Before you throw that puck away…
I’ll be the first to admit, my dear friend Bill can talk a girl into some truly crazy situations. From letting my lawn and hedges overgrow (it’s good for the pollinators) to trying out flower chocolate, Bill has led me into trying some things that I don’t think I’d ever considered before. Bill and I go back years, we’ve both got bits of us that are falling apart, we’re both into trying to do things that little bit greener and we are both, quite by chance (it really wasn’t!), sexual deviants. Bill helped me kick ass when it came to my application for PIP, and for my part, I helped him come up with the name for his blog when he was struggling. In some way or another then, we’ve both been good for one another.
So when Bill suggested that I applied a nearly-all-natural facial scrub to my face, I was up to give it a go!
First things first, meet me and my acne prone skin. It’s been a bane of my existence all of my life, and though it’s better in recent days (no monthly cycles, less aggressive acne, thanking you kindly Norgeston!), it’s never been perfect. I’ve tried all sorts of pills and potions – Clean & Clear, Clearasil, tetracycline… the list goes on – but nothing has ever, truly, given me clear skin. Well, save for a good foundation!
Until now, this is the facial scrub that I’ve been using. It too is cruelty free, vegan and made of (97%) natural ingredients with biodegradable exfoliants, but it’s texture is somewhat disconcerting and I don’t know that it’s made much difference. The cold, gelatinous goop contains aloe vera and small fragments of pumice and willow bark to scrub the day away, however, applying said goop to my dry face and rubbing it all over then leaving for a few minutes before washing it all off feels somewhat… indecent. If you know, you know.
I shared my little grudge with this facial scrub on Facebook and Bill, for his part, suggested me to the vegan, sustainable and cruelty-free British-based brand, UpCircle.
So, what was a girl to do? I went shopping!
Initially, Bill suggested me to a facial balm with ground apricot stones in it, but from the description it said ‘balm’ and not ‘scrub’ and so I wasn’t sure that the product would do what I needed it to do for my pesky, acne-prone skin. Undeterred, I browsed for UpCircle on Amazon and came across their coffee bean facial scrub. I had a choice of floral, herbal or citrus, and with better reviews on the ‘floral’ option, I ordered myself a tube.
The following day, my little box of goodness came.
First Impressions: Packaging
I won’t lie, I love the minimalistic neutral, black and white packaging. It kind of screams fancy-free, and in some many ways, that’s exactly what I was hoping for. Golds and silvers look nice on packaging, but not all foils are biodegradable or recyclable. There’s no doubt in my mind that this box can be recycled, so it’s a win in that regard.
‘Made with repurposed coffee grounds’ it says, apparently sourced from artisan coffee shops according to the box. We shall see.
If I can be permitted to have a teeny, tiny grudge here, I did order a tube of the product, and so I was kind of expecting a tube. With that being said, I did read some many reviews of buyers complaining that the tubes block up and tend to explode from the closed end, and so maybe the company made the decision to swap over to jars only, after all? Still, it’s a glass jar with an aluminium lid, and both of these, I know well, can be widely recycled. Not only, but UpCircle offers a 20% discount for refills on their products (you do have to keep the box, though!) and so maybe jars are a greener, easier solution there, too? I’m for it, but for the false advertising and the fact that you have to keep your box to get your discounted refill? I’m taking off half a star.
What Does It Smell Like?
Not like geranium and patchouli, that’s for sure. With that all being said, it’s not a bad smell, and according to Matt, it’s both ‘distinctly coffee’ and ‘quite peppery’. If you imagine what a product made with 99% natural ingredients (including flower oils and Arabica coffee beans!) would smell like, then it’s that, it’s woody, it’s herbal, with a distinctive smell of Starbucks. It’s not quite like a visit to a Lush store, but it’s pretty close. The little known love child of Lush and Starbucks, perhaps?
Once I got over the idea of applying a mushed up puck all over my face, the whole experience wasn’t too bad. It’s not something that you can just scoop up with your fingers and apply anytime you please, no really, it’s not: It’s messy, it’s crumbly, it’s rather coarse and yet it feels so, so… good. It feels natural, and organic, and like the way that taking care of your skin really should feel. The weirdness of scrubbing Costa’s throwaways all over my face felt wrong at first, but now it feels good, and indulgent, and to be honest, I couldn’t care less for what this stuff is made of anymore – it all feels right to me!
Washing this facial scrub off, however, is a pain. The coffee bean pieces stick like no other and I had to retrieve bits of them from my hairline, from the crevices of my nose, my ears and several more. Could I have done without that whole ordeal? Most definitely, I also ended up using soap and water to completely wash it all off, which rather defies the point of it being a greener living product. Even after all that, I still dirtied up a perfectly white towel with coffee bean pieces while drying off my face, so I’m taking off another half star for that.
Is it just me,, or does my skin feel oh so much smoother? Okay, so my acne is still there, it unfortunately didn’t exfoliate that away (apparently the herbal blend is meant for acne-prone skin), but if definitely feels softer, smoother, alive and moisturised. It doesn’t feel stripped and dry like some treatments make my skin feel, but nor does it feel oily. I can’t stop touching my face either, I can’t get over how soft it feels! Fine, fine… Upcircle, have half a star back.
The otter, rather unexpected result of this facial scrub is that according to my husband, I smell rather “tasty”, which is all three cute, sexy and rather daunting in equal measure. I’ve never had a man sniff my face or my presence before, but then I suppose that there really is a first time for everything. Carnal declarations aside, I think he approves.
I have to be honest, I didn’t think that I could be convinced to fall in love with unwanted coffee grounds, but so converted have I been that I considered begging my husband not to throw his grounds away so that I can make my own scrubs from now on. Gone away are those days with chemicals with names that a girl can’t even pronounce, I have definitely, definitely gone over to the other side… once I buy some not-white towels!
That’s it from me, Twisties! Have you ever tried a coffee bean facial scrub before? Would you try it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time,
Stay safe and have fun,