Since discovering the presence of plastics particles in many cosmetics, specifically those meant for exfoliating the skin such as scrubs and certain cleansers, I’ve been actively promoting natural alternatives that use ingredients such as sand, salt, sugar, nut shells and seeds instead to anyone who’ll listen. The problem isn’t necessarily getting every day, normal people to switch – it’s getting the Big Companies to change their formulas and approach. In our time consumers hold power over manufacturers, and I believe it is our responsibility to stand up for the environment and our health. That is why I implore everyone to ditch any cosmetic product that has polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon-66, polymethyl methacrylate, polyethylene terephthalate1, or any other types of plastics that contribute to the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans2.
Did that figure scare you? It should. But there is an easy solution: simply don’t buy products with plastic “microbeads,” which aren’t very effective anyways as the video above shows. What you can use instead to clean your body and strip off dead skin is a 100% natural scrub from Jealous Body, a Vancouver-based company that produces handmade, vegan, pet friendly products3 to combat dry skin and do good for our seas. In March I wrote about their first product, a coffee grounds-based exfoliant with coconut oil to condition the skin and an aroma of freshly-brewed dark java. This summer they’ve introduced four new varieties of the same scrub using fun new ingredients like almond and cocoa, rich in antioxidants to repair skin cells4. It was such a thrill to find the Grapeseed + Macadamia scrub in my mailbox, and I got to using it straight away, anxious to see how it compared to the original scrub.
To recap on Coconut + Coffee: finely milled coffee grounds are a gentle scrub that I use at least twice a week to no irritation, with coconut oil that leaves skin truly hydrated – no need for a lotion afterwards. The aroma is delicious, and the only downside is how messy it can get. Imagine tiny brown specks all over the tub; not cute! They do rinse easily, however, it’s just something to keep in mind (especially if you’re mostly blind without glasses in the shower, like me). In my original review I also commented on the impractical packaging and how difficult it is to reach into the (waterproof) paper bag for the scrub under running water. This hasn’t changed, but I’ve found an easy fix: a $1.25 lidded glass candy jar that makes for elegant storage and easy handling of the grainy scrub. It’s become a staple in my shower routine, all of which made for high hopes for the new releases!
Appearance wise the new scrub is a lighter gray-brown shade than the original, with tiny beige flakes. This particular variety is oriented to people with oily prone skin, and works to balance oil production and tighten skin. How? Grapeseed oil, derived from the otherwise-discarded seeds of wine grapes, has astringent qualities that tend to shrink or constrict body tissues5. It’s also great for moisturizing! Now, you might wonder how layering a product that contains such oils on already oily skin will reduce oil production. One of the reasons for excess oil production in the first place is too much oil removal by harsh cleansers and soaps, so by gently cleansing and restoring moisture through a product like this scrub instead you help to neutralize the skin and get it back on your side again6. Capiche?
This is, of course, a fragrance forward blog, first and foremost. Sometimes I enjoy a complicated EDT or body lotion fragrance, but other times it’s nice to know what I smell is exactly what I see – coffee grounds. Coconut + Coffee is a distinctly black coffee blend, and Grapeseed + Macadamia is definitely instant coffee. There are no traces of other ingredients’ smells, as far as I’m concerned. So again, we’ve got black, instant, and now we just need a decaf option! Makes me suspect that the folks behind Jealous Body might have worked as baristas in their past lives… I’m not a regular coffee drinker myself, so I’m not exactly positive what to expect of a proper brew, but there was a certain hot dog-ish smell to the product on the skin in water. However, based on a 0.39-seconds Google search, a random Twitter user once wrote: “Instant coffee, smells like hot dogs, tastes like coffee. Best of both worlds!7” If random Twitter user Ian and I both think it, it must be true, then (right?).
If you look up the hashtag #jealousbody or #jealousscrub on social media you’ll find selfies of girls with this scrub smeared across their faces and bodies. I’m not sure my body and I are ready for that type of exposure, but it’s a great way to see how this product works in action. So, I did the next best thing: I got my brother to model it! Simply rub a handful or so on your entire body and let sit for 5-10 minutes. When you’re done brewing/bathing, drain the (admittedly gross) water and you’ll be clean, hydrated, and smell just like a cup of Timmie’s (or Dunkin’, for my American readers).
Verdict: I will begin by saying that any natural scrub is already a billion times better than one with microbeads. That said, what sets this brand apart from the rest is that they now target different skin types for less than the competition (I’m looking at you, LUSH). The scrubbing action is quite abrasive this time around, making it totally effective in removing dead skin, especially when done repeatedly throughout the week (keep away from acne and sensitive skin!). Anyone that knows me knows I’m the type to keep sanitizer with me everywhere I go, but I admit I felt like a young kid playing in the mud when I put this on, and I found it a lot of fun. From all the scrubs I’ve tried, none delivers an experience the way these do. And the coffee aromas of the scrubs are just what you would expect, authentic and hearty. I can’t help but wonder what other flavors of coffee Jealous Body will treat us to next; I think they should get on the phone with me ASAP so we can figure out how to stuff a S’mores Frappuccino in one of these bad boys. Mmm!
1Beat the Bead: Science
2LUSH Cosmetics North America: How plastic microbeads are causing big problems
3Jealous Body Scrub: Coconut + Coffee
4Jealous Body Scrub: Cocoa + Almond
6WebMD: How to Manage Oily Skin
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