coconut hair mask, Coco and Eve are a newer brand, and they’ve already built up a collection of impressive products in both the haircare and body care industries. One example of this is their Glow Figure Bali Buffing Sugar – a body scrub with a unique, exotic ingredient list that’ll have you longing for a trip to Bali itself.

Some of the product’s key ingredients include virgin coconut oil, coconut flower sugar and coconut shell powder, as well as volcanic pumice, to buff your skin and replace moisture at the same time.

Shea Moisture Skincare Coconut & Hibiscus Illuminating Hand and Body Scrub

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Spot Correcting Moisturizer 2 Ounce
368 Reviews
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Spot Correcting Moisturizer 2 Ounce
  • Leaves skin radiant and younger looking.
  • Recommended for everyday use.

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Better recognised for their sulphate-free, effective haircare line, Shea Moisture’s Illuminating Hand and Body Scrub is a more affordable product formulated to buff and polish the skin, whilst also replacing moisture and deeply nourishing the skin at once.
It contains vitamin E to take good care of your skin and reduce dryness, as well as hibiscus flowers, which act as an emollient – an ingredient which locks in moisture and hydration within the skin.

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub

First Aid Beauty Bundle: KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA – 8oz. – and Deluxe Mini Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration Moisturizer – 1 oz.
46 Reviews
First Aid Beauty Bundle: KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA – 8oz. – and Deluxe Mini Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration Moisturizer – 1 oz.
  • Smooth Skin from Head to Toe: Two powerful, all-over body favorites in one smooth duo; exfoliate away bumpy skin and follow with a deeply hydrating skin cream for smooth, more comfortable skin
  • KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA: Made with chemical and physical exfoliators, this body scrub helps sweep away dry, rough bumps known as keratosis pilaris to reveal healthier looking skin that feels exceptionally smooth

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Lastly, this body scrub from First Aid Beauty is another impressive formula and it’s particularly favourable for those looking for ultra-smooth skin, especially when shaving. Just massage this into the skin to exfoliate the desired area and follow with shaving cream and a razor to achieve the smoothest, dreamiest shave you’ve ever had.

It’ll leave you with even skin texture as well as pigmentation, thanks to the active ingredients: lactic acid and glycolic acid.

Final thoughts

Now you know everything you need to about exfoliating scrubs, and how they work, so you can be an expert on the topic. If you’re interested in the benefits they provide for the skin, why not start using one of our recommendations!

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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