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Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: St. Ives Exfoliate & Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub (For Face)

St. Ives Exfoliate & Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub
(retail: around $6.99, 4.23 oz.)

You may recall, back in January of this year, that I was pretty excited when I first posted about these new oil scrubs from St. Ives. They definitely piqued my curiosity (there's an apricot formula as well) so when I found them at my local Walmart last month, I immediately purchase the coconut formula. So let's see how it's been working for me, shall we?

Availability: In-store at Walmart, Target and various drugstores. Online at Walmart.com, Target.comAmazon Prime, Amazon Prime Pantry.


From St. Ives:

Aloha smooth, sweet smelling skin! From America’s No 1 scrub brand* comes our first ever oil scrub. With pure grapeseed oil and 100% natural coconut shell powder, to nourish and exfoliate in one step. It’s not complicated! The coconut shell powder makes an excellent exfoliator and partners perfectly with pure grapeseed oil to nourish with a flourish. Coconuts, where to start? We just can’t get enough; milk, flesh, we’ll take the lot. But here’s something you might not know, the shell is also brilliant. So we use that too. It’s a natural exfoliator which helps buff our skin to that softness we all love. Our coconuts come from the Ivory Coast and Sri Lanka too. The shells are milled and rounded to the exact level of exfoliation so it’s just right – not too rough, not too soft. Natural Ingredients include Coconut Shell Power, Grapeseed Oil, and Coconut Oil. 

HOW TO USE: Now this is a bit different. Apply a small amount of oil into your palms (start with a dime sized amount, you can always add more if you need). Rub together and massage gently into DRY skin. Add warm water and continue massaging in circles to stimulate the skin. The oil will emulsify, where it turns milky white. Don’t forget to work right up to your hair line and around the sides of your nose. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a towel. Smooth it on and scrub up 3-4 times a week.

Recommended Skin Type: mature, combination, normal, oily

INGREDIENTS: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydrated Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Shell Powder, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil.

*Based on 52 week unit sales ending 7.30.16

Made in USA

When I first posted about this product, I immediately thought, "A cleansing oil and exfoliator? Yes!" Well after using this for a month now, I've come to realize that I was absolutely wrong about that. This is a facial scrub that happens to be oil-based. Big difference! Now, I don't think St. Ives was in any way deceptive about this product--they state right on the front of the bottle that this is a "Coconut Oil Scrub." It was absolutely my fault to think that it was a cleansing-oil-exfoliator hybrid type of product. I guess when I saw "scrub" and "oil," my mind went there.

Right on the bottle, St. Ives tells you to use this product 3-4 times a week. That should have been my first clue, right? If this were a cleansing oil and exfoliator in one, you would be able to use it every single day as your normal facial cleanser (as with all cleansing oils). 

So for my review below, I am reviewing this product strictly has an exfoliator--NOT a cleanser.

Standard flip-top lid


In this close-up, you can see that the "scrubbies" in this product (coconut shell powder) are quite small. They are NOT the large pieces of apricot and walnet shell that you find in the classic St. Ives Apricot Scrub. The coconut shell powder in this scrub is what St. Ives describes as having a "Medium" exfoliating factor, and I would agree with that. The powder content is dense enough to do some nice exfoliation, but it's not as heavy-duty as a microdermabrasion product. This product is also not as exfoliating as my holy grail St. Ives Green Tea Scrub. But to be clear, it's also not the type of product that you work into the skin and think, "This isn't scrubbing my skin all." You can definitely feel something.

Looking at my pic above, when you squirt this product out of the bottle it looks like a thick gel. But the moment you start to work it into your skin, it takes on a traditional oil texture and it's not thick at all. As with cleansing oils, you apply this product to DRY skin, and after working it into your skin (taking care to avoid the eye area), you can get your hands wet and then the product will take on a more milky texture. After that, it's time to rinse. And for me, this product rinsed fairly well. Not as well as my beloved DHC Cleansing Oil and Palmer's Cleansing Oil (reviews here and here), but well enough. I can still feel a slight oily residue after rinsing, but that goes away after patting my skin dry with a towel. I have oily skin, so I'm very sensitive to products that leave an oily residue and I really can't feel that at all once my skin is dry.

After using this product, my skin feels smooth, clean and not too dry. But it does feel slightly tight, which I wasn't expecting given that this is an oil-based product. Overall, my skin has been pretty happy with this product, but I do want to mention that the fragrance level of this product is medium-strong. You can definitely smell it when you open the bottle and work it into your skin. To me, the fragrance isn't straight coconut, but more like a coconut and mixed berry blend. It's quite sweet and almost candy-like.

So do I love this product? Not really, and here's why: I can't quite figure out its place in my skincare regimen. I tried using it as a cleanser (even though it doesn't claim to be one, of course) and it wasn't effective at removing my foundation. You also can't get this product near your eyes, given the presence of coconut shell powder, so again, it's not a cleanser. I'm OK with it not being a cleanser, but the problem for me is that you must apply it to dry skin. I don't know about you, but I generally use my facial scrubs right after cleansing, when my face is still wet. With this product, you need to cleanse your face, dry it, dry your hands, and then apply the scrub. After two weeks of doing just that, I was tired of that extra "drying off" step. So then I decided to just use this scrub in the morning, when my skin was already pretty clean (after the previous night's cleansing). Using it in the AM was more convenient for me, but it felt kind of weird to massage the oils already on my skin after a night's sleep back into my skin, without fully cleansing my skin. So I felt like I needed to use a cleanser after this scrub in the morning. Do you see where I'm going with this? Too many steps that I'm not used to, and I just don't think this product is great enough to warrant building a whole new routine to accommodate it.

FINAL VERDICT: Based on everything I said above, I'm trying to think of a person who may truly benefit from a product like this. It's innovative (I can't remember ever seeing an oil scrub before at the drugstore) and I don't hate it. I really want it to work for someone. Using this as an AM product that takes the place of your facial cleanser could work for some of you, but St. Ives does not mention that this product is suitable for dry skin (and I would agree since my oily skin feels slightly tight after use). I'm thinking that if you have normal to oily skin and generally don't like to use a heavy cleanser in the morning, this might give you enough cleansing in addition to the exfoliation. But again, it's a scrub, so you can only use it 3-4 times a week. So it won't take the place of your normal AM cleanser. When it comes to facial scrubs, I'm extremely loyal to my holy grail St. Ives Green Tea Scrub, and I plan to stick with that.

Availability: In-store at Walmart, Target and various drugstores. Online at Walmart.com, Target.com, Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Pantry

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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23 comments

  1. Thorough review. Now I know I can pass on this one.

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    1. Thanks, Tamiko! I'm bummed that this doesn't seem like a good fit for you, either. :(

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  2. I got the apricots one and I'm not a fan of it either. The biggest turn off is that it leaves an oily film that you can't seem to wash off completely. Since I have oily skin I need to wash it off with another cleanser.

    I was was thinking that this product is similar to the asian oil cleanser with added exfoliants which fully emusilives.

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    Replies
    1. Aaah, I'm sorry to hear that the apricot formula wasn't a good match for you. Thanks for the feedback!

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  3. Hey G. So I finally found this yesterday at CVS after looking for it at Walmart forever. At any rate, I also mistakenly used this product: I thought it was for your body for some reason, not your face. I have no clue why I thought that so as you can imagine I was quite perplexed when I read the directions and it said to use it on dry skin. Then I thought, How the heck am I going to do that in the shower/bath? Total senior moment for me. But after reading this review and reading the bottle after I got out of the shower, I completely agree with you: of course your face is going to be wet because you have to clean it first before you exfoliate it. So yeah, this will not be a repurchase for me because I am not going to dry my face and hands before using this after cleansing like you said. This is indeed a strange product to say the least!

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    1. Lol! Hey Carol, it happens to the best of us! ;)

      And yeah, this product is confusing. Requiring a dry face and hands isn't logical for most of us who exfoliate after cleansing, but I guess if you really love this product, you'll be willing to dry off first. It was just too much of a hassle for me personally. :(

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  4. I've seen the three bottles at Target but didn't purchase wondering if they'll be ok. combination/dry skin probably getting drier since I'm getting old will turn 54 this month. Yikes! ;)

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    1. Happy early birthday!! 🎉💋

      And since you said your skin is combo/dry, I'm not sure that this would be the best choice for you. It left my face feeling a bit tight and I have oily skin. :(

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  5. I wonder how this would work as a foot scrub? I have a facial exfoliator from Simple that I'm not crazy about for my face (it's okay, just not as good as I wanted it to be) so I use it on my feet, body, and hands.

    It could be put on while sitting on the side of the tub so the oil doesn't ruin everything, then rinse under the faucet (I'm guessing it might be too slick to rinse in the shower. Slippery feet and showers do not mix!). Even easier to use as a hand exfoliator.

    I'm all about workarounds for products. I like finding different uses for so-so products.

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    1. Hey girlie! I like your idea, but even the slightest trace of oil in my tub drives Mr G insane (he slipped once after I used a rather greasy body scrub and I felt SO badly about that!) so I'm scared to even bring this into the shower. Lol. BUT, you have me wanting to try this on my hands! I'll get back to you after I try that. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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  6. Thank you for always providing such thorough reviews! I still think the exfoliating pieces look way too jagged and sharp to be good for facial skin (especially after people have suggested that the apricot scrub can cause micro-tears in skin) - I'd have thought St. Ives would have rounded out the pieces more.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, they're nowhere near the size of the apricot and walnut shell pieces in the orgin St Ives apricot scrub, but I personally prefer silica for exfoliation. That's what is in the St Ives Green Tea Scrub (about the same size as the silica in the Kiehls microdermabrasion scrub, for reference). If you're looking for a new economical scrub to try, I suggest the green tea formula. :)

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  7. My mind went to where yours did G. I figured it would be a cleansing oil. Your review makes me think it's not for me. I would rather use a foaming scrub or my oil cleanser. Thanks for the review, it saved me money!

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    Replies
    1. Lol great minds, Robin! ;)

      I'm so glad you found my review useful. And yeah, cleansing oil followed by a scrub is my preference right now. :)

      Delete
  8. This has had me curious because it's different, but like you write, you can't figure a place for it in your skincare regimen. That's my take. Where would I get use out of t his? I already have cleansers that I like, and exfoliators that I like, so this seems unnecessary. Plus, fragrance. Some don't bother me, but many make my skin feel itchy, so a pass. But watch, in six months it may be on clearance at Big Lots or the back row at Rite Aid, and if it's a buck I won't be able to pass it up.

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    1. Lol Heidi! I can never resist those Big Lots/clearance shelf impulse purchases. Get back to me in 6 mos and lemme know what you think? ;)

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  9. So...I've found that it works well for me as a body scrub, and I use it on wet skin instead of dry. It might start emulsifying quicker but I don't care, and I found that I prefer the Apricot one. I think it exfoliates better.

    I do sometimes use it on my face BUT I've basically started doing it before I use regular face wash or body wash. So on the days I use it--DHC Cleansing Oil for makeup removal, wash hair, while conditioner is going, I use this stuff to do face and body, mostly arms. Then I rinse this, and then rinse hair. Then I wash my body with body wash, and wash my face with my regular face wash. The oil still lingers enough to be moisturizing on my body, and since I flat refuse to use lotion, it is basically my lotion. I blot my face dry with a fresh paper towel and proceed with my skincare like normal.

    It's not my favorite, but the oil base helps seal in the moisture and like I said, I WILL NOT apply body lotion (I will immediately shower it back off. I hate it, it makes me feel like I have a straight jacket on and I literally will have a panic attack the moment it touches me.) so this works really well for me to work that situation out. I still prefer a normal face scrub like Exfolikate though because it's more effective.

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    1. I'm SO glad that you not only found a workaround for this product, but a useful way to incorporate it into your daily routine! That's fantastic!! So glad you shared. Thank you! :)

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  10. I keep it in my shower, instructions be damned. I use it after I use an balm-to-oil cleaner, as the exfoliation step of my skin care. Mainly I like that it doesn't seem to hurt using, make my skin feel raw or scratched, plus I like the coconut scent. It does leave an oily residue but I get rid of that with a light foam facial wash.
    I'll use this bottle but I won't be repurchasing.

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  11. Thanks so much for the review, G! I was interested in this, and I'm glad I read this first so I don't waste the money. I got the same impression you did - that it was a cleanser. It's kinda funny in hindsight because of course you couldn't get any kind of exfoliating material in your EYES and would have to use a separate product for eye makeup. Ah, well. I also have very dry skin and sounds like that won't be a good idea for me.

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  12. Try using this as a shave gel. It's amazing! It won't dry your skin out and it leaves everything silky smooth.

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  13. I was actually taught to exfoliate and then cleanse so this should work for me. However, I have it, and putting it on my face was weird to me. Now I always use it in the shower without thinking that my hands and face are already wet. I'm not sure how much that affects it really. I'm planning on using this one up, and then going back to the Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange (?) St. Ives scrub. I go between that one and the Green Tea scrub.

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  14. That sucks that it can't oil cleanse and scrub all in one. :( Good to know, thank you for the review!

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