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As far as exfoliating scrubs go (and admittedly I do not use a lot), Sweetsation for Men Smoothing Facial Scrub ($22) is a winner. Years ago (I'm 41 now), I abandoned physical exfoliants in favor of chemical exfoliants after reading an article about them. What turned me off, if I remember correctly, is that physical exfoliants could actually tear and damage skin.
However, after looking over the Sweetsation facial scrub, ingredients such as caviar and MSM intrigued me enough to overlook my prejudice. Exfoliating properties in the scrub are provided by pumice and apricot seeds. It contains anti-inflammatories to soothe your freshly scrubbed skin, including witch hazel and calendula. There are also a couple of vitamins thrown in, as well as the antioxidant CoQ10. I like the inclusion of antioxidants, but realistically, they are probably not on your skin long enough to do much.
The first thing I noticed about the scrub was the scent. To me, it is masculine and intoxicating; to a couple of ladies I asked, it was not overly loved. It is heavy on the sandalwood.
I limited my use of Sweetsations Facial Scrub to once a week. I did not however limit use to my face; I generously applied and scrubbed my face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, elbows, knees — anywhere I wanted to feel softer, really! And baby soft was how I felt anywhere I used it!
I do want to mention the one negative I found, and it is not actually with the scrub itself, but with the packaging. It is amateur. And though it may not have anything to do with the effectiveness of what is inside, it bothers me when a company does not value the effectiveness of good design. After all, why should anyone take their product seriously if they cannot take their packaging design seriously?
Overall, I am still a much bigger fan of chemical exfoliants, but I was won over by the Sweetsations scrub enough to not want it to run out. And that is generally my barometer of how much I like a product.