Be Aware of Harmful Ingredients in Body Scrubs

Be Aware of Harmful Ingredients in Body Scrubs

In the quest for smooth, radiant skin, body scrubs have become a popular addition to many people's skincare routines. These products promise to exfoliate dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and revitalized. However, not all body scrubs are created equal. 

Some of them contain harmful ingredients that can do more harm than good. Let’s shed light on some of these harmful ingredients found in body scrubs and why you should be cautious about what you put on your skin.

  • Microplastics

One of the most concerning ingredients in some body scrubs is microplastics. These tiny plastic particles are often used as exfoliants and can wreak havoc on the environment and your skin. When you rinse off a scrub containing microplastics, these minuscule particles can end up in oceans and rivers, where they pose a significant threat to marine life.

Furthermore, when used on your skin, microplastics can cause micro-tears and damage to the delicate surface. They can also disrupt the skin's natural barrier, leading to increased sensitivity and moisture loss.

It’s important to find a scrub with natural exfoliants just as sugar, oatmeal, or coffee just to name a few. 

  • Parabens

Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals commonly used in cosmetics as preservatives. They have been linked to hormone disruption and have even been found in breast cancer tissue, although the exact connection between parabens and cancer is still under investigation. To be on the safe side, it's wise to choose body scrubs that are paraben-free.

Commonly used names for parabens include Methyl Hydroxy Benzoate (or Methyl Hydroxybenzoate), Benzoic Acid, 4-Hydroxy-, Methyl Ester or Methyl-4-Hydroxybenzoate, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben

  • Synthetic Fragrances

Fragrance can be a real treat for the senses, but when it's synthetic, it often hides a cocktail of potentially harmful chemicals. Synthetic fragrances can irritate the skin, trigger allergies, and even disrupt the endocrine system. Look for body scrubs that use natural, essential oil-based fragrances instead.

BUT DONT PANIC! It’s easy to feel like you need to get rid of every product you own – but understand that chemicals are in everything and that no product can be 100% chemical-free – even water is technically a chemical. 

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

SLS and SLES are commonly used as foaming agents and surfactants in many body scrubs. They create that luxurious lather we associate with a thorough cleansing experience. However, they can also strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness, irritation, and even exacerbating skin conditions like eczema. Opt for SLS and SLES-free options to protect your skin's moisture balance.

  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

PEG compounds are used in body scrubs to help ingredients penetrate the skin more deeply. However, they can also facilitate the absorption of harmful substances into your body. PEGs can be contaminated with potentially toxic substances such as ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. To avoid these risks, choose body scrubs that are PEG-free.


While body scrubs can be a delightful addition to your skincare routine, it's crucial to be discerning about the products you choose. Harmful ingredients like microplastics, parabens, synthetic fragrances, SLS, SLES, and PEGs can have adverse effects on your skin and the environment. To protect your health and minimize your ecological footprint, opt for body scrubs made from natural and safe ingredients. Always read product labels, do your research, and choose wisely to ensure your skin gets the care it deserves without any hidden dangers. Your skin and the planet will thank you for it.