In the last year, multiple big beauty companies across the country have been in the press for links between their products and harmful reactions in consumers. The Honest Company recently announced a voluntary recall of its Organic Baby Powder when testing revealed possible contamination of microorganisms that were linked to skin and eye infections. In 2016, Johnson & Johnson lost three lawsuits that awarded millions in payout to women who’d developed ovarian cancer from talc in J&J’s Baby Powder. And now, St. Ives Apricot Scrub is the subject of a class-action lawsuit.
The long-loved scrub’s (it’s been around for three decades) parent company, Unilever United States Inc., is being sued by plaintiffs who argue that the scrub’s exfoliating agents, including crushed walnut shells, are too harsh on skin and have caused long-term damage to skin.
Harsh exfoliating agents like walnut shells can cause micro-tears in the delicate skin of the face, leading to inflammation, redness, blackheads and more. Part of the problem is that the pieces of shell have jagged and uneven edges, which can act like small daggers on skin. And the walnut powder doesn’t dissolve or change shape as you use it like salt or sugar scrubs do when mixed with water on skin.
Exfoliation has been a long-debated topic in the area of skincare, especially in the healthy beauty community. It helps your skin cells turnover and regenerate, plus it helps your skin shed dead cells that can clog pores, cause dryness and prohibit your high-powered serums and treatments from working. So where’s the balance? Can you get a deep exfoliation without damaging your skin? Absolutely, which is why we have three natural alternatives for you to try.
Natural Alternatives to St. Ives Apricot Scrub
Arcona Brightening Gommage ($52): Want that really scrubby feeling? This is the natural alternative for you. Arcona’s line of Gommages utilize jojoba beads, small, perfectly round and dissolvable beads, as their main source of exfoliation. These little beads slough off dead skin, leaving your face instantly smooth and glowing. The Brightening Gommage refines, brightens and protects your complexion to improve the tone and texture of scars, age spots, dark spots and hyperpigmentation, while daisy extract has a lightening effect to help fade discoloration.
Leahlani Skincare Kalima Cleansing Powder ($46): A perfect travel companion because it’s not a liquid, this tropical powder is a treat for skin and senses. Coconut milk, rice powder, Hawaiian sea salt and oatmeal combine as gentle yet powerful exfoliants to reveal smooth, glowing skin. When mixed with water, the enzymes from whole fruits, including banana, guava, camu camu and more, transform into a bubbling pink liquid that boosts collagen production and evens skintone. Bonus: It can be a mask that draws out impurities and reduces oil.
Violets Are Blue Facial Scrub ($36): Gentle enough for sensitive skin but still packs a punch, this sugar-infused scrub gives those looking for the grittiness of St. Ives Apricot Scrub exactly what they want. Oatmeal and calendula compliment the ingredient list, with just enough scrub to make you feel fresh and clean, but without harsh effects. It does the job to slough off those surface layer skin cells that can contribute to a dull complexion, leaving you with smoother, clearer skin.