Chryso's Beauty Buys: Exfoliant by Chryso D'Angelo, March 18 2015, 0 Comments

Everyone wants awesome skin. But the elements (sun, wind, pollution) as well as dry heat used over the winter months, plus natural aging can make skin look dry and dull. Working an exfoliator into your beauty routine can help.

While sloughing away dead cells may make your face and body look cleaner and brighter, it doesn’t bode well for water supplies and marine life...if you’ve been using an exfoliator that contains microbeads.

According to the international campaign Beat the Microbead, marine species gobble up the beads (thinking they are food), which results in “over 663 different species…negatively impacted by marine debris with approximately 11 percent of reported cases specifically related to the ingestion of microplastics.”

That’s not pretty! In response to the pressure to stop allowing plastic to pollute our lakes, oceans and rivers, beauty product manufacturers have come up with alternatives to the microbead in exfoliators. They've started incorporating ingredients such as sugar, sea salt, fruit enzymes, sand, ground almonds and walnuts, polenta, jojoba beads and charcoal, to name a few!

You can also check out The Good Scrub Guide, which lists the plastic-free scrubs sold in the UK; many are also available in the U.S. But start off by checking out the great (microbead-free) exfoliants I’ve reviewed for you here:


Zosimos Botanicals Honey Citrus Sugar Scrub

  • Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys “Champion” status
  • This product is not ranked on the Skin Deep Database

Environmental responsiveness: The ZB studio reduces its carbon footprint by using 100% wind power and reports that it only patronizes suppliers that use sustainable harvesting practices, grow pesticide-free plants and produce Certified Organic and or natural ingredients. Some of the groups ZB studio supports include the Denali Citizens Council and Reef Check Australia. This company does not test on animals.


Results: This exfoliant has been a long-time fave of mine. Besides smelling terrific, it does a great job as a body exfoliant because you come out of the shower feeling head-to-toe soft and pretty. It also contains enough oil to act as a fantastic shaving oil. Mostly, I love it because it works while being so, so natural—just take a look at the list of ingredients…

Ingredients from packaging: Sucrose (Turbinado Sugar); Organic Simmonsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil; Organic Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil; Honey; Vegetable Glycerin; Corn Starch, Modified; Tapioca Starch; Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil; Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil; Organic Punica Granatum Linn (Pomegranate) Seed Oil

Practicality: $13

Lush Sandstone Soap

  • Has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics
  • This product is not ranked on the Skin Deep Database

Environmental Responsiveness:

Pots and bottles are made from BPA-Free, 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.

Store carrier bags are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper and are compostable.

Products for shipment are packed in biodegradable plastic bags, recycled paper and/or biodegradable filler and eco-friendly packing tape.

Gifts are wrapped in 100% recycled paper and packaged with biodegradable filler.

By making shampoo bars solid, the company saves over 450,000 liters (118,800 gallons) of water each year.

100% of electricity consumed is replenished into the grid with renewable energy from wind and low-impact hydro, through Bullfrog Power.

In the spring of 2010, Lush hit their goal of reducing overall energy consumption by 14%.

No animal testing.

Since launching their Charity Pot program in 2007, the company has donated more than $5,800,000 to over 600 grassroots charities in 35 countries.


Results: According to the brand, this soap “was inspired by babes on the beaches of Brazil who mix sand with tanning oil to make their backsides smooth as silk.” Wow! So, I scrubbed from head to toe and came out of the shower feeling softer and brighter (thanks to the sand and coriander and gardenia oils) and smelling delicious (thank you citrus notes!).

Ingredients from packaging: Water (Aqua), Sand, Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Stearate, Fragrance, Litsea Cubeba Oil, Coriander Oil (Coriandrum sativum), Sodium Chloride , Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool , Hydroxycitronellal.

Practicality: $7.95


Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Facial Radiance Peel

  • Has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics
  • This product is not ranked on the Skin Deep Database

Environmental Responsiveness: The company supports the responsible harvesting and production of all raw materials and ensures its products are 100% free from synthetic fragrance, artificial color, mineral oils, sulphates, parabens and preservatives.

LOVE THESE EXFOLIATING AGENTS: Apple Serum, Papaya, Orange Peel, Tangerine and Jojoba Beads

Results: I was excited to try this exfoliator, which smells so yummy (must be the apple serum, papaya, orange peel and tangerine). To use, wipe it on a damp face (no scrubbing), then wait four minutes and wash it off with a face cloth soaked in warm water. After just one try, my skin was noticeably softer to the touch and had a glow. Exciting! I’m definitely going to work this one into my weekly routine!

Ingredients from packaging:


LUMISKIN™ and KOMBUCHKA™ are clinically proven to help enhance the texture and radiance of the skin and help to reduce pigmentation.

SEPITONIC™ helps to improve cellular metabolism and increase cell turnover.


Apple Serum, Papaya, Orange Peel, Tangerine and Jojoba Beads gently shed dead skin cells.

Manuka Honey helps to calm and soothe the skin. Vitamin A, C and E, Green Tea and Pomegranate help to protect against oxidative damage.


Pomegranate, Argan, Macadamia and Olive Oil infuse the skin with essential fatty acids to hydrate and nourish the skin.

Apple serum, Papaya, Orange Peel, Tangerine and Jojoba beads (micro-spherical, non-abrasive) gently shed dead skin cells to make room for new epidermal growth.

Encapsulated Vitamin C from the Acerola Cherry originating in the West Indies which has the highest content of Vitamin C among all fruits.

Kombuchka and diacetyl boldine triglycerides – which have illustrated a remarkable improvement in the skins texture, while visibly reducing pigmentation.

Vitamin A, C and E, Green Tea and Pomegranate to protect against oxidative damage.

Pearl Extract used by traditional Chinese medicine to slow down ageing by improving the skins metabolism, while promoting a healthy glow.

Manuka Honey and Water Lily for a powerful anti-inflammatory action that soothes and calms the skin.

Pomegranate, Argan, Macadamia and Olive Oil infuses the skin with essential fatty acids, hydrate and nourishes sensitive skin.

Multimineral Chrono-Energiser compex composed of Zinc, Copper and Magnesium revitalises the skin by ‘waking up’ cellular metabolism.

Aqua*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Hydrogenated Jojoba Beads*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride*, Saccharomyces/xylinum Black Tea Ferment*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate*, Peg-100 Stearate*, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Cetearyl Glucoside*, Pearl Powder*, Carica Papaya Fruit Juice*, Mel (Manuka Honey)*, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline*, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract*, Zinc Gluconate*, Magnesium Aspartate*, Copper Gluconate*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Laminaria Digitata Powder*, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract*, Punica Granatum Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sea Salt*, Diacetyl Boldine, Glycerin*, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract*, Xylitlyglucoside*, Anhydroxylitol*, Xylitol*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Lecithin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil*, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract*, Malic

Acid*, Glycolic Acid*, Lactic Acid*, Citric Acid*, Triethanolamine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Benzophenone-4, Alcohol Denat, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene* (source essential oil). *Ingredients derived from 100% natural source.

Practicality: $66

Alba Botanica Good & Clean Fruit Acid Detox Fusion Toxin Release Scrub

  • Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys “Innovator” status.
  • This product is ranked 4 (moderate hazard) on the Skin Deep Database


Environmental Responsiveness: 100% Vegetarian. No: Animal Testing, Artificial Colors, Artificial Fragrances, Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Myreth Sulfate.

Results: This has a fab citrus-strawberry blend and I love the fairly thick and gummy consistency. It feels gritty enough (must be the ground walnut!) to make me feel that it’s a spot-on exfoliator, but it’s not too tough on my sensitive skin. My face felt clean, glow-y and soft!

Ingredients from packaging: Aqua (Water), Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Lauryl Glucoside, Stearic Acid, Coco Glucoside, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice(1), Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract(1), Lactobacillus/Arundinaria Gigantea Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit Powder, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract(1), Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil(2), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil(2), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil(2), Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil(2), Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil(2), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil(2), Citric Acid, Pumice, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Sulfate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol(1), Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Iron Oxide (77491). (1) Certified Organic Ingredient (2) For Scent Only.

Practicality: $8.99

Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Exfoliating Enzyme Scrub

  • Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys “Champion” status.
  • This product is ranked 3 (moderate hazard) on the Skin Deep Database


Environmental responsiveness: NSF seal; the company is committed to “Consciousness in Cosmetics”: purity and safety, sustainability, effectiveness, intimacy and personal choice; leaping bunny; USDA National Organic Program.

Results: The consistency of this hypo-allergenic scrub is on the thin side. The exfoliating properties are fine, yet gritty. It did a good job and is great for people who aren’t looking for a pungent scent. It didn’t burn or irritate my skin.

Ingredients from packaging: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder(1), Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil(1), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil(1), Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil(1), Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil(1), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil(1), Arnica Montana Flower Extract(1), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract(1), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract(1), Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract(1), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Rhizome/Root(1), Lavandula Intermedia Leaf /Flower/Stem Extract(1), Saccharomyces/Xylinum Black Tea Ferment(1,2), Citric Acid, Bromelain, Maltodextrin, Potassium Hydroxide, Pumice, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol(1), Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin(1)Certified Organic Ingredient (2)From Kombucha.

Praticality: $16.95

Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream

  • Has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics
  • This product is not ranked on the Skin Deep Database

Environmental Responsiveness: Truly organic and/or natural skin care products, certified to NATRUE and/or BDIH standards. Free from synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives. Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEG. Vegan. Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. Wherever possible, all raw materials come from certified organic or biodynamic cultivation and are obtained under fair conditions. True Friends of Natural and Organic Cosmetics seal. Certified Natural Cosmetics seal.


Results: While this blend doesn’t pack an amazing aroma, the sweet almond meal combined with extracts of anthyllis, calendula, chamomile and St. John’s wort do a superb job of removing impurities without stripping the skin of moisture. The scrub is much finer than others and fairly thin and light. Love it—no wonder it’s an Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible Awards Winner!

Ingredients from packaging: Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract, Alcohol, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Algin.

Practicality: $26.95

Earth Therapeutics Purifying Facial Sponge

  • Has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics
  • This product is not ranked on the Skin Deep Database

Environmental responsiveness: No information.


Results: As an alternative to exfoliators that go down the drain, I tried this facial sponge. The charcoal is embedded into the fibers of the sponge so it doesn’t wash of the sponge. The medicinal charcoal helps draw out impurities and toxins. I was hesitant to use charcoal on my sensitive skin, but it felt so smooth after a few uses and there was no redness—days later, there were no irruptions.

Ingredients from packaging: 100% natural konjac dietary fibre

Practicality: $7.99