I was desperate and in need of a scrub. It was late at night and I didnt feel like going out and buying one. My skin isn't normally dry but this winter really took a beating on my face. Lately, I've been noticing dry flakes on my forehead and cheeks and my skin feel rough. Now, I have very reactive skin and almost all scrubs mess up my face causing a breakout, rash and leaving me with raw skin. I took a chance on sugar. I made a paste of sugar, honey and a bit of cold water. I mixed the ingredients until they blended together. I applied the scrub to my face and scrubed for about 2 minutes. After, I rinsed with warm water. Just after the initial application of this sugar scrub, I noticed a big difference. My skin was very soft to the touch. My usual redness in my cheeks were almost gone. I didn't have raw irritated skin or any new breakouts or reactions. Most importantly, it took away about 95% of the dry flakes off my skin...just after only one application! I still have a few on my left cheek but most of them are gone. Hmmm, I think this cheap homeade scrub is a keeper. I plan to continue to use this scrub 2x a week and see how that goes. I will update if I notice any negative results. As for now, I highly recommend sugar as a scrub.
I've been looking for a scrub that is gentle enough to use almost daily for the flakiness caused by Retin-A. I have sensitive skin, acne-prone skin and have a hard time finding products that don't burn and give some kind of allergic reaction or cause breakouts.
Sugar has really worked out for me-it feels harsh and grainy at first, but my skin never gets any kind of burning or rashes, and so far (after two weeks of using every other day) no breakouts! It really takes care of the dry flakey skin leftover from Retin-A.
I found a recipe online that worked really well for my problem which is dryness-one part sugar, one part oil, one part vegetable glycerin. For oilier skin, I think mixing sugar with cleanser would be a good way to go, rather than mixing with oil or glycerin. If I don't have time to mix up a full batch of something, I just mix sugar with a few drops of oil on my fingers and put directly on my face. Follow up with a quick wash with a cream cleanser just to make sure all the sugar is off.
In case it helps, here's more details.
-I have been using regular brown sugar, but I'm sure that any sugar will be fine.
-I've mixed with jojoba oil, sunflower oil, or pure vegetable glycerin. I think any oil would do, but I have to be careful because of acne. Most people can probably use olive, coconut, or almond oils (whatever you have on hand!) but I know from experience those all break me out. If using straight up oil for the first time check the rating on acne detective or do a spot test.
-Also added Vitamin C crystals once or twice (Philosophy's Microfoliant uses Vitamin C crystals). I can't say if this has really changed anything, but the idea of extra antioxidants is nice.
-it can be a messy process, so if you end up with sugar all over the place, no worries, it happens. :D
I can't believe I never thought of using sugar for cosmetics before I read the reviews here.
I use a sprinkle in my face wash once a week for mild exfoliation, which I recommend if you have sensitive and/or acne prone skin, like me. Otherwise you could test out whatever number works for you. You can also wet your finger with vaseline or maybe bio-oil, then dip it into sugar and rub on your lips for some tasty buffing action.
Just make sure you have a small container to store some in, otherwise you risk making a complete mess with that floppy paper bag.
Honestly, try it out. Sh*t's amazing.
Plain sugar, a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon/orange juice and I have amazingly smooth skin with very little effort- I do it once or twice weekly and it's better and cheaper than anything else I could use. Fantastic for chapped lips, too!
Update: since moving further North in Canada, I've had to combat more dryness and sensitivity on my face. I now mix 50% honey with 50% brown sugar with no other additives as my daily scrub. I use this after washing my face with a Dr. Bronner's dilution, and just rinse off with water in the shower. The honey has helped to keep my skin soft and moist, and the brown sugar is gentle enough for daily use.
This is an extremely versatile and simple product. Depending on how strong or mild you would like the scrub to be, the sugar granule size can be easily changed with some elbow grease. I have no problems with the standard grocery store brown sugar, and I mix it to be 60% sugar, 30% honey, 5% olive oil, and 5% tea tree oil or lemon juice. I keep the mixture in an old jar container to keep the water out and the scrub untouched by critters seeing as how it is just a sweet mixture.
I scrub once a week after washing my face in the shower. With my mixture you do have to work relatively fast before all the sugar and honey melts in the shower. The addition of olive oil really helped, and I have no problems getting into the sides of my nose (which always needs more exfoliation) and focusing on my chin before it all washes off very easily. I follow up with my usual cleanser (Dr. Bronner dilution) to remove all traces of olive oil and honey, and I'm left with baby-soft skin and no scratches or perforations! Although I mainly use it for my face as I use a loofah towel for my body, any rough spots such as elbows and feet can be kept baby-soft with this mixture as well.
There's no way to beat the price as any combination of sugar/honey/olive oil will never cost as much as the cheapest drugstore scrub (e.g. St. Ives or Freeman). I also have peace of mind that it is acting purely as a scrub with no unnecessary additives, and that it's all as footprint-free as it's going to get!
LOVE using sugar for a scrub. Makes me feel so much better about the $$ I spend on other stuff. I just add a bit to my cleanser and scrub all over my face. Add a bit of water, lather, rinse & voila. Vibrant, glowing skin.
I mix sugar with virgin coconut oil for a lip scrub. Gently exfoliates my dry lips and tastes so yummy!!
Would u buy again? LOL! omg, thanks MUAers!!! I jus thot i'd try adding some sugar to my regular cleanser to make a good face scrub and WOW...u guys r RIGHT! My skin feels sooo incredibly soft and smooth and clean! Definitely gonna spread the word and use this a LOT more!!! Ha! Can't get over it! Just plain ol' sugar! :)
I use for body and mani/pedi scrubs, mixed with body wash or oil. For mani/pedi I mix equal parts sugar, table salt, and whatever oil I feel like using. I think it's too harsh for the face.
I used to use this more when younger, often mixed with lemon-juice (great on late teen and early-twenties skin) and often felt a perverse kind of glamour in so doing. A bit like a punk version of A Handmaid's Tale. Generic toothpaste face mask was also a favorite.