• Jill Brooks

PRODUCT REVIEW: Beautycounter's Sugar Body Scrub


So if you're a regular reader of the jb.beautyreport or you visit my chair from time-to-time, you'll know multi-level marketing companies (or MLMs, as I'll refer to them from here) aren't my favorite things. Usually these companies sacrifice product quality in order to net the biggest return on their products and make products that are cheap to produce and easy to sell. I'm always skeptical. But... in walks Gregg Anne. 

Prior to her appointment, she calls to get some info and share a little about what she's looking for in a stylist. She's just moved in from a different state and has somehow found our quaint little southern town to call home. When she arrives for her appointment, I'm not at all surprised after speaking with her that she is perfectly manicured, sweet as pie, and dressed like she just got off the private jet from a weekend getaway in the Hamptons. Really, she was the farthest thing from me and my somewhat edgy, black-only wardrobe that hasn't ever even seen Lilly Pulitzer, loafers, or nautical stripes. (At this point, I may have even had purple hair... so, yeah, a little different.) She sits down in my chair and after our hair consultation is completed and the service begins, I start the usual schpeel of "What do you do? Are you taking any trips soon? Tell me about your family, etc." Within the first few sentences, she brings up Beautycounter. I had very, very little knowledge of Beautycounter before this, but had assumed that it was just another MLM selling the stay-at-home-mom dream via snazzy marketing tactics and cheap product promising to get rid of every single wrinkle, cover your gray hairs before they grow out of your head, and lose 15 pounds in 47 minutes.... But I do as all good hairstylists do, and I kept my mouth shut and listen. Never once was she pushy or annoying about this brand she believed in, but man oh man, did she believe in it. You know when someone speaks their passions? This was Gregg Anne speaking about healthy and safe skincare and cosmetics. During one of her regular appointments, Gregg Anne asked if I would do her hair and makeup styling for her upcoming photoshoot. The only catch? I had to use her Beautycounter products. (They are basically irritant-free and rid of all toxins and harmful chemicals - something that Gregg Anne and her family practice throughout every aspect of their lives. There is a TON more to this that she can tell you, much more accurately than I, but there's more on that later...)

Shoot day arrives and she brings her makeup bag. It's filled to the brim with every type of palette, brush, shadow, tube you can think of, and the makeup junkie in me dives straight in, head first, with the excitement of a 7-year-old on Christmas morning.  I open each compact, feel each of the products, swatching and swabbing all over my hands as I go, and I'm instantly surprised at the quality of what I'm seeing. Still not convinced, I sort through it all and get ready to start the application process.  By the end of the eyeshadow application (which comes first in my world), I was SOLD. The pigmentation is great & on-par with some of the major, cult-favorite brands that fill the vanities of beauty gurus across the globe and the interwebs. The shadows and powdered products were rich in color and have a buttery feel - perfect for optimal blending and shading for eye looks and facial contours. The cream-based products were smooth and rich - a good indication that you're paying for PRODUCT instead of water with a fancy label. Once her appointment was complete, 95% of what we used was Beautycounter. We only had to supplement with a few items that they just didn't produce at the time. More importantly, I was pleased with the end result. Anyone who knows me knows that I am picky and particular about the services I provide my clients and using all unknown products was a HUGE worry of mine. Luckily for me, they ALL performed at close to the same level I expect my tried and true products to perform. *Photo of Gregg Anne by Sarah B. Gilliam Photography, H&MU by Jill Brooks using Beautycounter Now, I honestly didn't run out and replace every item in my pro kit, because I have my favorites that will forever be super tough to compete with, but as I'm purchasing new items to add to it or running out of my currents, Beautycounter is definitely high up on the list of brands and products to research and try. 

So.... now let's chat about why you clicked on this article. The Sugar Body Scrub in lemongrass. Scents are HUGE in my world. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I use on myself or clients HAS to smell delightfully yummy, but can't be too strong. I deal with migraines and scents can trigger a debilitating episode for me. Strong scents? IDFWU.  The very first thing that hits you when you open this jar of sugary goodness is the fresh smell of springtime. Seriously, if spring could be bottled, it would 100% smell just like this scrub. The airy, clean citrus-y scent is light and refreshing. Just what you want in an A.M. body scrub!  The list of ingredients reads more like a dessert than a cosmetic product, but I AM HERE FOR IT. (I'll list the ingredients below.) Plus, we can't forget that the largest organ we as humans have is our SKIN! It absorbs everything it comes in contact with and using harsh, chemical-laced products probably isn't the best option for our health. Again, Gregg Anne knows much more about this part of the industry than I do, but it makes sense that if we wouldn't DARE eat some of the ingredients in common cosmetics, fragrances and beauty products, why should we let our skin "eat" them either? Just a thought. Does this mean I'm getting rid of all of my chemical-y products? That's a big nope, BUT I WILL replace what I can. The fewer chemicals, the better, but there are some things I just can't part with! (I'm sure the same was said about tanning beds several years ago and we've seen the use of them greatly decline with the increase of skin cancer over the last few years, so catch me in 5 years and I might need an addendum to this post.)

Here's what I love - this sugar scrub uses raw brown sugar as the exfoliant. What does that matter? First of all, it's more coarse than other scrubs, so you can use less of the product and have the same, if not better, results. Secondly, because sugar is easily dissolved in water, as you scrub, the granules become smaller and less abrasive (kind of like polishing a rock into a smooth pebble.) Eventually the sugar will get smoother until it eventually dissolves completely. Even though it's rougher at the beginning, the scrub quickly becomes less and less abrasive - meaning you won't over exfoliate or be left with raw, irritated skin if you scrub too long. Other scrubs use walnut shells, rock particles, pumice, etc. that won't break down and often wind up causing more damage than good. We want to exfoliate, not cause microscopic tears. The other positive to dissolving particles (besides the obvious earth-health benefits)... Once the sugar is gone, you're left with a killer in-shower body oil.  One of my favorite ways to use this product is by exfoliating my legs and using the oil base as a shave cream. You're getting exfoliation, skin protection and moisture all in one product without feeling sticky or too oily. You can use it under your arms too to help with darkness that so many women are left with after shaving, but keep in mind, regular use is KEY to that benefit. It will take several applications to exfoliate those hair follicles and loosen up the debris caught in these little "sacs" that you see under the skin. I have found that using the scrub once every 5-7 days is plenty for me to keep my skin feeling healthy and moisturized & dead skill cells at bay. It works wonders for removing bad or old spray tan too! As I said earlier, I will attach the ingredient list below, but I wanted to highlight on just a few of them and touch on the benefits individually.

Acai oil - A powerful anti-oxidant that keeps skin looking hydrated and supple, plus helps fight off fine lines and wrinkles and WHO doesn't want that?! Citrus Oils - Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, and more - These ALL are great for invigoration and refreshment. The perfect "wake me up" addition to my morning shower routine! Citrus oils are perfect for detoxifying and brightening skin while balancing oil production. Sweet Almond Oil - used often for UV protection, plus keeps the skin hydrated by aiding in moisture retention. Helps to heal irritated and chapped skin - a game-changer in the winter months! Sunflower Oil - helps to prevent bacterial infections and with cell regeneration. The lack of cell regeneration is what causes us loss of elasticity and fine lines and wrinkles, so load me up, baby! Evening Primrose Oil - a key player in treating common skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It's packed with omega-6 fatty acids and can treat and prevent most skin woes.

If you have more questions about this product and so many others that Beautycounter has to offer, contact my girl, Gregg Anne Lowe. She's an expert when it comes to BeautyCounter products and can also chat with you about how you too can make money off selling healthy skincare and cosmetics that are perfect for the entire family, BUT you don't have to sell it to take advantage of the products that BeautyCounter has to offer. Wanna shop? Click HERE. Wanna learn more? You can reach her via her website HERE  or cell at 515-745-2096. *The FTC requires me to disclose that I was gifted a product in exchange for this post, but all words and opinions are mine and only mine. I was NOT required to write a positive post, and as always, I pride myself in knowing each and every post on the jb.beautyreport is an open, honest, and transparent opinion. ALWAYS. I do not make money in any capacity from sales of this product. This is just an honest review of a great product that I want to share with my readers and clients! If I hated it, I'd tell you. Trust me. 

AND... Keep an eye out soon for a LADIES NIGHT OUT event coming to The Jill Brooks Beauty Bar where we will feature some of my favorite Beautycounter goodies!

*Product photos from Beautycounter, Oil/Flower Photo from stock

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