Friday, 13 July 2012

The Comprehensive Guide to Exfoliating Facial Scrubs for Men (Boyfriend post)

The War of the Exfoliants

As most of you are probably aware, exfoliating before shaving is a great way to soften your stubble and reduce the chances of irritation from shaving, whilst helping you to achieve a much smoother finish. It also helps to clear out any pollutants from your pores and when used correctly makes you feel thoroughly refreshed.

I seem to have accumulated a few facial scrubs over the past few months, so I have decided to give them all a try and provide a comprehensive review for all you guys.

So without further a due, I'd like to introduce the four candidates for my best facial scrub recommendation.





(1) BOTANICS - Mens Normal/Dry Face Wash (£3 for 150ml) (£1.50 for 75ml) Refreshes, invigorates and softens stubble. Ginseng stimulate and protects.
Directions: Massage onto wet skin. Rinse with warm water and gently pat dry.

Verdict: This is a clear gel-like wash with a slightly sticky consistency. It has quite a pleasant manly scent and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean, with stubble slightly softer. The one downside for me is the sticky gel feeling of it as it reminds me a bit of hair product and doesn't feel as nice as some of the other products when you apply it to your skin. It slightly irritated my skin, but is not the 'sensitive skin' option that is also available so I won't hold that against it. If you don't mind the way that this product feels whilst applying then it is definitely a bargain for the money. 
                                   Price: ★
Softening of Stubble: 
 Pleasant to Apply: 
    Lack of irritation: 
                      Scent: 

(2) ELEMIS - Energising Skin Scrub (£25.60 for 75ml) Recharge and prime the skin for a clean, smooth shave, with this dynamic exfoliator, formulated with Bilberry and Meadowsweet in a Vitamin E base. The scrub rapidly resurfaces, 'polishes' and brightens the skin, lifting the facial hair before shaving and helping to prevent ingrown hairs and blemishes. The skin is left feeling smooth, refined and deeply cleansed.
Directions: Use twice weekly before shaving. Apply to damp skin, gently massage over face and neck and rinse off with warm water.

Verdict: This has been my staple facial scrub for a number of years now. It has never irritated my skin, and has always helped me to achieve a very smooth shave. I have always been very happy with it, however by carrying out this review, I have suddenly realised how expensive it is compared to its rivals. Never-the-less, this is the bench mark product that I am comparing the other three against. It has a white creamy appearance with small exfoliating beads, which gently cleanse your skin whilst you rub your hands in small circles over your face delicately for a couple of minutes. Then rinse off, pat dry and apply shaving foam or gel for a closer shave.
          Price: ★    
Softening of Stubble: 
     Pleasant to Apply: 
        Lack of irritation: 
                  Scent: 
(3) LIZ EARLE FOR MEN - Face Scrub (£13.25 for 75ml) Pumice and jojoba beads exfoliate and help clear blocked pores which can cause blemishes, bumps and ingrowing hairs. Purifying formula contains antibacterial eucalyptus oil. Leaves skin clearer and ultra-smooth.
Directions: After shaving, wet face, massage gently avoiding eye area, rinse thoroughly. Use 1-2 times per week. Follow with After-Shaving Moisturiser. Avoid use on sensitive or inflamed skin.

Verdict: This product is very similar to the Elemis scrub in terms of consistency, as it is a thick white cream with quite big tough beads in it that provide a good exfoliating scrub. Due to the roughness of the beads, it doesn't surprise me that it is only recommended to use only once or twice a week, as it is slightly harsher than the others. It does however soften stubble exceptionally well. The only downside for me is the scent, as the eucalyptus oil is very overpowering and overpowers the smell, which is similar to that of an antibacterial cleaning spray.
                    Price: 
 Softening of Stubble: 
  Pleasant to Apply: 
     Lack of irritation: 
           Scent: 

(4) NICKEL - Super Clean Face Scrubbing Gel (£16 for 125ml) (£9.60 for 75ml) Designed to eliminate a full complexion, an irregular texture, shiny patches and smooth your skin.
Directions: Gently massage into skin with water and rinse. Can be used every day even on sensitive skin or once / twice a week when you feel the need for a more in-depth clean.


Verdict: This product has the nicest scent out of all four of the options in this review. It has a similar gel-like consistency to that of the Botanics wash that I wasn't particularly keen on. However it contains small exfoliating beads, which improve the softening of stubble. Price-wise it is also very competitive, being the second cheapest option available here.
                             Price: 
  Softening of Stubble: 
   Pleasant to Apply: 
           Lack of irritation: 
                                 Scent: 

In Conclusion...

Personally, the Elemis scrub remains my favourite as it has the best overall performance of the four options. Its consistency is great, it smells great (my girlfriend loves it!), and it leaves your skin incredibly soft and smooth after shaving.  It is however, a very expensive option in comparison, so if money is an issue, then I would recommend the Nickel face scrub (if you don't mind the gel feel) as it has good exfoliating beads and a great scent. If scent isn't so important for you, then I'd choose the Liz Earle product ahead of this one, as it performs better for its purpose, and you can easily wash away the scent by rinsing your face more thoroughly after shaving and following up with after shave.

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