After trying a deluxe sample of the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion exfoliant (default tube size is $78!) and also plunking down the big bucks ($48!) for the Bliss Spa version of the same, I realized that as much as I liked both products for the size of the exfoliating grit (actually, the ones in the Dr. Brandt version were a bit too small for my liking, but the Bliss ones were just about the right size), I couldn't justify the cost for a product that would remain on my skin for a minute or so only to be washed down the drain.
I went back to my usual drugstore standbys — St. Ives and Neutrogena scrubs. Still, I knew my dream/holy grail physical exfoliant would probably be one with much smaller grit but at a far more reasonable price. I just hadn't found it yet.
Months passed by. So many months. I made do mostly with a tube or two of good old reliable St. Ives green tea scrub. They were pretty middling months.
As luck would have it, I recently wandered over to my local crunchy granola grocery store, the one with all kinds of weird but interesting beauty products of sometimes questionable efficacy. Still fun to browse though. They had the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask along with a bunch of other products from the same line next to it. Having seen a lot of positive reviews about the mask, I picked it up to smell it. No bueno. Mint just isn't my thing unless I'm borderline dying of a cold and then I'm all okay with things like peppermint tea.
No worries. Because the next thing happened. My eyes spotted the Queen Helene cocoa butter scrub a couple of products over. Hey, that looks like it might smell nice! Intrigued, I opened the tube and gave it a sniff. Nice! I LIKE!
However, I'd never used anything from the line before and was a little hesitant. I loaded up MUA on my phone and checked out the reviews. A bunch of people compared the size of the grit to sand (and also, the reviews were largely positive). VERY INTERESTING! Close visual inspection confirmed that indeed, the exfoliating bits were promisingly small.
It was only about $4 so I bought it.
And then I used it and I fell in immediately in love.
FYI, the gritty bits are comparable to Bliss Spa, but slightly larger. Does this fall into the category of a microdermabrasion-style exfoliant? My opinion is yes, or at least very, very close. And, considering the price difference, who cares, really?
Dr. Brandt: $39/oz
Bliss Spa: $16/oz
Queen Helene: $0.67/oz (yup, 67 cents an ounce. Really).
-Perfectly-sized gritty bits. Could pass for a microdermabrasion-style exfoliant, which generally tend to cost incredibly large amounts of dollars.
-Effective. My skin felt lovely, completely clean, and soft. As someone who does 99% of her skin cleansing exactly once a day and only in the shower via physical exfoliation (I do not use soap, like ever, on my face, yuck, ew! residue!), I hope this context is helpful.
-CHEAP!!! SOOOOOOOOOOO CHEAP!!!
-None that I can think of. It's pretty awesome. Well, okay, the graphic design on the tube is a bit eccentric and stuck in a weird 70's aesthetic, but I kind of LIKE that.