The Devil ….. in scrub form


I make my own soaps and scrubs, it’s what I do. All natural ingredients, I use the fruits grown in my yard, I use essential oils, I use glycerine, I use chocolate, and sticks of cocoa, I could go on. I actually did a soap making course in London a few years ago after I realised some toiletries were just too harsh for my skin. My skin will cry during romantic comedies and be hurt if someone yells at it….you know, very sensitive.

So what have we established? I know some products are too harsh for my skin, ( the dermatologist says I get contact dermatitis and I must read the label before I get washing up liquid and anything else that will come in contact with my skin). For example, I can’t wear those latex marigold gloves (though that’s different because it’s more of an allergy), I can’t use a very citrus based dish washing liquid, or in a matter or minutes or hours, my hands start itching, get little water blisters, then take a matter of days to go away, leaving my hands looking like they’ve been roasted on an open fire, more the hard peeling skin, less the char.

Being me, I ran out of the glycerine base I use to make my soaps but my lovely cousin in London had brought me St.Ives Apricot Scrub. What damage could this do? It’s apricot, that natural and not harsh…..I really should have read the ingredients *chastises self*

But let me back up. Yes we’ve established that my skin is sensitive, and that some products can irritate it. What I haven’t said is the why. Most of the shampoos, soaps, body washes, toothpastes, etc, have an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or, ..what is in this scrub the “less harsh cousin” Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). This is the chemical that makes the products lather, this is an industrial strength cleaner that gives you bubbly effervescence. Both chemicals, aka surfactants, are incredibly damaging to the hair and skin, in cases liver toxicity has been reported. I am not making this up, it’s easy enough to Google and have a look for yourself, but here’s a link you can start from .

Back to my drama……

So I started using the scrub, after a few days I noticed my skin was a little more oily than usual, but I shrugged it off, thinking that it was just extra hot and I got extra greasy. Then came the dryness, and the irritation. My skin became tight, it started peeling as though I had a sunburn, what I didn’t realise at the time was that it wasn’t just superficial peeling. Scabs started to form, it seems the skin peeled raw so raw that my body tried to protect and heal itself but covering the thinned skin with scabs. And no I didn’t take pictures…I never think of those things until it’s too late. It was then I read the ingredients, and i immediately stopped using it. It took some days for the dryness to subside, and right now I look like I’ve been out in wind chill factors in the minus numbers, patches of my cheeks are still red and irritated. As I type I’m fighting the urge to scratch because parts of my face are itching, and in others I’m breaking out.

So I implore you all, read the label and do some research before you buy that ‘healthy shiny hair. clear beautiful skin’ product.


One response »

  1. I’ve been using St Ives for years and now that you mention it…on days when I dont use it, my skin is fine but on the days that I do, my nose gets extremely oily. AND I have a huge nose, so that doesn’t sit so well with me getting oily several times per day. I may have to find a new and better scrub

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