Men’s Face & Body Scrub | Understanding Your FAQ's on Exfoliation

    In today's blog, we're diving deep and explaining the difference between Face Scrubs and Exfoliators - and Body Scrubs. We cover why you need to scrub regularly, the dangers of over scrubbing and how to make your own face scrub at home. 


    1. Are Face Scrubs Exfoliators?

    Face scrubs and exfoliators are designed to remove dead skin cells from the outermost layer of your skin. If dead skin cells are not removed, you risk clogged pores which can lead to breakouts and bacterial infection. A build-up of dead skin cells also leads to dull skin.

    man face scrub


    A face scrub is a cream-based skincare product that contains exfoliating particles. This is known as a “mechanical” exfoliator (dead skin cells are removed through friction - the act of physically scrubbing your skin cells). The exfoliating elements in face scrubs include crystals, micro-fine granules, natural beads like bamboo powder or particles and plastic micro-beads.

    An exfoliator is a chemical agent which removes dead cells from the surface of the skin. This is known as a chemical exfoliator (it dissolves dead skin cells using enzymes or acids). Instead of physically scrubbing dead cells away, chemical exfoliants dissolve the intercellular glue that holds dead skin cells together.

    2. Should Guys Exfoliate Their Face?

    Men’s skin is up to 30% thicker than women’s and also produces more oil. Without proper exfoliation, dead skin cells can get trapped on the skin's surface. This leads to clogged pores, dark spots, rough skin texture, wrinkles, dullness, dryness and flaky skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells to reveal smoother and brighter skin.

    3. Is Exfoliating Good for Men? Are Scrubs Good for Your Face?

    Throughout the day, your face collects dirt, oil, grime and other debris which can get trapped in your pores. The result is breakouts and acne. Exfoliating your skin allows you to penetrate deeply into your facial pores and remove the dirt, grime and oil that's clogging your pores. It smoothes, refines, and cleans below your skin’s surface.

    man using facial scrub

    If you have a beard, exfoliation can keep beard dandruff at bay, improve the texture of your skin and keep your hair follicles clear and healthy - encouraging strong beard growth.

    Be careful - exfoliating every day can strip your skin of its natural oils. This causes your skin to overcompensate and produce more oil, which can get trapped in your pores and cause breakouts. Over exfoliating can also cause irritation because you're removing the top layer of skin before it can heal. This overuse will cause your skin to lose its ability to restore itself and look healthy.

    Benefits of Exfoliating:

    • Unclogs pores
    • Reduces blackheads
    • Minimizes the appearance of pores
    • Softens fine lines and wrinkles
    • Controls excess oil
    • Brightens dull skin Improves overall tone
    • Softens skin texture

    Downside of Over Exfoliating:

    • Irritated skin
    • Breakouts caused by overproduction of natural oils
    • Skin loses its ability to restore itself

    4. What Does a Scrub Do to the Face?

    Your skin is constantly shedding skin cells. When this happens, smoother skin cells push their way up to the skin's surface. This is called “cell turnover.”

    Exfoliation removes dead and dulling skin cells. Exfoliating helps speed up your skin's process and helps it look younger.

    5. Which is the Best Exfoliator for the Face?

    The best exfoliator depends on your skin type. There are 3 skin types:

    1. Dry (skin feels tight throughout the day and you may experience flaking)
    2. Oily (your face is shiny and usually appears greasy later on in the day. Your skin is prone to breakouts)
    3. Normal / Combination (your forehead, nose and chin are oily but your skin is dry everywhere else.)

    Exfoliation for Men with Dry Skin

    Exfoliation with gentle, non-abrasive ingredients to help promote skin cell turnover without removing your skin’s natural oils.

    Exfoliate gently - being too rough with dry skin can lead to micro-tears. Find a face scrub containing ingredients which hydrate your skin, like Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Shea Butter and Coconut Oil.

    Exfoliation for Men with Oily Skin

    A gentle chemical exfoliator (one which does not use abrasives such as crushed nuts or seeds that can cause tiny tears in the skin) is useful for balancing the tone and texture of oily skin.

    man with oily skin

    Oilier skin is prone to PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), a condition which leaves dark spots on the skin after a breakout has healed. Exfoliation helps lighten these dark spots by polishing away the uppermost layers of skin and revealing new skin cells.

    Those with moderate to severe acne breakouts should consider using an exfoliator that includes antibacterial ingredients like Aloe Vera Gel and Honey to speed healing and prevent future blemishes.

    Men with Normal / Combination Skin

    Men with normal or combination skin can use a scrub 1 - 2 times per week to deeply cleanse the daily grime and pollution to prevent clogged pores forming blackheads and breakouts.

    Opt for a face scrub made with natural ingredients and avoid anything containing artificial fragrances, as this can irritate your skin.

    6. When Should Men Exfoliate? (How Old Do You Need to Be to Do It?)

    Start exfoliating at the age of 25. As you age, the rate at which your body sheds dull and dead skin cells begins to slow down.

    When you’re younger, your skin will naturally renew itself every month. When you reach the age of 30, the process begins to slow down even more.

    It’s never too late to start. If you notice your skin is dull and flaky - start exfoliating.

    7. Should You Exfoliate Your Face in the Morning or Night?

    Focus on protection in the morning and correction in the evening. Exfoliate your face in the evening to clean your pores and remove the accumulated build up of dirt, pollution and grime from the day.

    8. How Do Men Exfoliate Their Face?

    1. Use warm water to wet your face, ensuring complete coverage. Avoid hot water which can dry out your skin or scald you, leaving your skin irritated and red. The optimum temperature is between 100 F and 110 F (36.5 C to 40.5 C).
    2. Apply a nickel-sized amount of face scrub onto the palm of your hand. Gently rub your hands together spreading the scrub on both palms then apply to your face and neck area.
    3. Massage the scrub into your skin gently in circular motions for 1 minute. Be careful not to rub too hard. If your skin moves, you’re too rough! Be careful not to get the scrub in your eyes.
    4. Rinse the scrub off your face gently. Again be careful not to get any in your eyes or mouth.
    5. Pat dry your skin with a soft clean towel and continue with the rest of your skin care routine. Don’t be rough on your skin - it will cause irritation, plus years of tugging at your skin can make it lose elasticity. When you rub around your eyes, wrinkles and dark spots are more likely to form.

    9. Do Facial Scrubs Damage Your Skin?

    Any scrub that contains large, irregularly-shaped particles damages skin by causing micro-tears in its surface. Examples of these particles include: irregularly shaped ground-up shells, fruit pits and volcanic rock.

    Micro-tears weaken your skin’s barrier, making skin more prone to dry, flaky patches, redness, and sensitivity. This issue is made worse if the scrub also contains an irritating fragrance, whether it’s natural or synthetic.

    Some exfoliators contain plastic micro-beads: tiny plastic beads used to exfoliate dead skin. Face scrubs can contain up to 300,000 of these micro-beads per product. Micro-beads cause small tears in your skin and these small tears can leave you vulnerable to infection with bacteria entering these holes.

    Micro-beads can also enter your body through dermal absorption (entering your bloodstream via the surface of your skin) and applying products containing micro-beads to your face near your eyes may injure the cornea. It’s also possible the tiny beads may get under your eyelids, scratching your eyeballs.

    10. What Happens if You Scrub Your Face Everyday?

    It depends on your skin type and the type of exfoliator you use. Exfoliating every day can lead to excessive dryness, irritation, redness and even broken blood vessels because you are removing your skin’s protective barrier.

    For most men, it's a good idea to exfoliate two to three times a week. Younger men tend to have oilier skin so they can probably handle more scrubbing. Men over 40 have a thinner epidermis so they should stick to exfoliating once or twice a week.

    See how your skin reacts. If it becomes dry, red or irritated - use a face scrub less often or go for a more gentle face scrub, containing natural ingredients.

    11. Why Should You NOT Scrub Your Face?

    Do not use face scrub if your skin is sunburned and irritated. Removing the outer layer of skin could lead to skin damage and pain.

    Allow your skin to heal naturally. If you have chronic acne and your skin is inflamed, exfoliation can irritate your skin further.

    12. How to Make Men's Face Scrub?

    Strawberry Face Scrub (for acne)

    • 1 cup plain yogurt
    • ½ cup mashed strawberries
    • ½ cup almond meal
    • A splash of raw apple cider vinegar

    Mix all ingredients and lightly buff the blend onto skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

    Cherry Face Scrub (for hydrating and exfoliating)

    • 5 cherries
    • 1 tbsp almond powder
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 3 tbsp yogurt

    Mix together and gently scrub onto skin for 30 seconds, then rinse with warm water.

    Lemon Face Scrub (for blackheads)

    • ½ tsp lemon
    • 1 tbsp salt
    • 1 tsp purified/distilled water

    Mix the ingredients well and rub the paste onto skin in a circular motion. Gently scrub for two to three minutes, being careful not to rub too hard. Rinse off with warm water.

    Lemon is acidic so too much can irritate skin and make your skin sensitive to the sun. Apply sunscreen afterward to protect against UV damage.

    Coffee Face Scrub (wakes up your face)

    • 1/2 cup freshly ground coffee
    • 1/2 cup yogurt or milk
    • 1 tbsp of honey

    Mix ingredients together and gently smooth onto skin. Rinse with warm water.

    Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub (smooth skin, removes blackheads)

    • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of extra virgin olive oil
    • Add 1 cup (225 grams) of white, granulated sugar
    • Mix together and dilute as necessary.

    13. What Does a Body Scrub Do?

    A body scrub exfoliates and hydrates the thicker skin below your neckline, leaving it smooth and soft. A body scrub uses an abrasive material — usually sea salt or sugar — mixed with some kind of massage oil and an aromatic like essential oils.

    14. Can You Use Face Scrub on Your Body?

    The skin on your body - with the exception of your chest - is thicker than the skin on your face. You can use face scrubs on your body but they may not be as effective as removing that top layer on dead skin because they are not as abrasive.

    15. Can you use Body Scrub on Your Face?

    Body scrubs are typically thicker in consistency compared to facial scrubs. They contain rougher and larger particles such as sea salt and can be too strong or rough for your thinner facial skin. This can lead to irritation and micro-tears which can lead to breakouts and irritation. Also, quality body scrubs contain natural sea salt which can irritate and sting your eyes.

    16. Do Body Scrubs Work?

    Unlike our face, we often neglect our bodies. Just like the skin cells on your face, the cells on your body regularly shed to reveal new, healthier skin underneath. Skin cell turnover slows as we get older.

    The exfoliating granules in body scrubs help to scrub off dead skin and the rubbing action boosts circulation and help clean your lymph nodes (which help your body fight infection), by increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface.

    Body scrubs also allow moisturizer to better soothe and hydrate your skin.

    17. Do You Use Body Scrub Before or After Body Wash?

    Use a gentle natural body wash first to wash away the dirt and debris from the surface of your skin. Then use the body scrub.

    Using a scrub first could trap the dirt and grime from the surface of your skin into your pores.

    Finally, apply a body moisturizer to seal in the moisture. Anything you apply on your skin after using a body scrub will be absorbed more rapidly.

    18. How Do Men Exfoliate Their Body?

    1. To avoid burning your skin or drying it out, make sure your body is thoroughly wet and softened with warm water.
    2. Test the temperature by using your elbow (the elbow is more sensitive to heat so it is an excellent way for testing temperature). Warm water opens your pores which maximizes the benefits of exfoliation.
    3. Apply a grape size amount of Sea Salt Body Scrub and work in circular movements over the body, avoiding the face).
    4. Cover your body with an adequate amount of body scrub and massage it into your skin using circular motions.
    5. Rinse off and follow up with a body moisturizer afterwards.

    If your skin is irritated or particularly if you have a sunburn or rash, do not use a body scrub. Use a gentle body wash and follow with a moisturizer or after sun to help your skin recover.

    If you shave your body (for example, your chest, shoulders or back), you may experience ingrown hairs. This happens when your hair grows back and gets stuck under dead skin cells. To reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, exfoliate with a body scrubs before shaving to avoid a stinging sensation on irritated skin.

    19. Should I Scrub My Back Acne?

    Use a body scrub two or three times a week. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells which get trapped in your pores. Plus it increases circulation and encourages cell turnover. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously or you'll over dry your skin.

    It's important not to strip skin of its natural oils because your body tries to compensate by producing more oil which causes breakout and more back acne.

    Be gentle and be careful not to scrub at your acne - this can lead to infection and it can further irritate your skin, worsening the problem.

     Whether you decide to make your own face or body scrub or save time buy buying one - it's important integrate scrubbing into your weekly skincare regimen. 

    Regular scrubbing:

    • Unclogs pores
    • Reduces blackheads
    • Minimizes the appearance of pores
    • Softens fine lines and wrinkles
    • Controls excess oil
    • Brightens dull skin
    • Improves overall tone
    • Softens skin texture

    If you'd like to discover our natural Face Scrub with Bamboo Powder - click here. It's specially formulated for men's skin. 

    And click here if you'd like to try our rugged Sea Salt Body Scrub.

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