“Massage or body scrub?” Chances are you’d select massage–it’s familiar, feels good and is known to stimulate circulation.[sup]1[/sup] Most of us have only a vague idea about scrubs as a beneficial and rejuvenating body treatment.

Body scrubs have been around for ages. The Romans used olive oils to nourish and soften the skin, and massaged it vigorously all over their body.[sup]2[/sup] Today we know our skin renews itself every month.[sup]3[/sup] Dead skin cells cover our bodies and act as a protective layer—and then this layer will naturally slough off. Our use of preservative-laden soaps interferes with the natural sloughing process, leaving dead skin cells that block skin pores and make it harder for the body to purge toxins. The result is often dry, itchy and less-than-healthy looking skin.

If you experience some of these issues, you should consider a body scrub. The two most popular are Salt and Sugar Scrubs. Which is a better scrub for you? They are both good and at the same time different.

Salt is the most popular scrub used all over the world because it resonates our own body chemistry. Salt is the essential component of the body’s extracellular fluids which helps carry nutrients into the cells and regulates various body functions.[sup]4[/sup] Natural salts, such as Turkish salts or Dead Sea salts, contain magnesium that can aid the body in calming the nerves and muscles. Additionally, sodium is a natural detoxifying agent that helps retain nourishments and expel waste. Because of these components, salt is known to be more abrasive but more purifying to the skin.

The sugar scrub naturally comes from sugar cane. It is less abrasive and melts faster when applied to a warm body, but do not discount this sweet substance. Raw sugar cane has a natural enzyme alpha hydroxyl property that gently buffs away dead skin cells, cleans and unclogs pores as it slowly melts on your skin.[sup]5[/sup]

Both of these scrubs are mixed with a base oil such as olive, safflower or coconut oil to give nice texture. Most have added essential oils for an extra herbal benefits and scents. A good body scrub can be done in 30 minutes by itself, 60 or 90 minutes with a combination of baths and of course, nourishing body massage to complete the experience.

It can be your own ritual of releasing your old self and welcoming the new you.

Jessica Blaisdell is a State Certified Massage Therapist. She has worked as a spa treatment provider at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa for 8 years. She is also the creative mind behind Instruments of Inspiration and can be reached at 760-401-1077 or visit her site at www.InstrumentsofInspiration.net.

References: (1) Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy, Mel Cash, 1996; (2) Conversation with Pam Price, Travel Writer, 2011; (3) Ageless body, timeless mind, Deepak Chopra Audio CD. Part 1; (4) New beauty magazine, fall 2010 pg 108 vol.6; (5) Pure Figi 2007 brochure

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