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Salt vs Sugar Scrubs: What is The Difference For Men?

When it comes to the salt vs sugar scrubs, the difference between the two is in the name: sugar scrubs feel sweet against your skin, while salt scrubs have that abrasive, extra-scrubbing quality that lots of guys need. 

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What Is A Salt Scrub?

A salt scrub is just what it sounds like. It’s a type of body scrub that uses salt as its key ingredient to exfoliate your skin. Scrubs have a lot of benefits, but salt scrubs in particular are rich with minerals and especially good at dealing with scaly feet.

Be aware, salt scrubs are more drying than most other scrubs. You can’t use one on its own and expect your skin to be fine. You’ll need a moisturizer, and you shouldn’t use the scrub more than 2-3 times per week.

The reason I warned against using table salt as a scrub is because it will dry out your skin without providing any of the typical salt scrub benefits. The particles are too small and rounded to properly exfoliate your skin. On the other hand, actual salt scrubs have larger, textured particles that work on rough skin.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Salt Scrub?


• Salt scrubs are anti-inflammatory, so they’re great for muscle relaxation. (You still shouldn’t use salt scrubs on sunburns or wounds. Using any sort of scrub on damaged skin is not a good idea.)

• Salt scrubs are packed with skin-friendly minerals that clean out your pores.

• Salt scrubs are extra abrasive, so they work really well on feet, elbows, knees, and other scaly skin areas.

• Salt scrubs smell great. They have those fresh-ocean-breeze vibes.


• Salt scrubs will dry out your skin. You need to pair them with a moisturizer so that you don’t get flakey and irritated.

• Salt scrubs are especially abrasive, so they’re not good for sensitive skin. 

• If you have psoriasis or eczema, salt scrubs will make your skin condition worse.

What Is A Sugar Scrub?

Sugar scrubs use brown or cane sugar to exfoliate your skin. They’re much more gentle than your average scrub (salt or otherwise), so they work especially well for people with sensitive skin.

If you’re someone who’s constantly tempted to use your facial or body scrub more than 3 times per week, sugar is a good option. The particles are small and round, so they’re not too abrasive. Sugar scrubs actually use their acidic properties to dissolve dead skin, rather than manually rubbing it away (though, they do a bit of that too).

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Sugar Scrub?


• Sugar scrubs are gentle. They have small round particles with acidic qualities that dissolve dead skin without damaging your skin (if you have eczema, you can exfoliate with sugar scrubs).

• Sugar scrubs won’t dry you out. (At least, not as much as other scrubs.)

• You can use sugar scrubs on your face (most sugar scrubs).

• Sugar scrubs are easy to rinse off. Since sugar dissolves in water, you don’t need to worry about grains sticking to your skin and drying.

• Sugar scrubs are easy to make at home if you’re on a tight budget.


• Sugar scrubs don’t have many skincare benefits to offer, besides gentleness and dead skin removal.

• Sugar scrubs have a really sweet scent. It rarely sticks, but if it does…not all that manly.

• It becomes really tempting to drink your bathwater.

Salt vs Sugar Scrubs For Men: Final Verdict

When it coms to salt vs sugar scrubs, the right scrub for you really depends on your skincare needs. I’d recommend salt over sugar for a body scrub, but sugar over salt for a facial scrub.

Salt has that rough texture that’s great for your arms, legs, and torso. Sugar is gentle enough to feel just right against your face. Both have a lot to offer. If you have sensitive skin, I’d say start with the sugar and work your way up to the salt.

Either could be right for you – just remember to always look for quality. So get yourself some professionally made salt and sugar scrubs, then read these guides on how to use body scrubs properly and how to use face scrub. With that said, if you’re on a tight budget, one decent alternative is to find a sugar scrub recipe online (don’t do this for salt!). You can also decide to choose body wash instead of a body scrub.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.