Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Four Favorite Facial Exfoliants in May

Press Sample and Purchased (Affiliate Links)

I have been wearing no makeup (except for the periodic Zoom meetings for work), but I have been babying my skin since we have been living under the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, and my skin is quite happy. One of my very favorite treats is using a great quality facial exfoliant, and here are my Top 4 for the month of May:

Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste ($53.00 for 2.9 oz. from Nordstrom and SkinStore): This is a non-lathering cream-based exfoliator that uses fine quartz and lactic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells. The former physically exfoliates skin while the latter helps to dissolve dead skin cells, and the combination of the two simultaneously removes dirt and helps to clear clogged pores. The end result is thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated, and yet unstripped, skin that is rendered soft, smooth and supple. Furthermore, it rinses very clean and therefore leaves behind no greasy residue. One can detect the aromas of the Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, the Lavender Oil and the Rosemary Oil, and their combination is at once earthy, calming and very pleasant. This is well suited to my normal/combination skin.

According to Aesop,

Fine riverbed quartz contained in a cream base sloughs away tired surface cells while lactic acid offers a mild chemical exfoliation to leave skin immediately cleansed, soft and polished. Aesop product formulations use botanical and scientifically validated man-made ingredients of the highest quality.

Skin Types: Normal, dry and mildly sensitive skin, frequent travellers, shavers, winter and cool climates.
Suggested Directions: Dispense half a teaspoon into the palm of your hand. Work over your face and neck, including the lips. Avoid the immediate eye area. Allow the quartz and lactic acid to gently exfoliate by employing minimal pressure. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, then follow with your preferred Aesop toner and hydrator.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Quartz, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Ceteareth-20, Glycerin, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, C12-16 Alcohols, Lactic Acid, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Nitrate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool, d-Limonene.
African Botanics Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish ($75.00 for 3.4 oz./100 ml. from African BotanicsNet-A-PorterCredo Beauty 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), Vegetable Glycerin, Agathosma Betulina (Buchu)* Leaf Powder, Corn Starch, Acrylates, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula)** Seed Oil*, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab)** Fruit Powder*, Cape Aloe (Aloe Ferox)* 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)* Plant Extract, Xanthan gum, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin. *Organic, **Wild-Harvested Ingredients. pH balanced.
MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser ($19.00 for 2.3 oz, from MyChelleThrive Market and Kohl's): is a thick, dense and ultra-creamy exfoliating cleanser that leaves skin very clean, soft, smooth and hydrated. It is gentle, forms a creamy and satisfying lather, punctuated by small exfoliating particles, and it never strips the skin. Since it is dense and very thick, it takes a little bit of pressure to squeeze it out of the tube, but it is very concentrated– therefore, you need only a tiny amount to clean your face, neck and décolleté. It has the most delectable warm and creamy vanilla aroma that makes using this lovely cleanser specially satisfying. Additionally, the Hyaluronic Acid keeps skin hydrated and soft. MyChelle products are cruelty-free and this exfoliating cleanser is made without GMOs, Gluten, Parabens, Petroleum, Phthalates, Silicones, Sulfates, Ureas, artificial fragrances or artificial colors, and it’s vegan.
According to MyChelle, 

Natural sugar and intoxicating Vanilla-infused cleanser that gently exfoliates surface impurities as it transforms into a creamy, foaming lather—leaving skin radiant and refined. Boosted with anti-aging Matrixyl® Synthe’6™ Peptide, bioactive Plant Extracts, and Hyaluronic Acid to help keep skin hydrated

Directions: Dispense a small amount of cleanser on wet hands. Massage face and neck until sugar dissolves. Use more or less water to tailor your exfoliation level for your skin condition and concerns. Gentle enough for daily use.

Ingredients: Sucrose, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Canola Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Vanillin, Zeolite, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Crocus Chrysanthus Bulb Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate (L), Sodium Polygamma-Glutamate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Acacia Senegal Gum, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Benzoate.
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser ($42.00 for 1.7 oz. and $84.00 for 4.1 oz. from Tata Harper,  SephoraNordstromNet-A-PorterCult BeautyThe Detox MarketCredo Beauty and goop): is a truly fantastic cleanser that I have been using for quite a while now, and it remains one of my most reached-for wonder-products. I generally prefer lathering cleansers, but this one with its light creamy consistency, that is filled with gentle and refined exfoliating particles, is one of my all-time favorite cleansers. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells, unclogs congested pores and it hydrates, rather than strips and dries out the skin. Many moisturizing cleansers leave behind a greasy film, but this leaves behind no sort of unpleasant residue. Skin is left soft, smooth, supple and luminous. It has a very faint fruity aroma, presumably from the essential oils blend, but it is not in the least bit overpowering, and it does not linger.
According to Tata Harper,

This gentle exfoliating cleansing treatment acts as a 4-in-1 product to thoroughly cleanse and improve glow while purifying, minimizing the appearance of pores and helping to protect the skin’s natural hydration balance. Free of soaps, alcohols and detergents, this cleanser clarifies with fresh enzymes, clays and essential oils, while microspherical beads polish the skin and reduce appearance of blackheads – all without stripping the skin of moisture. Skin is left feeling balanced, hydrated and glowing. Minimizes the appearance of pores. Deeply cleanses and decongests the skin.

Tips from Tata Harper: Apply it on dry skin and massage into skin using circular motions, then focus on highly congested areas during a second buffing cleanse.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Sorbitan Olivate, Oryza sativa (Rice) Extract*, Lactobacillus/Punica granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Aqua/Water, Coco-glucoside, Cetearyl glucoside, Kaolin (Rose Clay), Sclerotium gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Salix alba (Willow) Bark Extract*, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium Phytate, Denatured Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Aroma**, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool *Ingredients from Organic farming **Clinical grade essential oils blend.
Overall Assessment: These are my four May loves. What are yours?

Purchased and Press Samples. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.


  1. I have been loving this cleansing paste my friend gave me. it came in a grab bag and it's from japan. it slightly smells of sulfur and the container is one of those with a hole in the middle and you just push down to dispense the product. its excellent for my second cleanse.
    my current favorite physical exfoliator is the st Ives blackhead clearing scrub. its literally amazing. I wanted a charcoal scrub but the ones in target all contained peppermint oil or dyes. this one is perfectly scrubby, smells nice/light and helps me maintain the results of my biweekly skin peels.

    1. Hi MiMi! I hope that you are doing well! Your cleansing paste sounds fantastic, and I absolutely LOVE that type of container– they are so sanitary. I haven't tried St. Ives scrubs for so long, but they are so affordable! This is such a great time for pampering our skin since we are all at home!

  2. The only one of these I've used is MyChelle and it's a wonderful product. Mostly I've been using one from Suki, Pixi, or Cure.

    1. The MyChelle and Suki scrubs are incredible physical exfoliants!


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