Measured Micrograins + is an oatmeal-based scrub, which, in terms of its abrasiveness, is fairly gentle on skin. In a turn for the worse, however, the formula now includes the skin-irritant menthyl lactate as well as a handful of fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose even greater risk to the "unpredictable skin" that Bioelements says this product is good for. Simply put: Just don't do go there!
Measured Micrograins + comes in a jar and has a thick, creamy texture that allows it to double as a mask as promised, but leaving this on skin is no bargain. As mentioned above it contains a slew of potential irritants, chief among them, menthyl lactate which is a used to produce the "calming" cooling sensation you feel while applying this product. While that may sound spa-like and soothing, that cool, tingling sensation is actually your skin's way of telling you that it's being irritated. Even if your skin doesn't appear to be irritated on the surface level, the cumulative damage adds up and can have pro-aging repercussions over time (see More Info).
What about the claim that Measured Micrograins + "controls excess oil to refine pores"? Unfortunately, the irritation it incites can actually make oily, acne-prone skin worse as we explain in the More Info section.
All told, just don't bother with this bad to the bone scrub, and opt for a superior option on our Best Exfoliants list instead.
- Oatmeal as an exfoliating agent is fairly gentle in terms of its abrasiveness.
- Contains multiple irritants that weaken skin, including menthyl lactate.
- Fragranced formula is the opposite of calming for "unpredictable skin", despite claims.
- May trigger excess oil production rather than help control it as promised.
Inclusion of Known Irritants: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
Irritation's Connection to Oily Skin & Breakouts: Inflammation in skin is usually related to external factors such as irritation that damages the skin's barrier in numerous ways, whether you can see the reaction or not. When irritation on the surface of skin happens it activates specific chemicals called neuropeptides in the brain (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2007). Those substances are specifically the kind that regulates the hormonal system of the body.
When this happens, it leads to the formation of inflammatory chemicals directly in the oil gland. These inflammatory chemicals trigger an increase in oil production, which can increase the size of the pore, and the likelihood of acne—the more inflammation that occurs, the worse the risk (European Journal of Dermatology, 2002 & Dermatology, 2003).
Bottom line: Inflammation and its resulting irritation, whether internal or external (for this discussion externally it would be due to the use of irritating ingredients, hot water, overusing scrubs, etc.), is practically a guarantee you will see excess production of oil, larger pores and more acne breakouts (Experimental Dermatology, 2009 & Dermato-Endocrinology, 2011).
That's reason enough to avoid products with irritating ingredients, which often come in the form of fragrance including the misnamed "essential" oils.