With so many different scrubs on the market today, what is really the best for the skin? First, it’s important to understand what exfoliation is and how it benefits your body; especially in preparation for spray tanning. Exfoliation is a natural skin process that occurs daily. Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells which happens naturally, chemically or manually. Manual exfoliation is the most common form of exfoliation and highly beneficial when spray tanning. Adequately exfoliated skin will leave your client with fresh, new skin ready for DHA adsorption.
Salt, Sugar, and Coffee Scrubs are types of manual exfoliates each with its own pros and cons.
Most salt scrubs are from sea salt, which are natural purifiers which remove toxins that block the pores of the skin. The different sea salts include Himalayan, Mediterranean, Hawaiian and Dead Sea Salts. These various salts have different trace minerals, which contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron. The minerals help to promote circulation, reduce the inflammatory response and act as a detoxifying agent. Salt scrubs are generally more abrasive because of their harsh shape; therefore, salt is an excellent choice for where the skin gets unusually dry and calloused and will do a better job at smoothing the rough surfaces of the body like elbows and feet. It is not recommended one use a salt scrub on sensitive areas, especially the face. The sharp edges are known to create micro scratches on the skin which can cause breakout and premature aging.
*Tip: Balance is the key; after any salt scrub has been applied and washed off, apply a rich moisturizing cream to replenish the skin’s moisture. Remember salt scrubs are great but they are abrasive and are NOT intended for daily use (1-2 times per week only).
Sugar scrubs are much gentler than salt because their granule is round and can’t “cut” the skin. It’s a far better choice for sensitive skin types and the only option for the face. While sugar scrubs do not have the mineral benefits of salt scrubs, they are less drying, and many natural scrubs are using natural sugar which contains the healthful properties of sugar cane. Most sugar scrubs will also feel warm with friction which allows your pores to open and the scrub to better cleanse the skin.
*Tip: An All-Natural Sugar Scrub is a great choice and can be used on face and body. As with any manual scrub, exfoliation should be utilized weekly rather than daily. Too much exfoliation can be more harmful to the skin than not.
The active ingredient in a coffee scrub is caffeine. This caffeinated exfoliate is beneficial for all skin but most helpful for cellulite. When the scrub is applied and comes in direct contact with the affected area, the caffeine metabolizes the fat and liquids in the skin reducing the appearance of cellulite on the surface.
Most coffee scrubs are found to be abrasive, so this is not an ideal scrub to use on the face or sensitive areas of the body.
Coconut oil is also frequently used as an emollient in this type of scrub. When using a scrub to prep for a spray tan, be sure it is oil free. Oils will prevent DHA from absorbing into the skin by acting as a physical barrier on the surface.
*Tip: A cup of coffee has the same pH as your skin, so it helps maintain moisture levels.