Rub-a-dub-dub, we love a good scrub (your skin really thanks you for it), but what we don’t love are all those tiny little microbeads that pollute the seas and kill all the fish. Definitely not cool. So whilst many face and body scrubs do contain microbeads, many – very good ones, in fact – don’t, which means that you can happily carry on exfoliating safe in the knowledge that you are one totally eco-friendly beauty queen. Here’s our pick of the best…
Alex says: On first impressions I wasn’t too sure about this scrub from cult Aussie brand Frank. Made from ground coffee, white clay, rosehip, coconut, almond and grape seed oils, it initially made me feel as if I was simply scrubbing the contents of my local cafe’s bin all over my face. There’s no seductive spa-like scent here. BUT get past the smell (which actually isn’t too bad, it just smells like, well, coffee) and the results are fantastic. The scrub grains are quite tough and really feel like they are exfoliating your skin (which is something I like), the texture is also quite creamy so it’s very easy to use, but the main thing – the most important thing, is the result. Since using the scrub, my skin feels a lot cleaner, softer and smoother. I still have congestion and pore issues, but overall, it does look healthier with more of an even skin tone. I use it in the shower every other day and would definitely buy it again. I still think ‘oh coffee’ each time I use it, but it’s a small price to pay for what I think is a great scrub. £15.95
Alex says: I am a big fan of ila. The products (effective, relaxing, restorative) and the ethos (natural, organic and a bit hippy-dippy), and this facial scrub is no different. Mixing honey with damascene rose otto, sandalwood and blackcurrant exfoliator, it had a softer, less creamy texture than the Frank coffee scrub, but still felt very effective. Once again the smell wasn’t super spa-like, but perfectly acceptable and using it left me feeling properly cleansed. Although, I have to admit that whilst I liked it, I didn’t love it as much as the ila Body Scrub, which I used several years ago and entered my own personal Hall of Beauty Fame. An honour, you can imagine, that scrub was very proud of.
Natasha says: I have very sensitive skin. It really does not like being messed with. Which is why I keep my cleansing and moisturising routine incredibly simple, as a rule, using Liz Earle’s legendary Cleanse & Polish, which I think of a mini daily exfoliation. It’s usually enough, but in the summer, when I’m slapping on am extra layer of Factor 50 every day, I feel the need to slough off the cells. But anything too abrasive is a no-no. This, however, was fabulous. I have no idea what Icelandic mirco-crystalline lava actually are, but what I do know is that they sloughed off dead skin effectively, but gently, and my skin felt somehow cleaner (pores unclogged?) and peachy smooth – but not irritated – afterwards. Result.
Alex says: Call me an old booze hound, but I thought that this body scrub smelled a lot like a Mojito, which could be a bit full-on if you were exfoliating the morning after a night before. But that aside, I really liked it. The brown sugar is an excellent exfoliator and using it really feels like you’re sloughing off all that dead skin; whilst the four oils (primrose, sweet almond, apricot kernel and jojoba) left my skin feeling super soft and moisturised. It’s oily and messy to use, but you’re in the shower, so that won’t be a problem, although the oil does really sit on your skin, so if you don’t like that sensation, it might not be one for you. It is however, one for me, although not, perhaps, the morning after a night before.
Natasha says: This smells like a pot of heaven. That is, if you like the scent of lavender and peppermint, which I very much do. It’s touted as “like drifting off to sleep during a relaxing massage” and whilst I don’t beg to differ, I would add the brightness and zing of the peppermint also makes it an excellent gentle wake-up call. It’s satisfyingly ‘scrubby’ (I like my scrub to feel like a scrub) – applied with a vigorous hand after dry body brushing, my skin definitely felt softer. The sugar scrub factor is balanced out by passion flower, argan oil and vitamin E, so you’ll definitely hop out of the shower feeling smoother than when you hopped in.