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Friday, February 5, 2010

A natural, yummy chocolate body scrub that you can get at the drugstore??

Yup. It's true! Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub is natural, amazing, and can be found right at your local drugstore. If you're a body scrub person, and a chocolate person, please allow me to explain why I think you might really, really love this one.

I'll tell you up front I am already a huge Giovanni fan, but I primarily associate this brand with hair care (and one of the most awesome leave-in conditioners of all time--click here for my past review of Giovanni Leave-In Direct). For some reason I had yet to try their body care products, so when I was approached to try one for review, I totally jumped at the chance. Let's face it, if Giovanni can magically transform my hair, then I just had to see what they could do for my skin.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you that the Giovanni website makes me cry! Yes, cry. You see, they have their products broken up into little categories, and each category has its own theme. If you go to the body care category, which is called Four Dreams, Giovanni will take you on a little journey through four dreams, each one filled with beautiful images, words and music. I don't want to spoil it, so if you're interested just check it out here: Four Dreams. There's something about the storytelling of the dreams that is just quite powerful and moving, and I swear it makes me tear up (in a good way!) when I watch it.

Whew! Sorry for the tangent--let's get on to this scrub, shall we?

Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub (retail: approximately $13, 9 oz)

First let's start with the packaging. This scrub comes in an asymmetrical frosted plastic tub that is modern, sleek, and looks pretty darn cute in the tub.

Now let's cut to the chase and talk about the scrub itself, which, to me, is worth every single penny of its price.

Let me just back up a minute and tell you that I was around for the first wave of oily body scrubs that dominated the mid-1990s. I remember when everyone and their mother came out with a version of a body scrub, and 99% of them were goopy, oily messes that turned your entire bathtub into a danger zone.

So fast forward 15 or so years and I cannot TELL you how thrilled I am with how much scrubs have improved, and how many amazing choices we now have. No longer do we have to worry about busting through the shower door as we slip on the oil slick that old-school scrubs leave behind.

So ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce to you Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub, otherwise known as my perfect scrub:

Now, why am I calling this my perfect scrub? That's easy. First, it's thick and on the dry side (witness its thickness above, as it is not sliding like sludge down my finger). Thick scrubs that aren't overly oily do what they're supposed to do: buff dead skin off your body. Also, it's packed with "scrubbies" and the scrubbies (walnut shells) are coarse enough to exfoliation but not too big, and definitely not sharp or jagged. And lastly, it's a sugar scrub. I'm sorry, but the majority of salt scrubs out there STING if you've got any nicks, cuts or imperfections on your legs. Ouch! Sugar scrubs don't sting at all.

This is a winning combo in my book, folks! This scrub has just enough oil in it to make my skin feel soft, but not nearly enough oil in it to make me have to scrub my tub every time I use it. And the thick texture and perfect amount of scrubbies make this one ideal for me when I really want to give my body a good overall exfoliation.

And I haven't even gotten to the smell yet! Oh boy. When you open up the jar, I swear you'll think you're inhaling a cup of hot chocolate. Giovanni really nailed it with this one because, being a hot chocolate lover myself, I immediately thought: "It's hot chocolate!" when I sniffed it. It is pure, decadant chocolate without any weird plastic notes because, HELLO, it's made with cocoa beans! This yummy scrub makes your bathroom smell like luxurious hot chocolate when you use it! Yum YUM.

The ingredients:

As you can see, this baby is packed full of good-for-your-skin ingredients like honey, kukui nut, shea butter and vitamin E. And it's paraben-free to boot.

This Valentine's Day, I think Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub would be the ideal gift to give to yourself or maybe a girlfriend who needs a bit of extra TLC and pampering. Heck, I might even ask Mr. Recessionista to stop ignoring this in my shower and actually give it a whirl (as you know, he ignores all products in my shower unless I specifically ask him to try them). :)

Gionvanni body care products can be found at Rite Aid, CVS, Target, Ulta and many other retail outlets across the nation. Or you can also purchased directly from Giovanni via their online store.

Have you tried any products from Giovanni? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. I'm reviewing this as well and LOVE it!

  2. i'm a huge giovanni fan-- they make awesome products and they're cruelty-free and vegan (yay!). i've been wanting to try the chocolate scrub for awhile now, because it smells divine, but as a student, it's a little pricey (and i can never find it on sale!). i do love their shampoos though, and i have used their 50/50 balanced, tea tree, and smooth as silk lines. i also love their body butters, they smell amazing and they are super-moisturizing.

  3. Oh man, I used to have the chocolate exfoliating body bar from this line - we actually had a grocery store that carried most of the Giovanni body line. It was a hard bar of soap with, I think, crushed cocoa beans as the scrubbies? It was a little rough on my skin, so I only used it occasionally, and it hung out in my shower for a while.

    So my parents came to stay with me the night before we went to my brother's college graduation, and of course they showered in my bathroom. And my stepfather doesn't get this whole "shower gel" thing that women do.

    He emerged from my bathroom exclaiming "Holy cow, where'd you get that burlap soap you've got in there? I don't think I've been so clean in years!"

    I gave him the soap.

  4. Oh, man, it smells like food? That's my Kryptonite. I am going to have to keep an eye out for this. I just ran out of body scrub, too.

  5. Fabuless Beauty: It's great to hear that you love this too! Doesn't it smell *exactly* like hot chocolate? lol.

    jennifer: Yay!! Another Giovanni lover!! :) I looove their haircare as well and have used many of the same products that you listed, with great results. I really need to try those body butters since I've heard great things about them, but I haven't been able to find them yet in my area. :( And seriously, this scrub will last you a long time since you only need a little to get the job done. So if you can save your pennies for it, I think it will be worth the splurge. :)

    Beck: LOL!! That story was hilarious!!! And actually, it's very good to know that that soap is so exfoliating because I have such rough skin during the winter (especially my heels and elbows) and sometimes I buy exfoliating soaps and they're actually not harsh enough. Sounds like I actually need this one! lol. :)

    Leigh: Yep. I swear it really smells exactly like hot cocoa. I think you need it in your life. lol. :)

  6. Oh yum, i love body products that smell of sweet things! Mmm chocolate!


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