We've all been told that one of the biggest skincare mistakes we can make is being too harsh on our delicate complexions. Whether it's aggressive cleansers or overly powerful treatments, too much of what we think is a good thing isn't (at least when it comes to skincare). And lately, face scrubs have been getting heat for being too abrasive and causing more harm than good.
Using a scrub is an easy method of exfoliating, which is an essential part of a vigilant skincare routine, and they're wallet-friendly for the most part. Heck, even model Gigi Hadid swears by a drugstore scrub to keep her glowy skin in tip-top shape. But why could your favorite scrub secretly be sabotaging your skin? It turns out those large granules found in many scrubs could be tearing at your skin, causing severe damage. Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice, tells New York Magazine, "When you scrub skin with abrasive scrubs, they put micro-tears into skin. They make your skin more vulnerable to environmental damage, pollution, and sun damage." Long-term effects include inflammation, which leads to aging skin, according to Begoun. Dr. Dennis Gross agrees, saying, "Scrubs are a primitive way to exfoliate. It’s like using sandpaper on your face. If you look closely at the sandpaper surface, you’ll see lots of scratch marks, and that’s what happens on the skin." Yikes! But before you ditch the exfoliating process, know that chemical exfoliants are fantastic alternatives.
As celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau recently told us, a chemical exfoliant is the way to go. "From reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles to hydrating the skin and treating acne, using an exfoliating acid is the key to more youthful, glowing skin," she explained. "These exfoliants include ingredients such as glycolic acid, AHAs, and BHA enzymes such as pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple." So will scrubs be getting the microbead treatment? We'll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, shop our favorite chemical exfoliators.