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I am not brand loyal when it comes to most skin care products but nevertheless there are some that I go back to again and again. One of these is the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, in particular the "Gentle" variety. I have also tried the "Invigorating" and "Blemish Control" scrubs from the same range but I find that they feel more abrasive and therefore less pleasant to use. I wouldn't mind if they were more effective but for me they aren't. My skin is what I would call combination. I have tried products aimed at this skin type but too often I have felt they are "Jack of all trades" and don't really effectively deal with any of my problem areas. So I am left to choose between products for dry or oily skin. Scrubs for oily skin are too harsh on my dry cheeks even if they deal with my shiny forehead. So the best results for me have come from using dry skin friendly formulations of which this scrub is one.
WHAT THE SCRUB CLAIMS TO DO
This St. Ives scrub is said to offer mild cleansing and gentle exfoliation which will result in "smooth, radiant and healthy looking skin." It is said to be gentle enough to use daily although this is not true for me as I will explain below. Lastly, the packaging says the scrub is hypoallergenic and that it is suitable for sensitive skins.
The scrub comes in a reasonably attractive squeezy container, with pictures of apricots against a white background. [The picture in Ciao's image is of the previous packaging design.] The "bottle" is more of tube, which makes it easy to dispense. When you have used most of the product, you can cut the opposite end to the lid off to access what is left. I am always surprised at how much more the tube contains when I do so. Once I have done that though, I clamp the new opening shut tightly as the scrub tends to dry out otherwise. The scrub is thick enough not to flow out if you leave it on it's side and the flip top lid is secure once closed anyway.
I have a friend who buys this scrub because she likes the apricot scent, which has always surprised me because I think it has only the mildest of aromas. To me it merely has a clean, fresh smell. I think it is fairly thick in texture, with plenty of visible exfoliating grains. These grains are well distrubuted throughout which makes it easier to apply evenly.
Applying the scrub is easy and will be familiar to anyone who has used a similiar product. You dampen your face, massage the scrub in and then rinse thoroughly. One gentle squeeze of the bottle comfortably dispenses enough for me to massage into my whole face. It is creamier in texture than other scrubs I have tried which makes it surprisingly pleasant to work in. I also like the fact it feels gritty enough for you to feel it is doing some good, without feeling that your face has been sandblasted! I think it takes a little longer to wash off than some, as it is thicker, but this is a minor quibble.
If I have come back to using this scrub after a long break, I am always surprised at what an immediate difference it makes to the look and feel of my skin. My face looks instantly fresher and clearer, and any shine is long gone. It feels really clean, and it is smoother and softer to the touch too. I really notice an increased radiance to my complexion after a few uses. I haven't experienced any outbreaks of spots or redness.
I have read much conflicting advice about whether it is or isn't good to use a facial exfoliation product daily, even if you are sticking to products intended for such use. I can only say that if I do use this every morning for any length of time beyond 3 days, the effects not only plateau, but actually reverse for me. My complexion appears duller and my cheeks begin to feel dry again, even with the use of moisturiser. If I use the scrub 3 or 4 times a week though, my skin does not suffer and the good results last. I am sure this will not be true of everyone that uses this as our skin is all different. I don't mind using it less frequently, as it makes the tube last longer.
Although I use this mainly on my face, I also use it as a body scrub sometimes. I have found it to be very effective on those itrritating goosepimples that you can get on your upper arms. The "Blemish Control" scrub from the same range is also good for this.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The standard price for the tube [150ml] is £4.99 in both Superdrug and Boots. I have almost never paid full price though - it always seems to be on offer somewhere or other. At the moment Superdrug are offering it at half price. It is also widely available in supermarkets.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
Yes, I would. Although I do not find it gentle enough to use daily as claimed, I get excellent results from less frequent use so it is hard to use this as a reason to complain. I think that of all the scrubs I have tried over the last few years, this one offers the fastest and most relaible results. A liitle goes along way too- I am currently on a tube I began 3 months ago. Well worth a try to see how it suits you.
Although the scrub is made from 95% naturally derived ingredients, it does contain 3 parabens and Sodium laureth sulfate which I know many people wish to avoid. Dermatologist tested - "in Switzerland"!
[This review also appears under my user name on Dooyoo.]