Is washing the only way you are cleaning your face? Experts recommend exfoliation as a necessary step to prevent a variety of skin issues.
A well-planned skincare routine focuses on cleansing, removing deep-seated impurities, managing skin issues and keeping your skin hydrated. A good exfoliator can give more than just exfoliation benefits. However, you need to choose the right one for your skin type.
Read on to know the multiple benefits of face scrubs and the ingredients to look for as per your skin type.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Benefits of regularly using a scrub do not simply cease at sloughing off dead skin. Scrubbing with medicinal dosha-balancing herbs can detoxify the skin pores.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
- What Is A Face Scrub?
- What Is The Purpose Of A Face Scrub?
- What Are The Benefits Of Face Scrub?
- How Do You Use Face Scrubs?
- What Should You Do/Apply After Scrubbing Your Face?
- How To Choose The Best Face Scrub For Your Skin?
- Dos And Don’ts When Using A Face Scrub
- When Should You Use A Scrub On Your Face?
- Differences Between Face Wash And Face Scrub
What Is A Face Scrub?
A face scrub is a cream-based, coarse-textured skin care product used to slough off dead skin cells, dirt and sebum plugs from your skin. Exfoliation is now considered a necessary step in a healthy skincare routine.
Face scrubs not just remove superficial impurities but can also help to open up stubborn comedonal acne (whiteheads and blackheads) that can cause more severe acne conditions.
This is why dermatologists believe that a good daily skincare routine can improve your overall skin health and keep premature skin aging at bay.
The concept of scrubbing the skin with coarsely powdered natural ingredients hails down from the Vedic ages and is an important part of Ayurvedic skin treatments. ‘Ubtans’ (Etymology - Udvartana) or scrubs are made by coarsely powdering gram flour/ masoor dal and Ayurvedic herbs such as haridra, yastimadhu, etc.
“In Ayurveda, scrubbing is of two kinds, Udvartana and Utsadana. It is called Utsadana when the scrubbing material is gentle, while Udvartana employs dry powders that render compactness to the body,” says Dr. Zeel.
What Is The Purpose Of A Face Scrub?
- Gently exfoliates dirt, oil, pollution, bacteria and dead skin cells from the face.
- Unclogs your skin pores and keeps your skin healthy.
- Gives you soft, glowing skin after every exfoliation routine.
Exfoliating with dried sponge gourd or luffa cylindrica , has been an age-old Indian bath-time practice.
What Are The Benefits Of Face Scrub?
1. Removes Hardened Skin Impurities
Dead skin cells, dust and pollution can give your skin a dull appearance and hide your real complexion. A face scrub gently exfoliates such impurities, revealing your naturally bright skin tone.
2. Prevents Acne
One of the major causes of acne are sebum plugs that clog your skin pores. These create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, leading to infection and acne conditions.
Face scrubs are designed for deeper cleaning. Scrubbing your face with a face scrub gently scoops out these plugs, leaving your skin healthy and free from chances of infection.
3. Improves Your Skin Texture
Pollution and dead cells roughen your skin. Using a face scrub helps your skin regain its smooth texture.
4. Increases Cell Turnover Rate
Your skin is meant to naturally slough off dead skin cells as new cells are produced underneath. Exfoliating with a face scrub further increases your skin’s cell turnover rate,  thereby bringing healthy cells to the uppermost epithelium layer.
5. Allows Better Absorption Of Skin Care Products
Using a face scrub to clear out skin impurities preps your skin for the next stages of skin care. It allows your skin to better absorb the serum, face pack and moisturizer that you are likely to apply after cleansing and exfoliating your skin.
6. Helpful In Treating Eczema And Psoriasis
Chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis lead to hardened plaques on the skin. Gently exfoliating such skin lesions help remove the uppermost layer of dead cells. This allows ointments and skin creams to easily penetrate the affected areas for a faster recovery.
7. Improves Blood Circulation
Gently massaging your skin with a face scrub not only removes dirt and grime but also improves subcutaneous blood circulation. This improves the supply of nutrition to your skin thus improving its overall health.
8. Improves Photodamaged Skin
Photodamage occurs when your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays of the sun. Long-term sun exposure can lead to tanning, sunburns and DNA cell damage. Photodamaged skin appears thick and less elastic, due to excess keratosis.
Exfoliating can help remove the damaged outermost layer of cells. This helps improve your skin complexion and remove potentially harmful cells that may turn cancerous.
9. Removes Hyperpigmentation
Excess production of melanin in your skin can lead to unwanted skin pigmentation. Aged, sun-damaged and acne-prone skin are common victims of hyperpigmentation. Exfoliating with a herbal face scrub  can remove the uppermost pigmented skin cells and naturally improve your skin tone.
10. Removes Ingrown Hair
Waxing, shaving and other hair removal procedures can cause unwanted ingrown hair on your face. These often appear as small painful bumps or little red pustules on the cheeks. Including a face scrub in your skincare routine can easily free such trapped hair and prevent the occurrence of ingrown hair.
“Benefits of regularly using a scrub do not simply cease at sloughing off dead skin. Scrubbing with medicinal dosha-balancing herbs can detoxify the skin pores. The massaging action in the opposite direction of hair growth can stimulate collagen production and increase blood circulation. This makes the skin appear taut, youthful and radiant,” adds Dr. Zeel.
How Do You Use Face Scrubs?
Follow the below-mentioned steps to get the best out of your face scrub:
Step 1: Clean your face using a mild herbal face wash/ cleansing oil.
Step 2: As face scrubs need to be applied on wet skin, do not pat it dry.
Step 3: Take a coin-sized amount of face scrub and apply it all over your face.
Step 4: Now gently massage in a circular motion using upward strokes.
Step 5: Focus on areas that are prone to comedonal acne such as the nose, areas around the nose, forehead and chin. Work your way down to the neck.
Step 6: Continue for around 15 seconds before washing off with lukewarm water.
Step 7: Pat your skin dry with a cotton towel.
Ayurveda recommends first massaging and cleansing the skin with oils before using a scrub. This helps dissolve make-up, bad oil and dirt and reduces chances of skin damage from the scrubbing material.
Vedix Tip: Make your own homemade face scrub with coarsely ground gram flour, Ayurvedic herbs according to your skin type and coconut oil to exfoliate your skin.
What Should You Do/Apply After Scrubbing Your Face?
Once you are done scrubbing your face, it is now prepped for treatment. Understand your skin type and skin-specific issues to now choose your skin care products such as a toner, serum, face pack and moisturizer. Do not leave your skin unattended after using a face scrub, as it might lead to dry skin issues.
How To Choose The Best Face Scrub For Your Skin?
It is always advisable to consult your Ayurvedic doctor for a thorough understanding of your doshas and Prakriti (body constitution). This better equips you to select the best face scrub according to your skin requirements. Below mentioned is a brief guide to various skin types and ingredients that you need to look for while selecting your face scrub.
1. Oily Skin
As per studies, excess sebum production is one of the main causes of oily skin. According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, a vitiation of the kapha dosha stimulates your sebaceous glands into producing more oil. This can lead to pore clogging and acne.
Face scrubs for this skin type must aim to curb bacterial growth on the skin along with a deep cleansing action. The below-mentioned natural ingredients help balance the kapha dosha, remove excess oil and dead cells and prevent chances of an acne breakout.
- Orange peel
- Gram flour
- Green tea
- Grapefruit seeds
2. Dry Skin
A weakened skin barrier can compromise your skin’s ability to withhold essential moisture. This can lead to skin flaking, cracking and peeling.
According to Ayurveda, an excess of vata dosha in the body can cause dry skin conditions. Choose a cream-based face scrub that is mild and aims on gently removing dead skin flakes while keeping your skin hydrated.
- Activated charcoal
- Bentonite clay
3. Normal And Combination Skin
For normal skin, look for a mild face scrub that cleans without drying your skin. Combination skin is a vata-kapha skin type that combines both oily and dry features. So it is advisable to choose a face scrub with ingredients that balance oil on your skin and remove impurities without drying it out.
- Citrus extracts
- Milk/ yogurt
- Mung dal
- Rosehip seed extract
4. Sensitive Skin
Choosing any skin care product including face scrubs for sensitive skin requires a careful understanding of allergens that your skin reacts to. The following ingredients reduce skin sensitivity and help prevent allergic reactions.
- Aloe vera
- Brown sugar
- Flax seeds
Dos And Don’ts When Using A Face Scrub
- Choose face scrubs according to your skin type .
- Use face scrubs with natural ingredients.
- Moisturize after exfoliating with a face scrub.
- Use lukewarm water to wash away the face scrub.
- For existing skin conditions, consult your doctor before using a face scrub to prevent skin irritation.
- Don’t scrub your face daily.
- Don’t over scrub your face. Be gentle while scrubbing and limit the procedure to 10 to 15 seconds.
- See how your skin responds to exfoliation. If your current face scrub causes irritation, switch to a milder face scrub. You can even stop exfoliation for a while.
When Should You Use A Scrub On Your Face?
According to beauty experts, face scrubs are best used at night when your skin requires a good cleaning. After a whole day’s exposure to pollution, your skin is likely to be clogged with dirt, grime and bad oil.
Mild exfoliation with a face scrub gently removes such impurities and leaves your skin clean and rejuvenated. However, as per the science of Ayurveda, detoxification processes such as scrubs for the face are recommended for the morning routine.
Most skin experts advise using a face scrub 2 to 3 times a week. Avoid over-exfoliating your skin as it may lead to dryness or skin irritations.
Whether you cleanse first and then use a face scrub or vice versa, it is up to you. Cleansing first removes superficial dirt, excess oil, sunscreen and make-up from your skin.
Following up with a face scrub allows you to get rid of sebum plugs and dead skin cells that block your pores. On the other hand, exfoliating first and then using a face wash can help you wash away dead skin flakes.
Differences Between Face Wash And Face Scrub
Coarse/ granular skincare product used for exfoliation.
Smooth textured cream/ water/ gel/ oil-based product meant for cleansing.
Usually used 2-3 times a week.
Meant to be used twice daily.
Removes deep-seated skin impurities and dead skin cells.
Removes surface dirt and grime.
The Last Word
Including a face scrub in your skin care is a step towards building a healthy routine. In contrast to popular belief, a face scrub does not cause dry or irritated skin. Instead, it helps prevent dirt, pollution and excess sebum build-ups which can eventually clog your pores and lead to pimples.
Though there are increasing chemical exfoliation options, a herbal face scrub is always a safer choice as it holistically improves your skin health without causing any unwanted side effects. So look for the perfect ingredients that suit your skin type and follow safe exfoliation methods as suggested above for soft, radiant, naturally beautiful skin.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Luffa: Plant Then Exfoliate, 2016
2. Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role Of Skincare, 2016
3. Skincare With Herbal Exfoliants, 2011
4. How To Safely Exfoliate At Home,
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