Can facial scrubs make my blemishes worse?

Hi Dr, I went for a facial this weekend because my skin has been very congested and as a result I have been struggling with breakouts. The therapist gave me some advice and told me that I should never exfoliate on the areas where I am breaking out, as an exfoliator will “spread” the breakouts to other areas of my skin. Is this true?

Can scrubs make my acne worse?

Dr Maureen Allem from Skin, Body & Health Renewal answers:

“Thanks so much for your question. If your therapist is referring to using a scrub cleanser or exfoliator, then yes, this information is true, as the scrub-type products tend to scrape the skin and can therefore transfer infection. However, it is actually important for a congested skin to exfoliate at least once a week, BUT you need to use an enzyme-type exfoliator that does not scrape the skin at all. There are a few very good ones that I can highly recommend, one of my personal favourites being, Lamelle’s Cathepzyme.”

If you have a skincare question for Dr Allem, ask it here.

Other articles you may be interested in:
The best acne-fighting ingredients
Why is benzoyl peroxide drying out my skin?
How can I get rid of a cold sore quickly?
Natural or chemical: which is better for my skin?
Is there a link between acne and cows’ milk?

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for this advice. I’ve been scrubbing areas where I breakout thinking I’m doing my skin a good thing. Yikes!

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