I recently happened to visit Jersey City’s 6th Borough Market, an outdoor event offering crafts, antiques, vintage clothing, and interesting food, all locally made or locally sourced. I stopped by Almonde Botanicals table, where I couldn’t help noticing this display of powdered facial scrubs packaged in salt shakers, and since Fall is a good time to make adjustments in skincare before Winter arrives and takes its toll, I picked up Almonde’s Mocha Facial Exfoliant to take home with me.
As any skincare expert will tell you, exfoliation is essential for sloughing off the outermost layer of dead skin cells, so that the newer skin can emerge and skincare products can actually reach it. However, I’m terribly allergic to chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, so I need to use manual exfoliants (scrubs!). The problem is finding a facial scrub that does what it’s meant to do without leaving my face red and irritated.
This one turned out to be perfect for my skin.
Mocha Facial Exfoliant’s ingredients (all organic!) are almond flour, brown rice flour, fair trade cocoa powder, and fair trade Ethiopian coffee, all ground into a fine powder. The cocoa and the coffee both offer natural antioxidant properties, and the coffee even provides a bit of topical stimulation to the skin’s circulation.
This is a “dry” product — you’re meant to dispense a small amount of the product into the palm of your hand, add a very small amount of water, and then apply it to dampened skin. You can also mix the powder with a gentle facial cleanser, or even with other natural ingredients like honey or plain yogurt, if you have a favorite DIY recipe.
When I use Mocha (twice a week), I splash my face with water, then dispense a quarter-size amount of powder into my palm, adding a tiny bit of water so it turns into a paste, and pat it onto my skin. After letting the exfoliant sit for a few seconds, I gently swirl it off with warm water (no actual “scrubbing”!), then use my regular facial cleanser. Afterwards, I apply my bedtime serum and/or moisturizer. The next morning, my face feels soft and healthy and polished, without the tightness or redness that other, rougher facial exfoliants have caused for my skin.
My only problem was the actual shaker: the powder tends to back up a bit in the cap and doesn’t flow smoothly through the openings. That’s a minor complaint, of course; I can easily remove the cap and pour the product directly into my hand.
Almonde Botanicals also offers Facial Exfoliants in Matcha and Horchata blends. I’m curious about the Matcha, although I like the Mocha so much that I’ll probably repurchase it when it runs out! All scrubs are available in full sizes ($12) and smaller sizes ($6), through the company’s website and Etsy shop.
Product source: I purchased this product.
Images: top photo by Tinsel Creation, bottom photo courtesy via Almonde Botanicals.