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What Are Sugar Scrubs? Face & Body Sugar Scrubs Guide

The answer to what are sugar scrubs is quite straightforward: they are scrubs that contain sugar granules, both for the face and body.

What Are Sugar Scrubs Used For?

what are sugar scrubs

All scrubs are used to either exfoliate our face or our body. All scrubs remove dead skin cells through physical action.

The dead skin cells are sloughed off to reveal the smooth skin underneath, making the skin look fresh and vibrant.

Scrubs belong to the category of physical exfoliators because they are rubbed on the skin through physical action. The other option for exfoliation is represented by chemical exfoliators and peels, both for the face and body.

Facial sugar scrubs and body sugar scrubs are two separate products with very different textures. Obviously, the ones for the body have a more gritty rough texture, while the ones for the face must be very gentle.

Sugar is a natural exfoliant that dissolves in water. It’s very easy to use and very easy to cleanse with lukewarm water.

That’s the simple answer to what are sugar scrubs.


Let’s see which are the skin benefits of sugar, how good are facial sugar scrubs, what body sugar scrubs are good for, and all the rest.

Sugar Skin Benefits

The most frequently encountered types of sugar used in skincare are: brown, white, cane sugar, and coconut sugar.

Sugar applied topically has benefits, while what sugar does for our health when eaten is a totally different topic that I’m not getting into.

  • natural humectant – it can moisturize the skin by drawing moisture from the environment
  • glycolic acid is naturally found in sugar cane – glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator that can prevent fine lines and wrinkles and brighten skin so, we can assume that sugar can also have some anti-aging benefits
  • helps us get glowing skin – that’s one of the main reasons why we exfoliate regularly

Facial Sugar Scrubs vs Sugar Scrubs for Body

There’s a major difference between the two types of sugar scrubs.

What Are Facial Sugar Scrubs?

Facial scrubs are used to remove dead skin cells, dirt, impurities, and excess sebum. The crucial aspect when it comes to these products is that they shouldn’t remove the essential oils from our face, we need those for a strong healthy skin barrier.

Those for the face need to be extremely gentle because sugar granules in the form that we use them in our coffee and all the rest are quite big and quite tough.

If I were to compare it, I would say that it must be close to the form of powdered sugar.

Imagine scrubbing the sensitive skin on the face with such big granules. Micro-tears would definitely happen, which is always a worry when it comes to using facial scrubs in general.

It’s the reason why people have come to greatly prefer and appreciate facial chemical exfoliators. There are so many amazing ones with wonderful benefits that it’s hard not to come to prefer chemical to physical when it comes to handling the dead skin cells on our face, which in turn help us prevent clogged pores.

So, the sugar crystals are very fine in order to gently exfoliate the face. You shouldn’t notice a gritty texture, let’s leave that for the body.

Facial sugar scrubs should always be gentle and a lot of them are incredibly so. It is why I still think that people should continue giving facial scrubs a chance, it is why they’re still so popular and why people get so many awesome results using them.

They can also be used on the lips, instead of buying a separate lip scrub.

But don’t go anywhere near your eyes when using a scrub or even when using a chemical exfoliator. There’s a very high possibility that you will irritate the eye area since the skin is so thin.

What Are Sugar Scrubs for Body?

These are completely different from the ones for face because you can actually feel the sugar granules.

It is why you can make your own sugar scrub for body at home with the brown or white sugar that you use daily for eating or drinking.

Sugar scrubs for body are awesome because, even though they have that gritty texture, they don’t irritate the skin or make it red.

If you apply a body lotion after, you will absolutely love the silky feeling of your legs.

I love them, just as much as I love coffee body scrubs, those are another amazing option to try. And you can make body coffee scrubs at home, too.

Just don’t attempt the same for the face.

Compared to those made with salt, sugar scrubs are considered less abrasive due to the shape of the crystals and sea salt can definitely be big and not that round. Salt scrubs have the advantage that salt has mineral benefits.

Coffee scrubs for body feel amazing, too, and they’re used in the hope of reducing cellulite, although I haven’t noticed any benefit in that area. To be honest, my focus is on preventing ingrown hairs.

Are Sugar Scrubs Good for You?

Yes, they are. We’ve already talked about what sugar scrubs can do for the skin and which are the sugar skin benefits.

When it comes to facial scrubs there are a lot of other wonderful options to choose from. When it comes to the face, those that use micro-beads or jojoba beads are more popular than sugar scrubs.

There still are some amazing facial sugar scrubs to choose from, if you want to give them a try and see how they perform.

On the other hand,

When it comes to the body, sugar scrubs are one of the most popular options. The other two popular choices are represented by salt and coffee.

The amazing thing that they do for the body is that they can help us prevent ingrown hairs.

Exfoliation is the solution to preventing ingrown hairs, whether we’re using scrubs, exfoliating gloves, or chemical exfoliators. The latter are used when ingrown hairs happen no matter how frequently we scrub our legs or for those ingrown hairs that have been on our legs, underarms, intimate area for quite a while.

How to Use a Sugar Scrub

For the face:

  • you can use it on the entire face, including for lips exfoliation, but totally avoid the eye area
  • a facial sugar scrub can be used by all skin types but always check out a skincare product before buying to be completely sure of the skin types it works best for
  • exfoliation is part of the night-time skincare routine
  • cleanse your face (wash off your face)
  • massage the scrub on wet skin
  • use very gentle circular motions
  • scrubbing for about 30 seconds to 1 minute is enough
  • rinse with lukewarm water
  • pat dry with a clean towel, don’t rub the towel in
  • apply your acne treatment if you use any followed up by a serum and always end your beauty routine with a moisturizer for your skin type

For the body:

  • sugar scrubs for the body are usually used on the legs but they can be used on the arms, underarms, and bikini area too
  • some use the scrub on dry skin, it works and it feels really good when rubbed on dry skin
  • the majority use it at the end of a shower on wet skin
  • massage the skin until you feel the sugar crystals dissolving and then rinse with lukewarm water
  • I always apply a body lotion after drying my body because it feels fantastic and it does wonders for those with dry skin (in general, exfoliation is amazing for dry skin)

How Often Should You Use a Sugar Scrub?

For the face, the average time for using a sugar scrub is about 2-3 times a week. It depends on the product because there are very gentle facial scrubs that can be used daily and some end up using them instead of a cleanser (face wash).

Although, I advise cleansing your face before using a scrub. Face washing and exfoliation are two different steps in our beauty routine. Face washing is the foundation, closely followed by exfoliation, using a moisturizer and wearing sunscreen daily.

When it comes to sugar scrubs for body, these can be used daily. They can be used on dry skin and then you can take a shower or, what most of us prefer, using them at the end of the shower on wet skin. You can try both and see which method you end up preferring.

And that’s pretty much all you need to know about what are sugar scrubs but I also tried to quickly inform you of other options when it comes to exfoliating the face and body because it’s always best to know more.