As we age, our body’s skin renewal process slows down, and dead skin cells start to pile up. This is why exfoliating and moisturizing our body has become a necessary step in our shower routines. In saying that, there are many types of body scrubs like salt, sugar, and coffee that are available in the market nowadays, which makes it difficult to choose the best option.
This is because certain scrubs are better suited for certain skin types. To assist you in making this hard decision, we've prepared a Buying Guide with comments and tips from dermatologist Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas Luz. We also made a list of our Top 10 body scrub recommendations to help you achieve healthy, glowing skin.
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
A body scrub is a physical exfoliant with some type of abrasive ingredient (e.g. salt, sugar, coffee, etc.) that gently removes dead skin cells. It sloughs away the debris on your skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. Aside from this, it promotes blood circulation, draws out impurities, and smooths stubborn rough dry skin.
That being said though, scrubs should only be used two to three times a week and are most effectively applied using a circular motion. This is to avoid irritating the skin - on that note, you'll be able to tell if you've gone too far when you see a change in texture or appearance; for example, if your skin already appears red or bruised.
A body scrub is a form of exfoliant - meaning it allows our skin cells to shed faster. Skin naturally exfoliates in a 28-day cycle allowing new, healthy skin to appear. Factors can stall this process, such as aging, improper cleansing, dry weather, or sun damage.
Now, a chemical or physical exfoliant can help with the process to reveal that "glow." Scrubs are physical exfoliants with tiny particles that physically remove these skin cells and other impurities. They used to be a popular choice for sloughing until popular exfoliants composed of walnut shell pieces came under fire for being too abrasive. Now, newer scrubs use less abrasive ingredients and incorporate hydrating components as well.
Remember, when it comes to body scrubs, choose one that is gentle regardless of your skin type, and they're called body scrubs for a reason (don't put on your face!). At the end of the day, the skin cells still form a part of the skin barrier. If done too aggressively, you'd be left with broken skin.
Different types of skin require different types of skincare. In saying this, we will lay out some tips on how to choose the right body scrub for you.
There are body scrubs that are more abrasive than others so it’s important to know what your skin type is to be able to effectively choose what the best body scrub for you could be.
If you have normal skin, this means that your skin is generally well-balanced. Your skin is neither too oily nor too dry and is not prone to sensitivity. Body scrubs that effectively buff away dead skin cells should be your main target. It should have abrasive components strong enough to slough off impurities without causing irritation.
A good example of this is a salt-based body scrub which is a good exfoliator with great healing properties. Body scrubs with hydrating ingredients such as essential oils are great as well so you can give your skin a deep clean while keeping it healthy, glowing, and moisturized.
The great thing about Normal Skin is that you're less prone to irritation and skin sensitivities. So you can choose one based on personal preference.
If a physical exfoliant is what you're after, look for micro-exfoliants (small-size, non-coarse particles) such as bamboo powder or rosehip seeds as they act as a low-friction scrub that disrupts debris without causing damage. Newer scrubs have biodegradable beads made from jojoba esters (which are spherical and smooth), thus, less risk for those microtears or diatomaceous earth microbeads that are less irritating.
As for chemical exfoliants, good choices include glycolic acid (which has the smallest molecular weight of all AHAs). Thus it penetrates the deepest and can build collagen in addition to improving texture and tone.
People with sensitive skin types are prone to having strong reactions to certain chemicals, dyes, and fragrances present in skincare products. If you have sensitive skin, you are likely prone to getting redness and rashes caused by irritation to certain textures or ingredients.
This means that you want to be as gentle as possible. You should avoid harsh abrasive scrubs that can irritate or damage your skin. For this, we recommend fine sugar scrubs as they are less abrasive but still effective. Body scrubs with soothing ingredients such as shea butter or honey are also good to help alleviate irritation.
First of all, what is sensitive skin? Sensitive skin means that you have higher chances of reacting to a product and developing signs of inflammation - be it redness, flushing, stinging, acne-like eruptions. This is the skin type that would need to be extra careful in choosing what to apply to their skin. Abrasive scrubs with large particles are definitely, a no-no!
Definitely, a patch test is a must before adding this to your regimen! Best to use the scrubs on areas of skin that are thicker, such as elbows, legs, and feet. As for chemical exfoliants, mandelic acid is a good choice for gentle exfoliation of sensitive skin.
If you have dry skin, this means that your skin lacks moisture or hydration. Dry skin can cause irritation, itching, and cracking and are caused by numerous factors such as genetics, medication, and low humidity. It can be remedied through different types of creams, lotions, and ointments.
For this skin type, we recommend scrubs containing oils such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and milk such as macadamia milk or rice milk for extra moisture. On the other hand, you should avoid body scrubs with charcoal, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil as they absorb your skin's natural oils, leading to skin damage.
For those with dry skin, it's important to choose an extremely gentle scrub since the skin barrier is already compromised and at risk of cracking with too much abrasion. A good choice of a chemical exfoliant is alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA).
These are water-loving molecules, so they can help keep your skin hydrated. Good choices of AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid. Since they’re water-soluble, they dissolve in water and can easily just peel away the surface of the skin.
Also, look for scrubs that incorporate hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, shea butter, coconut oil, or olive oil for that extra moisture.
Body acne, just like the acne you get on your face, can be annoying. And one place that’s prone to getting acne is our back, hence the term backne. Our backs have sebaceous glands that produce sebum - and when we sweat or go out, our pores sometimes get clogged, which results in acne.
In saying that, we recommend body scrubs with clarifying and antibacterial ingredients. These combat the production of acne with ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea tree oil which are well-known for preventing breakouts. It would be best to avoid body scrubs with oils and milk to keep away unnecessary moisture.
For those prone to body acne, a chemical exfoliant would be the better choice (as physical exfoliants may be too harsh). Try looking for exfoliants with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps clear pores and reduces redness with its anti-irritating and antimicrobial properties.
If you already have acne-like bumps on the back, though, it is best to Ask Your Derma!
Whether you're a homebody or someone who constantly moves from one place to another, it is important to choose not only an efficient body scrub but also one with packaging that suits your shower routine and your lifestyle.
Body scrubs in tube packaging are more convenient. Product is easier to dispense, and tubes are lighter and easier to pack for trips. This makes it advisable for those who like to travel or for those who move back and forth from their dorms to their homes. You're also unlikely to get water or debris in it, which truly makes it portable.
Aside from the added convenience of tubed products being so easy to carry around, did you know that tubed products actually contain fewer preservatives compared to jarred products?
Since jarred products are possibly more susceptible to contamination compared to tubes, manufacturers are well aware of this. Thus, they incorporate more preservatives to protect the product from microbial growth.
This means there could be a slightly higher irritation risk for jarred products, but this doesn't mean that you will be 100% prone to irritation. Just something to keep in mind!
Meanwhile, body scrubs in jars contain more product and are more cost-effective. It's easier to get the body scrub out of the jar, although it's advisable to use a spatula to help you control the amount of product you use. This is recommended for those who like to stay in and do skin and body care multiple times a week.
These days people are not only particular about the product they're buying but also the packaging it comes in. "Sustainable beauty" has become a buzzword in the skincare industry. Thus, the uptrend of developing sustainable skincare habits.
The nice thing about products in jars is that you can choose larger-sized ones or even refillable packaging, not to mention you can upcycle the packaging and repurpose it into different things (e.g., vases, containers for trinkets, you name it!).
Just make sure that when using products in jars to use clean hands or a spatula to prevent contamination.
Aside from choosing a body scrub based on its ingredients, it's also advisable to look into its scent. Some body scrubs are formulated for aromatherapy which has different effects such as reduced stress, anxiety, and even mild pain. These products usually contain essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile, jasmine, or vanilla.
A study in Indonesia on the Sensory Evaluation in Determining Acceptability of Scrub Cream revealed that the aroma applied on the skin influences respondents’ acceptability in choosing certain scrub creams.
Definitely, the smell of a product can give additional benefits - be it emotional or psychological, thus, giving an overall relaxing experience. This one is definitely based on your personal scent of choice!
Now, it's time to check out the best body scrubs that you can find in the Philippines this year. From organic body scrubs to ones that provide aromatherapy, you're bound to find the perfect one for you.
|Skin Type||Sensitive, Dry|
|Notable Ingredients||Almond Milk, Organic Almond Oil, Honey|
|Skin Type||Normal, Dry|
|Notable Ingredients||Sea Salt, Coconut Oil|
|Fragrance||Subtle Coconut and Guava|
|Notable Ingredients||Salt, Apricot Pit Powder|
|Skin Type||Normal, Sensitive|
|Notable Ingredients||Coffee, Vanilla|
|Notable Ingredients||Robusta Coffee, Raw Brown Sugar, Sea Salt|
|Skin Type||Normal, Sensitive, Dry|
|Notable Ingredients||Sugar, Glycine Soja Oil|
|Notable Ingredients||Sugar, Shea Butter|
|Fragrance||Hints of Nuttiness|
|Skin Type||Normal, Dry|
|Notable Ingredients||Natural Papaya Enzymes, Bamboo Scrubs|
|Notable Ingredients||Ground Walnut Shell, Salicylic Acid|
|Notable Ingredients||Apricot Beads, Aloe Vera|
The Body Shop
The Body Shop
Almond Milk and Honey Gently Exfoliating Cream Scrub
Coconut Guava Body Scrub
Winter Apples Body Scrub
Coffee & Vanilla Body Scrub
Kape Scrub - Face & Body Coffee Scrub
Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash
Shea Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub
Intense Whitening Body Scrub
Acne Dote Face and Body Scrub
Aloe Body Scrub with Apricot
Nourish Dry and Sensitive Skin with Milk and Honey
Fresh Coconut and Guava Scented Body Scrub to Hydrate Your Skin
Sweet Apple-Scented Body Scrub to Polish and Moisturize Your Skin
All Natural Coffee Scrub with a Calming Vanilla Fragrance
Exfoliate and Revitalize With Local Organic Ingredients
Get Gorgeous Glowing Skin with a Nice Sweet Scent
Get Silky, Smooth Skin With Shea Butter
Natural Papaya Enzymes and Bamboo Scrubs for Whiter and Moisturized Skin
Powerful Enough to Combat Backne, Gentle Enough for Your Face
Gently Exfoliate and Hydrate Your Skin with Aloe Vera
|Price Starts at||₱1,250||₱805.5||₱398||₱299.75||₱849||₱275.4||₱1,195||₱199.5||₱584||₱199|
|Skin Type||Sensitive, Dry||Normal, Dry||Dry||Normal, Sensitive||Normal||Normal, Sensitive, Dry||Dry||Normal, Dry||Oily||Normal|
|Notable Ingredients||Almond Milk, Organic Almond Oil, Honey||Sea Salt, Coconut Oil||Salt, Apricot Pit Powder||Coffee, Vanilla||Robusta Coffee, Raw Brown Sugar, Sea Salt||Sugar, Glycine Soja Oil||Sugar, Shea Butter||Natural Papaya Enzymes, Bamboo Scrubs||Ground Walnut Shell, Salicylic Acid||Apricot Beads, Aloe Vera|
|Fragrance||N/A||Subtle Coconut and Guava||Apple, Cinnamon||Vanilla||Freshly-Roasted Coffee||Vanilla||Hints of Nuttiness||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Body scrubs may do more harm than good if not used correctly. Here are some tips from Beauty Insider on how to properly use a body scrub at home:
Always patch test before adding a new player to your skincare regimen. If you don't develop any reaction or signs of irritation, then good, but always start slow. Consider the other skincare products you already use. Some products may cause your skin to be more sensitive or peel, so exfoliating while using these products may worsen dry skin or even cause acne breakouts.
Massage it in gently (no actual scrubbing!), then rinse off with lukewarm water. Follow up with a hydrating lotion or cream to seal in moisture.
When it comes to exfoliating, I'd recommend using it weekly or monthly rather than daily. Follow up with a moisturizer! Remember, the skin cells we're exfoliating are still key to barrier protection.
Here are some signs of over-exfoliation (possibly that you might be overdoing it!):
Road to recovery from over-exfoliation:
For many people, a structured shower and skincare routine is a great way to start and end the day. If you want to explore some products that will help you look good and feel good, allow us to recommend some of our favorites. Check out our articles below!
Exfoliation is key to healthy and smooth skin. After all, we need to get rid of dirt, dead skin cells, and excess sebum for our other skincare products to take effect. No matter what kind of skin type you have, there's bound to be a body scrub out there that is perfect for you.
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