Salt Scrubs vs. Sugar Scrubs

 


What Is a Salt Scrub?

The prevalent element in scrubs is salt, which is also recognized for its gritty texture and as a natural detoxifier. Although salt scrubs can be "rich in minerals [depending on the type of salt used]," dermatologist Luigi L. Polla, MD, founder of Forever Institut and Alchimie Forever, warns that they can also be "very dehydrating." They are "absolutely not suited to dry, sensitive skin types," he warns. Usually, salt scrubs increase blood flow, which might cause redness.
Look for high-quality, mineral-rich salts like sea, epsom, and pink Himalayan, each of which has a variety of detoxifying benefits, when selecting a salt scrub. These are frequently rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are good for the skin.

What Is a Sugar Scrub?

Additionally very common in skincare regimens are sugar scrubs. "Sugar scrubs are typically less abrasive than salt scrubs," claims Polla. It is well known that sugar aids in hydrating the skin.
According to Pink, whose body polish line includes coconut sugar, "Coconut sugar provides vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Coconut sugar works as a gentle exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and leave skin with a healthy glow. Coconut sugar is also a natural humectant, giving moisture to the face. Additionally, using coconut sugar as a scrub is less abrasive than using salt.
Advanced glycation end, or simply when an accumulation of sugar contributes to the aging qualities of skin, is one disadvantage of utilizing sugar scrubs, according to Polla.

Salt Scrubs: Benefits and Drawbacks

Salt scrubs have several skin benefits, but they also have some drawbacks. Here's a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of salt scrubs:

Advantages of Salt Scrubs

  • Salt scrubs are excellent exfoliants that help to remove dead skin cells and promote healthy skin. The salt crystals' gritty texture aids in scrubbing away dirt and impurities, leaving the skin smooth and radiant.
  • Salt scrubs can also aid in skin detoxification by drawing out impurities and toxins. This can aid in the prevention of breakouts and other skin issues.
  • Salt scrubs can hydrate the skin by re-establishing the proper balance of moisture. This can leave the skin soft and supple.
  • The massaging effect of a salt scrub can aid in promoting healthy blood flow and enhancing circulation. This can help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Drawbacks of Salt Scrubs

  • Salt scrubs may be harsh, particularly if they contain coarse salt crystals. This can cause irritation or damage to the skin, particularly for those with sensitive skin.
  • Salt scrubs can dry out your skin, especially if you use them too often. This might result in flakiness, itching, and other skin issues.
  • Some skin types, especially those with sensitive or dry skin, may not respond well to salt scrubs. It's crucial to pick a salt scrub that is mild and appropriate for your skin type.
  • Salt scrubs may not be suitable for use on certain areas of the body, such as the face, as they can cause irritation or damage to delicate skin.

Sugar Scrubs: Pros and Cons

Sugar scrubs are a popular alternative to salt scrubs, and they have several skin benefits. Here are some pros and cons of using sugar scrubs:

Pros of Sugar Scrubs:

  • Sugar scrubs are gentler on the skin than salt scrubs, making them an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin. Sugar particles' fine texture makes them ideal for removing dead skin cells without causing irritation.
  • Sugar is a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture from the environment and aids in skin hydration. Sugar scrubs are therefore an excellent choice for people with dry or dehydrated skin.
  • Sugar scrubs can be tailored to specific skin concerns by incorporating additional ingredients such as essential oils, honey, or fruit extracts.
  • Sugar scrubs are gentle enough to use on the face, as opposed to salt scrubs, which can be too harsh for sensitive facial skin.

Cons of Sugar Scrubs:

  • Sugar scrubs are less effective than salt scrubs at removing stubborn impurities and dead skin cells. A salt scrub may be a better option if you require heavy-duty exfoliation.
  • Sugar scrubs have a shorter shelf life than salt scrubs because sugar is more susceptible to bacterial growth.
  • Some sugar scrubs may leave a sticky residue on the skin that is difficult to remove.
  • Sugar scrubs with oils or butter may clog pores and cause breakouts in acne-prone skin.

What’s the difference between sugar and salt scrubs?

  • The size of the exfoliation granule is the primary distinction between sugar and salt particles. Sugar scrubs are ideal for sensitive skin since they have smaller grains than salt. Because of their sharper edges, salt scrubs are typically more abrasive and are therefore better at removing tough patches of skin off the body.
  • According to Dr. Kwan, salt scrubs frequently feature grittier, bigger particles. Sugar scrubs typically have finer particles and are kinder to the skin. When compared to salt scrubs, they are frequently less drying and abrasive. For this reason, Dr. Kwan advises using sugar scrubs on the face, d├ęcolletage, and sensitive or dry skin types.
  • Regular use of both sugar and salt scrubs can be beneficial, however due to salt scrubs' high level of abrasiveness, not everyone should use them. Although sugar scrubs are quite good at physically exfoliating the skin, they have no other cleansing advantages. On the other hand, salt scrubs really cleanse the skin as they exfoliate, which can be a significant advantage for people who, for example, struggle with their body's excessive oil glands.


Which Scrub Is Good for Dry Skin?

  • If you have dry skin, you should use a sugar scrub instead of a salt scrub. Salt scrubs are dehydrating by nature, and they can cause skin irritation for people who have sensitive skin. Although they detox and exfoliate, they also remove the top layer of skin. For those with sensitive skin, salt scrubs may remove more than the top layer or create minor cuts that leave them uncomfortable or irritated. 
  • You should avoid over-exfoliating with either scrub, especially if you have sensitive skin. You don't need any other exfoliator after using a body scrub because you'll be doing the same thing twice, which will not be good for your skin. Using your scrubs once or twice a week should be enough to keep your skin smooth.
  • Regular use of both sugar and salt scrubs can be beneficial, however due to salt scrubs' high level of abrasiveness, not everyone should use them. Although sugar scrubs are quite good at physically exfoliating the skin, they have no other cleansing advantages. On the other hand, salt scrubs really cleanse the skin as they exfoliate, which can be a significant advantage for people who, for example, struggle with their body's excessive oil glands.

Choosing the Right Scrub for Your Skin Type

Choosing the right scrub for your skin type is critical to getting the most out of it without causing any damage or irritation. Here are some pointers to help you select the best scrub for your skin type:
  • Dry Skin: It is best to choose a sugar scrub with nourishing oils like coconut, almond, or jojoba oil if you have dry skin. Sugar scrubs help exfoliate the skin gently and without removing its natural oils.
  • Oily Skin: A salt scrub might be a better choice if you have oily skin because it helps to absorb extra oil and unclog pores. To help balance the skin's natural oils, look for salt scrubs that include natural ingredients like tea tree oil, peppermint, or eucalyptus. 
  • Combination Skin: Depending on the area of your skin that needs attention, you can use both sugar and salt scrubs if you have combination skin. For oily areas like the T-zone, use a salt scrub, and for drier areas, use a sugar scrub.
  • Sensitive Skin: Choose a sugar scrub with gentle exfoliants like oatmeal or brown sugar if your skin is sensitive. Avoid scrubs that contain harsh ingredients like citrus oils or fragrances that can irritate your skin.
  • Acne-Prone Skin: If you have acne-prone skin, pick a salt scrub with antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil or lavender oil. The antibacterial qualities of the essential oils can aid in the fight against acne-causing bacteria while the salt helps to unclog pores and remove extra oil.

How to Make Your Own Salt and Sugar Scrubs

DIY scrubs can be a fun and easy recipe to enjoy—but not everyone is a proponent of the practice. "I do not believe in DIY recipes for skincare, scrubs or otherwise," notes Polla. "Skincare product formulation is a true science that must be learned, and the process is not replicable at home."
Of course, should you experience any reaction from a DIY recipe, stop using it immediately. Although Pink has spent decades with formulators to create her spa-quality line of products for Sparitual, she also shares two DIY recipes for you to make your own scrubs at home.
Ahead, Pink shares her DIY recipe for a sugar scrub.


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