Some scrubs are best used on your feet

South Shore Breaker - - Sports - DENISE SURETTE SKIN DEEP denis­esurette@hot­

It’s been around for decades. Unilever’s St. Ive’s Apri­cot Scrub is cheap and very, very “scrubby.” This tends to be the rea­son why peo­ple use it, or at least that is the rea­son they give me.

Why am I quizzing peo­ple on their use of said scrub, you ask?

I’ll hear­ken back to 2016 when two women launched a law­suit against Unilever stat­ing the scrub had caused dam­age and in­flam­ma­tion on their skin be­cause the sharp edges of the crushed wal­nut shells that are a main in­gre­di­ent in the tube. This women said they were lead to be­lieve the prod­uct was good for their skin, only to later re­al­ize it was too harsh.

Many users of the scrub don’t re­al­ize how harsh it is on del­i­cate skin.

The law­suit was no sur­prise to me or any pro­fes­sional skin ther­a­pist I’ve ever met. One of the first things es­thet­ics in­struc­tors will tell their stu­dents is to stop us­ing this scrub on their face — knees or feet maybe — but not your face.

The scrub is a favourite amongst teenagers. It’s in­ex­pen­sive and feels like it is re­ally scrub­bing out all the dirt and makeup from your pores, hope­fully pre­vent­ing break­outs. Un­for­tu­nately the scrub can make break­outs worse. The sharp edges of the wal­nut shells cause mi­cro-tears in the skin, in­clud­ing on top of pus­tules and white­heads, they can break open from the rough tex­ture, spread­ing bac­te­ria, tear­ing open in­flamed skin and caus­ing fur­ther or new in­fec­tion.

Since the scrub has been around for more than 30 years, there are peo­ple with ma­ture skin who are still us­ing the scrub years since they started as teens. It’s no bet­ter for ma­ture skin. The same mi­cro-tears cause in­flam­ma­tion in older skin as well, which can cause pre­ma­ture ag­ing — the ba­sis of the 2016 law­suit (the law­suit seems to be stalled, there are no fur­ther pub­lic up­dates on the case).

There are so many ex­fo­liants on the mar­ket that im­prove your skin, ones that don’t cause dam­age to your face. One of my all­time favourite ex­fo­liants and edi­tor’s picks is Der­ma­log­ica’s Daily Mi­cro­fo­liant. It’s gen­tle, bright­en­ing and amaz­ing for any type of skin in­clud­ing sen­si­tive, ma­ture and acne-prone (avail­able at many sa­lons and spas in HRM). Sephora car­ries Kate Som- merville’s Ex­fo­likate, a stronger ex­fo­liant with im­pres­sive re­sults, but it’s best used on non-sen­si­tive skin. La Roche-posay’s Ul­tra-fine Scrub is a beauty edi­tor favourite for its gen­tle gran­ules and ef­fec­tive­ness on dry skin with­out caus­ing more flak­ing, and it’s found at your lo­cal Shop­per Drug Mart.

If St. Ive’s Apri­cot Scrub is still sit­ting in your shower, use it up — but only on your feet where the skin is tough enough to han­dle the bits of shells — and find some­thing safer for your face.


Abra­sive face scrubs can cause mi­cro-tears, which can also cause in­flam­ma­tion.

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