Sugar and salt scrubs offer great exfoliation as well as a variety of other benefits for your skin. But many people are unsure what the difference is between the two or why you would use one over the other. Below, we explain the difference.
Salt scrubs are typically made with some type of sea salt (Dead Sea or European Spa salts) or Epsom salts and a combination of oils. While normal table salt does exfoliate as well, sea salts and Epsom salts have the added benefit of minerals like magnesium and potassium that are great for your skin. They can also help reduce inflammation, which relieves sore muscles, arthritis, and tension. All of this contributes to a healthier, more relaxing scrub that has benefits beyond just exfoliation.
The other main difference between salt and sugar in a scrub is that salt is naturally more abrasive, making it a stronger exfoliant. Even fine salt tends to have sharper edges than sugar granules, which makes it great for dry areas with lots of dead skin like your feet and elbows. Some people may find that salt irritates their skin, and you’ll want to avoid rubbing your salt scrub on any cuts because it definitely stings! Even so, when you need strong exfoliation, salt is the best choice. You can prevent irritation by using a finer grade salt and using your salt scrubs about once a week instead of 2-3 times a week.
Unlike salt, most sugar has small granules with relatively smooth edges, so while it offers exfoliation, it won’t be quite as strong. This is perfect for people with sensitive skin, though, and it’s great if you want to use your scrub a few times a week. Sugar scrubs are great for use on your face and other more sensitive areas.
Unlike salt scrubs, however, sugar doesn’t offer the same minerals and benefits. It exfoliates and leaves your skin feeling great but without the added relief from sore muscles and inflammation. Many people still love sugar scrubs and prefer them over salt scrubs, though. Just be sure to take all the aspects of each one into consideration before making your choice!