Recently we've all been privileged to try a variety of beauty products on your behalf to find the best of what's out there to get you prepared for summer.
The basis for most beauty treatments is to start with smooth and polished skin…therefore exfoliators are vital in preparation for summer and throughout the summer to keep your skin looking refreshed and vitalised and the following few work wonders. Read on.
(in the interested of full disclosure all exfoliators were provided gratis for the purpose of review unless otherwise noted)
Out of all the scrubs this one was the most medicinal. A very fine and gentle exfoliant, it's gentle enough to use on your face which is always a bonus. The scrub itself was very fine but still did a very good job. It did a much better job of clarifying the skin and evening out the tone through it's exfoliating properties than it did of moisturizing. That said the primary goal of an exfoliator is to exfoliate, anything else it does is an added bonus and it exfoliated well.
I felt this did a very good job of clearing up my ingrown hairs (ugh am I plagued by them!) and whilst I'm sure that's not it's purpose it's definitely a good enough reason for me to continue to use and recommend the use of this exfoliator.
INGREDIENTS: sweet almond oil, apricot oil, pure granulated sugar, brown sugar, sodium bicarbonate, shea butter, espresso beans, oatmeal, sea salt, vanilla fragrance oil, coffee fragrance oil
SMELL: Strong coffee/espresso scent – great for the coffee lovers out there but could take some getting used to.
FEEL: Gentle but effective – softness is felt right away when rinsing.
LAST: Skin stays soft and moisturized all day (at times, it feels a little sticky, specifically in humidity) – no real need to follow with lotion.
For those of you who prefer using products with ingredients you can actually recognize and pronounce, this body scrub might be just the thing for you. With all the qualities of a high price exfoliating scrub (at a bargain price) and filled with all-natural ingredients, skin feels soft immediately upon rinsing and continues throughout the rest of the day. Depending on how active you are and where you live, this scrub can feel a little sticky, primarily in humid weather, but overall it works very well. Make sure you are a fan of espresso and coffee as this scrub smells very strongly of both.
Magic Hands: Sea Salt Bar – Lavender & Mint – $5.50
I've been curious about salt bars ever since I first spotted them amongst the soap artisans on the site Etsy. I liked the idea (and the look) of these beautiful soaps and Magic Hands' salt bars have lived up to my expectations.
Now I should be clear, the main purpose of these the bars are not to exfoliate – but they do have exfoliating properties.
I tried the lavender and mint scent which was divine. I was warned by Magic Hands that the soaps felt very smooth, but despite the warning I was still surprised at how well they glided across the body but still had an effect on my skin.
It is my understanding that not everyone suffers from a need to sandpaper their legs (I'm exaggerating obviously) and for those that don't, these salt bars offer the perfect amount of exfoliation and cleansing. They worked particularly well on my bumpy arms, where more abrasive exfoliants have been known to hurt. Combine the effectiveness with the amazing smell (I cannot wait to try the rest) and the fact they look so pretty and you have a winning product!
Now let me preface this by saying I hate sweet scents. For me there's nothing worse than smelling like vanilla and that simulated chocolate scent makes me gag. But what peeked my curiosity on this particular scrub was the emphasis on 'Real Chocolate' and real it is. Listed right there in the ingredients amidst all the natural goodies (including turbinado sugar and coconut oil) is cocoa powder and the smell is divine.
Imagine actually stepping into your shower with your favourite bar of chocolate and rubbing it all over your body…if this doesn't sound like fun…imagine that chocolate bar did a really good job of sloughing away all your dead skin and then left you smooth and moisturised… sold yet? So the novelty of scrubbing yourself in real chocolate aside…this product actually works. Which is always a bonus.
The only downside…and it's pretty much a non issue is the mess factor. The cocoa powder within the scrub does leave little brown pools in the shower, so it's not the tidiest process, but you're in the shower…so it just washes away with minimal effort.
This scrub is extremely effective, smells great and is therefore the winner of our best value prize.
Soap & Glory: The Scrub of Your Life – $16.49
For those that don't know Soap & Glory is a kitschy and quite fabulous line of beauty and bath products created by the genius behind Bliss Spa (my favourite line of products when my wallet allows) I'm obsessed with the marketing and packaging alone. And the price points are fan-blimmin-tastic especially when you comparing them to the relatively expensive Bliss Spa products.
I purchased this scrub (yes with my own mulah) to replace my finished and now sadly discontinued Bliss Thigh High Scrub, obsessed with the idea that cellulite can be scrubbed away and again plagued with ingrown hairs. It certainly did a very good job of sloughing away everything that needed scrubbing (except the cellulite – not that it says it will – ha!) I love how exfoliant heavy the scrub is, something I look for in a scrub (or at least did until I discovered Eight – reviewed below) I generally avoid really oily scrubs and the rougher the scrub the better, so in a perfect rough scrub world this is it.
Honestly, it's very unfortunate for Soap & Glory that I got to try the Eight scrub or it would likely be the winner. It smells fantastic. A little masculine, but generally a little masculine is preferable for me, especially over, say, vanilla. It's not as moisturizing as other scrubs but if all you want is to scrub then it's fantastic. Huge points are in it's favour for being in an extremely usable squeezy tube – so no mess factor – unlike most scrubs.
So if there's a second place in all the scrubbing fun, Soap & Glory's 'Scrub of Your Life' takes it.
There's a reason this scrub is the winner. This scrub did nothing but surprise me. Let's start with the scent. Ginger and lime. I love a good citrus, I've been known to cut little slits in the skin of a lemon and rub it over my hands to freshen them up (which by the way is an amazing way to get rid of the worst smells – a lesson learnt from my bartending days), But ginger? I've never been a fan, however, mix it with the lime and this is a refreshing zing of a scent.
Surprise number two? Upon opening the tub I definitively sighed in the shower. The exfoliating granules were completely separated from the oils in the scrub, which to me meant…"oh no I'm going to be sticky and oily and a complete mess!" but I wasn't! Albeit a little messy to apply, the scrub worked into the skin very well. As a big believer in "no pain, no gain" I was surprised (yet again – ha!) at how effective the product was without feeling like I was removing skin.
What amazed me the most was how soft and supple my skin was after I emerged from the shower. All my nasty bumps (I suffer from horrendous ingrown hairs) had disappeared and my skin was super moisturised with no need for extra moisturising after.
And again the only bad thing I can think of to say about it is the messiness factor, the oil did slop a little whilst I was applying it and it did make the shower a little slippery but the overall results were incredibly impressive making this scrub the winner of our little exfoliator experiment.