Are Sugar Scrubs Really Good For Your Face?

Anyone who cares about their skin will likely have experimented with DIY skincare at some point — in particular, DIY face masks and face scrubs. As Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care, told Good Housekeeping, "Many DIY face scrubs are based on traditional remedies. Some of these recipes were developed when there wasn't accessibility to products. You'll see your skin is instantly softer and brighter after using them." 

But what about sugar scrubs? Are sugar scrubs really good for your face?

According to Joshua Ross, celebrity aesthetician and founder of West Hollywood's SkinLab, using sugar scrubs on your face is actually a big no-no. Speaking to Byrdie, he revealed there's actually no real difference between body sugar scrubs and face sugar scrubs. While they differ in granule size, both are physical exfoliants, meaning they buff away skin to encourage cell turnover. His reasoning? "They can cause irritation and small scratches on the skin," he told Byrdie. "There isn't a sugar scrub I would recommend for the face."

Face scrubs can be more harmful to your skin than you think

In fact, you need to be more careful about selecting a face scrub for your skin than you think. "Face scrubs should be gentle, with superfine exfoliating particles, otherwise you risk creating microscopic tears and inflammation in the skin," dermatologist Shari Marchbein, M.D., told CosmopolitanPamela Marshall, clinical aesthetician and co-founder of Mortar & Milk, agreed, telling Glamour, "Exfoliating more than your skin needs can deplete its barrier function and cause capillary damage, leaving skin dehydrated and weak."

In other words, it's best to skip the sugar scrubs and go for something finer that's been made specifically for your skin type to ensure you don't hurt your skin. "No matter what your skin type and concern, I recommend starting slow with the exfoliants," facialist Adeela Crown advised The Strategist. If you notice your skin reacting negatively to a new product, discontinue use immediately.