Should You Choose a Sugar Scrub Over a Salt Scrub in Your Skincare Routine?

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2 min read

Seasonal shifts (hello, fall!) often bring skin shifts too. Balanced complexions can go from calm, cool and collected to dry, itchy and flaky or breakout-prone in a snap. Exfoliation can help sluggish skin cells turn over, but what’s the best type of exfoliation for your skin? Should a scrub contain sugar or salt?

Keep reading to discover when you should choose a salt scrub and when a sugar scrub is the best.

Janis Covey, founder of Kosmatology skincare, says sugar scrubs can be gentler than salt, since sugar crystals are smaller. “Sugar scrubs are great as an overall body scrub,” she says. “During use, sugar crystals gradually morph from a scrub into a polish, perfecting your skin.” They gently remove dead skin cells and increase circulation.

Sugar scrubs can also give the added benefit of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, the nutrients that feed and replenish skin, if the sugar is unrefined, Janis continues. The ones she crafts for Kosmatology use organic, unrefined cane sugar to exfoliate and organic grapeseed oil to moisturize, making the sugar scrub an exfoliator and moisturizer in one. “We also use dried herbs to add a spa like feeling,” she says.

When to Choose a Salt Scrub

Sea salt, on the other hand, is best reserved for areas of the body that are tougher. Janis says that it’s a strong exfoliant because of the texture and shape of its granules. “Because salt is more abrasive than sugar, it is better for areas of the body with tougher, thicker skin, such as the soles of your feet.” And make sure to avoid skin that’s already dry or split. “Using a salt scrub [on that skin] will burn,” says Janis.

How to Use a Sugar Scrub

For optimal benefit, sugar scrubs should be used a couple of times a week, Janis says. To use, take a generous scoopful into your palm and rub on skin in a circular motion. “Work from the ankles up,” Janis says. “They also make it easier to get a closer shave, just use prior to shaving.”

Three Body Scrubs to Try Now

Zesty Morning Body Scrub from Organic Bath Co.

Goody-Goody Grapefruit Body Scrub from Kosmatology

Mocha Java Body Sugar Scrub from Chagrin Valley


Want to DIY some skincare to transition you to fall? Try our at-home Manuka honey masks

About The Author

Nicolle Mackinnon

Nicolle Mackinnon

Stemming from her personal journey to treat her celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Nicolle serves as a writer and editor for several leading publications helping women understand how important, stylish and fun it is to commit to clean beauty. By way of her contributions to No More Dirty Looks, Thoughtfully Magazine and numerous beauty brands' blogs, websites and social media, Nicolle has become a trusted voice on the correlation between health and beauty. Follow her journey on Instagram and connect with her via nicollemackinnon.com.

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