There’s no doubt that face scrubs have become one of those controversial beauty products that left many confused. Are they useful for exfoliation? Can it do more harm than good? Can they really cause micro-tears to the delicate skin on the face? There are so many questions around it. And then, enter face polishes. The sophisticated sibling of the face scrub.
We’ve seen so many new face polishes launch in the recent past, which makes us wonder – are these going to replace face scrubs and are they really better? Let's see the perspective of skin experts on whether face polishes are more effective and less abrasive as compared to scrubs.
Face Polishes Vs Face Scrubs
Skin expert says “Both face scrubs and polishes help in exfoliation. Scrubs tend to be a bit harsher and grittier, whereas polishes contain finer particles of the ingredients which only help to remove dead cells present in the upper layers of the skin. Polishes do not cleanse or unclog the pores.”
They add that because face polishes remove the dead cells which are present in the stratum corneum (upper layer of the skin), this results in smoother and softer skin. “When light falls on a smoother skin surface where there are no dead cells, it reflects thus making the skin look more radiant.” Face polishes also help improve skin texture overall, they say.
When it comes to face scrubs, skin experts point out that these are cream-based products containing exfoliating particles which could be natural ingredients like sugar or sea salt, cinnamon, fruit pits, crushed seeds, crushed shells, or sometimes even artificial ingredients like jojoba beads or polyethylene. They are used to deep cleanse, exfoliate and remove dead cells from the skin. “A polish, on the other hand, is a milder form of exfoliation. Face polishes are actually enough to exfoliate the skin, but if you do use scrubs, make sure to be gentle.”
Face Scrubs and the Skin Barrier
So, if face scrubs aren’t all bad, why then have they earned such a negative reputation? “If you use scrubs frequently, you may end up over-exfoliating your skin resulting in disruption of the protective layers of the skin,” points out By skin experts, This results in a compromised skin barrier making the skin more sensitive, and more prone to infections because microorganisms, dust, and pollutants penetrate the skin easily. The skin can get more sensitive and one may develop rashes, fungal infections, bacterial infections, viral infections, etc. Scrubs can also cause redness, irritation, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. “Over scrubbing can also alter the skin’s natural oil production, as a result, the sebaceous glands overcompensate and secrete more oil leading to acne,” They quote.
Skincare Notes to Bear in Mind
If you asked, which ingredients should be avoided in face scrubs and face polishes, then stay away from ingredients such as beads, crushed seeds, fruit pits, and crushed ones. walnut shell, and sea salt, as they can irritate the skin or cause allergies or manually damage the skin. Make sure as far as possible, those with sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, or excessively flaky and dry skin, should try and avoid both polishes and scrubs, as these can do more harm than good for such skin conditions.
“If you have oily skin, you can use face polishes twice a week. Exfoliation using face polish once a week is enough for those with normal skin, and if you have dry or sensitive skin do not exfoliate more than once a month.”
So, to summarize, while face scrubs can deeply cleanse, if you do use them ensure you don’t scrub too often and too overzealously, and avoid harmful ingredients such as crushed walnut shell, etc. On the other hand, face polishes are gentler, but mainly work to slough off only the upper layers of dead skin, which is good enough exfoliation.
Few products that you can add to your skincare routine