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The Makeup Wars! Team decided that we would feature our favorite scrubs and exfoliators, and I couldn't be happier since I am thoroughly obsessed with proper exfoliation. I went through my collection, and decided to feature my favorites from a few of my most coveted luxury brands.
African Botanics sourced the leaf sap from the indigenous South African Bulbine Frutescens because of its unique ability to boost collagen production and therefore enhance elasticity, tone and firmness. The effects are pronounced and noticeable, and for this reason alone African Botanics Infinité Resurfacing Mask ranks among the greatest masks that I have ever tried, but that is but one of its many, many virtues.
If you have very delicate or sensitive skin, then I would initially leave it on for no more than 4-5 minutes, and rinse it off thoroughly. I was able to leave it on for a full 15 minutes the first time that I used it. While I did feel a warming effect, and a slight tingle, I neither found it uncomfortable, nor unpleasant. I use it twice a week, and have done so for about a month, and my skin looks and feels as though I received an in-office peel. With African Botanics Infinité Resurfacing Mask, however there is no necessary down-time, and there is not peeling whatsoever.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Lactic Acid, Mentha Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow)* Extract, Speedwell (Veronica Officinalis) Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Resveratrol, Arctostaphylos (Uva-Ursi) Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Saccharide Isomerate, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya Extract, Bulbine Frutescens*, Xanthan Gum, Hyaluronic Acid, Fucus Vesiculosis (Sea Kelp) Extract, Myrothamus Flabellifolius (Resurrection)** Plant, Sorghum Bicolor Stalk Juice, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract, Tannic Acid, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein (Di- and tripeptides), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Superoxide Dismutase, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract*, Acetamide MEA, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Phytic Acid, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Linoleic Acid, Sommondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)* Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitol, D-alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hydrocotyl (Centella Asiatica)* Extract, Chamomile Martricaria* Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris (Green Algae) Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Salix Alba (White Willow Bark), Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula)** Seed Oil, Magnesium Sulphate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Citrillus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon)** Seed Oil, Copper Gluconate, Arnica Cordifolia (Arnica) Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Green Rooibos)* Tea Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape)* Seed Oil, Ethanol, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip)* Seed Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. *Organic, **Wild-Harvested Ingredients. Responsibly sourced. Never tested on animals. Formulated without silicones, mineral oils, parabens, allergens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, PEGs and SLSs.
African Botanics Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish ($75.00 for 3.38 oz./100 ml. from African Botanics, Net-A-Porter, Credo Beauty, Need Supply Company and Cult Beauty £66.00): Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish is a very deep-cleansing facial exfoliator that effectively and efficiently sweeps away impurities and cleans out clogged pores. It is formulated with a combination of Marula Oil, Baobab Oils and Buchu Plant extracts that are punctuated by Micro-Algae and ultra-fine granules of ancient volcanic minerals. The fine granules, which densely populate this exfoliator, efficiently and effectively unclog pores, and remove dead skin cells, excess oils and impurities. Papaya and Pineapple enzymes help to dissolve dead skin cells, aid in cleaning out the pores, and make them appear reduced in size. Skin is left brightened, deeply cleansed and utterly glowing. In fact, the first time that I used it I noticed that it left my skin feeling as soft and silky smooth as ultra-fine velvet. Only the smallest amount is needed to achieve the desired results for the face, neck and décolleté, and the exfoliating particles are so efficient that you do not need to apply any pressure as you massage it into the skin. Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish Skin neither strips the skin, nor does it deplete vital moisture or hydration. Dull, congested skin gives way to youthful, radiant skin that feels amazing to the touch.
Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish has a wonderful earthy aroma that greatly enhances the sensory experience of using this exfoliator. While it is formulated for most skin types, people with sensitive skin should mix a very small amount with their favorite cleanser. I routinely mix it with Baobab Clay Oxygenating Cleanser when I only want light exfoliation, but I use it alone at least once or twice a week.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Pumice (Volcanic Minerals), Glycerin, Agathosma Betulina (Buchu) Leaf Powder*, Corn Starch, Acrylates, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil*, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Fruit Powder*, Aloe Ferox (Bitter Aloe) Leaf Extract, Lactobionic Acid, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Essential Oil, Athrospira Platensis (Spirulina) Micro-Algae Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens (Cape Rose Geranium) Essential Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract*, Aspalathus Linearis (Green Rooibos Tea) Extract, Cyclopia Genistoides (Honeybush) Extract. *Organic & Wild-Harvested Ingredients. 100% Vegan. Never tested on animals.
Colbert MD Intensify Facial Disks ($70.00 for 20 Discs from Colbert MD, Barneys New York, Space NK and Amazon): I have regularly used various types of facial exfoliating pads for quite some time, and have to confess that my experience with Colbert MD Intensify Facial Disks was a real game changer for me. While most of the solution soaked exfoliating pads that I have used are thin and double sided, Colbert MD has broken this mold and instead opted for a very plush and thick single sided pad. The generously saturated pre-moistened disks include a small tab on the back that makes holding the disk easy, and allows one to maintain effortless control.
The combination of the mild microdermabrasion action from the surface of the pad coupled with the enzyme action of the solution immediately and effectively encourages cell turnover that aids in the promotion of collagen production. Skin, unobstructed by a proliferation of dead skin cells, is then able to effortlessly and effectively absorb skincare products. The end result is unbelievably soft, smooth, supple and luminous skin.
Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Bromelain, Allantoin, Acetyl Glucosamine, Gluconolactone, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum.
Colbert MD Tone Control Facial Disks ($80.00 for 20 disks from Colbert MD, Bloomingdale's, Space NK, Barneys New York and Net-A-Porter): While I thought that I had achieved exfoliating pad nirvana with the Colbert MD Intensify Facial Disks, I discovered that Colbert MD Tone Control Facial Disks are a whole different level of paradigm shifting exfoliating pads. Not only do these pre-moistened disks provide effective, and gentle, microdermabrasion from the surface texture of the pad, but they also encourage cell turnover that aids in the promotion of collagen production. Skin, unobstructed by a proliferation of dead skin cells, is then able to effortlessly and effectively absorb skincare products. The end result is unbelievably silky soft, smooth, supple and luminous skin. Additionally, Colbert MD Tone Control Facial Disks are saturated with ingredients that even out skin tone, lighten dark spots (hyperpigmentation), soothe redness and brighten the complexion.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), PEG-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Glucosamine, PEG-23 Glyceryl Distearate, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycereth-12, Glyceryl Cocoate, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Betaine, D-Limone, Lipoic Acid, Linalool, Ubiquinone, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Genistein, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Potassium Sorbate, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract.
TATCHA Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ($65.00 for 2.1 oz. from TATCHA, Barneys New York, Sephora and QVC): I chose the Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder because I have combination skin, and it definitely is a very good fit for my skin type. Despite the fact that this cleanser exfoliates the skin from the fine gritty bits, it also depends on the enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells as well. It is a very effective exfoliant, but truly is gentle enough to be used on a daily basis. I have never used it more than once a day because I tend to prefer to use the Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil at night to remove all of my makeup. That said, I have numerous cleansers in rotation, and I choose which one to use based on the needs of my skin and my mood.
I cannot believe just how soft and smooth that this leaves my skin- and when I say soft I mean baby-bottom soft. I also found that leaving the paste on your face for a few minutes, as you would with a mask, renders even better results. I have found that doing so results in clean fresh skin that one experiences after getting a facial. This is such a magical powder!
Ingredients: Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain (Papaya Extract), Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein (Pearl).
TATCHA INDIGO Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder for Sensitive Skin ($65.00 for 2.1 oz. from TATCHA, Barneys New York, Sephora and QVC): is a water-activated exfoliating and toning powder cleanser that is formulated for sensitive skin, but it can be used by a wider variety of skin types. The Colloidal Oatmeal-laden formula is remarkably soothing and calming on irritated, inflamed skin, and yet it boasts extraordinary efficacy in its ability to exfoliate dead skin cells. What is remarkable is the precision with which it is able to exfoliate without irritating sensitive skin.
Simply add a small amount of water to the powder to achieve your desired consistency and then rub your hands together until you have created a creamy foam, and then gently massage it, in a circular motion, on your face, neck and décolleté for about 10-20 seconds. Skin is left unbelievably velvety soft, silky smooth, supple and luminous. This is the perfect way for people with sensitive skin to enjoy the benefits of exfoliation and deep cleansing– without stripping or irritating the skin.
Ingredients: Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polygonum Tinctorium (Japanese Indigo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Indigofera Tinctoria Leaf Extract, Colloidal Oatmeal, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (Pearl) Protein, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Algae Extract, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Mica, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.
N.B.: TATCHA recommends adding enough water to turn the powder into a creamy foam rather than a paste, which allows for the gentle, non-abrasive exfoliation. I am able to use it as a paste– which offers more intensive exfoliation– but I would definitely recommend trying it as a liquid first, and then gradually add less water, if seek extra exfoliation. Using it as a paste will be too harsh for people with delicate/sensitive skin.
May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt Cleansing Clay ($70.00 for 6.76 oz. from May Lindstrom, Barneys New York, Cult Beauty, Shen Beauty, Net-A-Porter and Follain): which is described as an "energizing blend of cleansing clays, waring spices, and restorative salts," is wondrous purifying and exfoliating treatment that cleans clogged pores, eliminates dead skin cells while the water-activated Vitamin C brightens skin, encourages cell rejuvenation. It feels a bit like a very gentle microdermabrasion, but it neither irritates the skin, nor does it strip it in any way. Instead, skin is left silky smooth, velvety soft, supple and radiant. The exquisite natural aroma evokes the scent of the finest chai imaginable!
According to May Lindstrom Skin,
An energizing blend of cleansing clays, warming spices, and restorative salts lift impurities while a surge of H20-activated Vitamin C encourages cellular rejuvenation and undeniable luminosity. This stimulating treatment transforms and refines skin’s appearance with a potent cocktail of exfoliants, leaving you velvety smooth and gorgeously radiant.
Ingredients: White Halloysite Clay, Red Moroccan Rhassoul Clay, Red Alaea Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Bicarbonate, *Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root, *Rosa Centifolia (Pink Rose), *Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower, *Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon), * Myristica Fragans (Nutmeg), *Syzygium Aromaticum (Clove), *Curcuma Longa (Turmeric), *Zingiber Officinale (Ginger), *Vanilla Planifolia Bean, **Theobroma Cacao (Raw Cacao). *Certified Organic **Fair Trade Certified.
Overall Assessment: These are my absolute favorite ultra-luxe scrubs and exfoliators, and I simply cannot sufficiently underscore the extent to which I recommend them! These each earn an unmitigated A+! What are your favorite scrubs and exfoliators?
Be sure to check out all of the Makeup Wars! Best Scrubs and Exfoliators– click on their badges below!
Be sure to check out all of the Makeup Wars! Best Scrubs and Exfoliators– click on their badges below!
Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
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