We’ll be talking about body and facial scrubs throughout this article – just be aware that there’s a slight difference, and you shouldn’t use a body scrub on your face. Facial scrubs are designed to be more gentle so that they don’t mess up your skin. Other than that, the two are similar. Same benefits, same downfalls.
Body Scrubs Clear Away Dead Skin
The #1 goal of those exfoliating pieces in a body scrub is to remove dead skin and grime.
Remember rubbing your hands together really fast in elementary school to see that skin buildup that looked like pencil shavings? If you’ve never tried that before, give it a shot now! Arch your palms to get the full effect. It might burn just a little bit.
Body scrubs rub away at that hard-to-get dead skin (so that you don’t have to rub your hands together maniacally every time you need to exfoliate).
Body Scrubs Give You Soft, Supple Skin
Not to sound like the big bad wolf, but soft, springy skin really does have an unmatched appeal.
Because it’s able to get through the gunk and grime, body scrubs will help give your skin that wonderful smooth texture.
They also stimulate the blood vessels underneath your skin, so they can actually alleviate wrinkles. It’s the same reason natural coffee soap is so popular. When you dilate your blood vessels, they tighten the surface of your skin.
Body Scrubs Fight Acne
Not only do they cleanse dead skin, but they also help with oil buildup. Hence, body scrubs are essential acne fighters.
We’ll talk about this next, but if you’re using an acne product, use a body or facial scrub beforehand to get the full effect of that liquid or cream.
Body Scrubs Even Your Complexion
Body scrubs are one of the most helpful bathroom side-kicks. They partially even your complexion by fighting dead skin and acne, but they also pave the way for your soaps and skin cleansers to work more effectively.
Body Scrubs Are A Pre-Shave Must-Have
Tired of nics and post-shave razor burn? Body (or better yet, facial) scrubs can help!
Scrubbing your skin before you shave evens out the texture, so your razor will have a smoother surface to glide across. Just be sure to really scrub underneath any beard growth. If you’re considering shaving your pits for the first time, a scrub can also help you cut down the trees.
If you’re also a fan of shaving down the bushes, a body scrub (plus a moisturizer) will prevent those red marks and bumps (and painful cuts) that can form along your pelvis. The skin down there is sensitive, so choose a light scrub.
Body Scrubs Prevent And Cure Painful Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are the worst of all worlds. They look like pimples, are way more painful than pimples, and can’t be easily popped.
Luckily, a body scrub can work ingrown hairs out of your skin. They also prevent ingrown hairs, since you’ll exfoliate away any skin surrounding a baby hair that’s thinking about growing in incorrectly.
Body Scrubs Make Other Skincare Products More Effective
Because they’re so great at scouring away dirt and dead skin, body scrubs give your other hygiene products a clean slate to work their magic.
Normally, your oil and dead skin buildup would prevent your body from fully absorbing moisturizers, acne creams, and anything else you use on your skin. Body scrubs temporarily peel back that layer, allowing your skincare items full access.
The inverse is true as well – body scrubs are more effective when you pair them with other products.
I don’t recommend using a body scrub and nothing else. Stripping away your oils and dirt sounds like a good idea, right up until your body has no other protective layer for your skin. At a bare minimum, lotions after body scrubs are a must.
Body Scrubs Are A Bang For Your Buck
We’re going to talk about this in the next section, but you’re really only supposed to use a face or body scrub two to three times per week. They’re highly effective, and the bottles last forever.
Just like any hygiene product, you can find scrub options on the cheap end or down the luxury product aisle. I’ve never felt guilty spending extra for a nicer scrub, knowing that it’ll stay in my shower for the next several months.
And all those skin benefits we already discussed…really, scrubs are a hygiene enthusiast’s heaven. Affordable even in the high-end department, and long lasting.
Do I Use Body Scrub Before Or After Soap?
You should use your face or body scrub before you use soap – in fact, you should use it before you use any other skincare product.
We touched on how scrubs make other products more effective, and how they help your skin fully absorb moisturizers. That’s the logic in using them first. They clear a nice pathway for your other products to do great work for your skin.
In fact, if you like to spray tan, using a scrub beforehand can help you get a more even tone.
Do You Wash Off Body Scrub?
Face and body scrubs are meant to be washed off.
Since you use them to scrub away at dead skin and oils, it makes logical sense that you would want to rinse off the grime and residue afterwards. You can also think of scrubs as similar to soaps, though not all of them are made of the same stuff. Either way, rinsing is the way to go.
You’ll want to be especially careful if you’re using a commercial scrub that uses plastic exfoliants. I don’t usually recommend those plastic pieces; they have the tendency to be more irritating than natural exfoliants, and they’re horrible for the environment. Rinse thoroughly if you do use a product like that. You don’t want to leave any of those plastic bits on your skin.
If you don’t rinse thoroughly, once in a while you’ll find a dried bit of soapy exfoliant sticking somewhere on your skin midday (I’m definitely guilty of that). That’s why it’s good to use face and body scrubs in the shower; it’s easier to get a good rinse.
Is It OK To Scrub Your Body Everyday?
Under no circumstances should you scrub your body everyday.
Most skincare professionals agree that even every other day leans toward being excessive. Two to three times a week hits the sweet spot for a lot of guys. You can go less if you have more sensitive skin.
It’s good to give your body a helping hand in stripping away built up oil and dead skin…but not too much of a helping hand. That natural layer actually protects your skin. While it might not be great for your acne situation, it’s excellent at keeping you moisturized and healthy.
As you use your scrub, you’ll figure out what feels right for your skin schedule-wise. Personally, I don’t try to keep track of what days of the week I need to use my scrub. I just break it out whenever I feel like it would feel good against my skin – that’s usually when I start to get that too-tight or too-oily skin sensation.
Disadvantages of Body Scrub
The word “scrub” implies it: body scrubs can be harsh for lots of skin types.
You (hopefully) scrub your toilet and the floors of your house…but “scrub” isn’t exactly the verb you always want to use when it comes to your skincare. It conjures up images of redness, irritation, and even bleeding – so you have to be careful about what type of scrubs you’re buying!
Finding the right scrub for your skin can be a shot in the dark if you’re a newbie. Plenty of guys who aren’t used to using a scrub will find the texture unpleasant at first.
Follow the goldilocks rule if you’re new to the game: try to find a middle-of-the-road brand. If you go too light, you might not feel like the scrub is working. Too heavy too fast will irritate your skin.
Be sure to read our guide to the best body scrubs for men so that you can figure out what “middle of the road” looks like and what might be best for your skin.