No scrubs in the summer, because they ruin the tan, irritate and make the skin dry… how many times have you heard these recommendations. In reality, however, the situation is quite different and summer is precisely the season that requires greater care of the skin through… scrubs. In fact, the sunscreens used, which are essential to protect the skin from damage from UV rays, but also the heaviest sweat and a life in the open air with greater exposure to the pollution that deposits on the skin can cause clogged pores and greater inflammation. Hence the importance of performing a scrub once a week. And then the scrub also helps to prolong the tan, making it brighter. But let's see what science says about it!
The importance of scrubs, what science says
Specific soaps and cleansers for face and body skin are indispensable in the daily hygiene routine. However, they are not effective at completely cleansing the pores of the skin and do not remove dead skin cells. This is where scrubs come into play, which are cosmetic products based on an exfoliating agent, such as salt, sugar, crushed fruit pits or flour. Scrubs allow you to exfoliate the skin, removing dead cells from the surface layers, detoxifying the skin and eliminating makeup and dirt residues that can accumulate, thus making the skin softer, more elastic and more luminous (Behalpade et al, IJCSPUB, 2022). Not only that, scrubs stimulate skin renewal processes, help the skin stay hydrated and better absorb the products that are applied (Behalpade et al, IJCSPUB, 2022). Every skin type benefits from scrubs, whether it is mature skin, which is hydrated and rejuvenated, young acne-prone skin, which produces more dead skin cells, but also skin with photoaging and dark spots, which is lightened (Kandasamy et al, Functional Plant science and Biotechnology, 2010).
Scrubs in summer, simple do-it-yourself ideas
Scrubs can be purchased but also made at home in just a few steps, with ingredients that are easily found in the kitchen, in specialized shops and even in supermarkets. To exfoliate the body, you can use a salt scrub, which is useful for nourishing the skin, promoting relaxation and draining (Wahyuni et al, IOP Conf Ser Earth Environ, 2021). In addition, performing the scrub on the body before the shower also helps depilation, avoiding ingrown hairs. The recipe is very simple, in a bowl pour a spoonful of sea salt together with 3-4 spoons of a vegetable oil, you can use sunflower oil or even sweet almond oil. The amount of oil depends on the degree of creaminess you want to obtain.
As for the face, you can choose to always use salt, but in this case use it fine, or, even better, brown sugar. In a bowl, combine a spoonful of sugar, or fine salt, and 3-4 spoonfuls of a vegetable oil, in this case it is better to choose argan oil, which is highly moisturizing, alone or mixed with jojoba oil that rebalances the production of sebum, which increased exposure to the sun may have altered. Apply the scrub to damp skin with slow circular movements, then rinse in the shower or by washing your face. To give the scrub a more soothing and moisturizing action, you can also add, for both face and body exfoliation, a spoonful of aloe gel, or even cucumber juice, which is especially useful for acne-prone skin since it is soothing and anti-inflammatory, it helps to remove impurities and gently unclogs pores, and even pineapple juice, obtained by blending a slice of pineapple, without removing the harder central part, rich in bromelain, which is an antioxidant that counteracts inflammation, promotes skin elasticity and brightens the complexion (Behalpade et al, IJCSPUB, 2022 - Kandasamy et al, Functional Plant science and Biotechnology, 2010).
Scrub in summer, recommendations
We have seen that exfoliating the skin is very important, in all seasons but especially in summer to remove the layer of creams, oils, sweat and pollution that gradually forms. However, the first recommendation is not to overdo it. Performing a scrub once, maximum twice a week is recommended, but no more, otherwise the risk is to have irritated, red and dry skin.
Then, another tip is to avoid the scrub when the skin has been sunburned, in this case the skin should be left to heal itself. Avoid scrubs even when acne is active and widespread, so it is advisable to consult a doctor who will be able to indicate the correct therapy.