How many times have you gone to the mall to upgrade your skincare routine and been overwhelmed with the number of choices and brands?

Are scrubs even good for you or bad?

What is the difference between an exfoliant and a scrub?

What about the microbeads that have been banned from the US?

Is a fruit seed or coffee scrub too harsh?

Will scrubbing my face cause acne?

I need you to first take a loooooong Deeeeeeep Breaaaaaath. Let me help you a little,

Lets break it down a little: Exfoliants and Scrubs are essentially the same thing, the purpose of these products are to remove dead skin cells and clean impurities from the top most layer of the skin. Our skin cells naturally go through their renewal cycle and we lose skin cells naturally. Exfoliants and scrubs accelerate this cycle.

An Exfoliant can be a chemical or mechanical agent used to remove the outermost layer of the skin whereas a scrub is usually a cream-based product that contains seeds, and microbeads which when rubbed onto the skin acts as a mechanical agent to remove dead cells.

A chemical exfoliant is usually an acid-based product that dissolves dead skin cells.

The good

1. Stimulates blood flow to the skin which stimulates cell production.

2. Products applied after scrubbing absorb in the skin much better as the top layering has been removed.

3. Makes the skin brighter and more even in the long run.

4. Removes impurities and clears congestion

5. Frees the ingrown hairs from the skin making them easier to remove.

The bad

1. Harsher rubbing on the skin can irritate and remove more layers of the skin.

2. If a product to close the pores is not applied right after, high chances of contamination can follow which can cause whiteheads.

3. Some micro exfoliants are not biodegradable and are not good for the environment.

Overall i do feel as if the positives overtake the negatives if used correctly,

You should essentially be using a scrub twice a week, there is no need to go beyond that as it won’t make any further difference. After using an exfoliant, add a serum and a moisturizer right after to maximize the results and close the open skin pores.

The real mystery remains,

WHICH ONE?!?! Having 100’s of different brands, choices, and textures… let me share my faves.

Tatcha – The Rice Polish Deep

This is a great scrub for people with acne and sensitive skin, This is basically a powder that is activated with water. You can adjust the consistency of this powder according to the amount of water you put in it. It starts to foam up a little and then you apply it to your face. It is definitely quite brightening and has very active ingredients. The downside of this is messiness, if you are a neat person then this might not be it for you, as the powder seems to go everywhere and trying to get the perfect amount of water everytime can get a little annoying. This sits at a very high price point at around $115.00 NZD.


7/10 – On Skin Results

5/10 – Cleanliness

5/10 – Price

Total = 17/30

In 2rd place we have: L’oreal Paris Pure Sugar Scrub

This is a great scrub for its price, it is natural ingredient based and contains sugar and fruit seeds. It also smells wonderful and results in bright glowing skin. The downside of this is the consistency and the sweetness. The sugar tends to get inside the nails and it can be bit hard to remove as it sticks on the skin quite tightly. If you are new at exfoliating this might be for you just because of how nice it smells and being a natural ingredient based scrub.


6/10 – On skin results

8/10 – Cleanliness

10/10 – Price

Total = 24/30

In 1stplace we have: Kate Somerville – Exfolikate Intensive Treatment

This is my personal favourite because the results are phenomenal – Everytime i use this scrub my skin is very bright and glowing. I get many compliments about how good my skin looks even if i dont do much more than use this once a week. The product smells a bit different and can take a bit of time getting used to it. It also tingles a little for the first 10 seconds as it contains both chemical and mechanical parts to it and according to me making it the ultimate exfoliant. I would not recommend this for very sensitive skin but for everyone else YOU MUST TRY THIS. It is on the high end side but the active ingredients in this make it worth it. You can even try the smaller sizes starting at approx $40 NZ.

10/10 – On skin results

8/10 – Cleanliness

8/10 – Pricing

Overall = 26/30

Written by Rupal Madaan