how to use face scrub

How To Use Face Scrub: A Detailed Guide

Your skin is feeling dry, and it appears scaly. As you stare at yourself in the mirror, you wonder, “How do I get rid of this scaly skin?” Another time in the year, your skin starts to break out really bad. You notice your skin is producing too much oil, and it feels dull. What do you do? Introduce an exfoliating scrub for your face to your routine. 

Now, you may ask, “Why a face scrub?” Think of it as giving your skin a fresh start! It's not a quick fix, but it sure feels like one as it removes dead cells. And the other benefits? No clogged pores and breakouts, plus improved effectiveness of your other skincare products. Fortunately, there is more to exfoliation.

From the perks of using a face scrub to the right techniques, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about face scrubs — why you need them, how to use them, what to look for, and what to do after exfoliating. Plus, if you stay with us till the end, we have some quick and easy DIY face scrubs recipes for you! 

So, without further ado, let’s talk business! 

Understanding the Purpose of Face Scrubs

Exfoliation is a skincare must. Why? 

Well, your skin goes through so much day in and day out. The dirt accumulates in your pores with the oil, and your skin cells dry up. As a result, your skin starts to look dull and produces more oil, which leads to breakouts. 

Exfoliating with a scrub helps remove tired, old cells and get a fresh, radiant glow. Additionally, it unclogs your pores by clearing out the gunk. Result? No acne and blackheads. Finally, some exfoliating scrub for the face promotes skin cell turnover by boosting collagen, leaving you with a smoother, youthful complexion.

However, there’s a word of caution for you: too much exfoliation can spell trouble for your skin's barrier, causing irritation and sensitivity. So, what should you do? Customize your exfoliation routine based on your unique skin type. Go for gentle scrubs if you're sensitive, and opt for a bit stronger if you're dealing with oily or acne-prone skin. We will explore this in detail later. 

Types of Facial Scrubs

Facial scrubs come in two main types: physical and chemical exfoliants. They bring unique perks to the table, catering to diverse skin needs. 

Physical Exfoliants 

Physical exfoliants are tiny granular particles that remove dead skin cells when being rubbed on the skin. Think sugar, salt, or microbeads. Best for the normal to oily crew, these scrubs leave your skin feeling polished and revitalized, giving you that fresh-faced glow you've been craving. 

No doubt that physical exfoliation is effective. But there’s a note for sensitive skin: You might find them a tad harsh. Thankfully, there’s a gentle physical exfoliant in Face & Body Scrub

Face and Body Scrub

ILEM JAPAN’s Face & Body Scrub combines powerful Japanese heritage ingredients to revitalize and purify your skin. We are talking about Japanese Uji Tea Extract, Corn Cobb Powder, and Goji Berry Stem Cells. 

The Japanese Uji Tea extracts naturally work to help soothe inflammation and restore the skin's natural glow. Parallelly, the Goji Berry Stem Cells restore and protect the skin while helping to even out skin tone and boost collagen production. 

What about Corn Cobb Powder? Well, it gently removes all the dead skin with Japanese Konjac-derived soft scrub beads. The good part? It has a light and creamy texture and uses 98% natural origin ingredients! But the best part? It is suitable for all skin types! 

Chemical Exfoliants 

Coming to chemical exfoliants, use AHAs such as glycolic acid to work on the surface. The result? They brighten your complexion and smooth out those fine lines. Then there are BHAs like salicylic acid. And what do they do? Well, they dive deep into your pores. 

Chemical exfoliants are perfect for acne-prone or oily skin. So, of course, these acids work wonders. But the best part? They're gentle, making them ideal for sensitive skin.

But you must go easy! Why? Because overusing can irritate your skin. So, you must balance physical and chemical exfoliants to tailor your routine to your skin type. Result? A glowing complexion with no pain.

How to Choose the Right Face Scrub?

The best face scrub is the one that works perfectly for your skin. It is important to know which face scrub is the ideal one for you. So, here we make sure your skincare routine is just right!:

  1. Know your skin. For example, if it's oily, go for a scrub with strong ingredients like salicylic acid to tackle acne. On the same lines, for sensitive skin, go gentle with soothing ingredients like oatmeal. 
  2. You must check (and perhaps recheck) those labels! Go for natural exfoliants like sugar, jojoba, or Konjac beads. Why? Because they're gentle on your skin. 
  3. Stay away from harsh chemicals and big, jagged particles. They’re a big no-no, whether it's a face scrub for men or women. They could do more harm than good, resulting in microtears in the skin. 
  4. When picking a face scrub, think about your skincare lineup. If you're using exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs in serums, go for a gentler exfoliating scrub for the face. Trust us; you want to prevent over-exfoliation and keep irritation away.
  5. Scrubs with finer particles are the best facial exfoliating scrubs. But why? Because this way you skip the harshness. 

Scrubbing your face perfectly goes beyond using the right scrub. You should also know the right method to scrub. And what's that? 

  • Circle the scrub particles on your skin
  • Be gentle 
  • No vigorous scrubbing

Additionally, rinse off with the right water temperature. The water should not be too cold or too hot. Just rinse with lukewarm water, and you'll get a perfect finish. And the most important part: frequency! 

Should it be as frequent as cleansing your face? Or a one-off like using a face mask? Well, this depends on your skin type. But scrub 2-3 times weekly—no more. 

After exfoliation, treat your skin right — add a moisturizer or hydrating serum. Why? When you scrub your face, you lose a substantial amount of moisture. Hydration gets that lost moisture back, and you get a radiant glow!

Proper Technique for Using Face Scrubs

Want to get the most out of your face scrub? Let's break it down step by step to ensure you're doing it right:

Prepping the Skin

Start fresh! Cleanse your face with a Gentle Cleanser to remove all makeup and impurities. After cleansing, don’t rub your skin dry. Instead, gently pat it while keeping it a bit damp.

gentle cleanser

This primes the perfect exfoliation stage – the scrub glides smoothly, with no friction fuss.

Dispensing the Product

Less is more when it comes to scrubs. So how much should you take out? A dime-sized amount is sufficient for most faces. Too much scrub can be harsh on your skin and leave you with red, irritated skin. After all, you can add more if required. 

Gentle Application

Be kind to your skin. Apply the scrub with your fingertips in gentle, circular motions, targeting rough or congested areas. Skip the delicate eye zone—its thin, sensitive skin needs extra care. The soft massage boosts blood circulation, letting the scrub work its magic without any irritation. 

Duration and Frequency

Keep exfoliation to 1-2 minutes; overdoing it can harm your skin's natural barrier. Tailor the frequency to your skin type-–normal to oily skin can handle once or twice a week, while sensitive skin benefits from a gentler touch, about once every two weeks. 


After scrubbing, give your face a good rinse with lukewarm water; skip the hot water to prevent extra dryness. Gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel, then dive into your usual skincare routine for that refreshed, post-scrub glow.

DIY Face Scrub Recipes

What do you do when you run out of your favorite scrub? Try DIY face scrubs! They're a fun and effective way to pamper your skin with natural ingredients. For this reason alone, we have curated five easy-to-make recipes using items you probably already have in your kitchen:

Coffee Scrub

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of finely ground coffee with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Gently massage the scrub onto your face for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Let the scrub be for 15 minutes.
  4. Then, wash your face with water and moisturize.

Finely grounded coffee acts as a natural exfoliator thanks to its granules. It sloughs off dead skin cells and unclog pores, leaving your skin clean. Plus, coffee is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. When applied topically, coffee stimulates blood flow. Thus, it reduces any inflammation and puffiness. 

Then there’s Olive Oil, a natural emollient that softens and moisturizes your skin. The vitamin E in it protects your skin from environmental damage, while anti-inflammatory compounds soothe the skin. The best part? It contains fatty acids which strengthen your skin’s natural barrier function. 

Tomato Scrub

  1. Sprinkle sugar on a half-sliced tomato.
  2. Rub the tomato gently in circular motions on your face for 5 minutes.
  3. Cleanse your face with water and follow with your skincare routine.

Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C. These vitamins promote skin health and brighten your complexion. Plus, tomatoes have a natural astringent property, which helps tighten the pores and control excessive oiliness. Sugar simply acts like a natural scrub to remove dead skin. 

Lemon Scrub

  1. Combine 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of water.
  2. Apply the scrub and massage for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Wash off with water and moisturize.

Like tomatoes, lemons are rich in citric acid, which has natural exfoliation properties. Plus, it has astringent properties that tighten the pores and regulate oil production. Finally, the abundance of Vitamin C in lemons helps to promote collagen and brightness. 

Cinnamon Scrub

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder with 2 tablespoons of honey.
  2. Scrub the mixture evenly on your face.
  3. After 15 minutes, wash off and follow up with a mild cleanser and moisturizer.

Cinnamon is known to be antimicrobial. This means that it may help fight acne-causing bacteria. Plus, its gentle exfoliation leaves your skin fresh and glowing. Honey brings intense moisturization and hydration to your skin. Additionally, it has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it effective in treating acne and preventing breakouts.

Walnut Scrub

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of granulated walnuts, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  2. Apply the paste and massage in circular motions.
  3. After 15 minutes, wash off and follow up with a mild cleanser and moisturizer.

Walnuts are natural exfoliants. Plus, they contain essential fatty acids that help in nourishing and hydrating the skin. Best part? They are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

Aren't these ingredients easy to find? They could be in your kitchen, or you can buy them from a nearby store. So, trying DIY scrubs for a natural glow is a smart yet easy move. 

But we have a word of safety for you:

  • The first is the basic rule for any skincare product: the patch test. Never avoid it so that any new ingredient does not irritate your skin. 
  • If you have sensitive skin, go for gentler options like oatmeal. 
  • If you have any food allergies, watch out for them, too, especially with nuts and citrus. Something that is not good for your gut might also not be good for your skin. 

Post-Scrub Skincare Routine 

Imagine you've just treated your skin to a good face scrub. Is it all done? Not really. Now it's time for the important post-scrub skincare routine. But why? You want to get the best results possible. Here's how:

Apply Toner

It is surprising to see a toner in the list, isn’t it? Well, there’s a reason for it. Toners balance the skin's pH levels. Skip it, and your skin might feel out of sorts. 

The question is, “Would any toner work?” See, your skin needs hydration after exfoliation. So, a gentle, alcohol-free toner with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or chamomile is what it needs. 

pH balancing toner

And we may have the perfect suggestions for you—Balancing toner and Soothing Toner. The balancing toner is made from Japanese Yuzu and Raspberry Fruit Extract. It eases inflammation while moisturizing sensitive and dry skin. 

Soothing Toner

Similarly, the Soothing toner is made of Japanese Fermented Rice Extract and Alpine Rose Stem Cells. It primes the skin to absorb moisture deeply while boosting collagen production and reviving your tired skin. The perfect win-win! 


Your freshly exfoliated skin wants to lock in hydration and prevent moisture loss, isn't it? Otherwise, your skin may experience dryness or irritation. So, moisturize!


Light Moisturizer

You can choose a Light Moisturizer with Niacinamide for the day.

deep moisturizer

Similarly, opt for a Deep Moisturizer with Shea Butter or a Moisturizing Cream with Japanese Fermented Rice Extract for nighttime skin moisturizing.

Sun Protection

After exfoliation, your skin needs extra protection from the sun because exfoliated skin is more prone to sun damage. So don’t think about skipping sunscreen after exfoliation. And what's the best pick of the lot? A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for gentle care. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

You must be cautious with your skincare to maintain that glow. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid for a vibrant and healthy complexion:


Don't go overboard with facial scrubs! Using them too much can mess with your skin's protective layer. That means no daily scrubbing or going too rough. And if you do, here’s what you can expect: redness, irritation, extra sensitivity, and even tiny tears. So, take it easy for a balanced complexion.

Harsh or Incompatible Ingredients

Do you know what mixing ingredients that don't get along with your skin can do? Well, they can spell serious trouble. For instance, take retinol and benzoyl peroxide – together in a skincare routine. They might dry out and irritate your skin. So, read up a little and know which ingredient combination plays nice. This way, there will be no bad surprises. 

Neglecting Post-Scrub Skincare

You do not want to let your efforts to go waste. So complete your post-scrub routine with things like toning, moisturizing, and sunscreen. Skipping it can harm your skin by making it imbalanced, dry, and more prone to sun damage. 

Tips for Maximizing Results

Want to get the most from your skincare routine? Here are some tips to maximize its effectiveness:

Consistent Exfoliation Routine

Make exfoliation a habit! Include it in your routine as per your skin’s need and your exfoliant. This helps your skin reveal a smoother, brighter look over time.

Frequency Based on Skin's Response

Listen to your skin. But what does that mean? Say, if irritation or sensitivity crops up, change your exfoliation frequency. Too much can mess with your skin barrier. So, customize your routine based on what your skin needs, be it weekly or bi-weekly. You've to find that sweet spot for better results.

Patch Test New Products

Thinking of trying new products? Start with a patch test. This quick step helps spot potential allergies or sensitivities. No surprises for your skin. Another smart move is to introduce products one at a time. Why? Because if any issues pop up, you'll know exactly what's causing them.

How To Use Scrub On Face?

Exfoliation resets your skin! Exactly how? It clears away dead cells, keeps acne away, and improves the natural regeneration process. 

Physical or chemical, there's a scrub for every skin type. And guess what? Picking the right one is easy. Just know your skin, read product labels, and go easy. What about DIY exfoliation recipes? Sure, but patch test, always. 

Post-scrub, treat your skin with toning, moisturizing, and sunscreen. No overdoing it or mismatching products. Consistency and moderation, as needed, can give you a radiant glow. 

Now, if you are ready for some soft, supple skin, ILEM JAPAN is too, with its Face & Body Scrub for you. Come shop for the goodness of Japanese ingredients with us!
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