Body Scrub or Soap: Which Comes First?

One of the most important things any man can do is develop an organized grooming routine. The first, and arguably most important part, of grooming is hygiene. How you wash yourself and take care of your body determines how well the rest of your grooming routine will land. It doesn’t matter how expensive your cologne or pomade costs. It does nothing if you apply it to dirty skin and hair.

What’s the point of a body scrub anyway?

A body scrub is kind of like a soap, in that it is meant to help clean your body, but in a very different way. Soap, including pine tar soap and shampoo, is a chemical approach to removing dirt, grime, and especially oil from the surface of the body. Soap binds to the oils and grime on your body, allowing them to be easily rinsed off with water. A body scrub is a mechanical cleaner. Rather than chemically binding, it uses a gritty substance, such as sugar, apricot seed powder, salt, etc. to wear away whatever it targets.

Some scrubs, like the ones used by mechanics and machinists, are used to target stubborn messes that soap can’t remove on its own. These scrubs are essentially scrubbing away the mess with grit so small it doesn’t feel painful to use. When combined with soap and other solvents, these scrubs are highly effective at removing grease and goo that comes from tough jobs.

Our bodies generally don’t create the kinds of messes that require industrial-strength abrasive scrubs. Instead, the purpose of a body scrub for hygiene/grooming is to exfoliate the skin. As our skin replaces itself, old layers are pushed to the top, where they dry out and flake off, eventually replaced by layers underneath. Sometimes this outer layer of skin can build up tough bits of keratin (the stuff that makes our hair and nails) and create a rough, itchy, or bumpy texture. Exfoliants, like body scrubs, remove this outermost layer and help keep skin feeling smooth, fresh, and clean.

Which one should I use first?

If we’re cleaning our bodies, we should start with a clean slate. Start with an all natural body soap to remove the outermost layer of body oils, dirt, and dead skin. Then apply your body scrub to exfoliate the skin further, removing the tough, dry layer of skin below.

Is there a special way to use it?

Nope, it works pretty much like any other soap. Apply it to your body and rub it around. Because it is already abrasive, there’s no need to add other abrasives, like rough wash gloves, loofahs, etc. A washcloth or your hand should work just fine. In fact, using another abrasive tool may end up damaging your skin, so be gentle.

Should I use a body scrub daily?

Absolutely not. Exfoliants are powerful stuff, you don’t really need to use them very often. Once or twice a week is plenty for almost everyone, especially if you use a scrub that’s noticeably gritty. Using a body scrub daily will leave your skin feeling raw and damaged. This is particularly true for men with sensitive skin. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to take a break from the scrub and switch to a healing soap like Packer’s Pine. Our pine tar soaps naturally soothe inflamed skin and are a favorite among people with sensitive skin and dermatological issues like eczema or dermatitis. Give your skin a break and use pine tar soap for a few weeks before getting back to a regular exfoliating routine.

That’s it?

As far as what happens in the shower, yes, but remember to moisturize immediately after getting out of the tub. The easiest way to keep your skin from drying out and turning into sandpaper is by keeping it moisturized and hydrated. To keep your epidermis from feeling like the Sahara, use a mild, hydrating lotion and apply it to your problem areas. Hands, feet, knees, and elbows are some of the most common spots that get rough, dry, and ashy. As always, make sure you drink enough water to keep your body hydrated, including your skin.

Additionally, you can keep a bottle of lotion in your car, in your desk at work, or anywhere else that’s convenient. If you notice your skin is feeling dry or itchy during the day, use it! A little bit of prevention goes a long way.

Does Packer’s Pine sell body scrubs and lotion?

Unfortunately no, but we do help you prepare your skin for these products by making a premium, all natural men’s soap. Our pine tar bar soap, shampoo, and bodywash clean your body without the harsh chemicals the big brands try to sell you. Not only does that keep our soap from irritating and drying out your skin, it leaves behind a refreshing and invigorating forest smell. Ditch the dehydrating soaps and give Packer’s Pine a try instead.

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