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Rating Ingredient
Good

alumina

Aluminum oxide, which is used as an abrasive, a thickening agent, and an absorbent in cosmetics.

Good

aluminum silicate

Salt that has absorbent and abrasive properties.

Categories: Absorbent, Scrub Agents
Average

apricot kernel

Often used as an abrasive agent in so-called "natural" scrubs. Apricot kernals have irregular and...

Categories: Scrub Agents
Average

azuki beans

Legumes that are often ground up for use in skincare scrub products.

Categories: Scrub Agents
Average

diatomaceous earth

Light-colored porous rock composed of the skeletons of minute sea creatures called diatoms....

Categories: Scrub Agents
Good

polyethylene

A form of plastic (synthetic polymer) that has numerous functions in cosmetic products. Rounded...

Good

polyethylene glycol

Also listed as PEG on ingredient labels, polyethylene glycol is an ingredient that self-proclaimed...

Average

sea salt

Can be effective as a topical scrub, but if left on skin it can increase skin sensitivity to UVB...

Categories: Scrub Agents, Sensitizing
Good

sodium chloride

More popularly known as common table salt. Used primarily as a binding agent in skincare products...

Categories: Scrub Agents
Average

walnut shell powder

Abrasive used in scrub products; not preferred to polyethylene beads.

Categories: Scrub Agents

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!