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Salt Scrubs vs. Sugar Scrubs

Tue, 8 September 2009 6:39PM

What is the difference between a sugar scrub and a salt scrub, besides the obvious?

Two common types of scrubs are salt scrubs and sugar scrubs. Both work great thanks to their natural granules (of salt and sugar. That would be the ‘obvious’ you were referring to). Essentially, they are very similar as they both buff the skin to shed dead skin cells, and invigorate new ones. Kinda the whole point of a scrub after all. But there are some differences. Choosing the best one for you will come down to personal needs and preference.

Salt scrubs

Salt tends to offer more therapeutic benefits while removing impurities and toxins as it polishes your skin. “Salt scrubs are slightly more abrasive on the skin, however they smooth rough and calloused skin to baby softness,” explains Liane Scior, Pevonia Botanica’s Director of Education (and owner of Pevonia Australia).”In the case of sea salts, salt scrubs also have high mineralising properties that are extremely beneficial to the skin. Salt scrubs should be balanced however with water soluble oil to ensure the product does not cause any itchiness or dry the skin.”

Best suited for: Dry and rough skin (works a little harder than his sugar friends), and acne-prone skin (as salt scrubs tend to absorb excess oil).

Not recommended for: Irritated, sensitive or cut skin (because sea salt has a habit of stinging).

Products to try: Pevonia’s Ligne Tropicale De-Aging Saltmousse, $95.95; and The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Spa Salt Scrub, $49.95

Sugar scrubs

Valentina Zuban, The Body Shop’s Marketing Manager, advises sugar scrubs for those wanting something more gentle. “Sugar scrubs can be better for more sensitive skin as they tend to be less drying, and the granules dissolve more readily when used in conjunction with hot water, making them less abrasive than the coarser salt scrubs.” While sugar scrubs do not contain the mineralising benefits of salt scrubs, they are often used in facial preparations as they can be gentler on the skin.

Best suited for: First time scrub users, and sensitive skin (you know, because it’s gentle and caring).

Not recommended for: Seriously dry skin in need of a good tough scrubbing.

Products to try: The Body Shop Mango Body Scrub, $27.95; Laura Mercier Sugar Scrub, $70; and Neutrogena Sugar Scrub Body Exfoliator, $12.99

And just for fun:

Zoe prefers: Sugar scrubs

Yaz prefers: Sugar scrubs

Words: Chelsea Tromans. Pic: Getty.

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5 Comments

  • Posted by: DaySpaMiami1 // Sat, 28 August 2010 07:32am

    Hi I’m an Esthetician who graduated from Florida College of Natural Health.

    I read this article and couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a huge selection of options for the average person.
    First off you can make your own sea/salt scrub all you need is a jar, carrier oil such as jojoba, sunflower, hemp, apricot kernel or olive oil. Sea salt or brown sugar whatever you prefer. Vitamin E, and an essential oil like lavender or lemon to give it a smell but its good for you. Never use a fragrance oil.
    Mix it all together and there you go, your very own custom made scrub! Theres always alternatives to paying outrageous prices.

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 07:56am

    I use to make my own scrubs and still do for my body, but I wouldn’t use them on my face

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Tue, 9 July 2013 08:23pm

    Great article,very informative, thanks Chelsea

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Thu, 31 October 2013 05:38pm

    great article

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Thu, 31 October 2013 05:38pm

    i use both types of scrub, one week i use salt scrub and the next week sugar