Who would think facial exfoliating would be a topic of contention? Yet, in the beauty world, there are some seriously strong opinions about it. Some say you should n-e-v-e-r scrub your delicate facial skin, others swear by it to leave the skin rejuvenated and glowing. What side do you lean towards? Me, I stand on the scrub side, but it wasn’t until I came across these three amazing scrubs that I thought this way.
You see, I had gone years without using a scrub because previously I had over scrubbed with some pretty harsh exfoliators. However, I have come to learn that with any exfoliant, balance is key. Too much and to little doesn’t work for my skin. I find that a twice weekly exfoliation leaves my 20’s something skin fresh and rejuvenated. But the important part is what I am using to scrub…it must be gentle yet powerful and of course have a super clean ingredients list. Plus, if it doubles as a mask I am super stoked. Perhaps, if you are of the no scrub team, it’s that you haven’t found the most appropriate product for your skin?
The problem with so many scrubs (even some clean ones) is that they use harsh skin wrecking exfoliators to actually abrade the skin…ingredients which aren’t round but irregular shaped and jagged, crushed up fruit kernels ring a bell? When we scrub our skin with exfoliants that are jagged we are essentially putting micro tears in the skin…not something I would like happening to mine. However, when exfoliants that are round and smooth in shape are used the skin is gently buffed off leaving a new glowing layer underneath.
The other problem with conventional exfoliators is that they contain many of the nasty chemicals found here. These, as we have talked about before in this post actually cause irritation, redness, and skin sensitivity. Kinda the opposite of what we are trying to achieve huh? Perhaps, the reason all along for your aversions to scrubbing is from the ingredients. Instead of harsh chemicals try clean beauty products with ingredients that feed the skin the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
The Three Products
I’ve got a serious crush on these scrubs, they all double as face masks, and they are all in my weekly rotation. They will make your skin soft, bright, and cheery…just in time for spring. The only problem I find is wanting to use them every single day…but hey there are worse things, right?
If your skin is in need of some serious deep exfoliating, look no further. Yoshimomo’s Microdermabrasion Créme is the most powerful scrub of the three. But don’t let me lead you in the wrong direction, it is not harsh or abrasive, but rather perfectly balanced in a smooth moisturizing creme base. Yoshimomo allows us to have a spa quality microdermabrasion treatment at home, and for the fraction of the cost. Plus the ingredients are something we can feel good about using, toxin free and natural.
The base of this scentless white creme is skin nourishing oils, jojoba, grape, hemp, and avocado. An omega loaded and vitamin packed blend to leave skin calm and soothed. These oils prevent the irritation and redness often associated with spa microdermabrasion treatments. After using this scrub once my skin was smooth and luminous with even more results after a week of use. Spots of discoloration on my upper lip were slightly lighter and my pores less visible. I absolutely love this treatment and look forward to using it twice a week.
I choose to use this in the shower as I like to give my skin a good steam before I apply it. I do make sure my skin is only barely damp before use otherwise it gets diluted from the water. Just a nickels size amount is perfect for my entire face and neck. I then very gently rub in small circular motions for at least two minutes. Don’t be too rough though, I was the first time and my skin was a bit pissed off for about 15 minutes. You’ll know your doing it right because it shouldn’t be painful but instead feel refreshing. After scrubbing, I like to let the creme sit on my skin for another 2 minutes or so to boost hydration. After I rinse and exit the shower my skin is left luminous, smoothed, and even. A triple win.
If your skin is looking a bit dull from the winter months or in need of some refreshing and reduction of fine lines this is the scrub for you. It’s perfect for normal, dry, oily, and combo skin types. Don’t be afraid of microdermabrasion like I was, this creme will make you a believer. Find yours here, and check out Yoshimomo's other products. I am loving the Quench moisturizer and her Black Magic face wash.
Ok, so I lied this is actually sold as a mask, but it is a stellar mask (my favorite actually) that doubles as a scrub. Mungos Nourishing Seaweed Mask contains only one ingredient, Ascophyllum nodosum, which is a type of seaweed. And this isn’t just any seaweed, it is wild harvested off the Irish coast in the Atlantic waters of Connemara. According to Mungo, “Ascophyllum nodosum is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids including: Alginic acid, Ascorbic acid, Mannitol, Laminaran, vitamins E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, K3, Calcium, Copper, Phosphorous, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium and Zinc.” Couldn't get any better, right?
One ingredient you ask, how could one ingredient make that much of a difference in my skin? Well, at least that's what I was thinking before I used this green mask sent from heaven. Now that I’ve used it I’m a full believer in the skin loving benefits of seaweed. It nourishes and leaves my skin feeling incredibly hydrated. The best thing about this mask is how smooth my skin feels after I use it….much like a newborns skin…for real...no exaggerations. To say I was shocked at how soft my skin felt is an understatement. I was literally going from person to person in my house asking them to feel my cheek. My 4 year old even exclaimed, “it feels like Sophia’s bottom!” and proceeded to beg me to let her use the mask too. It is hands down the best mask I have found, and because it doubles as an exfoliator I couldn’t resist to share it with you today.
Although it comes in a small jar, don’t let it fool you. You will get at least 5 if not more masks out of it. Inside the jar is green dry powdered seaweed, ready to mix into your favorite base. Water, yogurt, honey, oil, lemon…the options are endless. My favorites are filtered water or honey for extra hydration. Mix just a teaspoon of the seaweed and enough base to form a thin paste and apply to your face with your fingers. You will notice the strong smell of the sea, yes a very powerfully pungent sea. But it’s good for you, so get past it. Do what you will for 10-15 minutes and then comes the fun….the exfoliation…which is what this article is supposed to about in the first place, right?
So, as I rinse the mask off I gently exfoliate in a circular motions for about a minute or two. The dead skin cells get buffed off to reveal that baby soft super hydrated skin I was raving about earlier. The exfoliation the seaweed provides is ever so gentle and incredibly smooth. For those with sensitive skin and others who shy away from scrubs this is the product for you. Finally, you can gently and effectively buff away those outer dead layers of skin without irritating even the most sensitive skin. Mungo’s got us all covered with this one.
Another bonus to this mask is the detoxing effect seaweed has. Seaweed it known for it’s ability to remove toxins and suck away impurities. Something everyone’s skin can benefit from but especially those with acne. I can’t think of a skin type this mask/exfoliator wouldn’t benefit from…it’s that incredible. For other tips to cure acne holistically read this post.
So go get yourself some Seaweed Mask here. But be patient, it’s coming all the way from Ireland. And while you're at it grab some of Mungo’s Sea Bags for your bath because they are equally as awesome in their own right.
Looking for a new cleanser that doubles as an exfoliant? This next scrub will meet all your needs. The genius behind Libras Botanicals, Rachel Kronberg, has created The Brown Dirt a cleanser, exfoliator, and mask all in one. It is a genuine multitasker, removing makeup, hydrating, smoothing, and detoxing. There’s nothing this dirty cleanser can’t do.
The Brown Dirt is jam packed with skin detoxing clays and multiple exfoliators of various sizes to really get into all the nooks and crannies. Plus is moisturizes with tamanu and apricot oils which stay on the skin long after it’s washed, fending off the need for a heavy moisturizer afterwards. This contains no preservatives, often the worst toxic offenders, and has an ingredients list as clean as could be. The Dirt, really does look like dirt but smells of light floral and citrus. It’s dark brownish grey in color and dry and thick to the touch. My skin always thanks me each time I use it because it feels so refreshed and normalized.
I also choose to use this one in the shower as well, as it gets a bit messy. Because of the lack of water, and therefore preservatives (hooray!!), I am careful to have dry fingers when scooping out a nickel sized amount with the back of my nail (it’s quite firm). The Dirt has a tendency to crumble apart so I immediately place it in my palm and work from there to apply it to my damp face. Then I scrub and rub it all over for about 1 minute and leave it to soak as a mask for at least 5 minutes. Just before I rinse it off I apply some on my lips and rub my lips together for a stellar lip exfoliation treatment. Afterwards my skin is perfectly hydrated from the oils left on my skin and on hot days I can even forgo a moisturizer altogether.
This dirt is the one for you if your’e looking to exfoliate more regularly but not sure where to start. It draws out impurities, hydrates, smooths, and rinses away grime and makeup. But, of course does this all ever so gently. The Brown Dirt is formulated for normal/combination skin but Libras Botanicals also has a Yellow Dirt for dry or sensitive skin and Green Dirt for Oily Skin. Find all of them here.
So Ladies, which one will you try? Perhaps Yoshimomo if you are concerned with fine lines and aging. Or Mungo Murphy’s if your skin is over worked, hypersensitive, and looking to detox. Yet, Libras Botanicals' got you covered if your’e in need of a cleanser that can be used daily for both hydration and exfoliation. Whichever, you choose I know your won’t be disappointed. These three products hold up to their claims and all reveal our faces luminous under layers of skin. A recipe for glowing, healthy, vibrant skin that requires little makeup and even less attention.