In the Beginning
We all love the perfect body scrub. Even my husband gets excited every time I place a new jar in the shower. The ring? God forgive me if I take the ring out before I give him the jar! Not all body scrubs come with a ring just like not all come created with the same ingredients. What is important to you when it comes to a scrub?
Is it the ingredients? Is it the exfoliation? The scent? Health benefits or concerns?
Who knew there was that much to a body scrub!!! Mostly we know the smoother and softer your skin becomes, the more luxurious you feel. The longer that feeling lingers, the more likely you will look to purchase the same scrub again. A perfect scrub should leave you feeling rejuvenated and like you just spent a relaxing day at the spa, as well as come worry-free of health concerns. I took a look at specific characteristics and was actually surprised at what I learned and you will see why I have chosen a favorite.
Salt? Sugar? Water? Oil? Silica, ground walnut shell and corn meal? There is such a variety of ingredients that can be used to change the exfoliation, solubility, skin result... First look at your allergies. Allergic to nuts? Yes, St. Ives is one of many that uses ground walnut shell in some of its scrubs. Always look at ingredients first. There you will learn almost everything you need to determine how safe it is as well as how your skin will feel after.
There are many types of scrubs based on the types of ingredients they are made with and it is important to find the one that satisfies you best. Do you have allergies? Is your skin extra sensitive? Want to stay away from that oily feeling? Here are some ingredients and why, or why not, to choose them.
Organic and free of chemicals? Do not trust any products without a full list of ingredients. Even if it says organic or vegan, lines are so blurred you need to see exactly what ingredients they are referring to. Many customer reviews describe the beads as so tiny they barely exfoliate. These beads are polyethylene and silica beads which ultimately mean plastic. Victoria's Secret? Yes, it has hydrated silica. Eventually, that much plastic going down your drain adds up and can cause an issue - especially if you love an oil-based scrub. Finding an ingredient list for their products is a challenge but I have found one listing to use as an example. You might also be curious to read about another curious bather's search results. One company I know of that does not hide their ingredients and posts them on every listing and product package is JewelScent - and they are so natural they are all pronounceable!
The sugars, salts, nut powders, etc. are what exfoliate your skin and allow it to become soft and glowy. The grains used should have a texture that is not too small or too course, perfect for removing rough and dead skin without damaging your healthy skin, and leave you with a wonderful fresh and revitalized feeling. Sugars in water-based scrubs tend to dissolve easily and quickly right after exfoliation, will not separate in between uses, and, if you accidentally get some in your mouth, they do not taste too bad either!!
Salts are more friendly in oils as the oil is needed to replenish natural skin oils that salts tend to remove. However, salt does not dissolve as easily as sugar, so the scrubbing ability may last a little longer but tends to be more coarse and that is painful undissolved on the bottom of your tub. Avoid using salt scrubs on any delicate areas! It can sting!
Oil-based scrubs can leave your skin extremely soft and may also leave a shining or glistening to your skin. These may also have a tendency to separate while not in use, causing to have to remix with every use and then leave the tub slippery with an oil slick.
Watch out! Products with oil have been known to build up and clog drains just like silica and those with made with ground rice. We all know rice expands as it absorbs water. Maybe you do not mind feeling like a chicken freshly prepared for the fryer… And like me, many others do not find it fun to have to work remixing their scrub before being allowed to relax. Fragrant Jewels uses an oil base which I could not seem to get rid of even after showering again. I was also a little blue; not sad - literally tinted blue! If you must have a color, try adding the DecorRom brand yourself. I have fallen in love with JewelScent Sugar Body Scrubs because I feel so refreshed and clean every time I use them. They wash completely away leaving only my favorite scent and a lovely and quite luxurious softness.
There are some scrubs that say they contain all-natural ingredients or are 100% vegan yet, this means nothing considering even citronellol is derived from a plant. Wan Waan and Weleda brands both use citronella oil in their products. I guess it depends on your plans for the evening but mine do not usually require an insect repellent and mite attractant in my body scrub… (Yes! It is!)
Beware! Scrub Ingredient for Concern - Polysorbate is a harmless sorbitol in its original form however, it must be treated with ethylene oxide in order to be used in personal care products. You will see it as polysorbate-20 because it is treated with 20 parts of ethylene oxide and this is where the problem arises. The polysorbate is now contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known animal carcinogen that is not only linked to skin allergies, it also has been found that 1,4-dioxane levels in personal care products are 1,000 times higher than those shown to cause cancer in animal studies. See the fact sheet.
There are a lot of beauty and personal care products containing phenoxyethanol. It is a stabilizer for products that may lose efficacy or break down too quickly and is approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics and even foods. Phenoxyethanol is not only known to trigger allergic-type skin reactions, there is great concern it may cause central nervous system damage to infants. While there are many more ingredients such as Phthalates, Triclosan, and Imidazolidinyl urea to be aware of, not everyone is concerned about the same things. Be sure to look up anything you are not familiar with. A generally informative article, and another place to start is School of Natural Skincare which will show you more of the basics on ingredient health.
Wow! There really is a lot to know about a body scrub and many of the products we use every day. There is plenty more information on the way here but I can pretty much guarantee you will like one product even without knowing everything. JewelScent's sugar body scrubs are deliciously scented, made with pure cane sure in a water base, and only include ingredients that are natural and wash cleanly away leaving nothing more behind other than a fresh clean scent and wonderfully soft smooth skin. Try it and you will be pleased!
Would you like to be informed as this article grows? I will be adding information about body scrub textures, scents, and even body scrubs with hidden jewelry! Some really are better than others. Click below to stay informed!