I’m really picky when it comes to skincare. During my teen years, I had really oily skin with monthly cystic acne and all the blackheads (thanks, hormones). I didn’t have a good concept of how to work with exfoliators to prevent breakouts and control oil. (Spoiler alert: once you have a breakout, there’s nothing to be done but wait for it to go away.) Now, I have a much better idea of what works for me.
My skin has also gotten way better in the decade since I graduated high school. I still have an oily t-zone, but it’s nowhere near as bad, and cystic acne only happens a few times a year. However, it’s also gotten more and more sensitive as I’ve gotten older. This has made me sit down and do my research into skincare, and I’ve put together a pretty great routine.
I love receiving skincare products in my box subscriptions, because it makes me challenge my set routine. I’m always on the lookout for great new products.
Since almost everyone suffers from drier skin in the winter, Birchbox included this derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub (USD $32.50 for 2oz). I really like a lot of derma e’s products. I’ve been using their charcoal mask on my t-zone, and it’s been great so far for cleaning up my pores. But, since it’s an all-natural skincare line there can be some sneaky irritants in some of their formulas. Remember: all-natural does not mean not harmful. For drugstore, their products are a little more pricey but a lot of them are very good quality.
Since I have combination skin, I use a scrub cleanser at night to get all the excess dirt and flakey skin off. I couldn’t replace it with this one, because this scrub is only meant to be used once or twice a week. But since I do have drier skin, I thought this would be a great addition to try out.
The sample size is a really generous. You get a ton of product that will last you a few months before needing to replace it. However, it’s in the ever dreaded jar packaging. Jar packaging makes things look super fancy, but it’s really not great for hygiene and storage, especially for skincare products. Every time you open the jar, you’re exposing the whole product to the air, causing ingredients to breakdown and giving bacteria ample opportunity to set up camp in your products. Since you have to dip your fingers to get the scrub out, more bacteria can get in. Products that have natural, more delicate ingredients are also at higher risks of having them breakdown every time they’re exposed to the air. So with each use your product becomes less effective. I’m a little more lenient on this for body products, but definitely not for anything going on my face.
Unfortunately, the full size also comes in this jar packaging.
Whenever I used this, I loved the way the texture of the scrub felt on my skin. My everyday scrub-cleanser is more gentle, so it’s great to have something that’s more abrasive (but not too much). derma e used sea salt as the exfoliant, and I love it. It really does a great job of removing dead skin and any lingering makeup.
The problem with this scrub comes with all of the citrus oils in the ingredients. Unfortunately, a lot of natural products use citrus oils as exfoliants. The problem with citrus is that it can be really harsh on the skin. Yes, it can kill bacteria, but it can also inflame the skin, leading to redness and, ironically, more breakouts. I just can’t get on board with that. Oils can be great, even for acne prone skin, but they shouldn’t come from a harsh source.
Lo and behold, my skin started feeling really sensitive to the touch after a couple of uses. This is too bad, because I really loved the texture of this scrub. But I’m going to have to pass on it.
Rating: 2/5. I love the derma e brand, but despite the amazing texture the sea salt exfoliant gives it, the amount of citrus in this all-natural scrub is just too problematic. The jar packaging also doesn’t help. There are some much better products in this line that you can try.
If you’d like to subscribe to Birchbox, follow the link!