exfoliating scrubs: the best and worst kinds of exfoliates for your skin
Exfoliation is a part of any comprehensive skin care routine. By exfoliating, you help your skin, and consequently your appearance, in many ways.
The Benefits of Exfoliating Scrubs: Facial scrubs or cleansers that contain exfoliates remove dead skin cells and other grime from the skin’s surface. If left unchecked, debris can build up on your skin’s surface, dulling your complexion and clogging your pores (which leads to acne breakouts.)
Revitalizes Your Complexion
By exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells you trigger the skin’s natural renewal process and reveal the underlying layer of younger skin cells. This immediately revitalizes your complexion, helping your skin look more radiant and healthy. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and help pigmentation problems.
Enhancing the Effects of Skincare Products
Exfoliating enhances the effects of other ingredients found in high end facial cleansers. By unclogging pores and stripping the skin of dead and polluted skin cells, active ingredients are able to penetrate deeper into the skin, providing better results.
If you want the best exfoliating facial possible, one that can really help acne, diminish fine lines, correct pigmentation discoloration, and leave your complexion looking younger, revitalized and more radiant than ever, you should consider a professional facial, such as microdermabrasion, from an NYC skin spa.
But for weekly exfoliating, a high end scrub may be all you need. Exfoliating scrubs use an abrasive ingredient, such as plastic microbeads, salt, sugar, bamboo, walnuts, etc. These ingredients help buff and polish the skin, sloughing away dead skin cells.
Why You Shouldn’t Exfoliate with Microbeads
Microbeads, or the thousands of tiny plastic beads commonly found in exfoliating scrubs, have recently come under intense scrutiny by environmental advocates after damning evidence surfaced showing that microbeads were passing through the sewage system and polluting lakes and harming marine life.
Microbeads are Vicious on Your Skin
Besides its heavy toll on the planet, microbeads can be “vicious on your skin” explains Time magazine. Which is scary considering how often cosmetic companies used microbeads in their products. According to a dermatologist interviewed in the article “Why Use Microbeads When the Alternatives are Better?” by the Huffington Post, “products containing microbeads are cheaper to produce, which is why skincare companies began using them in the first place.”
In the article “How Microbeads Can Damage Your Skin and Ruin Your Teeth” by Daily Mail, plastic surgeons and dermatologists explain that exfoliating with microbeads “ ‘can scratch your skin and remove underlying healthy skin cells. These tiny abrasions damage your skin, accelerating the aging process.’ Dr Martin Wade, dermatologist at the London Real Skin clinic, also advises against microbeads: ‘You are essentially rubbing your face with the same plastic used to make milk bottles. Natural alternatives…are better.’ ”
Alternatives to Microbeads:
More and more countries are beginning to outlaw the use of microbeads, causing a mass migration within the cosmetic industry towards biodegradable alternatives that are just as effective as microbeads for exfoliating skin.
Common Natural Exfoliates:
Natural resources have provided exfoliates for millennia. Ancient civilizations used pumice stones, ground nuts, sand, and other natural ingredients to exfoliate, and many of those ingredients are still in use today. Other natural ingredients found in exfoliating products include bamboo, rice, sugar, ground up walnuts shells, and apricot seeds, to name a few.
But consumers should be aware that just because an ingredient is natural and biodegradable, that does not mean it is safe for the skin.
Take walnut powder for example. St. Ives Apricot Scrub, one of the most popular selling exfoliating skincare products, is currently being sued for using walnut powder in their product.
According to Glamour Mag, the lawsuit claims that “crushed walnut powder creates microscopic tears in the skin, exposing it to infections and irritation.” The statement continues: “Unfortunately for consumers, use of St. Ives as a facial exfoliate leads to long-term skin damage that greatly outweighs any potential benefits the product may provide.”
Why Bamboo is one of the best natural exfoliates
Unlike walnut powder and plastic microbeads, Bamboo has proven itself to be a beneficial exfoliate that gently cleanses and is commonly found in high end skin care products.
Typically, bamboo spears are ground down to perfectly round beads. Unlike other facial scrubs that use walnut powder and other harmful abrasives, bamboo creates a dense microfoliant that gently polishes and buffs the skin for the ideal amount of exfoliation.
Besides its gentle structure that polishes without tearing skin, Bamboo is the richest known source of silica, a compound shown to strengthen skin and promote collagen production. It may also help dissolve the oil that builds up on your skin, clogging your pores and making it harder for skincare ingredients to penetrate the skin.
A great exfoliating scrub that uses Bamboo
The high end skin care line, Medspa in a Bottle, utilizes Bamboo in its exfoliating scrub: Microdermabrasion in a bottle. The bamboo provides gentle exfoliation, sloughing away dead skin cells, without scratching your skin.
Microdermabrasion in a bottle benefits:
- deep exfoliation eliminates dead cells
- reveals smoother radiant complexion
- pairs well with beauty oil