Reacting To a Popular “Daily” Acne Scrub

This product is a failure from the moment you read the instructions. 

Exfoliators for Acne

Sadly, we now know that the correct approach to treating the complex disorder that is acne is no mechanical matter (however good it might feel at the time). Friction of any kind is liable to take your clogged-up pores and inflamed, tender bumps and wind them up even further. The idea that physical exfoliation is helpful is unfortunately still terribly common. And the idea that you might do this twice a day…...makes me weep for the unwitting acne sufferer. 

Acne Scrubs?

There’s actually a variant of acne called acne mechanica, which is common in sportspeople - you might get it under the strap of a cyclist’s helmet, for example. Acne in this situation is triggered by the combination of heat, occlusion, pressure and friction. The acne occurs independent of the normal mechanisms - so it’s not a stretch to imagine that applying pressure and friction in the form of a twice daily scrub to areas that are already acne-affected is not going to be a recipe for success. 

AHAs and BHAs for Acne

And when we further peruse the INCI list, whilst ingredients like BHAs and AHAs have their role to play, they’ll have far more impact if left on the skin, than if they’re washed down the sink. And skin that’s been scrubbed extensively may have used up all its available bandwidth, and be far too delicate to accept a retinoid at night, which should be the first-line approach to solving acne. 

The bottom line - acne needs tender loving care, with carefully chosen ingredients. Not brute force and grinding!

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