Sugar & Spice: Choosing Sugar or Salt Scrub

By Celia Shatzman / November 10, 2017
Exfoliating scrubs

There's no question that scrubs are a great way to exfoliate, but should you go for sugar or salt scrub?

Dead skin cells don’t stand a chance against a good scrub. “The primary function of scrubs is to exfoliate and pave the way for healthy cell growth,” says Emily Cunningham, cofounder, True Moringa. But what’s the difference between sugar and salt scrubs? “Both exfoliate effectively,” Cunningham says. “Sugar is less drying than salt and dissolves easily in hot water. Salt has trace mineral benefits that can help promote muscle relaxation and improve circulation.” While sugar granules are a bit less abrasive than salt, neither are recommended for very sensitive skin or your face.

The best way to apply either type of scrub is to take a small scoop in your hand and allow steam from the shower to soften it. Apply gently as needed in a smooth, circular motion to sponge away dry skin and nourish moisture-starved areas—particularly elbows, knees, and hands—before shaving, and finally rinse away after use. “Look for a scrub that contains nourishing oils to replenish skin after exfoliation,” Cunningham says. “We love moringa oil because it mimics the skin’s natural sebum production, making it ideal for all skin types. It helps hydrate dry skin and balance oily skin long after application. Its antioxidants and unique fatty acids fight the free radicals that cause premature aging. We also include coffee in our scrub for its antioxidant properties and ability to firm skin and improve elasticity.”

How often you should use scrubs mostly depends on your skin type and how it responds, so use them as needed to remove dry patches. These will do the trick.


True Moringa Rejuvenating Body Polish

The scent of Nicaraguan coffee beans, organic sugar, cold-pressed moringa and neroli essential oil is sure to wake you up during your morning shower. “We pride ourselves on setting a new standard for sourcing in the beauty industry by working directly with 2,500 small-holder farmers to create a vertically integrated supply chain for moringa oil,” Cunningham says. “This means that we provide farmers with the training, tools and financing they need to kickstart their moringa farms and cold-press our own oils in-country.”

Sugar Scrub

Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub

The mix of coconut, lemongrass, lemon balm, jojoba and vanilla is so gentle that it can be used on your lips.

Meow Meow Tweet Rose Cacao Sugar Scrub

Fair Trade sugar and cocoa butter are the star ingredients of this sweet-smelling scrub, which gets its scent from organic rose.

Fair Trade Sugar Scrub


Naples Soap Company Coconut Water Sea Salt Scrub

Handmade in the USA, sea salt detoxifies and removes dry flakes while shea butter and vitamin E deliver hydration.

Fig + Yarrow Sea Scrub

A blend of botanicals, minerals and mud with pure essential oils exfoliates and detoxifies while also decreasing fluid retention.


Palermo Detox Body Scrub: Tea Tree + Grapefruit

The rich combo of Dead Sea salt, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, seaweed, poppy seeds, rosemary oil extract, tea tree oil and grapefruit oil is sure to leave your skin silky smooth.

Arianna Ultra Exfoliating Body Treatment

Formulated to help eczema, the multitasking 2-in-1 cleansing and exfoliating blend of mineral-packed Dead Sea salt crystals, plant extracts and oils smooths rough spots while stimulating blood flow and skin renewal.


Captain Blankenship Lime & Coconut Salty Sweet Body Scrub

Get the best of both worlds with organic cane sugar, sea salt, sunflower oil, lime, lemon and vetiver essential oils to slough off dead skin.

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Celia Shatzman

Celia Shatzman

Celia Shatzman is a Brooklyn-based writer who has penned stories on topics ranging from fashion to travel to celebrities, entertainment, beauty, finance, health, food, and fitness. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, her work has appeared in New York, Teen Vogue, NYLON, New York Post, Latina, Marie Claire, Self,, Time Out New York,, and USA TODAY, among others. When she’s not writing, Celia enjoys traveling, learning to play tennis, and playing with her rescue dog, Olive.
Celia Shatzman

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