Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub
This cleansing scrub is medicated with 2% salicylic acid, but because of the product's high pH, it will be less effective on clogged pores or pimples. Salicylic acid works best in a more acidic base. . Even if the pH were lower, salicylic acid is mostly wasted in rinse-off products; it's best left on skin, but you never should leave a scrub or cleanser product on your skin.
Walnut shells and corn kernel meal serve as the scrub agents, and although they're natural, they are too abrasive, causing micro-tears in skin that can damage its barrier. Making matters worse, this scrub is highly fragranced, and fragrance can irritate skin, even when used in a leave-on product. All of that is really bad news for your skin.
We also need to mention that blackheads cannot be scrubbed away. A scrub might remove the top portion of the blackhead, but a leave-on exfoliant with salicylic acid can reach the root of the problem further in the pore.
There really isn't a good reason to consider this scrub, even if all you want is smoother skin. That's easily and more gently obtained from any of the options on our list of Best Exfoliants.
- Makes skin feel temporarily smoother.
- Feels overly abrasive and the natural scrub particles can tear into skin.
- The active ingredient isn't in contact with skin long enough to unclog pores or reduce blackheads.
- Strong fragrance poses further risk of irritation.
Not being gentle to skin can increase oily skin & breakouts: Using harsh, irritating ingredients or cleansing brushes with stiff bristles is a serious problem for all skin types, especially for those with oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is irritated, the oil gland at the base of each pore is stimulated to make more oil, creating a perfect environment for breakouts, white bumps, and clogged pores to get worse.
Using a product that is gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin—this is true even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place.
It is also vitally important to use products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. The gold standard over-the-counter ingredients for these concerns are salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25–30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527–532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433–438
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41–53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422–427
St. Ives At-A-Glance
Two things set this line apart in the minds of consumers familiar with the brand: the Swiss angle and their apricot face scrubs. This notoriety didn't translate to thoughtfully formulated products, though. Instead, most of the scrubs are too abrasive, and the apricot is simply there as an extract, never mind that in a scrub it doesn't have any significant benefit for skin. The same can be said of the selection of supposedly Swiss-based herbs. Most of them have soothing properties, but it doesn't matter to skin if the ingredients came from Switzerland or South Dakota. If anything, the whole Swiss angle is getting a bit tired. You can bet that there are no scientists working high in the Swiss alps to formulate these products. St. Ives is a line with very little worth considering, so feel free to breeze right by as you shop for skin-care products at your local drugstore.
For more information about St. Ives, owned by Unilever, visit www.stives.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.