Thursday, November 12th, 2009

The Hit List

What’s the Worst Facial Exfoliator…?

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

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66 thoughts on “The Hit List: Worst Facial Exfoliator

  1. Adriana

    i think Pure Zone from L’OREAL

  2. tremorviolet

    That cheap St. Ives Apricot Scrub that we all used to use in high school. That stuff is horrible, so harsh and scratchy.

  3. Laura

    Anything with nut shells fragments are too abrasive and create (micro) tears in the skin! OUCH!

  4. Amy

    I echo the sentiment about St. Ives Apricot Scrub. That stuff is scratchy, and it is also really hard to rinse off. And heaven help you if you get any in your hairline and you are rinsing it off over the sink. I used it one morning and that night I was still feeling little bits of apricot…whatever that stuff is, in my bangs! You know??? I could not rinse it all out unless I washed my hair and I couldn’t do that at the time! LOL! What a mess.

    • I love this stuff! It is super harsh, but I like to be harsh to my face since I get so much dead skin buildup! BUT, I use it when I’m taking a shower so it’s soooo much easier to wash off ^_^

      • Stacey

        I confess, I love it too HAHA! I haven’t found anything better and while it doesn’t really wash my face I think it does a good job removing dead skin and my face does feel smoother and fresh after! I have oily skin though and it’s the total opposite of “sensative” LOL

  5. St. Ives has a horrible scrub that uses ground apricot pits…it will tear your skin up….should be banned. Seriously.

  6. Apricot scrubs, hands down! Horrible!

  7. One more for the apricot scrub! Worst ever…

  8. Steph

    I think I’m alone here by admitting I llike the apricot scrub! I use it in the shower after I wash my face and it gets rid of any rough patches & keeps my blackheads under control.

    • Ashley

      Don’t worry, I actually liked it too! Just the Blackhead Control one though. However, too drying for my skin, leaving more dry patches, although it never felt too rough.

      • amy

        I like the St Ives Apricot Scrub too, as it makes my skin very clean and soft every time I use it. I think it is because I don’t have very sensitive skin and I don’t rub very hard. I actually never encountered an exfoliator I dislike.

        • Cat

          I like the apricot scrub, it doesn’t break me out, but doesn’t do anything amazing for me. I find that most exfoliators are like that with me.

    • Jackie

      Ditto. I love the stuff!

    • Janella

      I second that too! i love the scrub, again everyones skin type is different, those who have sensitve skin should not use it. I love it though it makes my face feel so smooth after as welll as the rest of your skin!

      • Petra

        i love that St.Ives one, too. I agree it’s rather harsh, but when you have really oily skin, in the summer, it feels great. At least for me. It never aggrivated my skin and I wasn’t allergic to the formula either. Nowadays, my skin is a bit less oily, so I use it less frequently. But I find it helps great with the salicylic acid, and gets rid of flakey skin. But yes, it can get into the hairline. :) However, for me, usually all scrubs do that. (At least it’s not black, like the Mac VA. one- black is fun, but i always mess up my towel,if i don’t wash my hair afterwards )

    • I also like the Apricot Scrub. StIves provides many variations. I like the medicated one. I have had people mention to me how good my skin looks and I love how soft it feels. Maybe it is that I am older (37) now and my skin needs to be exfoliated more, IDK.

      I recently bought one from Aveno and it was a waste of money =/

    • I like it too!!! Just don’t use a lot and don’t SCRUB and youre ay-okay! Also, I don’t use it but once every other week or so.. just when i start to see my skin getting gummy.

    • Stacey

      Same here! ^ DOn’t feel bad, I like it too haha!

  9. Cayley

    i know people will hate me….but i think the mac volcanic ash exfoliator was horrible,it made my skin itch and the scent made me sneeze…and i’m not usually sensitive to that kind of stuff

  10. Jessie

    I’m probably going to be shot for this… but the NEW formulation of MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, it’s SO scratchy compared to the other formulation and it feels like it’s ripping holes in my face.

    • Bananarchy

      Not worst but certainly underwhelming!

      • Jessie

        It was so terrible for me… it feels like glass cutting my skin. Maybe I just got one that had huge pieces in it or something. It’s extremely upsetting to me because the other one made my skin amazing :(

        • Bananarchy

          I did find it waaaay too coarse and did not get aggressive with the rubbing because of that and since I couldn’t rub it in it did a lousy job…

    • Michelle

      The first time I used the Volcanic Ash my skin was bright red — it looked like it had been rubbed with sandpaper. Now, I make sure my face is wet and I just use a small amount and gently rub it in. It works okay for me now — but it is not a gentle by any means.

    • Han

      This and the Volcanic Mask were horrible. I got red irritated face. My skin is not that sensitive. Disappointed and returned both. MAC and my skin don’t get along.

  11. Tekoa

    St. Ives Apricot scrub. The shells are alright but the lotion makes my skin burn. Feeling pain does not mean the product works better!

  12. Kate

    St. Ives is the worst! The thing is, while you’re using it, you don’t know how bad it is – it feels like you need to be using a scrub that harsh to “make a difference”.

    I use a Clarisonic now and that’s the majority of my exfoliation (sometimes I use a fruit-acid mask that chemically exfoliates) and it’s like night and day!

    Belt sander grinding with the apricot scrub doesn’t help anyone’s facial skin – however, I used up the rest of my stash of St. Ive’s as a body scrub and that stuff worked a treat on my thighs, upper arms and butt!

  13. Ashley

    The one that has been the worst for ME personally must have been the Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub. It totally burned my skin over time, and dried it out. I think I’m also sensitive to most acne meds.

    Otherwise, any acne/drying facial scrub. Although I have oily skin, using anything drying just leaves my skin oilier, with dry patches and uncomfortable skin. Has anyone used a good scrub that is gentle and moisturizing and good for combo skin?

    • Kerri

      Ashley: you should try the St Ives one, but make sure you get the GENTLE one for sensitive skin. I have an oily t-zone, normal cheeks but really sensitive skin. This stuff does wonders. I have never used the other versions of the scrub…..others here say they are scratchy. But the gentle one is not scatchy at all. It doesn’t leave skin dry or tight or make it oily either. It leaves my skin soooo amazingly radiant. No other exfoliator has ever done that for me.

      For me the worst exfoliator is Clean and Clear Warming Scrub… it leaves a waxy layer on my skin that is IMPOSSIBLE to remove. Gross.

      • Ashley

        I’ve tried 2 (I think, maybe 3) of their sensitive versions, and it was about as effective as exfoliating with cotton balls. They were just as drying as the Blackhead Control scrub, only without any exfoliation.

        If the RoC cream exfoliator doesn’t end up working, I might just settle to using one of those face brushes to exfoliate, much more hassle-free!

  14. Alison

    Yeah, that St. Ives apricot scrub is like grinding broken glass into your face.

  15. Sans

    agreed. biore pre stips …yuck! if only some one would have warned me when i was 16 NOT to use it!

  16. Amelia

    I hate ocean salt by Lush, hate the smell (smell like a bad lemon), and it’s so incredibly painful to use, the grain of salt are huge and they scratch my skin so bad

    • Art

      i totally second this…. ocean salt was such a mistake to buy.. how can you scrub your face with coarse salt grains the size of beads???

    • Julia

      I actually love the sea salt as an exfoliant in Ocean Salt– you can add some water to dissolve the salt to customize the scrubbiness.

      My least favorite scrub is, once again, the apricot scrub. The blackhead one broke me out whenever I used it :(

  17. I don’t like St. Ives Apricot Scrub either. I used to love it, but I think they changed the formula and it aggravated my skin to the point where I would break out from it. I also don’t like Yves Rocher Purify Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser. The beads got stuck in my pores and I’d get little white heads because of it.

  18. Sarah M

    The worst exfoliator I’ve ever used is one by Origins. I think it was called Modern Friciton but I can’t remember exactly. It was far to abrassive for me. My skin became so red and blotchy, and started flaking despite putting on tonnes of moisturiser. I also think part of the problem was that I was misadvised on how to use it by the sales girl. Not a good experience by any standard. :-(

    • Bananarchy

      Syrsly? That stuff is amazing. I love it!

      • Sarah M

        Yeah. I have heard great things about it and to be honest this was a few years back so my opinion may differ if I were brave enough to try it now but it was just such a bad experience. I don’t know if I had used it wrong or had an allergic reaction. :’-(

  19. I’m shocked at all the negative st.ives reviews..I am in LOVE with that stuff lol I have dry skin and it works really well for me..I’ve been using it for years and I have never experienced any damage to my skin.. But I guess everyone is different

  20. DonnaN

    St. Ives is the WORST! Definately NOT for sensitive skin….it’ll CUT YA!!

  21. IZzySA

    err, St. Ives is the top selling brand on the market for

    not saying it is great tho.. I think it works better on feet and knees!

  22. i dont think i’ve liked any exfoliant i’ve ever purchased… and i’ve used too many.. the body shop, st ives, clean and clear, neutrogena..
    so i guess i’ll say anything that isn’t homemade :)

  23. Stacey

    I think St Ives works for people with oily skin that is NOT sensative and who live in humid climates:)

  24. Jennifer

    *Shrugs* I’ve never used an exfoliator before so I can’t compare, but I like Philosophy’s Microdelivery exfoliator wash and I rather like it. It keeps the blackheads on my skin really smooth and I’ve only used it twice so far.

  25. Bridgette

    Woah almost everybody has alot of hate for St. Ives Apricot scrub! I was thinking about getting that stuff but I guess I will stick to my YSL scrub.

  26. Yesenia

    WOW!!! im in schock with all the negative comments about ST Ives apricot scrub. i am in love with it. but i do agree its not for sensitive skin; its more for oily skin; but the worst one ived used its lush ocean salt; made my skin red for almost a week.. HORRIBLEE!

    • Michelle

      I think it is because most estheticians actually recommend not using the apricot scrub. Any shells that have irregular or jagged edges can do harm in the long run. They can literally get into your pores and tear them — or they can “rest” in pores and cause more bacteria. Generally, it is recommended to use a scrub with spherical beads that won’t tear pores. But different things work for different people . . .

  27. montrese

    I currently am using the Clean & Clear in shower facial “Steam” scrub…I really like it! I use it at night & it leaves my skin really soft. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone & normal cheeks…I use black soap & dove in the morning & ppl always compliment my skin… :-)

    PS…I really liked the St.Ives Apricot Scrub too! Lol I guess it’s just NOT for everybody.

  28. Missy

    I don’t know the exact name of it but Biore scrub was the worst it was sooo gentle it didn’t do a thing. It was a complete waste of time. The beads or micro beads were so smooth they just slipped and slided all over my face.

  29. Vix

    I have to agree with what a lot of people said: the St Ives apricot scrub.

    I have ridiculously dry skin, particularly in the t-zone, and this scrub did nothing to eliminate my dry, flaky bits, just made my skin raw and trapped pieces of shell in my hairline for years to come. I gave up on it.

    I also have to agree that the Lush Ocean Salt scrub was a major disappointment. I’m a huge fan of Lush products generally, but this was so difficult to use, it wasn’t worth it at all.

  30. dudisea

    Lush Ocean Salt, I must confess. Although many ppl swear by it I find it to be too abrasive, it almost tears up my skin. I regret ever buying it

  31. Dorie

    I hated the Neutogena Blackhead Eliminating Scrub. It had to be the worst scrub EVER! I used it, and it dried my face out like the Sahara desert! Dreadful! And then I broke out and my face didn’t clear up until 4 months later. Just stay away from this product.

  32. allison

    Count me in the group of St Ives haters too!!! I used this stuff as a teenager and it was horrible. Not for sensetive/oily skin…shoot, I dont think it is for skin at all. Its THE PITS!!! 😀

  33. Shealyn

    I must join a lot of ladies in the hate for the St. Ives. I have very sensitive dry skin and that stuff…bruuuutal. I just use a tiny bit of Neutrogena scrub with my Body Shop aloe cleanser in the shower.

  34. Diana

    St. Ives is horrible. I also don’t like the aveeno microbeads one, which is disappointing because most of their stuff works well.

  35. Gigi

    St. Ives Apricot Scrub and too bad because it smells good.