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I've been on a quest lately for something different to use as a body scrub, and whenever I'm after one I tend to gravitate towards my local branch of Boots but I've noticed that (as it is a relatively small branch) the stock isn't as extensive as much larger branches. I've sampled just about everything exfoliating from the Sanctuary range that caught my eye but not many of the other ranges seemed to jump out at me, except for the Boots Extracts range which I've been meaning to try since it was on offer a few months ago so now looked like as good a time as any and this Mango one was the option that appealed to me more than any others - I think because it was such a bright orange-yellow and a lot of other exfoliators that I've used have been quite neutral in colour. I bought this in a 400ml tub for £7.50 which is pricy from some angles but on the other hand I did think Boots had put a generous amount of the product into the container and as I use body scrubs a few times a week, I like to find ones that will go a long way rather than having to buy another every two or three weeks.
The other thing that jumped out at me - which suits the colour of the product, I think - was the fact that the screw-on lid was a bright sunny yellow-orange (a bit brighter than the actual scrub, which you can see without opening the tub as the main container is transparent plastic). A circular label on the top gives all the main information in white text but it's easy enough to read because the background is a photograph of two ripe mangoes - apparently on a tree - so it has a generally tropical feeling, judging by what I can see! As well as the usual highlighting of the product's features (in this case, that it "contains natural scrub particles to intensely exfoliate" and promises to make my skin "smooth, bright and rejuvenated") the label also displays the green-and-blue Fairtrade symbol and a circle of writing that edges it tells me that the mango extract is organic and Fairtrade, and that the shea butter is also Fairtrade. The matching square label on the tub then continues to explain that shea butter is produced in Western Africa.
As far as I remember, there was never actually a mango flavoured Opal Fruit - and I'm going back to the time when they still were Opal Fruits instead of Starbursts! - but when I unscrewed the lid of this sugar scrub it really reminded me of Opal Fruits. I wouldn't have called the aroma particularly like mango-like but it's definitely fruity and really sweet. There isn't much about it that I'd call perfumed in the artificial sense because to me it just smells like fruit. I think I can detect a little tiny hint of orange in it but perhaps that's because I'm thinking of Opal Fruits?
The first thing I thought when I opened it (other than, "Opal Fruits!") was, is this definitely a body scrub? It's not even slightly runny, a sort of orange-yellow waxy kind of look and it seems really dense, like a very firm opaque jelly (except it's not at all wobbly). So I actually wondered whether it was really a body scrub or if somebody somewhere at the Boots factory had made a little mistake and filled a body scrub container with body butter instead . . .
I was pretty relieved, therefore, when I actually came to scoop some of this scrub out to use it to find that it did exfoliate but I was also quite surprised to see that it really was about as dense as a body butter. Because it's very firm, I found it easy to scoop out a very small amount as needed rather than having to contend with a gel-based scrub that ran all over the place. It doesn't seem to foam up at all (checking the ingredients, there is no sign of that controversial thing sodium laureth sulphate, although mineral oil and paraffin are in it somewhere and I did spot a mention of some yellow colouring agent too) so I wouldn't particularly say it has a cleaning effect but it does have an exfoliating one. I have found that it works best if I rub it into wet skin rather than dry or just moist skin because the scrub becomes a lot more slippery and easier to rub in. There didn't seem to be any gritty bits left in the bath when I'd finished using it, but I could certainly feel something gently scrubby in the product when I used it. I haven't really got sensitive skin but I think somebody would have to have quite temperamental skin to find this irritating. I think it would disappoint anybody looking for a really invigorating body scrub, though - I haven't used it in the shower yet but because it's in a tub and the consistency is quite dense I think it is likely to be the kind of product that suits a bath better than a shower. I don't think it lends itself to the "need to wake up in three minutes" morning shower as well as to the "lie back and soak" evening bath.
Because it's so thick, the obvious downside to this is that it does tend to clump into very small waxy bits when I wash it off and (as is usually the case when I use these things in the bath) it also means that the inside of the bath benefits from a wipe down after use, but on the up side, what really impresses me about this scrub is that there's something in it (looking at the ingredients, I would guess it's the shea butter) that leaves my skin feeling really soft - hence my earlier reference to body butter. It is one of a very tiny number of body scrubs I've used - the only other one leaping to mind is the Sanctuary's Moisturising Butter Scrub - that have made me feel like I could forget about moisturising afterwards. (Actually, I find this after-effect is very useful because although I try I am not very disciplined when it comes to using body moisturisers and I only tend to use them when I've got a bit of extra time so finding a body scrub that has that quality is something I consider to be a big bonus. Even the morning after I first used it, I noticed that my skin felt soft - not excessively so or to the point where my clothes would stick to me, but definitely smooth and moisturised.
I would definitely buy this again and I think it would probably appeal to anyone who prefers a more natural scent for their body care products, instead of very perfumed ones.