There is so much hype about scrubs vs microdermabrasion vs Clarisonic vs other brushes vs (sight)... all of that.

My skin gets really ugly with blackheads around my nose so ever since I turned 18 or so I have been testing pretty much everything under the sun that promises to get rid of them.

On top of that, as I got older, my skin started becoming dull and rough during the week.

In my late 20s I met who is now my cosmetologist and who has been looking after my skin during all this time. Until I moved to Canada, of course. So this is my face scrubs story.


I started using St Ives Apricot scrub in my very early 20s.
It was not sold in my country so I would get several when I visited the US and stock up. It worked pretty well. It was enough for many years. It was gentle enough to be used twice a week in Winter and maybe more often in Summer. It used to come in a tube or jar like the one on the right. No microbeads here.

And I pretty much though that a generic would be the same. WRONG. I got the CVS version of it and it sucked. The supposed apricot kernel pieces in the CVS version are a lot smaller and are in much smaller quantities than the real version. No microbeads there either, it uses not apricot but walnut shell powder.

So I switched to Avon. Got the facial scrub with menthol. It was ok, but nothing mind blowing. I still liked my old St Ives. Since this one in particular has menthol, it left a nice fresh feeling on my skin. I couldn't find the ingredients but I think they were not as high tech as to include microbeads.

I never repurchased it, even when I was selling Avon myself.

Meanwhile, my cosmetologist was taking take of my skin regularly once a month. This facial scrub only had to leave my skin good enough until my next visit with her.

I limped along for quite some time with my fake St Ives, a real St Ives, and my cosmetologist's in-office micro dermabrasion procedures.

As far as brushes, I couldn't justify the price of a Clarisonic so I got myself Olay's rotating brush. I'm still using it every day.

I also used Lush's Ocean Salt. It was ok overall, but not to mind blowing as to justify the high price of having a person whip it by hand. At least it had no microbeads.


Then I came to Canada and my skin became suddenly dry and dull. I started getting my Ipsy Bag and I got Dr. Brandt skin exfoliant. OMG! This thing really worked! The beads were so fine, almost like fine sand, didn't hurt at all and my skin looked soft, felt smooth and all in all it was fantastic. Unfortunately it is way too expensive. Still no microbeads in it, the scrubbing action is done with aluminum.

I also used Derma e. Got it in my ipsy bag but I can get it here in Calgary in healthfood stores. It was similar to Dr. Brandt's, if a tiny bit coarser. It also uses aluminun to do the mechanical peel, so no microbeads. Great for a brand that is supposed to be "green".

When I finished all those products, I started making my own mix. Actually, all you need for a "green" scrub is just sugar and coconut oil. The only problem is that I had to use that in the shower and then use soap as my skin would be way too greasy, but in all honesty it works well despite the nuisance of leaving the shower greasy. Obviously no microbeads there.

And in the final days, I started using Épicé Purifying Exoliant. Didn't work at all. I read some reviews that it was similar to Dr. Brandt's. It's not. Not just that. IT DOES CONTAIN MICROBEADS.

It took me some time to realize how to distinguish between microbeads and other things. The proof is in the ingredients list and if you see it contains POLYETHYLENE, then it has microbeads, Since there is a ban on it in some states in the US, I believe that's why the full size product is not available on their website and only the travel size is being sold, which is what I had.

That one went straight into the garbage.

Finally, I bought Skinn Cosmetics DermAppeal. It might not be that wonderful as to justify it's high
price, but the "crystals" (magnesium oxide and cheap sodium bicarbonate) actually do a very good job to exfoliate the skin. It is super abrasive so I don't think this is for people with skin more sensitive than mine. It has obviously no microbeads, however, I don't think I would pay the full price for this when sugar and oil would do the same.

My ideal formula would be something like the sugar scrub that will not leave my skin oily, that will not go bad after a couple uses (like the homemade scrub) with the price of St. Ives apricot scrub. Maybe I should go back to the basics.

Glam's Dating Tip: A soft skin wins over rough skin every time. Guys love women's skin because it's a lot softer than theirs (duh!)

Highlights: It was very interesting to learn how to make sure I don't kill fish by using microbeads in my exfoliants. It's so simple, just make sure it doesn't say "polyethylene"

WTFs: I discovered that many drugstore and fancier products, like the exfoliants at Bath & Body Works still sell microbeads happily. That sucks.