I've been busy this summer indeed. It seems as if I've gone on a haitus from the blog. In fact, I have been slacking...in my deeds. But not in my thoughts and in my spirit. I've been pondering many beauty questions and have been trying new products with the intention of sharing all my knowledge with you. But I've been enjoying life this summer and haven't spent much time typing out all my beauty secrets.
I keep forgetting that I've been wanting to talk to you about scrubs, and why I'm not fond of them for facial skin...in general that is. I occasionally used scrubs as a younger lady to "give my skin a glow"! In fact, I was one of the many young people who made their purchases based on the advertisements. We really didn't look at ingredients. We get sucked in by promises to make our skin "glow", "look younger", or "stay young". Remember that advertisers are hired by cosmetic companies to make you want to buy a certain product (think Mad Men) and that they are largely not skin care experts. They are paid to tell you what you want to hear.
Okay long story shorter, the facial skin is more delicate than body skin, especially around the eyes and lids. And abrasives that are rubbed onto the face can cause tiny little cuts called microabrasions. You can't see 'em, you probably can't even feel 'em, but they leave your skin exposed to damage and bacteria entering your epidermis. The biggest offenders are the old-style, cheaper scrubs made with crushed nut particles like St. Ives, but even the luxury brand scrubs with finer particles can cause problems. They can make acne worse, cause a breakout, cause dark blotches on darker skin tones, and worse case leave skin vulnerable to fungal infections. A family member of mine got one such infection from using a harsh exfoliant and then using equipment at the gym!
Scary part over, whew! Now I have to say that exfoliants are a big must. Maybe not so much for the 19 year olds. But as we age, our skin loses it's ability to exfoliate as fast on it's own. I prefer light "chemical" exfoliants to scrubs on the face, due to the delicate nature of the facial skin. I'm not talking doctor office deep peels here. I'm talking gels with various acids derived from natural sources to lightly "break away" the stubborn older, duller skin cells. I also like peels that use natural enzymes from various fruits to "munch off" the old layer of skin, leaving the younger, softer skin on the surface. These give me a much brighter glow than facial scrubs! I will give you the 411 on the good in a few days. Stay tuned for this.
But I know some of you love the feeling you get from a great manual scrubbing (right Mary?). Okay, I feel you on this. What I recommend is that you use only scrubs with spherical beads made jojoba or other gentle oils. The smooth circular surface is less likely to cause microabrasions. Better yet, splurge on a Clarisonic brush. It will give you a "salon" polish using your own mild cleanser every day.