Acure Brightening Facial Scrub review

This is an honest review.  I received a discount on this product, and if you join Grove Collaborative using my affiliate link I will receive a discount on my future purchases there, but I was not paid to promote this product.  All opinions stated here are my own.

For the past two years, I’ve been buying some of my environmentally friendly household products through Grove Collaborative, formerly known as ePantry, a subscription service that sends your selected supplies as scheduled but allows you to adjust or cancel any order if you don’t need that stuff right now.  Here’s how to decide if a subscription service is right for you, and here are my honest reviews of 11 products Grove carries.  If you’d like to try it, please click here to get a $10 discount and get me credit for referring you!

Grove Collaborative often offers me a discount on a new product to entice me to try it.  That’s how I got Acure Brightening Facial Scrub.  This exfoliating cleanser is an alternative to those that contain environmentally damaging plastic microbeads and/or hazardous chemicals.

It has “argan extract + chlorella growth factor,” which does not sound appealing to me.  It also has “lemon peel granules,” which presumably contain the fruit acids that are supposed to be good for making skin look younger, as well as being a constructive use for lemon peels that would otherwise be compost or garbage.  “Walnut shell flour” similarly makes use of unwanted natural packaging, and it sounded good for exfoliating.  Overall, the list of ingredients didn’t contain anything objectionable, and I always appreciate when products disclose all of their ingredients.  (If you’re wondering about potassium sorbate, it’s natural and considered pretty safe.)

When I opened the tube, I was surprised to find that this facial scrub is black.  Well, dark greenish-gray, maybe.  How was rubbing this dark goo into my pores going to “brighten” my face?  I said to myself in a chipper voice, “That’s the argan and chlorella!” but this did not reassure me.  I pictured Argan and Chlorella terrorizing Tokyo.  I toned it down to a vision of earnestly-raised young vegan siblings named Argan and Chlorella.  I sniffed the open tube and realized that the scrub had a pleasant lemon scent.

That’s important.  Stuff I’m going to rub onto my face needs to smell good or at least not bad.  It’s right on and next to my nose, first thing in the morning!

So, I squeezed out a bit of the lemony-smelling stuff that looked like wet sand from a black-sand beach, and I gently scrubbed it on my forehead, nose, and chin.  (My cheeks are more sensitive, so I never try an exfoliant there until I’ve seen its effect on the rest of my face.)  It felt good!  Invigorating!  After rinsing, I felt much smoother.

After getting out of the shower, I looked in the mirror for evidence of “brightening.”  I actually saw a difference!  My pores were smaller–even after a steamy shower–and I looked a little younger and more awake than usual.

With subsequent uses, I’ve continued to be happy with the effect on my appearance and the way my skin feels.  I’m now using it every other day on my face, neck, and elbows.

The downside is that, because of the dark color, every bit of the scrub that rinses off me is highly visible, and it looks a lot like dirt or mildew.  I’m trying to be careful to get it all to go down the drain instead of onto the shower curtain or wall.  This also is a reason to make sure you rinse it thoroughly off your skin.  I’m finding that easy to do in the shower, but if you use it to wash your face over the sink, make sure you’re not leaving bits of black grit along your hairline!

Overall, I recommend this product if you want a facial scrub in a tube.  It’s convenient, but the tube will not be accepted by most recycling programs, and the stuff costs about $2 an ounce.  When I finish it, I’ll probably go back to using my very affordable, low-waste homemade facial scrub most of the time.  (I wonder if adding some kind of citrus oil would give me that pore-tightening effect?)  I might buy another tube of Acure Brightening Facial Scrub for special occasions and travel.

Here are all my favorite Earth-friendly hygiene products!

Visit Waste Less Wednesday and To Grandma’s House We Go for more environmentally friendly tips!

A Tale of Two Toothpastes

As a VIP member of Grove Collaborative, I get a free item or special deal every month or two.  Recently, we’ve tried two new natural toothpastes.  Based on our 20 years’ experience trying natural and Earth-friendly hygiene products and cleaning products, here’s our evaluation of these two minty mouth-cleaning options.  This is an honest review.  We received no compensation other than a discount on these products.

Click here to get $10 off your first Grove Collaborative order and earn a credit for me!  Click here to learn more about how Grove works and whether it’s right for you.

JASON Powersmile Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste (Powerful Peppermint flavor) is indeed powerful.  It’s aggressively minty, similar to Altoids candy.  It will clear your sinuses!  But we don’t actually like the taste, which also prominently features stevia.  I’m very sensitive to fake sugar, and while stevia is not actually an artificial sweetener, the fact that it tastes super-sweet but has no calories can trigger a metabolic reaction that makes me feel nervous and queasy.  That’s a reason to avoid stevia-sweetened foods, but since I’m not swallowing toothpaste, my reaction is only psychosomatic and fades within a few minutes after rinsing my mouth.  Still, who wants to feel icky even for a moment after brushing teeth?  Not me! Read more of this post

Go Green in 2017: How to Clean

Photographs by Nicholas Efran.

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions!  There are many ways you could change your habits to reduce your environmental impact.  One change you could make is replacing cleansers that harm the environment with cleaning products or cleaning methods that are safer for your family as well as the wider world.

rubbing alcohol, peroxide, baking soda, vinegarWhat’s wrong with conventional cleaning products?

These health risks don’t affect only people who are in direct contact with the cleanser; many cleansers leave a residue on the surface or in the air that can be absorbed through our skin and/or lungs, and some of these chemicals are bioaccumulative–our bodies can’t get rid of them, so over time our repeated exposures can build up to toxic levels.

p1040148Here’s our complete guide to cleaning a typical Earth dwelling.  We’ve tried many environmentally-friendly products over the past 20 years and have found more good ones than duds.  Here, we recommend some brand-name products that work especially well and some inexpensive basic materials that are great for various cleaning projects. Yes, it is possible to make more homemade cleaning products than we do.  We’ve struck a balance between purchased and homemade products that works well with our cleaning habits and the amount of spare time we have.  If you use an awesome homemade cleanser, feel free to share details or a link in the comments!

For basic home cleaning, you will need:

  • dish detergent
  • laundry detergent
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • all-purpose cleaner

Other items we use regularly that you may or may not need, depending on your home furnishings and cleaning standards, are:

  • dishwasher detergent
  • hardwood floor cleaner
  • furniture polish
  • antibacterial spray
  • rubbing alcohol

Look for these items in your local stores where you shop regularly. If you can’t find them there, encourage your stores to make them available; meanwhile, order online. Many of the brand-name products are available from Grove Collaborative–click here for a $10 discount on your first order!  Here is more information about Grove (formerly known as ePantry).

Here are the details on how to use each type of cleanser. Read more of this post