Battle of the Beauty World: Face Scrubs Vs Face Masks

 Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes 

The famous American jeweler, Harry Winston once said, “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”
Although spoken many years ago, the quote is still relevant. Its beauty lies in the fact that it can be used in a plethora of ways. There can be multiple interpretations of this quote and you should pick whichever one suits you best. There are people who wake up early and get ready while putting in extra effort every single day by following their skincare routine like using face scrub and face creams etc., and then there are the lazy heads who skate through life with the bare minimum.

Kumkumadi scrub is placed on stones with leaves behind it.

As great as heading out with a full face of makeup looks, we cannot deny that the amount of time that goes into looking that way is ridiculous. The clean girl look has been trending for a while so at least the girls do not have to do a full-blown Smokey eye every single day.

The best thing about the clean girl aesthetic is the emphasis on good skin. Skin tints, BB and CC creams are proof that the age of full coverage is gone and we are here for the bare, juicy and glowing skin. Wanting spotless skin with dark spot on face is timeless, but it is very much in vogue currently because of the same reasons.

Apart from your basic CTM (Cleansing, Toning and Moisturizing) routine, two other products, namely face scrubs and face masks are widely popular when it comes to skincare. In this blog, we will find all about what face scrubs and face masks are, what are the pros and cons of using them and if you need them or not.

What is a Face scrub?

A face scrub, as the name suggests is a scrub that is used to remove the dead skin off the face. Dust, pollution, sun's heat. The skin naturally repairs itself generating new skin cells, through the process of epidermal turnover. The dead skin on top must be removed. This is where the face scrubs come in. They exfoliate the skin by scrubbing off the dead skin from the face and leave the skin looking radiant. Face scrubs physically exfoliate the skin by introducing physical abrasion to the skin. The physical abrasion scrubs away the dead skin.

A face scrub is used on a cleansed face, so that all the dirt, makeup and grime do not meddle with your pores. If used on a dirty face, the physically abrasive particles may push the dirt and the make-up into the pores of your face.

So you cleanse first (with cleanser, but we would recommend you to use natural products like ayurvedic face wash so that there are no side effects on your skin), then use a face scrub followed by a toner (a natural face toner like rose face water or a rose face tonic works equally well) and finally moisturize with either a face cream or a face serum. It is imperative to moisturize after scrubbing because face scrubs are physically abrasive.

Do you need a face scrub?

The skin's topmost layer is known as the epidermis. The skin's cell turnover process keeps producing new cells. The older cells of the epidermis die and new cells are generated. As we age, this process becomes slower. Using a face scrub removes the dead skin and also activates cell turnover. What needs to be kept in mind is that excess of anything is bad.

Face scrubs should not be used more than 2-3 times a week, because if used excessively, they can cause micro-tears on the skin, which damage the skin's barrier and leave the skin prone to irritation, flakiness, sensitivity etc. So yes, your skin needs a face scrub, but in moderation. If you want glowing skin, opt for a kumkumadi scrub that offers gentle exfoliation. If you are struggling with a tan, opt for a Face scrub with coffee or if you don’t have one then you can make DIY face scrub, home remedy to remove tan on face. There are also various brands that have come up with variants of a face scrub for men as well as women.

Just like any skincare product, face scrubs too, have pros and cons, as listed below:

face scrub with leaves are placed on yellow table

Pros of using face scrubs

As stated above, the primary use of face scrub is the removal of dead skin. As we age, cell turnover keeps slowing down. Scrubs help promote the process.

1. Face scrubs deep clean the pores and remove the excess sebum in them. This promotes overall skin health and controls the face from looking oily. It even protects us against blackheads and whiteheads.

2. The exfoliation helps in lightening the acne scars and sunspots by aiding in cell turnover.

3. Face scrubs make the skin's texture better by giving you soft and smooth skin. It prevents acne by deep cleaning the pores and helps you avoid skin texture.

4. Your skin care products perform better with fresh skin and clean pores, as they can penetrate the skin better.

Cons of using face scrubs

1. Face scrubs contain physically abrasive particles. If sharp, these particles could cause micro-tears on the skin. The facial skin is much thinner in comparison with the rest of the body. So, it is very important to pick a face scrub that does not have sharp particles for exfoliation like Blue Nectar Kumkumadi Scrub.

2. Face scrubs are a way of skin exfoliation. If used a lot, they tend to over-exfoliate the skin and weaken its barrier significantly.

3. Face scrubs are a great way to absorb excess oils from the face. However, overuse of the same can remove the necessary natural oils and dry out your skin causing it to flake. 

4. Physically abrasive face scrubs can cause allergic reactions or redness because of excessive rubbing and are more susceptible to causing acne.

What is a face mask?

A face mask is a skincare product designed to cater to specific issues of the skin. They provide a spa-like experience at home and can be very relaxing. In contrast to the face scrubs, they are supposed to be applied to the skin for a longer time and do not have to be necessarily washed off. Not only do face masks cater to different issues but they are also of different types, like sheet masks, natural multani mitti masks, clay masks and peel-off masks, etc.

As stated earlier, face masks cater to various skin issues. Some offer hydration, some moisturization and some oil control, etc. They too are to be applied on clean skin, as the dust and the natural oils present on the skin might disturb the product and you might not get the desired results. If you think about it, cleansing your skin is always the first step in every skincare routine. You could simply begin your skincare routine by cleaning your face with a gentle ayurvedic face or double cleansing, using a cleansing balm/oil/micellar water/ rose face water/ Vetiver Face Water followed by a face wash. If you decide to use face scrub after using face wash, face masks come third. The masks tend to act and perform better when applied on clean skin.

Do you need a face mask?

Face masks are an attempt to get that something extra for your skin. It is an added step to your skincare routine, sure but it is for something specific. Cleansers clean the face and moisturizers moisturise it.  Face masks may enhance the facial glow, remove excess oil, or provide more hydration/moisturization to dry skin, etc. Everyone’s skin is different. Some people suffer from oily acne-prone skin and some from dehydrated skin, Both these people naturally have to take different courses of action for their skin.

So, if there is a particular skin concern you want to work with, opt for a face mask that is suitable for that concern. Just like face scrubs, face masks too, are supposed to be used not more than once or twice a week.

girl is applying face scrub on her face by her fingers infront of mirror

Just like any skincare product, face masks too, have pros and cons, as listed below:

Pros of using face masks

1. Face masks provide specific results. Most face masks cater to specific needs so they act on those and provide specific results as well.

2. Face masks can be deeply nourishing to the skin. When massaged into the skin, they help with blood circulation and give your face a radiant and youthful glow.

3. Most mild face cleansers are unable to deep clean your skin(it is recommended to use gentle face wash like ayurvedic face wash). Applying a face mask once or twice deep cleans the pores and helps you achieve the skin of your dreams.

4. Face masks are known to help with skin imperfections like dark spot on face, fine lines and wrinkles. They also help in making the skin look plump and healthy.

5. They give a soothing effect. It feels very therapeutic to apply a face mask as it affirms that you are actively making an effort for your skin.

Cons of using face masks

1. Wearing face masks on for longer than the prescribed time, or wearing them on a face that has not been properly cleaned may cause skin allergies and irritation.

2. Wearing a face mask that does not align with your skin concerns can damage your skin’s barrier. For example, a face mask for dry skin can do serious damage to a person with oily skin.

3. Overuse of face masks may cause clogging of pores, resulting in acne and other skin issues.

4. Most face marks contain a lot of fragrance, which is known to be an irritant to sensitive skin. Use a natural mask like multani mitti mixed with rose face water. Rose face water has a natural sweet fragrance and won’t therefore harm the skin.

5. It is very difficult to ascertain if a face mask is causing you skin problems because of how less it is used.

6. Sheet masks, which have been trending for a while now, are very bad for the environment. The packaging uses a lot of plastic and it is very wasteful.

Face Scrubs Vs Face Masks: Which is better?

Both face scrubs and face masks are products that go the extra mile in helping our skin achieve what it needs. They’re both out of the simple cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine. They share a few similarities, but they have their differences.

Face scrubs mostly comprise a creamy consistency and while face masks may have a creamy consistency as well, they are not limited to just that. They might have a gel/liquid/solid consistency.

Face scrubs are physically abrasive and may cause micro-tears in the facial skin. Face masks are rarely physically abrasive and even if they are, they do not cause micro-tears as they do not have to be rubbed against the skin.

Face scrubs mostly focus on exfoliation and deep cleaning of the skin. Face masks can do the same, but they can focus on other areas like moisturizing the skin, calming irritated skin, etc.

Both face scrubs and face masks should be applied in moderation. Excessive use of either would destroy the skin’s barrier.

face mask container is placed on blue table with coffee beans spilled

You cannot really say which one is better than the other because the use of either or both is subject to the skin’s requirements. A person with normal skin without any pressing skin concerns might not need a face scrub, but a person with oily skin would. Similarly, a person with extremely dry skin might never need a face scrub but would benefit greatly from a deeply moisturizing face mask.

We may conclude by stating that both face scrubs and face masks are products that are supposed to work wonders for the skin if picked and used with caution and that overuse of either can compromise the skin’s barrier. However, the need to use either or both is a personal choice as it pertains to the face’s skin. Figure out your skin type, figure out if you have a specific issue to tackle, and then make an informed choice as to which is the best face scrub or face mask for you.

A parting note - It is best and safest to use natural ayurvedic products. Blue Nectar is a contemporary ayurved brand which has high herb quotient. They offer a wide variety of products for various skin issues. They also have a range of face scrubs and face masks like Shubhr Kumkumadi Brightening & Radiance Face Scrub and Shubhr Turmeric Star Anise Ubtan Face Pack & Mask for Glowing Skin & Tan removal. The skin-loving products works like magic for the skin.


Recommended Products by Blue Nectar:


Shubhr Kumkumadi Brightening & Radiance Face Scrub | Non-Drying Gentle Exfoliation

 Shubhr Almond & Flax Seed Ubtan Face Mask/Pack for Skin Firming & Anti Aging

Kumkumadi Tailam Face Serum with Pure Sandalwood & Saffron for Glowing Skin

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