Using scrubs on Manicure or Pedicure clients

An effective skin scrub is an enjoyable part of a great manicure in most salons and spas. Scrubs remove dead skin cells, hydrate skin and leave hands looking smooth, more supple and younger. However, there are many different types of skin scrubs out there with many different scents and it can be hard to know which ones to choose for your business. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of various types of scrubs which are typically used in manicures. 


Salt scrubs, sometimes also referred to as salt glows, are a popular part of manicure and pedicure treatments that usually utilize sea salt in grain form (as opposed to crystal form). These particles are small enough, and yet still also abrasive enough, to clean pores and remove dead skin. The healthiest, most hydrated skin is generally a few layers below the outermost skin. Therefore, the idea is that, after using a salt scrub, hands will feel smoother and look younger because the healthier skin is now exposed. Many salt scrubs come with scents like lavender, mint or or citrus. However, some technicians and their clients prefer unscented formulas which usually just consist of the salt and a natural, massage oil base. 


Sugar scrubs are another type of scrub which are, many times, used as part of manicure and pedicure treatments. Due to the larger size of sugar crystals, sugar scrubs are generally only used for areas with less sensitive skin (such as hands and feet), whereas salt scrubs are also, sometimes, used on facial skin. Sugar scrubs are quite abrasive and, for this reason, are useful in exfoliating skin during manicures or pedicures but can leave the treatment area red, irritated and with small scratches if it is not applied correctly. Sugar scrubs, similar to salt scrubs, many times have pleasant scents added to them although they can be unscented.


Manicure and pedicure technicians who don’t utilize sugar or salt scrubs might opt to use coffee scrubs instead. Coffee, due to the fact that it is also characteristically abrasive in crystal form, can be used to exfoliate dry, dead, outer layers of skin. Some people prefer coffee scrubs to sugar or salt scrubs due to the caffeine content inside of the coffee which is said to have benefits and be mildly absorbable through skin pores. Proponents argue that coffee scrubs contain antioxidants which have anti-aging benefits and can promote collagen production in the hands and feet when used in manicure or pedicure treatments. As a tip, coffee scrubs, like salt scrubs, are also sometimes used on facial skin and, more recently, as a popular treatment for under eye bags in beauty circles. Therefore, coffee scrubs are also versatile.


Charcoal scrubs, although utilized much less than salt scrubs, sugar scrubs or even coffee scrubs, are another option to offer your manicure and pedicure clients. Charcoal has the ability to absorb dirt and excess oil from the skin. It is also relatively gentle and can be used for various areas including hands, feet and the face. Because of this, Charcoal skin scrubs can be a versatile option to keep in your business as they can be used for manicures, pedicures and even facials.


Although there are numerous different types of scrubs, and with different scents, which are appropriate for manicure and pedicure clients, they each have their strengths and shortcomings and so it is important to analyze a client’s skin and decide, with their input, which type of scrub would be best. For instance, those who are more focused on exfoliation may do better to choose a more abrasive scrub like a sugar or salt scrub whereas someone with more sensitive skin, or who is looking for additional benefits like deep cleansing or antioxidants, may do better to choose a coffee or charcoal scrub.