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The New Face of Exfoliation: Using Scrubs Pt 3

In last week’s post I discussed some of the primary forms of physical exfoliators, which are great for maintaining soft, glowing skin and providing a second-phase deep cleanse. Scrubs are however, some of the more misused skin care products among consumers.

I do recommend scrubs as part of the home-care system, but it’s important to educate clients on proper use otherwise they run the risk overstimulation, dryness, and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and surface demarcations.

Best scrubbing practices

All great treatments – in the spa and at home – begin with proper cleansing. Remember the goal is to remove all surface residue, creating a clean surface without over-drying or agitating the skin. Following a cleanse, a scrub may be used as an optional phase-two cleanse to begin surface exfoliation. Not all skins require this, so be sure to closely assess your client.

For home use, I like to provide clients with a specific scrub regimen and a few important tips, including:

  • Use will vary based on skin type, ranging from daily to once per week
  • Use caution not to over scrub
  • Do not use around the eye area
  • Rinse several times to remove all of the grains

Use a clean white cloth to remove the scrub. Continue rinsing until the skin is clean and cloth doesn’t show any residue.

There are also a few tricks and tips for getting more out of scrubs too. For example, when using a body scrub apply it to dry skin first and work in for a few minutes before wetting it down. This allows the actives to penetrate the skin and the granulars will be more effective in removing dead skin cells.

For facial scrubs, start with a cleansed face and use damp hands to massage the beads into the skin for several minutes. In the treatment room, some scrubs may be used in combination with steam to deepen the polish and brighten the skin tone. For men, gentle scrubs using jojoba beads can be worked into lather and used in place of a shaving cream for extra exfoliation.

When to use caution

As with anything when it comes to skin, scrubs are not a one-size-fits all. For instance, for Rosacea skin only very soft jojoba bead scrubs are recommended, and depending on the severity, a scrub might not be used at all. Choosing a scrub also depends on the purpose and end goal. Mild scrubs with brightening and polishing properties used once per week will suit normal to dry skin better.

There is a tendency to over use scrubs and when the granulars are very fine, it may be easy for clients to make that mistake. Effective scrubs are generally enough on their own and it’s important to remind clients to use extreme caution when using an active scrub in combination with a motorized facial brush. You may advise them to forego this all together.

When used properly scrubs are great additions to healthy skin care regimens. Not only do they remove dead skin cells and buildup to reveal luminous skin, they also may provide brightening, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiseptic support to the skin.

Question: How do you talk to clients about scrubbing at home?

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