Sweet Nectar — Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish Review
For a while there, it seemed like exfoliation-seeking women with sensitive skin had found the perfect alternative to the jagged, coarse, and often irritating salt particles in most body polishes: plastic microbeads that gently sloughed off dead skin cells while practically gliding and rolling on the skin, never scraping, nicking, or chafing the skin. But within the last year, an increasing number of reports have shown that these very microbeads have a harmful effect on our already compromised environment, since they’re not biodegradable and almost inevitably make their way into our oceans, where small marine organisms will likely ingest them. So what’s a gal to do when she wants to be eco-friendly while flaunting healthy, radiant, and smooth skin? Well, it’s all about finding other materials in nature that can exfoliate the skin — and do so gently. Apricot seeds are one such ingredient, which is why they’re a key component of the new Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish ($3.49-$3.99 at mass retail, drug, and grocery stores nationwide), an exfoliating shower gel.
The Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish features such ingredients as: orange peel oil, which possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and also boasts a high concentration of vitamin C, which helps to stimulate collagen and elastin production and to give skin a youthful glow; orange oil, an excellent source of vitamins A and C; kiwi fruit juice, which is also rife with vitamin C, along with vitamin E and the antioxidant lycopene, which protect skin from free radical damage; apple juice, which soothes any inflammation and also boasts anti-aging properties; grapefruit juice, which, in addition to vitamin C, is rich in Vitamin A, lycopene, and flavonoids that help to protect the collagen within the skin’s extracellular matrix; sweet almond extract, which is loaded with fatty acids that help lock moisture into the skin, leaving it soft and supple. Last but not least, to add the exfoliating factor, the formula contains apricot seed powder, made by finely grinding apricot seeds. The smaller seed particles feel much gentler on the skin than traditional apricot seeds — particularly since they have a rounder shape than the kernels used in other more abrasive scrubs.
Since I tend to have rather delicate skin, I tend to test exfoliating body washes with a great deal of caution — and, given my horrible experiences with the St. Ives Apricot Scrub during my teen years (my face looked like it had been mauled!), I was trying out this product with even more trepidation than usual. But my worries were all for naught as the body wash contained just the right amount of apricot seed powder, never over-saturating the formula with these particles, and as, previously mentioned, these offered the right amount of friction when massaged onto damp skin.
Now, while it incorporates natural fruit extracts, this is in no way an all-natural product and it does, in fact, contain artificial fragrances and colorings (FD&C red no. 4 and D&C yellow no. 5) so, if you’re allergic to these ingredients, this isn’t the product for you. Otherwise, the synthetic ingredients in the formula are relatively harmless — sure, it contains sodium laureth sulfate, a popular surfactant that makes the cleanser produce a rich lather, but, as mentioned in previous posts, this ingredient is significantly milder to the controversial but similarly named additive sodium lauryl sulfate. Aside form sodium laureth sulfate, it does contain cocamidopropyl betaine, a coconut oil-derived surfactant, emulsifier, and thickening agent which is generally regarded as safe and perfectly harmless ingredient.
All ingredients and exfoliating benefits aside, this body wash smells absolutely delicious! Though orange and kiwi are billed as the dominant aromas, I found that the kiwi far overshadowed any other notes — which I personally found to be a refreshing change given the abundance of orange-scented body care products on the market (it gets redundant after a while!). The sweetness of the apricot is also easy to detect and makes the aroma feel all the more tropical and refreshing.