Brown vs. White Sugar in Body Scrubs

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Both brown and white sugars are featured in sugar scrubs, which you can use to exfoliate and soften the skin on your face and the rest of your body. Although they are similar in many ways, there are a few key differences to consider when deciding which to use. No matter which you choose, always perform a small patch test in a discreet area before using a scrub to make sure your skin won’t react negatively to the ingredients.

The Similarities

Because they are granular, brown and white sugars are both added to facial and body scrubs as exfoliants. Salt can also be used as an exfoliant, but sugars have smaller granules and don’t leave behind microscopic cuts in the skin like salt does. Salt also has a drying effect on the skin, while sugar is a natural humectant, meaning that it pulls moisture from the air and into your skin. Both types of sugar contain glycolic acid, an agent that helps skin cells regenerate faster for a more youthful appearance.

The Differences

While white sugar is refined using a chemical process, brown sugar is colored naturally with molasses. Molasses is high in vitamin B, which is an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Brown sugar is also softer and has finer grains than white sugar. Because of this, brown sugar is often used in facial scrubs, while white sugar is added to body scrubs.