The rough with the smooth

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A scrub is a scrub, right? Not exactly. Ever heard of exfoliating, lysing and peeling? They can be skin saviours but, if not used properly, they can damage the skin.

When you feel a furry layer on your teeth your first impulse is to clean them. While your tongue may not be able to reach your cheeks the tell-tale signs that your skin needs a clean can be easily seen – roughness, dullness, clogged pores. We are not the first generation to scrub or exfoliate. The ancient Egyptians used lactic acid, as in the donkey milk that Queen C was renowned to bathe in. Just like today, people also used salt, clay or pumice to scrub their skin, often as part of a cleansing ritual. 

Natural particles such as salt, sugar, silica and bamboo are included in scrub products by Rituals

Scrubbing or exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of our skin. It can be done mechanically, when abrasive particles are rubbed over the skin, or chemically when exfoliants such as acids are applied to the skin. Another form of chemical exfoliation is lysing. This is when enzymes are used in a biological process which dissolves the bonds between the dead skin cells. Rituals, the cosmetic brand founded in 2000, predominantly retails scrubs based on a range of natural particles such as salt, sugar, silica and bamboo. Scrubbing is a part of many wellness treatments globally, so it was only natural for the brand to include these in their range of products.

Scrubbing or exfoliation is often an integral part of anti-aging programs. As we age the renewal of skin cells slows and the skin loses its glow. The removal of dead cells sends a signal to the body to produce new, fresh ones resulting in healthy skin. No matter your age it is important to shed dead skin cells to avoid clogged pores which lead to all types of skin irritations. Another advantage of removing dead cells is that the skin will better absorb the exfoliants applied. But be aware: even the softest abrasive can hurt the skin when used too frequently. For most skin types scrubbing, lysing or peeling once a week will suffice.

Rituals The Ritual of Karma Body Scrub €19, Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Shower Scrub €10 of Rituals Miracle Scrub Ultra Softening Hand Scrub €12.