Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Review: Trader Joe's Purify Grapefruit and Chamomile Sea Salt Scrub

I'm lucky enough to live less than a block away from the only Trader Joe's in Manhattan. This is a wonderful thing in relation to feeding my addiction to a number of fine Trader Joe's Brand products (mmm brownie bites!). The prices are reasonable, the quality is high and the variety is unmatched. The downside is that I'm not the only one who feels passionately about the TJ, and unless I go within the first half hour of opening, or last half hour before closing, I'm likely to wait in line for a long, long time.

The line weaves in and out of the aisles, which is annoying when you're walking around trying to find something, but actually quite useful for discovering products you'd previously ignored. I was stuck waiting in the health and beauty aisle when my eyes wandered to a pretty yellow tub with "Purify: Grapefruit Chamomile Sea Salt Scrub" written on the label. A sucker for anything citrus-scented, and remembering that I'd recently run out of my Product Body Crush on You, I picked it up and took a sniff. Fruity, tart grapefruit was tempered by calming chamomile for a refreshing but not overwhelmingly invigorating scent. I threw the tub in my basket and continued inching along toward the registers.

Forty minutes later, I was home and ready to jump in the shower and try out my new find. I noticed that the TJ's scrub has a different consistency than Crush on You, it's oilier and rougher, while the Product Body feels more like thick cookie dough. The sea salt granules aren't as large or rough as the sugar in Product Body, but the extra oil works to keep skin super soft and moisturized. Unlike Crush on You, the granules didn't melt as I scrubbed, which is great when you're working on extra-rough areas like elbows and feet. Once washed off, the oils remain on the skin, making lotion optional and keeping skin hydrated for far longer than the average scrub or wash.

While having a thin layer of super moisturizing body oil left on your skin can be a great thing (skin stays moisturized longer and the scent lasts for a few hours), it's definitely not good for anyone prone to body breakouts. If that's a problem for you, just use the scrub on your arms, legs and feet and you shouldn't have to worry about anything. And if you don't need such deep moisturization and exfoliation, I'd recommend checking out the Product Body line, as the TJ's scrub might be overkill on normal skin.

The scrub also works fabulously as a pre-shaving exfoliator. I noticed a closer shave with fewer nicks because the oil served as an extra cushion against the razor blade (I still used shaving cream, but if you don't have dry skin, you could probably do without it). My skin was also less dry than when I just use shaving cream, a bonus for those of us who have to apply body cream the minute we get out the shower, lest our dry, itchy skin turn on us. Just be careful not to apply the scrub again after your shave, as the salt can sting freshly shaved skin.

I've also taken to washing my hands and feet with the scrub right before going to bed, and it feels wonderful to curl up under the covers with such baby soft and smooth, sweet-smelling hands and feet. I'm looking forward to trying the other scents available, and at $5.99 for 22 oz, I can afford to take my pick.

This is the second Trader Joe's beauty product I've tried and I'm interested in checking out more. Have any suggestions? Share them in the comments!


Julie said...

I like the Refresh body lotion and the Purify shampoo. I also like the tea tree face wash (I believe it's actually made by "Desert Rose" or something), but it's $4.99. I haven't tried the Purify conditioner. There's a Trader Joe's Spa shampoo that's also nice, and all of them are so cheap!

Anonymous said...

The above commenter's commenting about the 'Desert Essence' line, which is pretty cool; they sell a little bottle Jojoba oil that lasts forever for about $6. I'm not a fan of their facewash though-- it's thin, and the pump I had always splattered it everywhere. A lot of work, and my face didn't feel all that clean after.

But you know, you don't have to stop at just the beauty aisle... I think Trader Joe's is second only to Whole Foods (and a lot less expensive) when it comes to offering a good selection of oils, and the Beauty Brains just posted a piece on how coconut and olive oils are great for your hair.

Maya said...

I love this scrub too. I like my salt scrubs to be REALLY scrubby, so when I get a new tub I mix it well and divide it between two containers and add extra kosher salt to both. Great for knees, elbows and feet. Since you like citrus-scented products you should also try their 'refresh' line too -- I particularly like the body wash and the lotion (very light, perfect for summer).

Anonymous said...

Was your first product the Tangerine Sugar Scrub? If not, definitely try it. I love it.

I also like the Shave Cream - the "fake" Alba one that TJs produces for far less.

I've used the tea tree oil in the past as well.

I am also pretty convinced that their Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner (it's in a white bottle and may be from their "spa" line) is a good knock off of the Giovanni 50-50 Hair Shampoo and Remoisturizer (found at Whole Foods).

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the comment above - the Tangerine Sugar scrub smells absolutely incredible. It literally puts me in a good mood after every use. :)

ashley churchill said...

i am obsessed with the trader's spearmint lip balm. it comes in a supercheap three pack, is mainly organic and feels just lovely.

Mandi said...

Great tip on adding extra salt, I'm going to do that. I adore this product! I rub down with it when I first get in the bath, soak a little, and then use the remaining oil for shaving. I follow with a stiff scrubby brush, and shave again. Ultra smooth legs!! The brush pretty much takes care of the Too Much Oil issues post-bath, too.

MLE said...

This is one of my favorite products and I included it in my entry to the contest you had a few months ago. I don't live anywhere near a Trader Joe's (they don't exist in my state) so I have to stock up when I'm in California. I love, love, love this scrub.

Rapunzel said...

When you posted your review of the TJ's shaving cream I commented on my shared love for the product along with my adoration for the Tangerine Sugar Scrub. I thought they had discontinued the product, but they finally started stocking it again at my store. I prefer the sugar scrub to a salt scrub because if I have any nicks or cuts or if i use it after shaving I don't have to worry about that burn you can get from a salt scrub. Also, the Tangerine scent is the most delicious thing ever. You could almost eat it. I've had men mention how wonderful it smelled and made my skin feel and insist I tell them what it is and where to get it (weather for their own use or for a gift i don't know).

I've started using the Refresh Conditioner recently. For the past two years I've been battling extremely dry and brittle hair that breaks off extremely easily and I've begun using this Conditioner instead of shampoo(weird i know, but it works). It has gentle cleansing agents in it so I pile it on and leave it in for about 15 minutes. It leaves my hair soft and silky and smelling amazing and it has no silicones in it. I follow it with a deep conditioner and my hair is now in better condition than it has been for years. It's also great as a leave in conditioner if you just dab a little bit on the ends. SO much less expensive than the stuff i was using before which cost $15 a bottle.

Their Lavender massage oil is amazing as well. It's so much less expensive than most massage oils and even though I don't usually like Lavender scented products, this one is very pleasant. My bf is obsessed with it which is very good news for me ;)

Of course, i've already gushed about how much I love their shave cream. Their Tea Tree oil is great and so much less expensive than other places, and I also love their Vitamin E oil blend.

I've been slowly but surely becoming addicted to more and more of their products.

Mrs DePoint said...

Not a fan of the TJ Tangerine Sugar Scrub (it smells like crushed orange lollipops to me, bleah) but the Lavender Salt Scrub is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Seriously, I have about 6 of these in my linen closet for fear that TJs will discontinue it (they are famous for the sudden discontinuances). I have given jars of this to friends and addicted them, too.

Plus it makes your bathroom smell like the south of France.

Laura Linger said...

I did not like this product. I was so disappointed. Far too oily for me.

Joanna Schmidt said...

Thank you, Meghan for a great comparison. It is always a treat to read about another positive experience with our Crush On You. We are just finalizing a new NON-oily pumpkin scrub which you will love if you like the smell of pumpkin pie. Your skin will feel so soft and smell so pumpkin-ey.

I love reading your blog. Thanks for being so good at it and keeping us all updated on what is out there. Your honesty is brutal!! =)

Joanna Schmidt of Product Body