January 8, 2009

Best Face Exfoliator in a Recession (or in a Pinch): Sugar in the Raw

"When the going gets tough, the tough get resourceful," mama always says. I recently put her wisdom to use...on my face.  Four words, five syllables: Sugar in the Raw...mixed with your face cleanser.  Here's the scoop (pun intended):

I hadn't used a face scrub since running out of my former one several weeks ago.  I'm a frequent exfoliator, but am working only part-time on a new media startup and money is tight like a belt on Thanksgiving.

The other night, I noticed tiny flakes under my eyes and the overall pallor of an Addams Family member. I remembered that exfoliation is especially important in the winter because skin cells turn over less often in colder weather and can build up to cause dullness (and clog pores).

What could I use? Aha! Remembering Suki's best-selling Lemongrass exfolating cleanser, I headed to the kitchen and grabbed a packet of Sugar in the Raw.  I mixed it with Evan Healy's Tea Tree Gel Cleanser and gently massaged around my face for a minute then rinsed.

My face was a little ruddy afterward—but baby-bottom smooth.  I applied a soothing moisturizer and went to bed.  I kid not, I woke up to the most youthful-looking skin I've had in months.

Pretty factor: Sugar is not only a physical exfoliator but a "chemical" one, too—sugar cane is the natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that's used in skin care products for its resurfacing properties.  It helps reduce fine lines and acne by promoting cellular turnover. As a result, many face and body scrubs are sugar cane-based.

Eco factor: 100% natural, zero harsh or toxic chemicals

To buy: $14 for an entire box at Whole Foods and sugarintheraw.com.  Grab an extra packet from Starbucks and try it!

17 comments:

ProductQueen said...

ha! i'll have to try this. i welcome any way to save money now.

Luxaholics_steph said...

Loved this post and linked to it!

Karley said...

Yes, sugar is awesome for an easy in the kitchen scrub! So are coffee grounds if you're so inclined to clean up a little bit of a mess--works great for a very short-term firming boost on less than smooth thighs :)

Lindsay Baron said...

Thanks gals!

Yes, Karley, I'd heard of coffee grounds for cellulite. I'm very lucky to not have it, nor do I drink coffee, but I'll look into it for you all.

Virginia Green said...

Brilliant! Thanks for the tip!

Jen said...

Seems like this would be comparable to the Suki foaming cleanser. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

It's great that you can use sugar as a face scrub and not to add calories. I'll certainly look at sugar in the raw in a different light. Thanks for the novel exfoliating idea!

Kirsten said...

OMG, that's an amazing idea! :) In college my roomates and I used to use a mixture of egg whites, lemon juice and something else (?) as a face mask to shrink pores. :P In case you have extra eggs around. . . :)

Siladitya said...
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Manash said...
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Andrea said...

Wow! I'm going to try this out! I never would have thought of that!

cindy said...

I have also heard that using sugar is less likely to scratch the skin surface than the more harsh physical exfoliators.

Anonymous said...

i have to disagree - rule #1 for exfoliators is that the granules must be perfectly round or they will scratch your face. i would never use sugar in the raw on my face! i do however use a sugar-olive oil mixture on my chapped lips before bed, and it is amazing.

Eco*Pretty said...

To Anonymous: Sugar is actually less likely to scratch the skin because it rapidly dissolves on your (wet, warm) face.

An ideal, eco-friendly exfoliator uses perfectly round jojoba beads. (Traditional exfoliators typically use PLASTIC polyethylene beads.) Of course, you won't get as good as an exfoliation with a jojoba bead scrub so you may want to use it daily. I highly recommend this one--and it's affordable!

http://ecopretty.blogspot.com/2009/03/kiss-my-face-so-refined-jojoba-and-mint.html

Rachel said...

Just read in Scientific American that sugar binds proteins like collagen and can hasten the aging process (even when used topically). I love sugar scrubs and a lot of my favorite cleansers and serums have Raw Cane Sugar derived glycolic acid.

Have you ever heard this claimed before? It's really bumming me out.

Here's the link: http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=slideshow-natural-skin-remedies&photo_id=1823756D-D1C4-1316-23D20D4762B8FCB6

Eco*Pretty said...

Rachel, I used to read Scientific American, then forgot about it, so thank you for the reminder—and for passing along the really great slideshow.

It just said, however, that sugary foods can cause aging (which we know) but didn't mention anything about topical, sugar-based scrubs.

Two of the most high-quality, intelligent natural skincare lines on the market, Suki and Evan Healy, both have sugar face scrubs. (Evan Healy's is launching this summer.) So, I'm not too concerned. I think there's a big difference between injesting refined sugary foods and massaging microfine organic cane sugar on our faces for a minute.

If you're still leery, opt for a jojoba bead scrub. Ren and Kiss My Face have excellent ones.

Emily said...

Thank you for this I was in a pinch and this trick saved me from dullness!