Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The Hit List

What’s the Worst Face Exfoliator…?

What brand/product wins this category? Any particular reason it wins?

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87 thoughts on “The Hit List: Worst Face Exfoliator

  1. I know some people are in love with it but for me it’s St. Ives Apricot Scrub! When I used it I broke out and it physically caused me pain! Also it was hard to wash off, I actually had to use my face wash to wash it off!

    • mmhmm

      ooh! so agreed! that cheap nasty stuff is so harsh, it’s horrible for your skin, abrasive and scratchy. you can actually cause damage to your skin by using it. bleh.

    • The regular ones are way too rough, but they have one for sensitive skin and it’s mild. It’s pretty decent!

    • Sarah

      Yep I agree!! My dermatologist actually told me that that scrub rips at the skin and causes people with acne prone skin (me!) to have worse scarring!!

    • Amy

      I am totally with you. I seriously don’t understand why some people love that St. Ives stuff – the humongous grains just don’t work for the face… at all… not even for my body! Totally hate it!

      • Haylie

        That sucks! It works for me only because I have super oily skin that doesn’t budge unless you use something like St. Ives that really gets all the dead skin off my face. Mixing it with water makes it less abrasive for me.

  2. St. Ives Apricot Scrub, I think it’s what caused the nasty acne that years later I still haven’t been able to get rid of.

  3. Karen

    St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub!

  4. Montrese

    The same as the other ladies have been saying! St. Ives Apricot Scrub! Yuck! But the BEST is Ocean Salt from LUSH! :-)

  5. Julia

    Clean and Clear Morning Burst Shine Control Scrub. It didn’t scrub or control shine.

    • Katie

      I agree! It doesn’t exfoliate at all!

      • Jen

        This. It makes my forehead get tiny bumps everywhere and it itches a little afterward. I think there’s something in it I’m allergic to. I’ve never had a reaction like this to any other products. Also, does not control shine at all. Very disappointed.

    • Angela

      I agree, no scrub factor! I love how it smells though.

  6. Avatar of Kristina Kalex

    I can’t stand Origin’s Modern Friction. It smells awful and does absolutely nothing for my skin.

  7. Meaisín Caoin

    This is a very timely post since I’m looking for a new facial exfoliator. (I’m almost completely out of MAC volcanic ash scrub! Sad face) It’s good knowing what to avoid, but what would you all *recommend*? Especially for oily and breakout-prone skin?

  8. mandee

    St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub D: ick.

  9. Tamara

    so glad to see people putting apricot scrub! it actually makes little microcuts on your face and breeds bacteria into those cuts and that how you end up breaking out or getting worse. sooo creepy. in school we did tests under a microscope and saw it in action.

    but i’m another vote for apricot scrub.

    • Avatar of Stephanie Stephanie

      What would you recommend then?Because I’ve been using that for awhile and I’m iffy about washing my face with it tonight. =[ Any suggestions?

      • badrockandroll

        I am likely older (a lot) than most readers here, so take my reco with a gentle exfoliating grain. But, I have been using lancome’s exfoliance for about 25 years. They make 2: a gentle pink one for dry skin & a blue one for oilier skin. I really love the pink one, and use it about 3 times a week. See if your lancome or Sephora rep will give you a sample; I am positive you will love it.

    • meghan

      Do you know if the Gentle version of the st ives apricot scrub causes the microcuts? I have been using that for about 2 months bc I didn’t want to repurchase my clinique 7 day scrub. I also have been breaking out quite a bit since then…possible culprit?

  10. amy

    St. Ives Apricot is the worst scrub by far. I found it to be harsh, way to harsh for my skin.

  11. Hend

    St.Ives Apricot Scrub,
    Basically it’s useless !

  12. Gina

    St. Ives Apricot Scrub IS the worst! lol I’m so glad to see it on this list! >:-D For acne prone skin, I once used the exfoliating gel from Murad and my face actually broke out worse! My skin, literally, felt angry! I have very sensitive skin, but seriously, it was horrible :(

  13. Avatar of Katharine Katharine

    St. Ives Apricot Scrub! I love an exfoliant that is gritty and does the job – which this one does – BUT the granules are too big and they damage your skin. I read somewhere (actually, it could have been here!), that scrubs like this can cause breakouts (although this scrub didn’t cause breakouts for me), and uneven skin tone, amongst other things down the track.

  14. Avatar of Virginia virginiaisforluvrs

    Hmm…I know this has been posted recently because the overwhelming majority of people said St Ives Apricot Scrub.

  15. Kristen

    St. Ives Apricot scrub – not because of the results, those are amazing, but because the granules are jagged and make little cuts in your skin!

  16. Kai

    I’m really happy to see that no one likes the apricot scrub, because I was considering buying it!
    Nevermind, haha :)

  17. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub – It’s utter rubbish! I slated it in my blog because it doesn’t have any scrubbing particles and it smells horrible.

  18. MAC’s Microfine Refinisher. It felt good, nice and scrubby, not like 3 or 4 round beads, you know. It left my face feeling good. But, it broke me out like crazy!!

  19. xMissxAndristx

    lol i guess i should just say “ditto” since everyone already said st ives apricot scrub

  20. Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash. Its so drying!

  21. Wow, I’m pleasantly surprised to see St. Ives Apricot on here so much- I’ve seen so many people say they like it lately, I thought it was having a re-birth. But really, the stuff is awful, way to harsh.

    I’m also gonna shock people and give a shout out to MAC’s Volcanic Ash scrub as “most overrated”…it’s not bad, but it’s basically just foaming face wash with sugar added. Like I said, not a bad product, but definitely not worth all of the hype.

  22. Elaine

    St. Ives Apricot scrub! I swear that piece of garbage should be taken off the market! If you like the gritty feel, use plain white sugar mixed with your cleanser (i use about a teaspoon of sugar) – and it’s gritty without being harsh, plus it dissolves away!

  23. Avatar of Jill AnGeLwInGz

    St. Ives Apricot Scrub of course! That stuff makes your skin feel like you’re exfoliating with a cheese grater!

  24. Cheyenne

    I love the St Ive’s Apricot Scrub. The newer formula though. It has white liquid and little tiny scrublets instead of the brown icky thick Apricot Scrub. The newer formula is so much better for sensitive skin. The older formula stinks!! It’s so harsh on the skin.

    • Chantelle

      I agree. The new formula is very gentle and not gritty like the original face scrub. You can hardly feel the tiny scrublets when you use it.

    • Avatar of Jessie Jessie

      They have a new formula for sensitive skin, and it has like green and red scrubbies in it? Is that the one you’re talking about? It’s actually really nice!

      • Cheyenne

        Well my bottle says it’s a ‘New Look.’ What I was ‘wrong’ about though is that it’s an apricot cleanser. I assumed it was the scrub because of the tiny little orange beads in the formula. (Plus is apricot) I have not seen this ‘sensitive’ formula yet. My apologies, I was talking about the cleanser. :) Which I love by the way. It feels great!

  25. Alison

    I’ve been using St. Ives Apricot Scrub for at least a year and I didn’t know any of this! Now I’m starting to wonder if it has been affecting my skin negatively, as I rarely seem to have good skin days.

    I recently bought a new face wash by Soap & Glory though, so I’m glad no one’s mentioned them yet!

  26. Chantelle

    Ah ha! That is why I am breaking out so much!!… I started using the original St. Ives Face Scrub about 3 weeks ago but before I was using the new formula which is gentle on the skin. Time to toss it!

  27. Jessica

    Clinique stuff is the worst! The exfoliate has cocunut oil in it and the lotion has seasame oil in it! aLLERGIES!!!!

  28. jade

    Lush Ocean Salt.. the salt is so coarse and rough on the skin! In the end I gave up and used it on my knees and elbows…

  29. Ashley

    st ives apricot scrub; it should not be marketed as an exfoliator for the face, it is much much too harsh. use on elbows and knees only!

  30. Naz

    I feel I might get booed for this but I really really don’t like Mac’s volcanic ash exfoliator. I think it is waaay too drying and I dont have sensitive skin!

  31. Avatar of Jessie Jessie

    I agree with everyone about the St. Ives Apricot scrub being the worst, it’s defiitely gritty and just generally uncomfortable…. however…. I do use it on my knees and elbows and it works amazingly well as long as you VERY GENTLY scrub.

    However, I think St Ives gets a lot of bad rap from this and a lot of their products are amazing. I’ve used the Olive Oil Face Wash and the Apricot Scrub for Sensitive Skin (which is a new formula)

    The Sensitive Skin Apricot Scrub is AMAZING for normal to oily skin (not so much for sensitive skin I’d imagine) but the formula has a great consistancy, a nice smell and the granules are so much smaller and although they don’t really disintigrate they’ve been making my skin look great and it leaves your skin feeling fresh afterwards. I haven’t broken out once when using it and do nice soft circular motions with it on my face just with my fingertips.

    But, I do definitely agree about the regular St Ives Apricot Scrub about being the worst.

  32. Ashley

    Every exfoliator made from Clean & Clear (their company’s name is really Dirty and Unclear). I’ve had so much bad memories as a teenager with their acne products…

  33. Heather

    I’m with all the other ladies!! st. ives is horrible for your skin, and mac’s volcanic ash and sea salt from lush is AWESOME!!!

  34. Cool Whip?! I donno… I was just trying to think of something non-exfoliatingy :P

  35. Avatar of Marisa Marisa

    I love Mario Badescu, except for the face scrubs. It’s literally cream with strawberry seeds. The worst ever!! Even worse than St. Ives

  36. Julianna M.

    Clean & Clear Morning Burst Detoxifying Facial Scrub with Oxygen-Infused Formula. Nothing “bursts” in it. It smells disgusting. No tingling. Not enough scrubbing beads. This just sucks.

  37. Paige

    St Ives Green Tea Scrub! Not as harsh as the apricot but it made me break out so bad! I haven’t had so many blemishes since 10 grade!

  38. I’m going to have to say Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit face scrub. That stuff actually ended up causing more skin irritation on my face than I already had. It even stings a little bit. It dried my skin out really bad too. It’s just no good, don’t use it. I have really sensitive skin though, so it may just be me.

    I’m glad I’ve never tried that St. Ives stuff. I definitely won’t now haha

  39. Melissa

    First off, why is everyone bashing St. Ives. I have very sensitive skin and it has never bothered me, how hard are you people rubbing your faces?!

    Worst for me was something olay made (no idea what the name was), it didn’t just tingle it full on burned and I was red the rest of the day :/

  40. Katie

    Aveeno heating face scrub. I think it’s designed to break you out.

  41. Mischa

    I agree with the St. Ive’s! horrible stuff. I have been using a microdermo abrasion product from Mary Kay and has been really nice, but I’m about to run out. Any thoughts about The Body Shop’s scrub?

  42. ill throw in the st ives apricot, and raise you an olay pore-refining mousse cleanser, which supposedly has micro-crystals to exfoliate, but not only didnt it exfoliate sh*t, it didnt give me a good cleaning feeling either. i threw that out, what a waste of money!

  43. nicci

    None in particular but I avoid any exfoliator that is has huge grains in it

    • Miss Silver

      Same! The huge grains do nothing but irritate and scratch the skin. Might as well use a sanding machine!

    • Elyse

      Your actually not supposed to use ANY exfoliators with grains in them. This isnt just a reply to niccl. The only exfoliators you should be using are ones with perfectly round beads. Something like clean and clears morning burst (although thats just a cleanser its just so you get the point) grainy exfoliators actually cut your pores and do extreme damage to your skin, ruining its elasticity and actually helping you be more prone to wrinkles and aging! that is not just st. ives!! anything with a grain thats not round! (round grains are considered beads anyways!!)

  44. Miss Silver

    St Ives apricot scrub; not fine enough for me, just irritates my skin.
    And I can’t remember, but one of Nivea’s scrubs (ages ago) that felt like sandpaper. Aieeeeeee!

  45. Ashley Marie

    Lush ocean salt. I feel like it doesn’t clean my skin. It makes me break out.

    Looks like apricot scrub is awful. I’ll never be trying that! Lol.

  46. mariam

    Omg, these comments are so weird for me to see
    I was using a Clean & Clear scrub for about a year and it wasn’t spectacular but I’ve just started using St Ives Apricot Scrub for a few months now and I am in love with it, I haven’t broken out from it and it makes my skin lovely and glowy. Maybe it’s because I have dry skin but it’s amazing.

  47. Kelli

    I know lots of people swear by it, but I don’t like Lush’s Ocean Salt scrub. I’m allergic to sea salt apparently and any time I even tough the stuff I get a rash. So for me it’s a big no.

    I do like the St. Ives Apricot one, but after reading this may use it less and look for something else. But it really hasn’t done anything bad for my skin…

  48. anw185

    The worst would be a sugar scrub I purchased from a vendor who makes her own products. Too abrasive.

    I must say, I think St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub is awesome lol Just a pebble sized amt mixed w/ my cleanser makes my face super soft and smooth. I don’t really have skin problems, but my face doesn’t feel *quite* as clean w/o St. Ive’s.

  49. senga

    im useing VALMONT THE BEST!!!!!!

  50. kat

    I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub weekly and its fine. I don’t really use it for my face, more for my shoulders and neck because I think exfoliants, in general, are too harsh for facial skin! I would recommend just using a foaming face wash and, if you really need it, a face mask. If you’re prone to acne that really sucks but scrubbing your skin with exfoliants doesn’t seem like a great idea :\

  51. Nadia

    Another vote for St Ives Apricot Scrub – so abrasive to the skin and like many have said, caused scarring [thankfully gone now]. Booo!!!! @ St Ives!!!

    • Desirae

      I agree about St. Ives. It hurts no matter how gentle I try to be. I use Queen Helene’s Honey and Oatmeal scrub. Smells great and doesnt hurt me.

  52. Avatar of Marianne Mar

    Apri Apricot Scrub… Complete horror!
    Too rough, big chunks of sharp things and it leaves my skin red and raw.

    I’m now using Vichy’s AquaThermal scrub.
    It’s soft and doesn’t break out my acne prone skin!

  53. Grace

    Origins Modern Friction! UGH, there’s barely any scrub. More like a cream that you wash off… YUCK.

  54. Martina

    St. Ives Apricot Scrubs

    It is such a terrible product. As most people here seem to agree with, which is great!
    This website lists toxic and harmful ingredients in beauty products and St.Ives AS has a 9/10 hazard score!

    http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/product/25968/St._Ives_Apricot_Scrub%2C_Gentle_for_Sensitive_Skin/