Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Favorite Scrubs

All throughout college I never had terrific skin.  It was a constant battle against acne, and at one point i had cystic acne which caused alot of scars, both discoloration and a change in the texture of my skin.  I started getting the acne under control, and even though my skin had cleared I was still left with the scars.  I was introduced to Dr Brandt's microdermabrasion in a jar, which I thought was a fantastic product, and went through several jars of it before I realized how much I was spending on an exfoliant.  So I went on a quest to find a cheaper alternative, and while I did find some additional scrubs that are equally amazing, I realize that a good one just doesn't come cheap (or at least with my experience). 

Below are four of the best scrubs/exfoliants that I have tried to date:

1. Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Cream (formerly Microdermabrasion in a Jar) ($75 1.7oz)

This was one of the first great ones I tried.  It's made of ultra fine crystals in a smooth cream and smells like lemons.  It also contains healing ingredients, vitamins A and E, and fruit oils.  This scrub, in addition to several microdermabrasion treatments that I had done (which I'll talk about in another blog post) cleared up ALL of my acne scars in a matter of months.  I wish I had pictures to show you the before and after, but it really transformed my face.  I continued to use this (I think I went through a total of 3 or 4 jars of this, each lasting about 6-9 months) every 2-3 days and it helped keep my skin pimple free. (Btw, some people tell me the Olay Microdermabrasion product is pretty much the same or better, never tried it but I would be curious to see the results)

2. Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion ($40 2.5oz)

I was told that a good alternative to the Dr Brandt product is the Kiehl's Epidermal Retexturing Microderm cream.  Its a similar consistency to the Dr Brandt, but I dont think the crystals are as fine, however it's just as effective. 

3. Philosophy Microdelivery Peel ($65 for 2oz each of the peel and the crystals)

If you prefer a chemical exfoliant (using acids), the Philosophy Microdelivery Peel is probably one of the best ones I've tried.  It's a two step process where you first apply the vitamin c crystals to the face, scrub for a minute or so, and then apply the activating gel which contains lactic and salicylic acids.  In my opinion, the immediate after-effect is probably better than Dr Brandt's, as I find my skin to be more glowy and just looks slightly better than the after effects of Dr Brandt, but the two-step process can be too much for some people.  You can also find this product on Ebay, I've seen it for half the price, but they come in the sample packets (same product though).  I think you can get 12 sets for about 30 bucks, where each set is enough for two applications.  So figure you're using this twice a week, this would last you about 3 months. 

4. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Gentle Exfoliating Treatment ($65 2 oz)

When I went to Space NK to purchase the By Terry concealer, I received a bunch of samples with my purchase (the sales associate was really generous with the samples), one of which was the ExfoliKate Gentle. The first time I applied it, I LOVED it.  This is also a combination exfoliant, its sort of a gel type consistency which contains exoliating beads (not fine beads) but the magic is in the lactic acid, vitamin A, and the fruit enzymes.  What I do is wash my face with my usual cleanser, then I pat my face dry and apply a thin layer to my face.  I leave it on for about 2 minutes and then I take a tiny bit of water and rub the exfoliating beads around my face and wash off.  I tried a sample of the regular ExfoliKate, but since I have sensitive skin, my face felt like it was burning.  I think if you can tolerate the regular ExfoliKate it probably does more of an exfoliating job, but I find that the Gentle version is really good (and gets rid of blackheads!). This is what I am currently using (I also switch between this and the Kiehl's, I like having a physical exfoliant too). I bought ExfoliKate Gentle at, they're having a 20% off promotional sale right now (and theres no sales tax to NYC).

I really feel that exfoliation is an important step in the skincare process.  I think that it helps maintain clear skin as it removes dead skin cells, and I think the skin just looks healthier and more glowy.  Also makeup applies and looks better when the skin is "fresh".  Since I have combination/oily skin I feel that I can tolerate more frequent treatments, but for someone with dry skin or normal skin, maybe once a week or twice max would be enough.

Hope this was helpful!


  1. You should mention you got the SpaceNK samples with your cool friend Charlotte

  2. this was VERY educational and informative!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I like this given different Microdermabrasion Creams. I use Exfoliating Cream from this given list and its effect is really great.

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