Exfoliating Body Scrub
Body scrubs can add an enjoyable, spa-like feel to your beauty routine and help eliminate superficial dry spots below the neck. The tricky thing about shopping for one is avoiding those that are loaded with irritating ingredients. Dermalogica's Exfoliating Body Scrub isn't one to add to your shopping list for exactly that reason—this contains a serious blend of fragrant and irritating essential oils. See More Info for the details on why you should steer clear of potently fragrant beauty products.
The scrub agents are a mix of polyethylene beads, corncob powder, rice bran, and plant seeds from olive, fig and date. This blend is relatively non-irritating for a body scrub, but the effect of such potently irritating essential oils is enhanced when skin is "scrubbed", even with relatively mild abrasive agents such as those used here.
It's also worth mentioning that the papaya enzymes (papain) included here can't exfoliate skin as claimed, because enzymes are notoriously unstable in skin-care formulas. Papain is also a problematic ingredient for those who have latex allergies, due to the relationship between it and the papaya plant.
In short, Dermalogica's Exfoliating Body Scrub is fraught with ingredients that can imperil your smooth, healthy-skin goals. Skip it and opt for a body scrub that isn't such a frenemy—or better yet, just make your own by mixing raw sugar with a bit of non-fragrant plant oil (like olive or grapeseed).
Better yet: If you really want to improve issues like discoloration, breakouts, dryness or rough patches below the neck, consider an AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) or BHA (beta hydroxyl acid) leave-on exfoliant instead. Check the Best Products section for our top picks from other brands!
- Contains abrasive scrub agents that are relatively mild to skin below the neck.
- Loaded with numerous irritating plant oils.
- Contains papaya extract, which can be problematic for those with latex allergies.
- The enzyme papain is a highly unstable ingredient that has no demonstrated benefit in skin care.
Irritation from Fragrance and Fragrant Oils: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics: This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyethylene beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013).
Additional research published in December of 2013 demonstrated that polyethylene beads have the potential to absorb pollutants while in waterways. This research was conducted to establish the potential of absorption, however, and was not conducted using samples from actual waterways (Cell, 2013).
Beautypedia does not take an ideological stance in reviewing skincare products; rather, our reviews are based upon each product's potential harm or benefit to skin contingent upon what independent peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated. On issues like polyethylene beads in cosmetics or animal testing, we present the facts without judgment so that you may make your own decision whether or not this product is right for you.
Creamy, lightly-foaming body scrub dramatically smooths, polishes and energizes all skin conditions. Smooth away rough spots (especially over the elbows, knees, heels and the backs of arms) with stimulating Papaya Enzymes, skin-softening Rice Bran, and pulverized Olive, Fig and Date seeds.
According to company history, Dermalogica products came into being because founder Jane Wurwand could not find a spa-oriented skin-care line that met her criteria. She was dismayed that so many skincare lines aimed at the aesthetics market had products that contained alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oil, and lanolin, ingredients he believed had a well-documented history of problems. That's true for fragrance and alcohol (and artificial colors to a lesser extent), but mineral oil and lanolin have no documented history of causing skin problems.
The line is positioned as a no-nonsense, no frills take on skincare, with clinically-inspired packaging that does protect its beneficial ingredients from light and air. Speaking of ingredients, Dermalogica does include a lot of beneficial ones in its skincare, though there are a number of formulas in the line that also make the misstep of including potentially-irritating fragrance ingredients.
For more information about Dermalogica now owned by Unilever, call 1-800-345-2761 or visit www.dermalogica.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.