A while back, I picked up some body scrubs in a 3-for-2 deal at Boots. (Their 3-for-2 offers will be either the death or the saving of me. I can’t work out which.) The two I got where the Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub and the Sanctuary Salt Scrub:


I wasn’t entirely sure what the different benefits of each were or if one was better than the other, so I decided to do a little research. Here’s what I found:

Salt scrubs are generally more abrasive because of their sharper edges and, therefore, do a better job at smoothing the rough skin of the body. What really separates salt scrubs from sugar scrubs is that they offer therapeutic, mineralization benefits…[These minerals] help to promote circulation, reduce the inflammatory response, and act as a detoxifying agent and general muscle relaxant”.

Sugar scrubs are gentler than salt scrubs because the granule is round and therefore doesn’t have any ability to ‘cut’ the skin. It’s a far better choice for sensitive skin types and the only choice for the face. Sugar granules dissolve more easily in hot water, and they are less abrasive than salt scrubs… The glycolic acid content of sugar is another plus, helping to protect skin against harmful toxins. Vital for the maintenance of healthy skin, this acid works to both condition and moisturize.

information from

So, in a nutshell: both are good, but their benefits are slightly different. Salt scrubs are harder on the skin and require moisturisation after, but they also promote better circulation which improves skin health, relaxation and drainage. Sugar scrubs are gentler and soften or condition the skin better with some detoxification, but they don’t provide the same mineral benefits of a salt scrub. Basically, what I inferred from all of this is that I should probably be using both.

I’ve been using the salt scrub once or twice a week now, and you definitely feel the benefits afterwards, as it’s an excellent exfoliant. What I’m really impressed with, though, is the sugar scrub. I use that one more often, and because this is a hot scrub, you also get a delightful thermal reaction. Immediately on applying this to the skin, it heats up, so I’m willing to bet that this particular sugar scrub also comes with circulatory benefits, as well.

A word of caution, though: make sure your skin is wet before you apply it, and that your hair is well out of the way. The first time I tried this stuff out (it’s thick as treacle, and twice as sticky), I ended up plastering my hair into it at the back of my arm. I actually found I could not free myself, and freaked out in the shower a little bit, flailing around with my head cocked to one side as I frantically tried to untangle myself. (Manual removal was impossible; I had to wet it to get it out.)

I would recommend both of these scrubs– but if you can only opt for one, the better choice is probably the Hot Sugar Scrub. If you can stretch to it, though, getting both is the ideal scenario, so you can alternate them as needed.

Have you tried either of these products? Are you a scrub fan, or do you prefer some other exfoliation method? Do you have a similar product you’d like to recommend? Drop me a line and let me know!

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