Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub

I am, as I often am, indebted to British Beauty Blogger for her review of this remarkable product – Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub – which she described as ‘one heck of a scrub’.  Well it certainly should be because the first item on the ingredient list is ruby crystals.  BBB is rightly cynical about beauty business claims and brushed the ruby thing off as a sales gimmick.  But in this case, there is something about rubies that makes them uniquely suitable as the abrasive agent in a scrub.  They are one of the hardest substances known to man.

Chemist’s measure hardness on the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale is one of those ideas that is deceptively simple but very useful. It works simply by assessing a material’s ability to scratch another. So for example flint, or quartz to give it its chemical name scratches gypsum, so it is harder. Quartz rates a 7 on the Mohs scale, whil gypsum only scores 2. The hardest material of all is diamond, which gets the top rating of 10.

Ruby is just beaten by diamond, but still scores a 9. Normal sandpaper would score about 7.  So this is seriously abrasive material and I am not at all surprised that BBB found it to be effective.  Quite rightly she advises people with sensitive skin to be careful with this scrub.   We are talking industrial level scrapability here.

Scrubs are designed, or at usually designed, to remove the dead cells at the surface of the skin and reveal the fresher younger skin below.  You don’t really want to take off more than the thinnest layer from the surface.  Go much deeper and you risk impairing your skin’s barrier function.  Go further still and you can right down to the dermis and possibly even make your skin bleed.  This isn’t going to improve your skin at all, it will damage it.

Most people know what they are doing with scrubs and get the results they want from them.  If you want to try this one, bear in mind it is going to be a lot harsher than what you are used to.  But some people seem to really enjoy the scrub experience and if you fall into this category then this might be one for you.  It does also contain some seaweed extract for whatever that is supposed to do and hyaluronic acid which is a good moisturiser – though this is hardly the product to get the best out of it.

The other striking feature is the very high price – it is in the £60 bracket in the UK.  This price might sound steep for a scrub, but this is going to be a difficult product to manufacture.  The rubies are going to grind away stainless steel with ease so it will have to be made on plant that has been specially adapted.  This applies not just to the tank it is mixed in but the filling line as well.  I imagine this will add a lot of cost.

So this is likely to be an interesting experience.  I have to say that I was somewhat astonished when I realised what the proposition was.  But I really shouldn’t have been.  There is no idea too eccentric or far fetched for somebody somewhere in the beauty business to put it into a product.

(I am trying out a new way of writing posts by ex-temporising about them first straight to camera.  I’ll see how well this works, but here is the video this one was based on.  If you like hearing people say umm a lot you might enjoy it.)

6 thoughts on “Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub”

  1. Hi Colin
    I’ve had two close shaves with abrasives over the years.
    The first was with Aluminium oxide – another pretty hard material
    With Ronnie we compared the daily use of this material on skin versus both retinoid acid and benzoyl peroxide. (“The effects of an abrasive agent on normal skin and on photoaged skin in comparison with topical tretinoin”; R Marks, S Hill SP Barton British Journal of Dermatology 1990 123, 457-466) The measurements used were skin thickness (ultrasound) and linear extensibility (force required for standardised linear displacement with Ronnie’s “extensometer”). The (quite) surprising result was that abrasion brought about similar skin thickening and tensing effects to RA. We reasoned at the time that this was rather like a “frictional-callus” response or low grade wound healing. As such this fits with current thinking of skin ageing being similar to chronic wound and many anti-ageing modalities (including microdermabrasion) being a “wound healing action”.
    My second brush with abrasives was when I joined Oriflame where they had just developed “Diamond Cream”. The intention was to produce a luxury product with a luxury feel; we wanted to avoid abrasiveness. The source was actually a “dust” of fine diamond micro-particles hardly visible under the microscope and undetectable by abrasion on the skin. One reason for the sensorial properties was the “dust” effect, the second an incredibly “cushioning formulation”. Little problem in the factories too – to add to your excellent thoughts on MD Doctors’ Scrub.
    I wonder if this product also used microfine particles but formulated for the abrasion rather than the luxurious feel?
    Like many things in cosmetics, abrasion and the skin requires the Goldilocks approach – not too much ; not too little; just right!

  2. I truly enjoyed reading this post and agree with you. Seaweed extract could specify carrageenan or agarose which is probably applied as a viscosity modifier. Seaweed extract is not the real INCI name as you know but it is more fanciful than carrageenan or agarose and would better suit the ruby and the modest price of the product.

  3. Haven’t used said ruby exfoliate, but I sometimes use Himalayan pink salt. My acupuncture has me put 1/4 tsp of the salt in 1 1/2 qt. water to drink daily. Has all minerals we need. So, I take a sm. amt. of water and add to H. salt. Rub on my body, especially my arms and legs. Feels good and makes skin softer. I don’t use it on my face.

  4. Rubies are also appearing in products as “illuminators” instead of exfoliants. I imagine there is no science behind the idea that ruby dust will make your face glow.

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